ETA: Several people have asked online for a status update. As of today (8/8) Effie STILL needs a home, so please keep sharing her story to help her find one!
As many of you know, I have two dogs, Gypsy and Loki. Gypsy is 15 and a half, so not unexpectedly, her health has declined. The decline has been most significant this year, when she lost most of her ability to see and hear, plus she is unstable on her feet due to hip issues, arthritis (yes, we’re doing all the treatments) and other old-age related issues. Because of all this, Gypsy can no longer play with Loki, who is half her age and still has a lot of energy. So, we looked into getting another dog. Our local Humane Society has a program where you can do a “sleepover” with a dog you’re considering adopting, so we did that Saturday night with a very sweet dog named Effie.
Effie was SUCH a good girl. So sweet, gentle, obedient, and loving. Effie was shy when I met her in the shelter’s “bonding” room, but when she got to my house, she relaxed and wanted to snuggle, play with toys, or just sit near me. My dog Loki, however, reacted to Effie with what could only be called psychotic rage. Seriously, Cujo on cocaine would’ve been more chill. Loki repeatedly tried to attack Effie, and yes, I’m familiar with the difference between rough playing and attacking. This wasn’t playing. This was vicious, and so unexpected. Loki has been around other dogs before and had never acted this way. It reminded me of when my Mom’s normally-kind dog got violently protective of her after her health failed. Perhaps Loki thought he had to protect Gypsy in her frail health, or perhaps he just lost his furry shit.
I don’t know, but nothing my husband or I did could dissuade Loki, and normally, a mere stern look would send Loki into tail-down repentance. But despite employing several different methods for hours, Loki kept going berserk. This scared poor Effie, as you can imagine. It also stressed Gypsy out to the point that we knew her health couldn’t take this long-term. That is why we knew keeping Effie wouldn’t be an option.
I slept out on the couch with Effie while hubby had Loki and Gypsy in the bedroom. Even after her frightening day going to a strange house where a crazed dog kept trying to attack her, Effie was SO sweet, calm, and loving. Her tail would thump with happiness every time I looked over at her, and when I pet her, she would close her eyes and give me one of those heart-warming doggie smiles. She slept with her head on my foot, and didn’t once bark or act restless even though she was in unfamiliar surroundings. If I didn’t know that it would kill Gypsy to go through the time and training it would take to correct Loki’s inexplicably vicious reaction, I wouldn’t be typing this post because I’d be keeping Effie. But, we can’t risk Gypsy’s health with added stress when we probably won’t have her much longer anyway.
So, I gave Effie back to the shelter the next morning. She cried when I handed her over to the attendant, and I burst into the kind of tears you never want to shed in public because blubbering like that in front of people is embarrassing.
Over only one night? some of you might be thinking. Hey, I get the skepticism, but the protective shell I have that keeps people at emotional arms-length is absolutely missing when it comes to dogs. Especially dogs like Effie, who are so sweet, loving and eager to have a family that she would’ve been happy to put up with my home, even with its crazed canine occupant. That is why, as the subject line says, Effie needs a home.
Effie is five years old and weighs forty-seven pounds. She’s a mixed breed, so while her face looks a little Pitt-y, her body looks like a cross between a (smaller) Gray hound and a Shepard. She has short brown hair with subtle, brindle-like markings and brown eyes. She knew basic commands like sit, stay, paw, come, and she was potty-trained. I’ve sponsored her adoption fees, so there’s no cost to adopt her beyond the filing fees for her rabies tag, and yes, she’s up to date on all her shots. Effie is at the Jacksonville Humane Society in Jacksonville, Florida (full link: https://www.jaxhumane.org/) and she’s ready with unconditional love for anyone who wants a new furry family member. If that’s not you, please consider sharing this post because it might be someone you know. Here are some pics I took of Effie:
Effie snuggling on the couch with a toy.
Effie waiting patiently while I made dinner.
Effie at the shelter in the “bonding” room.