A New Home for the Price of a Smile

by Jane Peabody, Safe Harbor Kennel

The Chessie smile is a wondrous thing to behold, or, if one is not familiar with Chessies, a very frightening thing to behold!

For Betty, a 6 year old, 90 pound Chesapeake Bay Retriever searching for a new home for over 5 months, the smile brought her a new lease on life. Betty came to Chesapeake Safe Harbor, a rescue home in Bremen, when we already had too many Chessies in need of new homes. We knew the search might take some time, so Karen Cheney of Nobleboro offered to provide a foster home for Betty, thus getting to know her better which is important in placing any rescued dog. After several "almosts" we realized how difficult it was going to be to find just the right place for a big brown dog (who was older than most people wanted to adopt), who was afraid of thunderstorms (and big truck noises), and who wanted to be the Only dog in the home. Otherwise, Betty was a wonderful girl who knew her obedience commands very well, thanks to a very caring former owner. Betty was one of the more fortunate Chessies, to have had a loving home for the first half of her life and then to finally be adopted into another for her remaining years.

Fate was at work for Betty ... as we were beginning to think she would be a permanent resident of the Cheney's foster home, Bill McCarthy in New Hampshire was searching for just the right dog ... he had had many good dogs throughout his life, but the Chessie he lost last winter was "the best" . After countless phone calls, trips to look at other dogs, Paulette Nolan, a Chessie rescue home in Cape Cod, put Bill in touch with us. As we drove up to Betty's foster home, she ran to greet us with that Smile and as we were all talking it over in the driveway, Betty put herself into Bill's van. There was no question if the McCarthy's would take Betty.

Betty now has her own private pond, complete with wild ducks, unlimited supply of tennis balls, four cats to tell her what she can do, and a family that not just loves Chessies, but has a real understanding and the patience to work through her individual quirks. Certainly a dream come true, not just for every rescue dog, but for all of us who are constantly searching for the right home for these wonderful creatures.

Thanks to The Lincoln County News article in July - it helped us place two Chessies in need and put us in touch with two more who would like to find new families.

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