Meet Miss Jazzy J: An Arizona Paw Placement Puppy Adoption
Paw Placement Brings People and Pets Together ... Carefully
We weren't looking for another dog. Not yet. Our beloved 15-year-old Sassy was in the late stages of bone cancer and we didn't have long with her. I was trying to enjoy every moment with my girl, but I couldn't help it; I was already grieving. I knew it would be awhile after her passing before I could think about getting another dog -- another four-legged member of the family.
But then there was Jazzy.
My husband and I were wandering through a festival in a downtown park when he stopped and nudged me. "Hey, look at that dog. She looks like Sassy."
She sure did. It was beyond my control; I had to go over and see that precious pup.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Thanks to Paw Placement being in the park that day and approving our application and home visit, and thanks to a foster pet-parent who kept her until we were ready to bring her home, Jazzy has now been such a happy addition to our lives for the past year.
The Day We Fell in Love - A chance meeting in the park
Just after my husband took this picture, when Jazzy's foster mom handed her to me, Jazzy turned to look me in the eyes and give me a big kiss. I know it sounds goofy, but I started to cry and knew I was her forever mom. I wanted to take her home right then.
But I couldn't. Not only could I not just bring a new, high-energy puppy (Jazzy was somewhere around 10 months old) into the house where my love, Sassy, was so ill and so old, but Paw Placement won't allow anyone to just take an animal on the spot. There's much more to the process.
Our Paw Placement Adoption Process
As much as we wanted to call Jazzy our girl right away, the kind volunteer who would see us through the adoption explained that we had to do some things first. After a lengthy visit with her and Jazzy there in the park, she assured us she didn't foresee any problem at all, but still ... we'd need to follow their protocol.
So, instead of wandering around the festival any longer, Jeremy and I headed straight home to go online and fill out the Paw Placement application.
Then we had to wait (impatiently, although it was just the next day) for a volunteer -- the same woman we'd met in the park as it turned out -- to contact us and set up a home visit. In the meantime, we knew that Jazzy was in good care with her foster mom and would soon be getting some vaccinations that were due as well as a full checkup. She was already spayed by that time.
The home visit, which lasted about a half hour -- and it lasted that long only because we were having such a nice conversation -- took place about a week later. The volunteer looked to see that we had a safe and appropriate environment for Jazz, indoors and out, and verified that we didn't live somewhere that didn't allow pets.
A Little Longer in Paw Placement Foster Care
They were happy to help us time it right
As I mentioned, when we unexpectedly met and fell in love with Miss Jazzy J (She was already named Jazzy, by the way, and we liked it ... and have added attachments and variations of our own), we still had our much loved Sassy girl at home. We knew we'd lose Sassy to bone cancer in a very short time, and I was thinking that it wouldn't be fair to her to bring a new, high-energy addition to the family home. I thought it might stress her ... and I thought maybe she'd feel, I don't know, betrayed. She and I had been together for 15 years, and she was my best, most faithful buddy.
So, after the home visit with the Paw Placement volunteer and her approval, I paid the adoption fee (based on animal type and age, and the fees are listed on the website) and discussed the timeframe for bringing Jazzy home. The volunteer met Sassy while she was at the house and totally understood my feelings. She said Paw Placement was happy to continue fostering adopted dogs in situations like these -- and others -- where the time isn't quite right for the new parent to bring their new dog or cat home.
For the next couple of weeks, I was able to make arrangements to go pick up Jazzy at her foster home (which changed from the original Paw Placement volunteer to a different volunteer's home) and take her for walks and play time in the park. Each time I dropped her back off at foster care, it got harder and harder. I missed her so much.
Eventually, after talking with a number of other dog-lovers who'd been in similar situations, I made the decision to bring Jazzy home, even though Sassy was still with us. I'd seen Jazzy around other dogs, and she seemed -- to anthropomorphize it a bit -- very intuitive about how to act around any particular animal: when it was okay to play, when to be gentle, when to back off. She was very non-aggressive and sweet.
I was nervous about the introduction, but it went much better than expected. Maybe Sassy "remembered" her early years, living with me when I was farm caretaker, where there were many other dogs. She did snap at Jazz a couple times, just to establish territory and hierarchy, but otherwise they got along fine. And Sassy really seemed to perk up, actually, and have a bit more energy for a little while with Jazzy around. She still had a progressively even more difficult time getting around, but she was a fighter, that girl.
But a few weeks after Jazzy came to live in her forever home, our Sassy passed away. I was heartbroken and miss her to this day and always. But I must say, Jazzy was my angel. She healed my heart and, while she's a very different personality than Sassy, she does remind me of her and of her spirit, devotion, and intense love.
So, thank you Paw Placement for everything you do and for all of the pets and people you bring together in such a careful way. One day, I hope to return the favor and volunteer to foster a pet until he or she can go to a forever home.
Learn More About Paw Placement - Finding Forever Homes for Humane Society Dogs and Cats
Paw Placement isn't a shelter, and they have no facility of their own. It's a no-kill, nonprofit organization made up of volunteers who rescue animals from the Humane Society and provide foster care and adoption services. They don't accept "surrenders" of animals from the public.
Paw Placement holds adoption events at PetsMart stores on most weekends, and they often participate in other activities/events where they bring some of the animals up for adoption. You can view all of the available cats and dogs on their website and make an appointment to meet any you're interested in.
There are volunteers and fostered pets up for adoption in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and also in the Flagstaff/Northern Arizona area.
Paw Placement also offers follow-up services after an animal has been adopted, including training and pet-sitting.
See the website for more information.
- Paw Placement: A helping hand for pets
Their official website, with information about adoptions, volunteering, donating, and dogs and cats currently in need of loving homes.
More of Our Jazzy Girl - Thank you, Paw Placement!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Some Things You May Need for the New Pup
These are some items we picked up before bringing Jazzy home.
We didn't have to use a crate for long, but to both keep Jazzy safe and secure feeling while we were out and also to protect the house in case she might decide to chew or go potty inside, being in a new environment and all, we continued what Paw Placement had been doing and used this for about a month. After that, we left it open for her to go in as she pleased, with her soft bed inside and a blanket over part of it for that cozy feeling.
A Comfortable Daybed
Paw Placement gave us a bed Jazzy had been using, which she still uses at my feet under my desk here, but we also got her a fresh new bed for her crate. (She sleeps with us at night, though, so this is just a DAY bed, you see.)
We wanted to keep Jazz safe in the car, so we bought a car especially designed for attaching to a seatbelt. It can also be used as a walking harness on leash when she gets out of the car.
Elevated Food and Water
We got Jazzy new food and water dishes, so she and Sassy each had their own. Jazz immediately learned (with just a little help from Sassy) that THIS was hers, not the other ones. This type is nice because, for one, being raised up a bit is an ergonomically more correct position for eating and drinking, and it also keeps the bowls from being pushed around or overturned.
Jazzy's Favorite Kind of Toy: The Tug
Jazzy already had a favorite toy by the time she came to us -- a tug. She brought a VERY used one with her, but we bought her a new one. Now we have about half a dozen tugs all over the house, and she knows very well what, "Where's your tug?" means.
© 2013 Deb Kingsbury