Rescuing Kenya (Kendra)
Kenya came to Midwest Schipperke Rescue from a breeding situation. She probably spent her early years outside and had never really been socialized. She was coming here as her second home within the rescue. She was between 5 and 7 years old and very petite. She was shy, and every little noise would send her scuttling into as deep a corner as she could find. She would never be found out in the room but would stay out of sight. If we let her outside, she stayed there. We had to keep a long lead on her so we could coax her back into the house. She often used the water bowl as a pool. Any dog that approached her could take things away from her. She had not had toys and had no idea how to play.
She was, however, endearing and gutsy with a determined gleam in her eye. She was basically a gentle dog who was not given the advantages others were given. We worked with her first on how to get along in the pack and housebreaking. She proved to be intelligent and learned quickly what was acceptable. She did not want to be handled – she would bark at anyone who walked toward her. She very slowly saw the good side of allowing people to pick her up, pet her and sometimes even brush her. She also saw the advantages to living inside – it was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. She made sure to get close to a heating or air conditioning duct before everyone else. It took a lot of time, patience, and baby steps to get her to lay down inside with us when we watched TV. But after a while, she would pick up and toss small stuffed toys. She even showed her teeth and gave a slight grr when she objected to having a toy stolen. We knew we were accepted and important to her once when she voluntarily came down the basement steps to join us as we did laundry, watched TV, and cleaned. She walked around for a while, then just laid down and took a nap while the crazy humans worked.
One year, Kendra had to have both her left and right rear ACLs repaired. Both of these surgeries required 10-week recovery periods, during which she allowed us to pick her up and carry her around. She was not to go up or down the stairs or walk much more than to go to the bathroom. She really had to rely on her human friends to get around, sometimes to even stand. She got around pretty well eventually, and we all looked forward to her working up to a quick jog or maybe even a run in the back yard.
We knew Kendra would probably never be adoptable – it would shake her world too much and take a long time to adapt to a new family, but she was rescued and given the chance to be Kendra: a silly little dog with a loving family who loves her so much.
Kendra passed in February 2019 at the age of 14.
This Is Kit
This is Kit. He was a stray in a shelter south of the Detroit area. The shelter worker we have worked with before thought he might have some Schip in him. He is about as big as a Norwegian Elkhound and really may not have any Schip in him at all. He went into foster care in Mid-Michigan, but he was really too big for the way the foster home was set up. He could do the doggie door, go up and down the ramp in and out, and he was good on walks. But he was just too big for the foster mom to deal with. Luckily, she had an old high school friend who needed a dog, so he had an excuse to go walking and have someone to take care of so he had a purpose in life. He and Kit got along really well, and it was love at first meeting. And the shelter is really happy for the good ending for this boy.
This is Samwise. Samwise originally came from a shelter in Northern Michigan. He was adopted by a couple, then moved to Missouri. After a few years, both owners passed away within weeks of each other. So, their daughter brought him back to Michigan. He lived in foster care there for a year before he was moved to foster care near Chicago because he was getting too settled in. Along the way, Dave (who had adopted two other girls from Midwest) made several comments about considering adopting him if he felt he could handle 3 dogs (without a fenced yard, though his folks live a few blocks away and the dogs go there for exercise). We think Sam was just waiting for Dave to adopt him, as we had no one ever interested in adopting him. Now Dave is a Star Wars fanatic, so his first dog is Princess Leah. Then along came Samwise from Lord of the Rings - his other favorite. So what better home? Jasmine is his third dog, and she does not fit into either of his interests - but she does just fine. She and Sam play all the time, and Leah just watches them be crazy. It was a perfect ending for Samwise's long road to his forever home.