Happy Tail: What a difference a home makes


When Jacqui and Mark Vandagriff of Pearland, TX, met Bailey, a dog they had seen on Petfinder, at Pasadena Animal Rescue and Assistance in Pasadena, TX, she was rather lethargic and distant. Mark, with whom dogs usually showed an instant affinity, was hesitant. But when Jaqui picked Bailey up and held her to her cheek, the dog pressed right back.

“I melted and told them I wanted to adopt her,” Jacqui says. Mark urged his wife to think carefully about the decision: Bailey might never open up.

A little face time gained a home for Bailey.

A little face time gained a home for Bailey.

The shelter director said her experience was the dog would change radically once she was out of the chaotic shelter environment, crowded with noisy dogs who got little opportunity to be petted or walked. Meanwhile Jacqui read everything she could about adopting a dog before the couple decided to take a chance on Bailey.

Once they had finalized the adoption and had taken Bailey to her new home, Mark, who works nights, had to go to work. Jacqui was alone with the new dog. She felt anxious.

So for starters, “I sat with her and watched TV, and she snuggled with me on the couch,” Jacqui says. And then she took her outside to play in the yard with a leash on. When Jacqui removed the leash, Bailey looked up at her, as if to ask, “Is this real?” and “then took off running and circling in the yard like a racing greyhound — so fast I couldn’t believe it.” Tears sprang to Jacqui’s eyes because the little dog seemed so overwhelmingly happy.

And why not? She was running free in her own, her very own, backyard.

Now Jacqui says, “It looks to me as if we hit the jackpot of pets. She climbs up in my lap and turns over like a baby, wanting her belly scratched, comfortable as ever. She isn’t scared of water and lets us bathe her. She is absolutely delightful and affectionate, licking us both until we smell like doggie, and honestly — we love it!” The adoption was a big win for all of them.