As necn helps to Clear the Shelters, we're spotlighting a successful 2015 match from a participating pet adoption center.
"It was instantaneous," said Diane Leardi of Guilford, Vermont, recalling how she fell in love at first sight last year with Marley, an Afghan-golden retriever mix. "He looked very joyful."
Leardi remembers Marley was extending his front paws, with their Muppet-like appearance, toward her from underneath the door of a pen at the Windham County Humane Society in Brattleboro.
To Diane, it sure felt like Marley was picking her, just asking to be taken home.
"He's very good for me, and I think I'm very good for him," Leardi told necn.
Since adopting Marley last year, the psychotherapist brings him with her to her private practice. When he's not playing, Marley's calm, Leardi said, so her clients really enjoy him.
"We always love a ‘Diane and Marley’ ending," said Annie Guion, the executive director of the Windham County Humane Society.
Guion acknowledged, like any relationship, a pet adoption does take work. For example, Leardi was surprised to learn Marley really can't be off a leash, or he'll chase critters. That's something her past dogs wouldn't do.
"You have to work it out," Leardi said.
The two did work it out, and are now inseparable, the pet parent beamed.
However, Guion said occasionally, people and pets turn out to be incompatible, despite her facility's best efforts at working to identify a strong match.
"We really appreciate the pet owners that go the extra distance," Guion said. "But we also make sure people don't feel ashamed or guilty if they have to bring the animal back."
Guion said she hopes to see the success story of Diane Leardi and Marley repeated many times over, as the Windham County Humane Society joins the national effort to Clear the Shelters.
"While we do our best and we do a good job [at the shelter], the best place for an animal is a home," Guion said. "As many animals as can go home that day, the better!"
Click here to visit the website of the Windham County Humane Society.
A full list of adoption centers participating in Clear the Shelters is available here.