February 6, 2019

How Idared Became the Apple of her Adopter’s Eye

To many people, dogs are considered members of the family—irreplaceable. When Andy L.’s beloved Blue Heeler, Apollo, passed away after 10 loving years, it took some time before he could consider bringing a new rescue dog into his life. One year later, Andy decided he was finally ready to open up his heart and his home to a new furry friend.

Andy came to the ASPCA Adoption Center in November 2017 and was taken on a tour by one of our dedicated volunteers. He was shown a lot of dogs that needed loving homes, but one in particular caught his attention. 

“I saw a sweet girl named Idared,” Andy recalls. “She was sitting quietly watching everyone walk by. [When we were introduced] she immediately jumped into my arms and showed interest in walking and playing with me. I think she may have chosen me and I'm very glad she did.”

Life with the ASPCA

Idared was brought to the ASPCA in October 2017 by the New York City Police Department (NYPD). 

“Idared was a sweet but nervous dog during her stay in the Adoption Center. She had come from a home with several other dogs, and her stay at the shelter was probably the first time she had ever been alone in a space of her own,” ASPCA Behavior Manager, Rachel Maso, recalls from first meeting the sweet terrier-mix.

Rachel warned Andy that Idared could be slow to warm up to people and scared of new things, but after Andy and Idared’s lively introduction, she could see a bond between them.

“From the moment we met, I had a feeling that Andy was the person to help Idared come out of her shell!” Rachel says. “And boy did she blossom into an active, loving dog who quickly became very attached to Andy.”

Love is Patient

As a pet parent, it’s a wonderful feeling to know that your fur baby loves you. Idared adores Andy, and the feeling is mutual! However, with every new relationship comes a new set of challenges.

“On some occasions, dogs that have never been on their own before develop separation anxiety or isolation distress when their adopters aren’t around,” Rachel tells us. “In many cases, this anxiety dissipates with time as the dog adjusts. Unfortunately, Idared and Andy needed a little extra help.”

There are different approaches for treating separation anxiety. Andy worked with our Behavior team at the Adoption Center to ensure that Idared received the support she needed in her new home. 

“Andy and I spoke by phone and email, and he even sent me videos of Idared at home. I provided him with lots of tips on how to teach Idared to entertain herself both when he was home and out, and how to start modifying Idared’s response to his departure. Andy spent a lot of time and energy helping Idared to settle in those first few months, but his dedication to Idared paid off for them both!”

“She was definitely not as shy as we expected and loves interacting with other people and dogs and going on long walks in the neighborhood. She had some separation anxiety issues that have become more manageable over the year and we continue to work to make sure she feels comfortable.” 

Andy made the adoption official in January 2018 after Idared—now named Maddie—had settled into life with her new dad. Andy continues to work to help overcome her anxieties.

“Maddie loves to be right next to me so there’s lots of cuddling, watching our favorite TV shows together on the couch and naps,” Andy says. “Maddie likes going to the dog park in my neighborhood and running around with other friends. Her favorite toy is her Kong and she especially loves when it's filled with peanut butter. I've started to take her out of the city a bit more for hikes and to run around, and she really likes those days too.”

Maddie is truly living the good life now as her adopter, Andy, continues to be patient and provide Maddie with a loving home.

“It can be tough at the beginning as you get to know each other,” Andy recalls. “But with lots of time, love and treats, a rescue animal will become your most beloved family member.”