Introducing Alma!

This weekend, the Husband, Moses and I gathered up our passports (rabies vaccination certificate, in Moses’ case) and went on a little international road trip.

As you know, we have been contemplating, discussing, and researching a second dog for several months now.

We had decided we wanted to try for a purebred rescue, rather than put our name on a list with a breeder.  That’s not to say our experience with getting Moses from a breeder was anything less than perfect – we just wanted to keep our eyes open for the opportunity to give an adoptable dog a home.

Then, on one of my near-daily browses a couple of weeks ago, I came across this ad:

"Winnie is a sweet 20 month old Newfoundland who has spent her time "UNWANTED" for the last year and a half."

I showed the Husband the ad and we both instantly agreed we should get in contact with The Montana Companion Animal Network.  It was late on a Sunday evening and I immediately fired off a brief introductory email expressing our interest.

The next morning, Winnie’s foster mom gave me a call to ask some questions and answer ours.  And we her story.


‘Winnie’ was originally purchased as a puppy from a breeder in Montana.  The family had a couple of other dogs, and when it came to Winnie, there was either a sense that she should figure things our herself or be trained by the family’s existing dogs.  This, obviously, was hardly the case, and by the time she was 5 months old – large, untrained, and still a puppy – they had simply decided they didn’t want her anymore.

But instead of contacting the breeder, or surrendering her to the rescue then, what I assume was some sort of guilt or shame prevented them from giving her up.  Instead, they kept her out in a pen in the back yard – hardly interacted with.  She did not live in the house with everyone else. She did not get walked.  She was not even fed regularly.  For a year and a half.  Reports are that they would tell other people that they “hate that dog”.

For that year and a half, the foster mom – who knew these people – tried to get them to surrender Winnie to the rescue so they could re-home her.  The foster mom been fostering dogs for the MTCAN for several years, saw the problem, and wanted to help.

Finally, the family got fed up came to their senses and the foster mom arrived home to find a scrawny, stinky Winnie dropped off in her back yard; the search for a new home began.

Which is where we come in.

Two weeks, several emails, and lots of Google-mapping the state of Montana later, and we have arrived home with our much-awaited new dog!

Meet Alma!

Sticking with the historical-names theme in our household, we have changed her name to Alma, which is a short form for Amelia – as in Earhart.

And I must say, it hasn’t even been two days and she is settling in very well; we could not be happier that we’d chosen the adoption route and found her!  She is awesome – and super cute – and it is extremely sad and angering to think she was “unwanted” – or even hated – by someone else.

Will her past experiences effect certain behaviours she’s learned or developed?  Sure.  But we’ll all work together to discover them and work through them.

Can we expect her to be just like Moses? Nope.  But who knows – maybe we’ve got another Olympic Champ in training!

Alma & Moses in Montana: they make a great pair!

And Moses seems pretty stoked to have a little buddy, too!

About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

13 Responses to Introducing Alma!

  1. Tamara says:

    Oh oh oh oh!!!! I am so happy for you guys! She is absolutely beautiful, congratulations 🙂

  2. 2browndawgs says:

    Alma is beautiful! Congratulations. She may have had a crummy beginning, but she is home now. Can’t wait to hear more as she settles in.

  3. Kristine says:

    Congratulations!! Alma is beautiful and it is heartbreaking she spent so much time alone. I wish I understood how some people’s brains work. But I am glad they finally realized it was no kind of life and dropped her off. She is exactly where she needs to be right now. Alma doesn’t know all the awesomeness she is in for with you!

    I am looking forward to reading all about her progress, and about how she gets along with Moses!

  4. Wanna change the blog name to 2blackdawgs? 🙂

    You’re amazing, and Alma is a lucky girl. I hope she’s as sweet in real life as she is in photos.

  5. Jen says:

    Awww…she is beautiful. I am so happy that you were able to give that sweet girl a home. It breaks my heart to know that someone would not want her and I am sure it broke her heart to be left alone not cared for. You are such a wonderful person to rescue her and as a fellow Newf owner I thank you:)

    Alma and Moses look great together! Her head reminds me of Leroy’s.

  6. Kelsey says:

    Congrats guys! She looks so pretty and ‘dainty’ next to big brother Moses. I can’t wait till next years Club Olympics to see how she places…… 😉

  7. Pup Fan says:

    Welcome to Alma! 🙂

  8. lauren says:

    oh my gosh, what is WRONG with people? that almost just made me cry in my cubicle. ugh. i am SO SO SO glad you were around to rescue this sweet girl and give her an amazing home and brother. i wish you all nothing but the best in these first few weeks adjusting. congratulations!

    also, that photo of them in montana is just GORGEOUS!!

  9. Mayzie says:

    Awww…congratulations, Alma, on picking out such a super WONDERFUL home for yourself! You’re gonna be SO happy and learn so many pawsome things and have so many Most Terrific adventures. I know life didn’t start out so great but there’s nothin’ but blue skies ahead for you!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  10. Mel says:

    Oh Jen! Congrats!
    Alma is absolute gorgeous. I’m glad that Moses has a buddy too. Reading Alma’s story made me so sad. I just don’t understand people. We had a Border Collie puppy in our shelter that went home with a family that turned out to be awful. They didn’t understand the breed and when she started harassing their dachshund they stuck her out in the backyard, stopped interacting with her, abused her and left her out there to be ignored. It took a staff member to convince them to bring her back. She was dirty, abused and really damaged. She’s in a new and better home now, but reading Alma’s story reminded me of Rosie.
    I am so very glad that Alma is going to have a wonderful new life and a chance to be loved for being her. Much love and luck on your new adventure!

  11. Eden says:

    Alma seems like the perfect name, also meaning ‘soul’ in Spanish! 🙂

  12. I’ve heard a lot of horrible stories, but this post brought tears to my eyes. How utterly selfish of that family to leave her in the backyard like that, all alone, not even with the company of the other dogs. Thank you so much for giving her a good loving home, like every dog deserves.

  13. Pingback: Alma’s First Week « Back Alley Soapbox

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