Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

Update (9/7/2015): Sunshine has been adopted! BRIT contacted us yesterday evening wanting to know if we’d be willing to drive a bit to the south to help deliver Sunshine to her new family on Labor Day. And boy, what a lucky dog she is! She’s going to live in Houston with two of the nicest people I’ve met lately, we had a great little chat after making introductions and I’m really happy for Sunshine. Personally, it’s a tiny bit bittersweet, Sunshine is a really fantastic dog who really loves her people. I’m a tiny bit envious that she’s not going to be following me around the house any more and she was only here for one day! On the other hand, I’m also tremendously excited for Sunshine, she certainly seems to have won the lottery with her new owners!

This blog is about Sunshine, a dog rescued by Brittany Rescue in Texas group that we’re providing a foster home for. When possible, I like to write a blog about each foster dog and get it published shortly after they come home with us. This “rush” might lead me to jumping to some conclusions too early. If you’re interested in Sunshine, please check back often. As I learn new things about each dog, I post regular updates. Especially when I find out that I’ve been wrong about an important aspect of their personality.

Before I dive too deeply into words, here’s a small gallery of pictures to have in mind while reading through this blog. I’d really like if you o had this sweet little face in your head as you’re reading and learning all about her down below.

Resting in the living room, looking pretty happy! Early on, Zoe was protecting Brian from the new dog. She found a safe place very early on. Relaxing in her safe place while Brian writes this blog. Equal opportunity relaxer,  hanging out with Julia #1 Equal opportunity relaxer,  hanging out with Julia #2 Equal opportunity relaxer,  hanging out with Julia #3 Sunshine's looking attentive. Now this is a happy face! And an even happier face, who wouldn't love this?

Our Recent Foster Adventures

We’ve had a pretty exciting foster-life lately. We wound up having one short-term foster dog stay with us for a few days only. Pardner is quite the handsome and friendly guy. I’d started frantically throwing together a blog about him when the folks at Brittany Rescue in Texas called me up and informed me that they’d already found a home for Pardner!

But if you think finding a forever home before I could write and publish a blog was quick, just wait till you hear about Emily! Emily and her sister Trixie were picked up by the BRIT team and they made quite an effort to find a home that could take on two dogs. But they were having a hard time finding someone who wanted to adopt both dogs. The BRIT team determined that the two sisters could be split up, and they called Julia and I asking if we’d take on Emily, and naturally our answer was “Yes!”

Pattie from BRIT asked me where in the Dallas Metroplex would be a good place to meet. Considering that the BRIT team covers the entire state of Texas and it sounded like they were about to have a busy weekend, I told them we’d just meet them wherever they were going that morning. That morning they were headed to Denton, TX in order to to meet a family from Oklahoma who was meeting Trixie and planning to adopt her. Denton is about an hour-long drive from where we live and well within my driving tolerance, so I said that we’d just meet them up there! Besides, I thought it’d be rewarding to get to see an actual adoption – I had no idea!

When we showed up, Pattie was already talking to the family and had Trixie in the hands of the daughter of the adoptive family. However, her parents were nowhere to be seen. Pattie looked at me and said lowly “We might have a small complication, but let me introduce you to Emily.” We retrieved Emily from the BRIT-mobile and she was as pleasant as could be, she was friendly, energetic and really sweet. After reading Emily’s profile on the BRIT webpage I had been excited about sharing our home with her for a little while.

However, fate had other plans in mind. The “complication” Pattie had alluded to was the adoptive family was distraught over breaking up the two sisters, despite Pattie’s best efforts to reassure them. I tried to help by explaining what a great situation we have here at our house and about how we wouldn’t let Emily out of our hands unless she was headed somewhere fantastic just like where Trixie was going.

In the end, the family decided that they just couldn’t bear to separate the two sisters. And despite being adamant that they were only interested in one dog, they decided to adopt Emily too! What a pair of incredibly lucky dogs! Emily’s leash was in my hand for a total of maybe 5 minutes – this has to be some sort of record for the shortest foster stay in BRIT!

I’ve never been so happy to head home empty-handed, but I will have to admit that I was a tiny bit disappointed that we weren’t going to get to find out more about Emily. However, thankfully for Emily and Trixie, the adopting family’s hearts had room for two new dogs.

Introducing Sunshine

No worries though, the BRIT team is so active that it wasn’t too long before we were asked about the possibility of fostering another dog, a “little” girl named Sunshine. Sunshine’s story is a little incomplete – she was found in McKinney, a town here in the Dallas area not too far from where we live, but nobody had claimed her. To be safe, BRIT swooped in to claim her and waited to see if anyone contacted the animal control office about her. When nobody did, BRIT assumed responsibility for her and asked if we would foster her. Naturally we said yes!

About the first thing you notice is that Sunshine is a sweet girl, but perhaps a bit on the round size for her frame. Wherever she lived previously, she was well fed! Sunshine’s weight is 44 pounds. She’s roughly the same height and length as Zoe, but she weighs about 12-14 pounds more. However, that’s nothing a little diet and exercise won’t fix.

I picked up Sunshine this past Saturday and she is a doll! Best of all, she appears to be housebroken. With the foster dogs we’ve had so far there’s usually a transition period where it takes the dog a little while to figure out how to ask to be let out, and that usually results in an accident or two. However in Sunshine’s case, that’s not been the issue at all. She’s very well housebroken and there haven’t been any accidents early on, which hasn’t been the case with our previous foster dogs, Marley and Pardner.

Even better? She seems to have a little bit of training. I was able to get her to sit using commands; we got on the same page really quickly. Despite all of the commotion of changing hands and meeting Crockett and Zoe, she has been very well behaved. On top of that, Sunshine appears to be crate trained. We introduced her to her crate here at the house and she went in without needing any coaxing. Equally great, she’s been excellent on a leash. To introduce Sunshine to Crockett and Zoe, we took her on a walk around the block once with Crockett and then again with Zoe. On her walks, Sunshine was very polite. There was rarely tension on the leash at all.

Sunshine is a tremendous dog, she’s very sweet and tuned-in to her people. I picked Sunshine up from BRIT and as I’m writing this, she’s laying right next to me. If I get up to go get a drink in the kitchen, she’ll follow me. She’s been following me around since I brought her home; all this attention is flattering! Sunshine really likes to be close to people in general. When I woke up this morning and fixed some breakfast, she was wrapped around my wife, Julia’s, feet as Julia caught up on current events from her computer.

We have two Brittanys already: Crockett is a four-year-old male, and Zoe, who’s nearly two year old. Both of them are relatively young and still quite energetic. Sunshine has gotten along well with the two of them, but clearly prefers the people to the dogs. She’s played a bit with our existing dogs, but something about Sunshine’s energy level (more on this later) suggests to me that they might be a bit too high-paced for her preferences. Her behavior with the other dogs has been perfec; even though her energy level may not be 100% compatible with Crockett & Zoe’s, they have all gotten along from the moment Sunshine was introduced to them.

Sunshine’s Backstory

As I understand it Sunshine is a stray that was picked up in McKinney, a suburb of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area just a little north of where we live in Plano. The BRIT team was either notified or saw a listing on a local Animal Control website. They informed the animal control of their interest of rescuing Sunshine in the event that nobody claimed her, and picked her up when that didn’t happen. We’d discussed Sunshine when we were fostering Pardner, and Pattie was hopeful that Sunshine’s owners would come find her.

A bit more about Sunshine

Sunshine appears to have been treated very well and is accustomed to being around people. As I mentioned above, she’s completely house broken. So far, all of the dogs we’ve fostered have also been housebroken, but in the excitement and chaos of changing hands so often, there’s almost always an accident or two inside the house while the dog gets situated. That hasn’t been the case with Sunshine at all. It’s been a couple days by now and we’ve had zero indoor accidents.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m going to keep mentioning it because it’s her most prominent trait, she’s a very sweet dog. She and I are already forming a special little bond. I’m not necessarily sure why that is, maybe it was our hour or two in the car alone together when I picked her up, or maybe I remind her of her prior owners the most. In any case, she seems to be very in-tune with my comings and goings throughout the day. If I’m at the computer, she’s probably laying down near my feet somewhere around the desk. If I get up and go to the kitchen, she gets up and follows me to the kitchen. This is both a bit flattering and unusual. Zoe and Crockett do the same things but to a much lesser extent and they get bored and do other typical Brittany things like patrol the house and look for things in the windows.

Sunshine also seems to be a bit more sedentary than Crockett and Zoe, which might be due to her personality or the fact she’s a little bit on the rotund size. According to her biography on the BRIT page, she weighs around 44 pounds. Her frame isn’t sized much differently than Zoe’s, but Zoe’s a good 12 or so pounds lighter than Sunshine. In some of Sunshine’s photos, you can tell that she’s quite a bit more filled out than Zoe is. And to be frank, when watching how she moves around compared to our other two dogs, I think she’s probably a bit overweight. We treat all of our fosters as if they were our own, so we’ve put her on a bit of a diet and we intend to help her be a little more active than she’s inclined. I think just having Zoe and Crockett around will force her to be more active.

My Idea of Sunshine’s Perfect Forever Home

Note: This is 100% my opinion and ultimately has nothing to do with how or where Sunshine will get placed. The most important part in finding a forever home for any dog is you! If you know that Sunshine’s perfect forever home is your house, then you can make that happen regardless of my opinion.

I honestly think Sunshine will fit in wonderfully in just about any home. All indications so far is that she’d do fine at a home with dogs or a home without dogs. She seems sweet and patient enough to me that I think she’d do well around children as well, although I haven’t had a chance to observe that yet, but in gaging her demeanor, I’m pretty confident with this hunch.

Sunshine seems to have some training already. She’s better than either Crockett or Zoe on a leash, she seems to be crate trained – although the first couple nights she let us know that she was uncomfortable in a strange new place, she comes when you call her but not necessarily by her name (give her a break though, she’s only been named Sunshine a couple days) and she’ll sit when you command her to. I also found out accidentally that she knows shake when I reached out to pet her once this morning. Personally, I’d recommend some more obedience training for Sunshine, but that’s my recommendation for all dogs. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you get trained every bit as much as the dog does during obedience training. It goes a long way towards getting you on the same page with your dog and being on the same page is what makes dog ownership so rewarding.

I think Sunshine’s biggest immediate need is to find a person, or a family who can be the center of her universe. They’d need to help her lose some weight by being active and setting up a healthy diet. But there’s nothing about her energy level or her zest for life which make me think that’s not possible. I get the distinct feeling that this dog would happily follow her owners for as long as her body would allow it, if not longer.

Are you interested in Sunshine? Do you have any questions about her? Please feel free to use the comment section below to ask any questions, I promise I’ll answer each and every question that comes to me in as quick a fashion as possible. If you don’t have any questions, please feel free to visit the BRIT webpage and then read over and complete the BRIT adoption application.