Pet Adoption Story: Winnie

As told by Jeni Citro.
My wife Laura and I have been together for over 11 years. We don’t want kids (sorry moms) but we always knew we wanted to adopt a dog since we both had such great family dogs growing up. We constantly looked at local adoption sites, sending cute puppy pictures back and forth and even went to meet a couple of dogs, but the timing was never quite right and the dog was never the perfect fit.
While looking on the Anti-Cruelty of Chicago’s website we came across Winnie, then 8 weeks old and named Apple. As soon as we laid eyes on her picture with her curious little puppy head slightly tilted we knew we had to meet her. The very next day we drove 45 minutes out to Lambs Farm to meet Winnie and see if she was a fit for our family.
[SIDE BAR from Pet Gotcha Day!  Don’t forget that is a nifty tool too as you get to meet available adoptable pets through video!!!! :)]
When we walked into the adoption center to meet Winnie/Apple, we were told she was a new, and popular resident of Lambs Farm having just been transferred in from Oklahoma. Winnie was brought to us in a little play area and was a spunky little lady and a squirmy little biter. We thought ‘she’s not the one’ as we were looking for a more laid back, tame dog.
Fortunately for Winnie, she played her cards right and eventually calmed down and snuggled on our laps for the rest of our visit. Needless to say, our trip to Lambs Farm to meet a dog ended with us traveling back home, WITH THE DOG and hundreds of dollars of dog supplies. Laura and I giggled and smiled the whole way home as Winnie snoozed in a blanket on Laura’s lap the whole car ride home.
Anyone who has raised a dog from puppyhood will tell you, the first couple of months of puppy ownership are tough, especially when you live in a condo and don’t have the luxury of a backyard! With Winnie, things were made a bit more complicated when after a couple of weeks in our home she started displaying aggressive behaviors such as guarding her food, growling when handled and generally just being a bit of a jerk.
We were alarmed and disheartened that something so tiny and cute could get so angry and ugly. We immediately enlisted the help of an incredible at home trainer who helped us work through some of Winnie’s problems. It was at this point we discovered our little Winnie is wound a bit too tight and has some anxiety issues.
While we didn’t end up with the easiest of dogs and have to give Winnie extra care and time navigating through the world, which is sometimes scary for her, we love her none the less. She is a character who makes us laugh everyday whether she’s prancing around the park with a stick (sometimes branch), greeting a total stranger in the middle of the sidewalk on her back begging for a belly rub, or waking us up in the morning by jumping in bed and showering us with hundreds of sloppy face kisses. It’s these instances we realize that we picked a special one.

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