Yes, Nicki has a new home!!!
I thought she was going to her new family on Saturday, so I dropped a note to Ashley asking if we would have a chance to say goodbye to her before she left. She told me to meet her at a park at 5:20. This is the park where Cayce Wallace, a dog trainer, holds classes.
When we got there, two women in a car got out as Ashley pulled up. Ashley has been having volunteers work with Nicki, helping to train her and I assumed this was one last brush-up session before she went to her new family.
Walt and I were busy watching Nicki run around the park and getting a chance to snuggle with her a bit and I wasn't paying much attention to what was going on with Ashley and the women.
Suddenly, I realized that money was changing hands, forms were being signed and there was talk about what they should expect when they got Nicki home.
This was no training session--this was it!. These weren't volunteers come to give Nicki a training lesson, this was Nicki's new Mom and one of her kids!
I started paying closer attention to what was being said and contributing more to the conversation. She seems absolutely perfect. They have two daschunds at home and have just been through the whole puppy business. Nothing we could hint at which might be off-putting fazed her. She just nodded and seemed to think that the best thing for Nicki was to work with her and let her find her own way. This was absolutely perfect!
As for Miss Nicki, she seemed to maybe kinda sorts know who we were, but it was the old "don't bother me kid" if you tried to get too affectionate with her, yet she did come running back to sniff every so often and at the end of the 15 or so minutes we spent there, she had curled herself under my legs, like she always did when I was working here at my desk, which I kind of liked.
Ashley and the new Mom continued to talk about training tips and Ashley let her know that she could call us, or Cayce, any time if she had questions about how to handle certain behaviors. She promised to keep us informed about Nicki's progress, which I particularly liked, since I was less likely to be able to help with behavioral problems, but I sure had a vested interest in knowing how Nicki was adjusting to new new home.
And then it was all over. They picked up their new dog and I asked if I could take their picture. They walked out of the park and put her in the car and drove off. Just like that, after months of picking up poop and mopping up pee and listening to Nicki trying to save us from aluminum monsters and garbage can monsters, after the Herculean task Ashley set for herself, housebreaking Nicki and teaching her basic manners, as well as answering countless inquiries about her which didn't pan out. After the doctor's visits and the flyers and the begging and pleading with the "right" people to take her, along comes this woman who seems to have the potential to fall in love with her, and who seems to accept all of her eccentricities with hardly a flinch.
After all these months, Nicki has finally headed off to her forever home.
I knew that we had to do something to celebrate, so I suggested to Ashley that we go out to dinner and we did. We took her to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate. When the fortune came out of my fortune cookie, I took it as a sign that I should immediately come home and tell everyone who has been following this saga for so long the good news...
The agreement the SPCA makes with all its adoptees is that if you ever decide to give up a dog adopted from here, this SPCA will take it back again, so there is always the possibility that this adoption won't work as beautifully as it looks like it's going to. But for now, we can all be thrilled that Nicki is, as I write this, in her new home, meeting her new "siblings," and starting to get to know her forever family.
Lizzie was very interested in sniffing us all over when we got home. She knew we had been out seeing Nicki.