White Dog licked the last of her ice cream and grilled peaches off her lips and nodded. "Go ahead," she said. "Tell the story of how The Other White Dog came to be part of our family!"
"Many people already know his story," I replied, "because so many were so helpful in making it happen." "It is my turn!," Quinn asserted. So, at the sake of repetition...
We have been peripherally involved in animal causes and supported rescues for a long time but our commitment was financial and in volunteering. We were certain White Dog would be an only child and that our lifestyle only had room for one dog. (hear the BUT coming?). Many of my friends on Facebook are devoted to rescuing animals in need and regularly post information about dogs in dire situations. We helped as we could but never seriously considered taking part in an actual rescue.
Then late one evening, Schmoopy's mom cross posted a plea to save an American Eskimo in a high kill shelter in Lancaster, outside of LA. I don't know why even after all these months but there was something about this sad boy found as a stray who had only two days until he was to be, as they say euphemistically, PTS. "Steve," I called. "Come take a look at this. And bring Siku." Both joined me at the computer screen as I looked up and asked, "Can we take him?" I half expected Steve to ground me back in reality and for Siku to growl, hackles raised, at the thought of expanding our family again, so soon after taking Michael in just 3 weeks before. Neither of them even had to ponder the decision; it was as if the answer was preordained. "Make it happen!" they said. My casual response to the FB post, "Don't worry about this boy, I will call and take him tomorrow." masked my amazement at what we had just committed to do.
The next day began what would become a monumental effort to get the death row pup with only a number out of prison. There was no "just calling." Someone had to appear in person, with a valid CA driver's license and $150 to adopt the dog. I could not do this by phone and no they did not accept credit cards. As many of you know because you were on this journey with us, I asked the Blog world and Facebook members for their help in making this happen. People who we did not even know and friends of friends of friends searched their phone lists for contacts who could make the rescue. Life With Dogs mom offered to make the 2+ our drive with a friend to get Quinn; an Eskie lover on FB whose secretary lived in Lancaster let her leave early ("don't worry about the fee; we'll figure it out") to make the visit. It was an incredible outpouring of encouragement, support, and help...but LA county kept throwing roadblocks in our way.
Finally Prinnie's mommy (who lives 4 hours away) called animal control to adopt the dog in her name and was told that she could pick up the dog two days later, after he was neutered. No one rested easily or were convinced that Quinn (the code name as the story unfolded) was truly safe. We held our breaths and sure enough a snag reared its head. Prinnie's mom was going to make the drive but found out that even though they are married, that mommy had to go...unless mommy gave up her hold on the dog and mom became the adopter! Resolved at last Prinnie's mom picked Quinn up on Friday February 26. The word went out and you could feel the two worlds sigh with relief.
During all of the planning and negotiations we needed to call the pup something other than its cell number. When I was much younger I was in a garage band and one of our cover tunes was, The Mighty Quinn, written by Bob Dylan. I always thought that would be a great name for an Eskie because of the line "When Quinn the Eskimo gets here, every body's gonna jump for joy." So that became our code name; with the intent of a family decision on a final name once he got to us.
We had previously made plans to meet with Prinnie's family in Phoenix (halfway between CA and NM) for some heart family time. Casper and Pals mom who had just experienced a terrible house fire which killed her foster dog was visiting her parents there and had agreed to meet us. Comet and Blu's mom lives in Phoenix and agreed to join us as well. Michael did not know that we had adopted a dog. We pulled up to find Prinnie's family already waiting for us (as well as Gregg, Candace and Dragon)...and a big sad eyed slow moving very nervous grey Eskie. "Michael and Siku, meet Quinn, our new family member." I said. "For real?" Michael questioned. "To take home?" Yes.
Right then we all agreed that "You ain't seen nothing like the Mighty Quinn!" and so his name became fixed. Quinn slept next to Michael that night and the next day we welcomed him with a Eskie party and cook out. The long ride home to Albuquerque gave us a chance to just be together.
It has now been a little over 4 months since Quinn joined us. He is so very different than his sister but they are learning to work out their different approaches to life. He is the mellowest most unflappable creature ever. Quiet, unassuming, he touches all he meets with his contented demeanor. You have followed his melding into our family since the beginning...The Story of Mighty Quinn, the Reskimo, is a story of progress and evolution. And now we are five.