January 22, 2011 I went to the shelter with Jamie to help temp test a 7-8 year old female Saint Bernard who was dumped due to relocation (from a trailer to an RV). The Saint had been tossed around from family to family and lived most of her life as an outdoor dog. When we got there- she was scared and dirty- but still came right up to us and let us show her it was okay. Jamie temp tested her with Grace Kelly, Angus, Titan, Jake, Boz, Diva and even our very own Mr.Quincy. With flying COLORS- this senior Saint showed that she was balanced and ready to leave her past behind. We loaded her up into my car and that day McKenzie became McKenzie.
|The day we went to get McKenzie at the shelter|
Initially we were fostering Miss McKenzie. My husband told me we could foster but weren't ready to add another dog to the pack. BUT, he adored the ground McKenzie walked on. He would come home from work and snuggle with her on the floor, on the couch, in the yard...you name it- they would snuggle. McKenzie created a sense of calm amongst my pack. Previous alpha female (not by choice) was Tootsie. Tootsie is uncertain, insecure and anxious. McKenzie stepped up into alpha female role and allowed Tootsie to be Tootsie- the dog. McKenzie would correct Quincy when need be and Quincy took her command graciously. McKenzie slowly became best friend to me and my husband and leader for my pack.
After a few months- the decision was to officially make McKenzie a Bross. Although she was always part of the family- we knew we could not let her go. Tom & I had our first foster failure and she is one of the best things that has ever happened to us. We opened our heart and home to a TRUE breed ambassador and in return she has shown us endless love, dedication, trust, stability and overall...companionship. She is the apple of our eye and not one person who meets her doesn't fall in love with her.
McKenzie has helped MANY foster Saint become better dogs who were ready to be in their forever families. She let Betty Boop (nee Boo) know that she was going to be okay. Betty Boops owner past away and she was devastated. She now is VERY happy with her forever family in Pennsylvania- with her very own pool and canine brother. McKenzie taught foster dog Addie to SLOW down. Addie was anxious and insecure and McKenzie showed her that you can trust again and that life is what you make it. Addie is settled beautifully in her shore house in NJ with a loving family and DOING GREAT! McKenzie stepped up as mother for Tuli (nee Ava) and helped show her the ropes of life. She showed her not to fear the leash or other dogs. She taught Tuli how to respect space and how to play gently. McKenzie taught Tuli how to be the best dog she could be. Tuli is now with a loving family in Pennsylvania (and sometimes at their NJ beach house) with 2 lab sisters and even a horse sister! She spends time getting ice cream cones and greeting the neighbors with Saint love. Tuli is blossoming into a fabulous Saint Bernard- and McKenzie played a HUGE role in her success. Should I go on? McKenzie has also helped Pebbles (nee Mary Rose) and is currently helping Tori, Josie and fellow Senior Gal Ella.
|McKenzie & Betty Boop|
|Addie, Tootsie & McKenzie|
|Tuli & McKenzie|
|Ella, Tori, Josie, McKenzie & Quincy|
McKenzie changed our views on "age". Many people believe that puppies are the way to go. Young, mold able dogs are the only option. I believed that young dogs were the best route. GUESS WHAT? I am a changed woman. The seniors have WISDOM and bring a level of calm to a pack. They are settled, secure and eager to please. They look for minimal necessities. They enjoy a brisk walk, a laid back dog park adventure, going for a cup of ice cream or just snuggling up with you on the couch. They forget their past and love in the moment. Think an old dog can't be taught new tricks? WRONG!! Every senior who has graced our presence has been taught to sit, stay, walk on a leash, eat on the down and NEVER has had an accident in the house. They trust that you are the leader and you know what is best for them.
McKenzies body maybe that of a senior. She goes to the chiropractor and acupuncturist to help keep her joints and body aligned. She can't walk 5 miles. Sometimes she can't jump in and out of the car. BUT, her soul is that of a puppy. She play bows in the yard, runs from person to person at the dog park and loves to chomp on a good mammoth bone. She has years of love to give this world- and thankfully she has chosen us to spend that time with her.
Thanks to Saintly Bernards Rescue and Jamie- I have opened my eyes and heart up our sweet sweet gal McKenzie. I could not ask for a better best friend me, my husband or my pack. She has lots of wisdom to pass onto to fellow fosters and cannot wait to share her love with them!!