georgiaGeorgia was transported from a kill shelter in Georgia (hence her name) to foster care with Schnauzer Rescue on Cape Cod. At the time, all they told me about her was that she was a five month old Giant Schnauzer that had been next in line for euthanasia and very narrowly escaped death.

I was looking for the right dog after the passing of my Giant Schnauzer, Gretchen, but hesitated at the thought of adopting another Giant for fear I would either miss Gretchen every time I saw this new dog, or, I would try to turn this dog into what Gretchen had once been. I realize now, neither of those could ever have happened. Gretchen, to this day, remains irreplaceable and Georgia, an unknown mix of terrier, remains loved, just as much.

My cousin Carrie came with me at the time and I was adamant about just visiting and not making any rash decisions. I went sans leash and with no preparation because I had no intention of coming home with a pup just yet. Carrie being much wiser than me, just smiled and nodded in agreement.

When we arrived at the foster care givers home, she told us she was in the process of moving, which explained why her home was in such disarray. Boxes and newspaper lay strewn about the place making maneuvering amongst them a challenge. In one bedroom she had several crates with dogs and in the kitchen, two more crates with two more dogs. It seemed apparent that she had over extended herself in the name of fostering. I liked her immediately. She asked me a few questions – somewhat of a background check and told me that they really had no history on the pup I was there to see aside from the fact that she was found wandering the streets, picked up by animal control and due to lack of room, had been scheduled for extermination. What a desperately sad existence at such a young age. Surely there has to be a better way.

The foster went into the bedroom to let Georgia out of the crate and I sat on the floor by the door, anxiously waiting her appearance. Rocketed like a cannon ball from the bedroom, a lightning fast mass of black fur charged towards me. Gangly legs sprawling as she tried to find traction with no purchase on the slippery hardwood floor, she didn’t falter to smell the boxes or play with the torn and fallen newspaper. She didn’t waver for a moment to sniff her caretakers hand of introduce herself to Carrie. She didn’t even pause to grab the closest toy. She saw no one else in the room. Instead, she ran straight into my open arms, sat herself down in my lap, leaned into me with ears down in a shy yet loving fashion and promptly began licking my face in what seemed like a plea for acceptance and love. That little girl never gave me the chance to think twice about bringing her home and there was no way that I would be the next human to disappoint her.

That was eight years ago and the memory of that moment still moves me to tears. Georgia is my little athlete. She has the energy of a terrier and the intelligence of a Border Collie. She is the one that gets me up and out in the early morning hours and keeps me active. I can only imagine what she must have encountered before coming into my life but whatever it was, it has left a lasting impression, for as much as I tried to socialize her when our lives first intersected (as I continue to do even now), she is very wary of strangers and doesn’t trust people she is unfamiliar with. It also takes people much longer to win her trust than it would any other dog but once achieved, a dedicated friend is the result of their patience. She has a steadfast nature and remains unwavering when by my side. She does almost everything I ask of her, even if my request goes beyond her comfort zone.

She’s an alpha female among dogs and while she plays with some, tolerates most, there are others she just doesn’t like and wastes no time letting them know. In my heart of hearts, I know she would lay down her life for me, as I would for her. I am honored that she so easily placed her trust in me and loves me without hesitation. She is one of my best friends and one, of my two, road trip companions.

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