By now most of you have met Baloo – our very fuzzy, very large Malamute youngster. We know many of you fell in love with this kind-of-gentle giant. How could we not? He’s everything many of us have secretly (or not secretly) wished for in a dog. He’s an attention grabber, he’s soft and fluffy, he’s BIG, and he reminds us of a loveable character we may have seen in a Jim Henson creation way back when. He just makes us happy! And therein lies part of our “problem”. Maybe not so much a “problem”, but a challenge. Of course, everyone wants him. We had numerous inquiries and we knew a couple would provide a very loving home, but that wouldn’t be enough for Baloo. When one obtains a Malamute as a puppy one is usually prepared for the monumental commitment the training process will require. It’s not a when-I-have-time-because-I-work-a lot project. It’s a daily process that requires dedication. Most Malamute owners realize this and don’t perceive it as a chore. They perceive it as something fun and fulfilling. Somewhere along the line, Baloo’s puppyhood didn’t include this training commitment. Therefore, we met a 100 pound, extremely strong young fluffball that had absolutely no concept of manners or personal space. He wanted to go from point A to point B immediately regardless of who was on the other end of the leash. It may sound funny but it posed a problem. He certainly wouldn’t be able to attend any public events until we were able to convince him there was a proper way to behave. Even with all of this, he sure is cute and has such an awesome temperament and so much potential.
When we consider a dog as having special needs, one might imagine a chronic illness that would require lifelong care. But that’s not always the case. Even though Baloo is as healthy as a…well….Ox (so the saying goes), he still has very special needs. So, we made a list. As time went on that list got longer. Sure, we might be able to compromise here and there and could hope we found the right home that wouldn’t become overwhelmed by the challenges life with Baloo might present. The concern loomed large. What if we were wrong and several weeks later, and several pounds heavier and stronger he was returned to us? That’s a common concern for every dog we place of course, but one so large would require a specific foster home (again) and we’d be faced with possibly even more issues than we began with. These are big worries, but we were focused and intent on finding that perfect home. We went down our checklist line by line and it happened. We found it! We are excited to announce that Baloo’s foster home is adopting him! This is a win/win for all of us, including his many fans. Having a foster home “fail” is frequently a challenge for any rescue group since it has the potential to eliminate the home from fostering in the future. Fortunately, that’s not the case for this home. They will continue to foster and Baloo will ultimately be an integral part of the welcoming committee for any newcomers. Since our goal for each dog we take in is to make their needs a priority and to go the distance to fulfill those needs regardless of how long it takes or how much it costs we knew this was the right decision. We will also share an inside glimpse of his progress and you’ll be seeing him at future events. The perfect Northern breed spokesman! You’ll see his progress as his family works with a trainer to learn how to manage Baloo’s Malamute exuberance.
We congratulate Baloo on his new home and selfishly are thrilled that we really don’t have to say goodbye after all, and we look forward to having him at future events for all to enjoy. Welcome to the Arctic Spirit family! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for further updates on Baloo!