Shakira is all grown up and has moved to Seattle for new adventures. I like to think of it as going off to college. We love this little girl dearly but she’s outgrown our boring lifestyle, at home all the time out in the burbs and she is ready for new adventures. Shakira has done amazing with the training we have done with Anna from Paws With No Flaws as well as Zoom Room and she is a fantastic mommy but she’s retired from breeding and is looking for a little ME time. As we have added to our pack we could tell she was feeling unhappy and started the process of finding guardian homes for the younger pack members, Fergie and Rihanna. I have mentioned my friend Karen in at least one previous post and you have probably seen her posting and sharing on our Facebook page because she has been over to visit every litter of puppies we’ve ever had. Karen and her spouse Katy had 2 adorable Cocker Spaniel boys for over 10 years that passed due to natural causes and they have been without a dog for over a year and were ready to add to their family. While discussing the possibility of caring for either Fergie or Rihanna, our trainer Anna came over for another session and based on what she saw (and how well she knows our pack) she said she felt the best fit would be for Shakira to be in a home where she was the only dog. We discussed other options because letting go of my first puppy EVER didn’t feel like much of an option but in the end we decided to go with what is best for her and not me.
Shakira started going over to Karen and Katy’s home in Seattle on September 2nd for just a weekend at first and then a longer weekend and we just gradually increased the time. I felt relief and joy to see how happy she is at their home and honestly a little pain and heartache that my girl is happier in another home. I started to worry that I wasn’t a good dog mom but I do recognize that just like humans, every dog is different with a unique personality and needs. To be honest I felt a positive shift at home with the other dogs as well; now we have Beyonce and her baby and JLo and her baby. Shakira still comes to visit often, sometimes just for a day if her new mommies have work that will take them away from home and we’ve been able to have a few overnights too. This is a tough situation but I tried to put her needs before mine.
I have gone over to Shakira’s new house and must say…it is FANTASTIC! It really does feel like she’s gone off to college. Before I met Andru I lived in downtown Seattle, maybe 5 blocks from Pike Place Market and I loved it. The city has so much to do! She lives in Fremont and has a private rooftop deck for sunbathing and/or people watching. She has gone kayaking and boating and it turns out she loves going to bars (see, I told you it is like she went off to college).
She is going to take swimming lessons, although I think she was happy to jump in the lake without any lessons while kayaking, and her new mommies are going to take her through the program to work as a therapy dog visiting senior homes. Shakira’s other mommies work from home so she is not alone during the day and they’ve even got her set up with her own Facebook account (again, COLLEGE GIRL…..look out!). My heart feels good with this choice. For my Shakira families, please know that she WILL be at the reunion in 2 weeks and future reunions as well. Just like the young adult that moves away and goes off to college, she will stay a part of our pack in our hearts even if she only visits on occasion.
I have a shared album (my puppy families know all about the shared album – love it) and Karen has already added 53 photos.
This is new to us and I still have a hard time talking about it or even writing about it without crying. Before sharing on the website I wanted to tell Thom, Shakira’s (retired) breeder and human grandpa and the person that allowed me to start this whole adventure. Thom said “GREAT JOB on placement! I know it’s hard but look at those smiles”, I sent him several of the pics from Karen’s album. He was also happy to say – “we can now say one of our dogs went kayaking” which made me smile! And the words I needed to hear….”I enjoy your updates and I am always proud of you”.