Jen and Cheryl,
Five months in and I can't imagine my life or our home without her. First, thank you both for all that you do to insure that vulnerable creatures are loved and cared for and find their forever homes and loving families. As you know, I followed Jazzy's story through your Facebook posts - from when she was initially rescued, her many challenges and your relentless search to find her a safe place to live her life. And with love and encouragement, let her flourish into the wonderful, intelligent and inquisitive canine that she was meant to be.
My family and friends thought I had lost my mind when I proposed a road trip from my southern California home to your location in Utah, but there was something about Jazzy's photos and story, and the commitment both of you made to find her an environment where she could be loved, nurtured and trained, that inspired me. You two were relentless in your search, being very candid about Jazzy's "issues" while also conveying your belief that she was very smart and highly trainable - if only someone else could also make the commitment of time and training.
My friend Lynn understands my compassion for dogs and agreed to drive with me to Torrey to meet and possibly adopt Jazzy. We discussed all the pros and cons of such an adoption during the 18-hour road trip and decided to remain open minded and "see how things went" upon meeting Jazzy. I could hardly sleep although we had arrived at the hotel very late on Friday night. Saturday morning, making the short drive from the hotel to Cheryl's, I kept telling myself to be calm and not expect too much. After all, Jazzy had been in your foster care for nearly two years.
When Cheryl and her husband walked up with Jazzy on her lead, I cautiously got out of my car and stood very still while saying hello to the humans and trying to convey a calm and welcoming demeanor to Jazzy. I had optimistically stored some treats in my pocket and suggested to Cheryl that she drop Jazzy's lead and let her come to me. Jazzy came across the driveway a bit cautiously, but when she caught the smell of treats, came right up and sat down in front of me, looking and behaving as the most well-trained pup ever. I handed her a treat, which she accepted very calmly, and she allowed me to take her lead without hesitation. From that moment on, Jazzy and I knew we would be companions for life. I credit both of you for working with Jazzy so that she could be so welcoming and accepting of someone she had never met before.
She was perfectly behaved in the hotel room that night, and even ignored the people milling around the parking area the next morning when we took an early morning walk so Jazzy could do her business. After saying our goodbyes and expressing my gratitude, we drove off leaving you in the rear view mirror.
Jazzy was perfect for the entire 18+ hour ride back to Ventura County, even when we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic next to a semi truck transporting live pigs. Not a bark! Over the past five months, Jazzy has successfully navigated non-stop trick-or-treaters, a very large family Thanksgiving gathering, a live Christmas tree and too many shiny ornaments, New Year's Eve fireworks, non-stop visiting friends and family of all ages, sizes and interests and more. We both worked diligently on our daily walks to master "leave it" when we pass other canines on the street (and have gone from growls, to huffing, to nary a notice now), sitting and waiting before crossing streets, and greeting new people by sitting pretty and smelling outstretched hands (in hopes of treats, no doubt).
We are working our way to eventual socialization with other canines, going slowly and persistently to educate Jazzy on the possibility that other dogs could be fun to play with. She's so smart and quick to pick up on training, so I know we'll get there eventually.
If it hadn't been for you and Cheryl continuing to update Jazzy's story, and sharing your enthusiasm for what she could be - not just what she was, I'm not sure if I would have entertained adopting her. But I am so thankful that you both conveyed your trust and belief in Jazzy, because now I have a wonderful companion who helps me learn something new every day and shares her wonder of the world around her that continues to delight and amuse me. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and patience to assure this dog of her worth in the world, and convince me of the same. She is truly a treasure.
I'm looking forward to visiting soon and showing you both how the benefits of a safe and loving home, as well as constant companionship, have made such a difference in Jazzy's behavior and demeanor.
Again, thank you for doing all that do you for ALL the creatures you save. There's a special place in my heart for you both, always.