Patricia Urreta took on Maggie as a foster, but the 10-year-old basset hound mix found her way back to Patricia's home and into her heart.
- story by Denise Jacobs
Speculation turned to observation when Maggie, about ten years old, came to the Hancock Animal Shelter as a Bayside stray and to Ms. Urreta as a foster. Maggs—or Miss Maggs, as Urreta affectionately refers to her, is Urreta’s sixth and longest-staying foster.
During the foster phase, Maggie was once adopted out, but as Urreta explains, “She did not get along with the adoptive family’s other dog. It just didn’t work out, so poor Maggie had to come back. I continued to foster her, and it went on and on and on.”
As many of us do after losing a beloved family pet, Ms. Urreta decided she would not own another dog. “When my Jack Russell died, I said, ‘I just can’t do this again,’ but I just felt so bad for Maggie that I gave in.”
And that’s how, in January of 2018, Maggie, with her Basset Hound body and Labrador face, found her forever home. Urreta has no regrets. “Maggie loves people,” she says, “and she has been ‘the best dog ever.’ ”
Still, despite the mutual adoration, Maggie’s predisposition to chicanery is more effective than a crossword puzzle at firing Ms. Urreta’s neurons. Urreta points to a sturdy but small steel trash bin with one of those pedals you must step on to open. Urreta explains that when she left the apartment earlier, the bin was where it belonged and, when she returned, in another place entirely. The trash can was not opened or pilfered; it had simply been moved, as if Maggie had her own ideas about home decorating.
“Now, you tell me how she did that—because I don’t know!”
Ms. Urreta has also discovered that, despite arthritis in the legs, Maggie is somehow able to reach the middle shelf of the kitchen tea trolley. In the adoptive process, the learning curve can be steep for both humans and animals, but Miss Patricia is a pro, and she solved this dilemma easily with a bit of rearranging. Edibles no longer sit on the trolley’s middle shelf. Adoptive or not, as most dog owners learn sooner rather than later, to train a dog is to train the human.
To have a successful relationship with a shelter animal, it can be helpful to remember that no dog is perfect from the get-go. It’s important to give a new pet time to learn the household rules of conduct. Urreta advises patience.
She says, “Animals need time to build trust. Shelter dogs have sometimes been in a shelter for weeks and are traumatized. They will have accidents.” Then, sadly, “Adopted dogs are sometimes too quickly returned to the shelter.”
On the topic of shelters, Patricia Urreta praises Denise Hines, her daughter and volunteer with Friends of the Animal Shelter, a non-profit organization that supports the Hancock County animal shelter.
“Denise does an amazing job,” Urreta says. “She has helped so many dogs get adopted. She knows all these dogs. She writes about them and posts about them on Facebook.”
As for adopting an older dog vs. a younger dog, Ms. Urreta finds it rewarding to give love and comfort to an older animal that others might pass by.
“Besides,” she observes, “Maggie is my speed. She moves at my pace. We both dislike the heat, and neither one of us wants to stay outside very long.” More importantly, “It’s a blessing to be able to give older dogs comfort.”
And no photo album is required to see the love written on Patricia Urreta’s face as she sits on the steps looking down at her precious Miss Maggs. It is, perhaps, the look of one who, while giving comfort, has found a measure of the same. No album required.
If you know a Hancock Shelter adoptee who would make a great Shelter Star, please let us know! Email basic info and owner's contact info to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hancock Shelter Adoptables
The dogs below are available at the Hancock County Animal Shelter as of September 16, 2018. Call the shelter at (228) 466-4516 for availability. Check out the Facebook page of the Hancock County Animal Shelter for latest adoptables!
NUFAN is one of the sweetest, most content dogs you'll ever meet! ?This 1 yr old Border Collie/American Pit bull Terrier mix thrives on the affection of children, other dogs, and even cats! ? Nufan never meets a stranger! Lol! He's a sucker for a tummy rub, and will go belly up if he thinks you'll oblige him. He's also a fan of long walks, so we think he'd be an awesome buddy for active school aged children or older, seeking a best friend and confidant.
A home with a fenced yard would be ideal for Nufan, as he loves to romp-n-play in our exercise yard with his doggie pals at the shelter. When Nufan's previous owner moved out and abandoned this sweet boy, he was fostered by a compassionate neighbor, who discovered that he is both house and crate trained, and he loves kiddos. ❤
He was the perfect house guest and playmate to her young children. Nufan would be a wonderful addition to any family, or a marvelous companion for an active single person/couple or retirees. This awesome boy deserves a second chance at unconditional love!
*Nufan's adoption fee is $75, which includes neutering, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians.
KIWI is a 1 yr old Terrier mix, who has the most lovely chocolate brown and cream colored fur. We think she is uniquely beautiful, and we are crazy about her distinct eyebrows! ? They kinda look like fuzzy little caterpillars. ?
Kiwi is a playful and energetic pup, and would benefit from daily walks and exercise to keep her healthy and happy. A home with a fenced backyard would be ideal for this sweet girl . She is friendly and welcoming of other dogs, so she could easily join a home with existing pets. We recommend that Kiwi join a home with children at least 12 yrs of age, as she is fearful of small, rambunctious kiddos.
It appears that she is also crate and house trained because she keeps her kennel clean, and no accidents thus far.? In addition to being a trusted family pet, Kiwi would also be a cool companion for an active single person/couple or "on-the-move" retirees. She's definitely a dog who likes to be included in the fun. ?
*Kiwi's adoption fee is $75, which includes spaying, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians.
We love SPIKE'S ears and "frosted face," and the fact that he is whip smart! This 5 yr old Belgian Malinois is a favorite of our kennel techs, who spend time playing fetch with Spike as well as reinforcing his obvious training. He is great with other friendly dogs and seems open and affectionate towards all...except cats. Absolutely NO cats! ??
Spike walks beautifully on a leash/harness, and he is house and crate trained. He would be a loyal partner for a single person/couple or active retirees. Despite his age, Spike enjoys being active, which includes daily walks, romping-n-playing in a fenced backyard, and games of fetch, which he loves! ? He could also join a family with older children, looking for a best friend with which to exercise and share adventures. Please consider coming in to meet Spike...he is a shining star at our shelter! ?
*Spike's adoption fee is $50, which includes neutering, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians. Spike is heartworm negative.
ZULA is a one-yr-old American Staffordshire Terrier/Labrador Retriever mix, who is super sweet, playful, and loving. ? She would be a great pal for school aged children or older, who would enjoy romping-n-playing with Zula, taking her for walks, and playing ball. An active single person/couple would also be an ideal fit for for this fun-loving dog.
MALLORY is a British Lab, surrendered to us by her breeder/trainer. She has been trained in basic commands, and was mostly used for breeding. Mallory is 3 yrs old. MALLORY likes toys and is crazy for tennis balls and playing fetch. We are seeking a loving home for Mallory, so she may experience life outside of a kennel and truly be part of a family. ?
Mallory initially came to us quite skittish of people, but our young volunteers Sabrina and Kennedy have worked on confidence building and leash training, and now this sweet girl is wagging her tail and enjoying affection and attention. In fact, she revels in being petted and doted upon. ? She makes instant friends with other friendly dogs, and seems drawn to calm-natured older children.
With a little patience and understanding, Mallory will blossom once in a home environment, whether it be in a family with children, or as the constant companion to a single person/couple or active retirees.
*Our adult dog adoption fee is $75, which includes spaying, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians.
Join Friends of the Animal Shelter!
This group works hard to help find dogs & cats homes at PetSmart adoption events, transports dogs out of state to save their lives and helps the local pet overpopulation problem with spay and neuter programs. Click below to find out more, join and/or donate today!