We had been planning to bring in a puppy in the summer of 2020 for three years before the pandemic striked in Spring 2020. We always thought we would find a puppy from our local rescue organizations in the Bay area. However, when we started to look closer at available puppies in June, it became clear that the surge of demands for puppies and the pandemic made it impossible to go through a normal process to meet in person and carefully find a match. We were so disappointed, because we were ready for it.
We found the Life of Hope Foundation online and reached out to respond to their posts, which required a very detailed input of our family background, life style, experiences with dogs, and expectation, etc. It was thorough just like the local organizations that we are familiar with. Within 24 hours, Anita and Ivy responded. Within a week, and with many back-and-forth of discussions and the submission of some videos of our home environment, we were approved to adopt Verna!
We had to wait for 2.5 months for Verna to be big enough to take the 12-hour flight from Taiwan, but it was communicated to us from the very beginning and we knew what we were signing up for. During this time, I researched and managed to get in touch with the Taiwanese rescuer that the Life of Hope Foundation works with closely. I discovered an amazing network of people who donate money and volunteer to take care of hundreds of rescue dogs. They fundraised money to raise Verna and many other dogs, to foster them in an urban environment, to give them full health check and vaccination before they travelled to the United States. During this time, we continued to receive video and text updates about Verna, her temperament and how to handle the transition.
We welcome Verna into our home in September 2020. She arrived at SFO in a travel crate, full health record, a set of leash and harness, as well as a brand new toy that she loved and played with for months! Now she is an inseparable member of our family. She is loyal, smart, funny and full of energy. Like some of her fellow Formosan Mountain Dogs, she is very shy with strangers, slow to warm up to everyone in the family, but very trainable. Anita connected us with the other adopters to share knowledge of raising these unique pups and to arrange playdates in the Bay Area.
We are grateful of the Foundation’s care and the devotion to Verna and all the other dogs they rescue. We continue to stay in touch with the Foundation to update them on Verna and receive training tips and advice. If you are interested in working with Life of Hope, please make sure you provide as much information about your family and home environment as possible, so that they can select the best available match for you. I also recommend you research about Formosan Mountain Dogs and connect with people who are experienced in raising them so you know what to expect.