ARF: Success Stories By Appointment Only

by Wendy Hunter

Wendy Hunter is a volunteer with the Animal Rescue of Fresno. ARF shares with KRL their animal rescue adventures every month. You can learn more about them on their website.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
~Winston Churchill

Pompous. Pretentious. Patronizing. If that’s what pops into your heat-soaked head whenever you see the words “by appointment only,” I can’t really blame you. That nail salon at the mall with their dragon-lady receptionist, the hairdresser with her fussy Pomeranian at her feet, and that new 4-star Italian joint whose next available dinner reservation is March of 9:30 p.m. in a cozy booth by the bathroom. Huh? Girl, I can file my own darn nails, visit Supercuts, order Olive Garden, and call it a day. I mean, c’mon, who has the time to wait around for an appointment? You want to get in, get it done, and get out. Your life is busy, with work, family, Simon’s soccer practice, Brittany’s ballet classes, grocery shopping, and cobbling dinner together while channeling the Pioneer Woman. You may not own a pair of turquoise cowboy boots, but that same blue on your Charming Charlie’s handbag looks pretty good.

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When many of you discovered that Animal Rescue of Fresno was showing dogs by appointment only, you shook your head in disbelief. What the heck? Are these people nuts? I bet you were thinking, okay ARF, please report to me and explain the method to your madness…
Brody and Kiwi-story down below

Trust me, our decision to show dogs by appointment only isn’t because we’re high class or fancy schmancy. It’s not because our residents hang out in marble kennels and drink from gold-plated water bowls. And even though they’re treated like royalty, they all do their business in the same place. Sorry, no private outhouses. There really is only one important reason we’re adhering to the appointment only process, and it might seem pretty obvious. You guessed it kids, it’s HOT. It is WAY too hot. We love welcoming the public to our facility, and showing off such wonderful dogs, but this summer has just been brutal. Walking around two acres with the sun bouncing off your noggin while trying to remember 100+ dog names can be a real challenge. Especially out in our big dog area, where the wind whips up little dust devils, and the dirt soaks up the sun like syrup on a hotcake. On extremely busy weekends, volunteers will take out one family after another, only stopping for water breaks and a quick breather. I tell you, the temptation to jump into one of the doggie pools can be overwhelming…cannonball!

When temperatures sky rocket and the air feels like a giant flaming fireball, the ARF dogs go to bed a little earlier than usual. This unforgiving summer has been way too tough on them, especially the seniors; their old bones are no match for the sun’s mighty rays. I can tell you from personal experience, this scorching heat can be a danger to both man and beast. So when a disappointed family arrives at the gate, and the thermometer reads 107 degrees, I just smile through the sweat and politely explain why we’re closing early. For appointments, we generally try to make them early in the day. It’s much more enjoyable if the dog you’ve come to see isn’t panting like crazy, and you’re not wiping your brow every 30 seconds. At ARF, our job is to match each dog with the best family possible. We know if you already have a 200-pound Great Dane cantering around your backyard, then adopting a tiny teacup Chihuahua is probably not a good idea. Which is why we suggest potential adopters check out the Adoptable Dogs section on our website. Heck, you can even fill out an application online to speed up the process. And as my idol The Barefoot Contessa would say, “How easy is that?” Oh c’mon, just admit you want to run barefoot through her lavender-filled garden

Ashley and Morgan
When you come in for an appointment, you’ll have your own space for playtime, snacks and toy-tossing. Rolling around on the grass is optional. Getting the dogs out of their yards and into a one on one situation is a great treat for them, and it really exposes their true personalities. A dog that appears to be a quiet little wallflower in his mutt-filled yard, will most likely bloom outside of that busy environment. Most of the time, all it takes is a few cuddles and a handful of Vienna Sausages.

Although we weren’t sure how the appointment system would pan out at first, we have been pleasantly surprised with our success rate in just a few months. For example, Ashley, an outgoing cattle dog, and Morgan, an affectionate Spaniel mix. These dogs didn’t come into ARF together, but ended up being placed in the same yard. Because they both had the same sweet-as-pie disposition, they quickly became fast friends. This dynamic duo was recently adopted by a family with a couple of young girls, and another dog at home. Three dogs and two little angels, what could possibly go wrong? I’m sure they’ve all become thick as thieves by now. I’m also sure that mom and dad are sleeping with one eye open…

 For Geppetto, a Yorkie with personality plus, his new dads came all the way from Sacramento to meet him. Within about ten minutes, it was apparent their long drive for this appointment was worthwhile. It was love at first sight, and Geppetto (now Timothy) has carved his way into the hearts of his owners.
Geppetto and his 2 new dads

When Ashley and Morgan found a home together, we were pretty excited. But when it happened again, we were bowled over! Brody and Kiwi, a little salt and pepper set of Chihuahuas, couldn’t have looked more joyful when they left the building. Both grinning from ear to ear, they rode shotgun to their next adventure. Puppies are lively and energetic to begin with, but one we recently adopted out was all that and more. Horshack came to us with what appeared to be hip dysplasia, but this feisty German Shepherd pup (now Cody), is happily scampering around his new backyard, and playing in his very own paddling pool. The senior dogs are the polar opposite of puppies, and usually the hardest to adopt. Chester is one such dog, and at fourteen-years-old, he finally won the Golden Ticket. His two dads came in by appointment to look at three other dogs, but took an unexpected liking to this sweet senior. Chester (now Ollie) is part of a small herd, and living the high life with his new buddies. Age is just a number folks…

When you’re able to schedule an appointment around an entire family, that’s dedication. Monkey, a Terrier pup and Parvo survivor, can thank a local news channel for her adoption. Her new mom saw him on KMPH’s Great Day, and immediately fell in love. She’s got several aunts and uncles, and even a godfather. And who doesn’t need a little Marlo Brando in their life?
Monkey and her new family

For some people, Boxers are the only way to go. When I first laid eyes on Piper, I knew she wouldn’t be at ARF very long. Once she got to her forever home, it didn’t take much time for Piper to find the toy box. Really? Boxer? Toys? I’m shocked.
Piper and her new family

Sometimes, our foster families are repeat offenders, or “foster failures.” Our good friend Logan, who plays in the metal band, Psycho Dog House, has a soft spot for Dachshunds, and recently adopted another of ARF’s long-bodied critters. He and Mica were a perfect match from the get go, and if you think the big guys only want the big dogs, then you are sorely mistaken. Logan’s band, Psycho Dog House, will be playing in our upcoming Paws 4 Metal fundraiser. Come join us for a head-bangin’ good time!
Logan and Mica

Our appointment only system will continue until the weather cools off a bit. During the freezing Fresno Fog winter season, it will be implemented for a period of time too. Please check our website for further updates. Thank you for your patience while Mother Nature makes up her mind.

Animal Rescue of Fresno is located at 4545 E Dakota in Fresno, CA.

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. Learn more about ARF on their website.

We also have a brand new pets newsletter that will be going out once a month letting our readers know about all of the pet and animal rescue related articles that went up that month so you never miss a thing. We hope to send the first one out in May. We also hope to provide some additional content and maybe even some pet related giveaways. You can use this box to subscribe!

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Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF for four years. She grew up in Fresno and recently became an Office Assistant with Fresno County. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.