I wanted to share our adoption story. In August 2013 my husband and I started looking for a dog. We knew we wanted a young larger dog, and were contacting breeders and looking at shelters. On the first Saturday our search, we saw our perfect match in your puppy room. At the time, his name was Konnor, he was described as a Chow/Collie mix, and he looked like this (floppy ears!). We applied for him, were approved by Monday, and he came home Tuesday. He was a teeny tiny 13 lbs at 16 weeks old. We renamed him Oliver, or Ollie for short. At the urging or our vet, we did a DNA test on him through Wisdom Panel to see how big he would get, and found out he was a Korean Jindo, Collie, and Bouvier des Flandres mix and would grow to be between 60 and 75 lbs. His two litter mates at the shelter definitely resembled the Bouvier side of the family, but he took after the Jindo side.
Ollie was almost paralyzingly scared of new things when we first got him, like new people, being outside, porches, stairs, walking over bridges, water, getting in cars, diesel engines, etc., and we spent a lot of time patiently exposing him slowly and carefully to many new and fun positive things, like treats, and toys, and the park! He took some special care and loving to let him come out of his shell, but he really is flourishing now at a little over a year and a half old.
Ollie has grown up with a kitty sister who is 10 months older than him, and they are best friends. Being raised with a smaller animal has helped to curb his small prey drive somewhat, and thanks to being socialized extensively as a puppy, he is always friendly and playful with other dogs, though gentle with old and small dogs, and other cats. Squirrels are a different story though. :) We went through puppy obedience and intermediate training classes with Ollie at Petsmart, and he has shown off his incredible intelligence and willingness to learn tricks, especially through treat motivation! :)
Ollie is fully grown now, at a trim and healthy 63 lbs. While in Virginia, we did a lot of hiking in the Shenandoah National Park and running at Purcell and Highland Parks. We moved to Chicago in September this year, and he has definitely adjusted well to city life. He loves all the dog parks, and meeting new doggie friends on the street, and playing fetch in the small waves on the shore at Lake Michigan. Especially nice is that everything is within walking distance now, as he has gotten very car sick every time he is in a car. Even the cold weather agrees with him. His thick double coat of fur keeps him warm, and playing in the fallen leaves and snow are his favorite things (other than getting treats and shredding stuffed toys haha).
We love our dog so much, and are so happy and grateful for the wonderful care he got at RHSPCA for the 3 weeks he was there before we adopted him. We are delighted to now be advocates for shelter adoption!