Like every rescued dog, Beamer has a story. And despite his reputation for being a carefree canine, Beamer has had a surprisingly difficult time finding someone to love him for the long haul.
Beamer was first rescued in 2008, after Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation pulled him from a rural animal shelter. He was a young adult with a puppy-like exuberance that quickly landed him an adoptive home. When Beamer contracted glaucoma in 2009, the prognosis was grim. Unfortunately, his adoptive family did not want to manage the eye problem, nor did they want to have a dog with no eyes; so they gave him up.
The good news for Beamer was that LDCRF was willing to take him back! In fact, this rescue group has a built in safety net for their animals, so they are always willing and able to take back the dogs and cats they adopt out. So thanks to LDCRF, Beamer’s very painful eye problem was tended to without question. Still, following several months of managing the pressure in his eyes with the veterinarian, Beamer’s eyes needed to be removed in April 2010. His adjustment post-surgery was nothing short of remarkable, not to mention the pain was no longer an issue!
Beamer got a second chance at a home in September 2010 when he was adopted by a family with several young children. Beamer loves children and children love Beamer. There were many glowing reviews about Beamer’s adjustment in the months following this adoption. But without warning, in April 2011 Beamer was dumped at LDCRF’s veterinary clinic in the middle of the night!
Eventually, that family explained that Beamer had anxious tendencies that were just too difficult to manage. Beamer settled back into his foster mom’s home without issue, which leaves us all with a big question mark about what happened. Lucky for Beamer though, the next several months of his life were filled the fun of weekend adoption events and lots of time at the dog park.
I met Beamer in the spring of 2011 and couldn’t stop thinking about him all year. His regular appearances at adoption events quickly made him a volunteer favorite. His joyful and easy disposition stopped people in their tracks and often melted hearts, yet in the months that passed he still hadn’t found a new home.
I finally decided to foster Beamer that November. And after spending four years fosterless, the decision to foster the blind dog wonder was a big deal for me. My own two dogs were previous foster failures, so I was very determined to not grow so attached to Beamer that I wouldn’t be able to let him go.
More importantly, my goal in fostering Beamer was to find him his once-and-forever adoptive home. The task proved difficult and easy in ways that I had not anticipated. Beamer’s blindness wasn’t a barrier to daily life, but the general misconceptions about his blindness got in the way of people seeing that he was a great dog. Thus, Beamer’s (first) blog was born. But within days of beginning the project, the perfect family for Beamer appeared.
So after six short weeks, Beamer had found a new adoptive home. I dropped him off with his new mom and dad the day after New Year’s 2012. And although I couldn’t have been more confident in the match, it really killed me to let him go. I felt at the time that, despite my attachment to him, his new home was a better place for him. And months of wonderful updates confirmed that feeling. Beamer had adjusted into his new pack and I knew without a doubt that I had made the best decision for him.
It had been a while since I had heard from Beamer’s family when he popped into my mind again this past New Year 2013. The reflective mood of resolutions had me reminiscing about the inspiring six weeks I had spent with the blind dog wonder. And although time kept moving me further away from those six weeks, I still talked about it like it was yesterday.
It should come as no surprise then that I didn’t think twice about taking Beamer in when I got word that he was being returned to LDCRF. Unfortunately, no matter how many safeguards you try to put in place prior to adoption, sometimes the unexpected happens and dogs get caught in life’s crossfires.
When Beamer’s third adoptive family fell apart, I just said to myself, “Enough already!” Ryan and I were in the process of merging two households of dogs, and the outcome left us in a position to adopt Beamer. Just like when I was considering fostering him, I wanted to make the right decision by Beamer. So, I consulted with the director of the rescue. We discussed the likelihood of Beamer finding a forever home now that he was not only eyeless, but a senior dog with new health problems, not to mention his history of being returned and alleged anxiety problems.
In the end, we agreed that Ryan and I could guarantee that “foreverness” of his home, something that evaded all of Beamer’s previous adoptions. Not to mention that with us, Beamer’s health needs would be met without hesitation.
This past Saturday marked three weeks since Ryan and I adopted Beamer. We all (including Lucy) agree that he is just now starting to settle into our “pack.” Although Beamer takes all changes in stride, I think his many rehomings have taken a bit of toll on him. So while the first couple of weeks were marked with confidence and curiosity, there were also hints of frustration and anxiety that kept popping up. It wasn’t until a few days ago that there was a marked shift in his comfort level, and I expect to see more shifts like this in the future.
I am happy to report that Beamer is back to rolling all over the carpet in fits of sheer joy, which usually take place after meals and playtime with Dad. He has also memorized our loft and regular walking routes, which is evidenced by the way he navigates everything like a dog with eyes. Beamer is also bringing playful back by chewing on his old favorite toys (ones that he showed no interest in during the first two weeks with us). And my favorite sight thus far, is watching him sneak into Lucy’s bed to snag one of her toys and run into another room to enjoy the spoils of his victory – all right in front of her, I might add. Seriously, the two of them are playing this friendly back-and-forth game of hoarding the chew toys.
So, there you have it! All the history I know about the blind dog wonder to date. I feel like there is a huge lesson (or maybe many) to be learned from Beamer’s backstory. But that is surely the subject of another post…