You’ll remember Ginger – our heart-guarding super dog who turned to mush at the sight and sound of a squeaky toy? Well, the hard work of our dedicated team has finally paid off!

Susan and Mark are former Homeward Bound adopters. Dog lovers, they had both had dogs before they wed about five years ago. When they adopted Bueller at age one, they brought in a trainer to make sure they were both on the same page about their training approach. He is a gorgeous, well-behaved boy and an active ball dog.


They recognized that Bueller needed a playmate and wanted a female ball dog – well past the puppy stage. Finding Ginger on our website, they read her profile, blog and visited her gallery. Interested, they made an appointment to meet her.

Ginger has had introductions before, but this one was different. We had prepped Susan and Mark with information about her history what kind of expectations they should have of our tomboy – including her habit of barking her presence to the whole world. We quietly exited the building so they could observe Ginger and a couple of our volunteers playing with the squeaky ball when we entered. This got Ginger’s attention – but she didn’t bark. Is it possible that our wild child has finally grown up? Or does she just know a really good thing when she sees it?


Susan and Mark played ball with her. She didn’t do her usual hard-to-get thing. She let them touch and pet her. They liked her energy, her size, and her soft coat – and they were not put off by her devotion to the ball. Having passed the first test, an introduction to Bueller was carefully made.


Her first thought was to wrestle Bueller the way she does with some other playmates. Bueller told her very clearly that her approach was not welcome. Now the tables were turned, and Bueller was the one playing hard-to-get.


All seemed good so the leashes were dropped and they began to run around. They pursued the ball without bitterness at losing the chase. We introduced a soft toy; neither tried to take a toy away from the other.


Ginger did not attempt to wrestle Bueller again. He seemed to be just the guide our girl needed to find her place.

It was clear that Susan and Mark liked Ginger from the start; we were equally clear about the fact that there was still work ahead to bring out the very best in her. They took their time, wanting to avoid a rash decision that would might lead to her return. Two experienced dog lovers with a thoughtful approach. We could not have asked for more.


These are the photos we have all been waiting for.




We’re so grateful to Susan and Mark (and Bueller) for understanding that being your best takes a little time, a lot of patience, consistency – and love. What a wonderful gift for our favorite wild child.