Featured: Meet Mojo. I never saw it coming.
2020 was, well, 2020. Not a whole lot of happy going on last year. Worst part for me was the unexpected and heartbreaking passing August 1st of Bullitt, my 9 ½ year old sable, also adopted from NJ Sheltie Rescue. He had been diagnosed with cancer just two weeks prior. He was with me a mere 2 ½ years, far too short of a time. We were as thick as thieves. I’ve had two Shelties previously raised from pups, and he was my first rescue. His acclimation to my home in February 2018 was seamless. He took over my house almost immediately, like he always belonged here. His death rattled me. Talk about having the blues.
I vowed “never again”. Famous last words, huh? It wasn’t long before I realized that the empty void in my heart needed to be filled. There was a lot of room still in there.
SSPSNJ had very few Shelties available at the end of August 2020. As I recall it was only London and the Weather Girls at the time. An application was submitted to have on record and a home visit was scheduled. I passed the audition and met Stormy at her foster home several days later. I was given a heads up about her situation and Katy made it clear that it was doubtful Stormy and I would be a good fit for each other. NJ Sheltie Rescue excels at figuring that stuff out, and it was obvious from the start that there was no connection between Stormy and me. I didn’t feel the love. Neither did she. I’m glad because ultimately Stormy and her sister Sunny would be adopted together, the best possible thing for them. I’m very happy for the girls and their human. It’s all about the dogs after all. Rather than being disappointed, I was more determined than ever to again to fill the emptiness in my heart and my home.
But hey….it was 2020, remember? Not only were there no Shelties on the horizon, Covid had a major impact on shelters and rescue groups of all types. There just weren’t very many rescues available. It was a very frustrating time, and I was desperate for a dog…any dog at this point. I had pretty much given up on rescuing a Sheltie ever again.
I had had no contact with SSPSNJ for two months. On October 15 (I remember stuff like this but don’t ask me where I left my car keys) an unexpected phone call changed my world, and soon to be another’s. It was Katy informing me that she was arranging the rescue of two Shelties from the same home. Would I be interested in fostering, with the option to adopt, a 3 year old male Sable? She knew I preferred an adult, larger-than-standard Sheltie (I guess she remembers stuff like that too). Gender and markings were of no consequence. She didn’t have to ask twice.
A few days later Aegon (his original name) arrived and proceeded to pee on the floor. I was ecstatic. He was so scared and confused and had to be scraped off the ceiling at even the slightest noise or movement. He was reluctant to explore, even though I placed no restrictions on him. There were only two rooms in which he’d join me. Otherwise, he kept his distance and watched me from afar. Despite his skittishness I was pretty much in love…it just wasn’t mutual. Not yet.
Because of Covid it would be a couple of weeks before a vet visit which meant no walking around my neighborhood. I was chompin’ at the bit to show him off. His exercise was restricted to my back yard since he was 2 years behind on wellness exams and vaccinations… plus, he was still intact.
Finally, the vet brought him up to date so I could take him beyond the fence. Something new to get used to….going off-property….it was all different and he didn’t display any confidence for few days, as much as I tried to introduce him to humans and other dogs.
But one morning we went out and I immediately saw a bounce in his step, head held high, excited to meet all the dogs in my ‘hood, a whole new attitude. His light bulb went on, overnight it seems, a different dog than the one who wet my floor on his first day. I knew then we’d be a team, but first he had to be neutered, and that wouldn’t happen until just before Christmas. We adopted each other officially on January 1. No matter how the rest of 2021 would turn out, it would start in the best possible way on Day One.
Mojo has become of the friendliest, most lovable dogs I’ve ever known. He’s a neighborhood favorite and joins me everywhere when it’s appropriate to do so. I’ve loved all my previous Shelties, and Mojo seems to have small bits of all his predecessor’s traits. He particularly excels at being spoiled.
Kudos to all the members of this group. The support has been exemplary especially with his shyness and frightened behavior issues. I had never fostered before, and the biggest takeaway I got was just to ignore him and let him figure it out on his own. Which he did. Big time. It’s said, “be careful what you wish for”. That sure applies here. Mojo is the boss of me now.
My sincere thanks to all you ladies who helped make this happen for Mojo and me. I am truly grateful.