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Happy Tails - Kids and Dogs
Kids and Puppies and well behaved dogs from Sugarfoot Farm Rescue have a great time at the Spring Fling at Central KY Ag Expo in Liberty, KY. Click on headline for complete story with photo(s)
Next previous Happy Tail: Happy Tail: Amelia - First of three Amigos to find Furever Home
By Peg Schaeffer
I received a message from Terri Simpson from Rescue. There was a Spring Fling to be held on Saturday, March 09, 2013 at the Central KY Agricultural Center and she asked if I could bring some adoptable dogs. It was short notice and I was looking forward to having a Saturday off. She enticed me with proceeds from a Pet Photo Contest that would go to Sugarfoot Farm Rescue. So since I'm always looking for a way to raise funds for the dogs I agreed to go. The other ultimate sacrifice for me was that it was starting at 9amET, which meant 8amCT and I would have to leave at 7. This translates to me getting up at 6am.
When I retired I vowed that I would not get up at 6 in the morning ever again, unless for a horse show. I'm a night owl. I stay up every night until at least midnight and my alarm is set for 8 in the morning. Since it was for the dogs I was up at 6 am. I loaded the items I needed for an Adoption Fair; information about the dogs I had for adoption, information about the importance of spay/neuter, my bucket of rocks, free coloring books for the kids, and of course the dogs. Everything loaded fine until it came to the dogs.
Some loaded easily. Lila and Shelby are always happy for a ride in the Tahoe. Others were skeptical. Where are we going? What are you going to do with us? Piper did a belly flop. She wasn't going anywhere. Zoey didn't think it was such a good idea to leave the house. Jethro and Abby, the puppies, were happy to be going on an adventure but weren't too happy about going into a crate. Then there were the dogs that weren't going to be adopted. Kelsey and Thumbelina go everywhere I go, no matter what. Then at the last minute Scout decided she should be going also so she scaled the fence and jumped in.
Driving to Liberty I was trying to think how I was going to handle 4 dogs for adoption, 2 puppies for adoption, and 3 dogs just along for the ride by myself. In addition I had to set up. Yeah, I'm insane.
I got to the Expo Center late - the story of my life. The parking lot was already loaded with cars. I had a good location to set up. It was at the bleachers. Terri was there waiting for me. She had a table for us and had brought an extra crate for me to put dogs in. I took the dogs out of the Tahoe and leashed them to various places under the bleachers. They had blankets to lie on, food and water bowls, and were okay with the set up. The puppies were put in a crate and immediately let us know, with loud crying, that this was not where they wanted to be. Of course after ten minutes of their squalling they were let out to roam at will.
What do kids love? Puppies. Once the kids at the Expo saw the puppies playing they started congregating. The first two were Taylor and Hailey. They shyly approached the table. Hailey had a horse on her shirt so I began talking to her. They asked if they could pet the dogs. As they got bolder they asked if they could take the dogs for a walk. That started it. Soon there were a few more children asking if they could walk the dogs. The next thing I knew all the dogs were at the end of the leash with a child. They took them walking on the horse ring. Then they took them for walks on the wooded paths.
The dogs loved the attention and trotted after their leaders. Each one had a favorite. Hailey liked Shelby, a Border Collie. Taylor liked Lila, a German Short Haired Pointer mix. A girl named Shay fell in love with Zoey, a Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog mix. That left Piper, a Dalmatian mix. The next thing you knew someone was walking her.
Kelsey and Thumbelina are not amenable to walking on a leash with strangers. They want to be with me. The only dog left was Scout who was also very attached to me. The next thing you knew she was on a leash with a best friend, Shay. The puppies were happy to trot behind everyone and join in the fun.
Parents were amazed at how well behaved the dogs were with the kids. They listened to every command and trotted behind them captivated by their innocence. Taylor and Hailey decided to promote the adoptable dogs. They designed posters and hung them up in the building. Then they had me tape signs to their backs and they paraded around the parking lot promoting adoption. I was so amazed by their initiative.
It wasn't long before people were coming to the bleachers asking questions about the dogs. Interest peaked and even though I didn't have what they were looking for at the Expo I was able to match people with dogs at home. I got several prospects who are coming to the farm to meet dogs that they will consider for adoption.
Piper was adopted and the child promoters were so proud. They kept whispering to me. Are they going to adopt Piper? Once it was finalized they were all so proud of their accomplishment. All dogs adopted from us are microchippped. So the kids were introduced to the process and were able to witness the microchip being inserted in the dog and then scanned.
It was a great day. The weather was warm, dogs were placed, and contacts were made. It couldn't have been done without the participation of the children. The majority of families looking to adopt want a dog that will be good with their children. Piper, Zoey, Lila, and Shelby proved to everyone that they were safe and loving with children. Even the puppies showed their loyalty.
There's nothing like the bond of a child and a dog. It teaches them responsibility, care, companionship, and the best of all - a friend that you can tell your secrets to and will never let you down. Everyone needs a friend like that. - Peg Schaeffer
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This story was posted on 2013-03-10 00:12:20
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