Sometimes it surprises me that it’s been over four years since I initially met the Vicktory dogs. Like almost all of us who read about them and certainly all of us who worked with them, I formed close relationships and lasting bonds with each.
But none more so than Georgia.
If you used to watch the television series “DogTown” on the National Geographic Channel — or are a regular follower of the Best Friends website — you may remember that Georgia is a dog I’ve had many adventures with. From traveling to Los Angeles so that Georgia could represent pitties on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, to being on Larry King Live, to the simplest (and my favorite) adventures of just helping Georgia learn to be close to a person, Georgia and I have shared a lot.
And today we share what I hope will be our best adventure yet. We are packing up and leaving this morning so that I can drive Georgia to her brand-new adoptive home.
That’s right. Our girl is being adopted!
I love this dog so much. Although I am a person who looks forward and not backward, when I think of everything she went through before coming to Best Friends, it’s tough not to get emotional.
I don’t do the daily training or caregiving work with Georgia anymore. That honor went to Kathy Moore, a really great caregiver in Dogtown who worked with Georgia to help her pass her Canine Good Citizen test (a requirement for all of the Vicktory dogs to be adopted). No small feat for Georgia, who — as part of the test — had to learn to ignore other dogs. So I do want to take a moment to give Kathy and all of the other caregivers who have played such a big part in Georgia’s life the heartfelt thank-you and respect they deserve — thanks, guys! It’s largely due to their efforts that this really important moment is finally here.
I know you are likely eager to know if Georgia is going to a wonderful home. Well, she is! I was happy to be part of the team to meet and work with Georgia’s new person, Amy, when she visited a few weeks ago, and I’ll be staying for a few days to help Georgia settle into her new home and to help Georgia and her new mom get to know one another. Georgia is going to live with someone who we are confident will love and understand her and really help her acclimate to life in a home — something we don’t believe Georgia has ever experienced.
And Georgia is a dog who likes her comfort!
Every hotel room we’ve stayed in before has had a Georgia-shaped imprint on the couch or bed when we’ve left. Very important in Georgia’s case is that she is going to a home that has committed to her being the only pet there for the remainder of her life. We think that’s the way Georgia wants it, and certainly given her history and discomfort with other animals, something she deserves. She’ll get all the love and care and attention she’s been longing for — in a home of her own.
We want to give Georgia and Amy some privacy to settle in and enjoy life together, but we’ll be talking to Amy often and providing updates on how they are doing together.
Thanks to everyone who sent Georgia gifts and wished her well along the way during her time at Best Friends. When I say goodbye and drive away, I’m not too embarrassed to say I might even get a little choked up. I know I’ll miss seeing her every time I am in Dogtown and that our staff and volunteers will, too — but this is the ending we’ve been working toward all along. The ending that Georgia deserves, after all, is actually a new beginning.
By: John Garcia
Best Friends staff