Date of Birth: 01/03/2012
Gotcha Day: 11/02/2016
Breed: Mix Shepherd-Bruno du Jura
We had a Pyrenean Mountain dog named Daïco who was becoming very attached to Ariane after the passing of his friend Tosca. Ariane believed that if she didn’t adopt a new dog soon, Daïco would never allow another one into the family. He was acting very much like a bodyguard for Ariane, following her everywhere she went.
So we looked on the website of the dog shelter in Perigueux. On the home page there was a message that read “URGENT: This dog was adopted a year ago but the owner needs to move abroad and the dog is destined to come back to the shelter. Spare her this trauma, adopt her now!”
We contacted the owner and asked if she would come with Hattie to the property in order to test the waters. She came with her two dogs, to spend the weekend. It was important for us that the owner came as well in order to let the dog know that she was ok with this place. We feel that, if we had been to her place to pick up Hattie, the dog wouldn’t understand why we are “kidnapping” her, or stealing her from her owner. It’s important to take the potential feelings and emotions of animals into consideration. It’s quite complicated to explain to a dog, cat or other that they’re going to be moving to a new home because their current caregiver no longer can or wants to take care of them.
The weekend went so well that the lady accepted to leave both of her dogs with us. She came back a month later and brought Hattie and Pixie to what would be their new home. Hattie never showed a sign of mourning the loss of her previous master.
Hattie doesn’t really play and she’s not very active either. This is most likely due to the fact that they were not going out for walks because the lady had health issues which meant she couldn’t walk very well. This also meant that both dogs were forced to do their business on the terrace of their 6th floor studio.
When Daïco passed away at the end of October 2018 Hattie was completely depressed. She wouldn’t get out of her basket and nothing interested her anymore. This is typical for a dog in mourning. We looked for a dog to keep her company and found Vali in December of the same year. It wasn’t instant but they now get along very well, they even play together, which is something Hattie never did with Daïco. Sometimes they would run really fast together but that was the extent of it.
Because Hattie is so easy going and patient, she is a great example to the other dogs, who learn a lot from her. We would be lying if we said we weren’t also trying to be more like Hattie.