1114. Amy Trimbur Print         
Pearl at 5 Years (left) and Minnie at 1 Year

Pearl Enjoying the Great Outdoors

"Is it time to eat?"

Pearl Sleeping

Minnie Sleeping

"Not more pictures!"

Breed: Boxer/Chinese Shar-Pei MixGender: Female
Story: Pearl's story is one that often makes me teary-eyed when I tell it. In July of 2003, my family had to make the unfortunate decision to euthanize our first dog, Pepper, due to cancer. I never thought I would be able to bring a dog back into my life, as I never thought there would be another dog like Pepper.

In April of 2004, I bought my first house. I was now on my own... living alone. I wanted to adopt another dog. I looked high and low for Pepper. I went to shelters, looked online... and finally found a dog who looked similar to Pepper. I adopted that dog and brought her home. My family and friends came over to meet her. She bit my dad, snapped at my brother, and growled at my sister-in-law. I was again heartbroken. I had to take her back to the shelter, as my lifestyle did not allow me to rehabilitate this poor girl-my house was too busy with lots of construction and people constantly coming over. A year to the day that we put Pepper down, July 1, 2004, I went back to the shelter and "returned" Blackie (to this day, I hate myself for even calling it a return - she wasn't merchandise, she wasn't a purchase - she was a dog who had been wronged by a previous owner and was now facing death due to under-socialization and lack of training). The shelter employees were sympathetic and absolutely wonderful. I cried with them. They asked me to take another look at the dogs who needed homes. I wasn't going to. My heart was heavy, my soul was distraught at knowing the many injustices animals face, but I allowed them to lead me back there anyway... something in my heart urged me to go.

The shelter employee said, "There is one dog here who is absolutely wonderful; she is about 2 years old and she is just so soulful and so nice. She doesn't bark; just kinda hangs out." So, she called Pearl over to us. Pearl came... ears back... slight smile. My first thought was, "Wow, she's ugly." She looked like a Pit Bull, and had a snaggle tooth. I wasn't convinced. But, I figured, "Well, I tried to replace Pepper and that was a disaster. This dog looks NOTHING like Pepper. I've got nothing to lose." So, we went into the acquaintance room and Pearl came over to me. As I sat on the bench and petted her, she put her head down, pressed it into me and made a soft snorting sound. I never had a second thought. I adopted her. She didn't come home for 2 weeks because she was being treated for kennel cough. So I went to visit her a couple of times a week until she came home. I've now lived with her for just about 2 years and it feels as though she has been in my life forever. We've come to nickname her "MooMees" due to that soft snorting sound, which often sounds like a "moo." My fiancé moved in shortly after Pearl did and the two have bonded like Elmer's.

Breed: Labrador Retriever MixWeight: 40 pounds
Gender: Female
Story: The shelter employees told me that Pearl would be wonderful with other dogs and that she would raise a puppy for me. And so, in May of 2005, I put her to the test. My fiancé and I - after MUCH discussing and lots of my nagging :-) - decided to adopt another dog. But this time, we decided to adopt a puppy. My brother and sister-in-law recently adopted a puppy and so we went to the same shelter that they did. We looked around and I, of course, fell in love with every puppy that I saw. But my fiancé was more reserved with his puppy love. After looking for a half an hour and meeting several pups, he walked over to a pen where 2 puppies were. One was a Shepherd mix, full of energy and jumping up. The other was a skinny, long-legged brindle mix, shivering and sitting quietly. So, we took the shivering mess into the other pen to meet Pearl. Pearl was much more interested in staring at the adult dogs and creating havoc in their lives. The puppy sat at our feet, shivering and looking around. We did every puppy personality test with her and found her to be the "middle man," but slightly submissive (which is what I was looking for because Pearl has some status-seeking issues and I was afraid of dog fights later in life if we adopted a dog with similar issues). I picked up the puppy, a mere 12 pound pile of dog, and cradled her in my arms. We signed the papers and loaded Pearl, ourselves, and our new pup into the truck. On the way home, the emaciated creature curled up on my lap and fell asleep. The first thing I noticed was that she was all legs and looked like a black and brindle fawn. And then I noticed how peaceful and calm and content she was in my lap. I knew we had made the right decision.

The first few weeks with Minnie, the 12-week-old pup were difficult. We named her Skinny Minnie - Minnie for short. She pooped and peed on our rugs, ate our socks, underwear, and anything at snoot level and annoyed the living biscuits out of Pearl. She gained weight and an attitude. True to the word of the shelter employees, Pearl and I quickly established our rules and Minnie followed them.

After months of sleepless nights, weeks of cleaning up puppy messes, and a lifetime of training, the 4 of us have settled into our pack.

Staff: Amy Trimbur
Home: Oaklyn, NJ
Date Entered into Gallery: June 13, 2006

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