Sometimes all a pet needs for a happy ending is some creative thinking and a little bit of time. That is very much the case for Eli – a dog that is now living like a king at a memory care facility in a Morton Grove. The good news was that One Tail at a Time – a no-kill rescue based in Chicago - had rescued Eli. The organization is not afraid to think outside the box when it comes to finding a home for the dogs it rescues.
Eli’s story started a little over a year ago. He had been rescued from Terre Haute, Ind., and quickly found a home through One Tail at a Time.
At first, the adoption seemed to be working well until it was discovered that he had severe storm anxiety. The adopters worked and worked with Eli…but it just didn’t work out. In his next home, it was discovered he didn’t do well being alone at all. So, he ended up back with One Tail at a Time.
“Around the time he came back to us, I had been working with a memory care facility in Morton Grove that had been looking to add a resident dog to the facility,” says Anna Freidman, rescue manager at One Tail at a Time. “They had a huge emphasis on having resident pets and families were very active. They were looking for a perfect dog that would love the attention and the activity.”
Eli was a great candidate. He loved people of all ages and didn’t have an issue with other animals. His issue was with being left alone…something that wouldn’t be a problem where someone was “home” 24 hours a day and there were plenty of staff members to connect with him as well.
Silverado Orchard Park is already home to two cats, two birds and a rabbit. They had many dogs visit and wanted to have one living their full time. Eli moved in for a trial run.
“His adoption was finalized after a couple of weeks – and it’s been great,” says Friedman. “He loves all the attention and the visiting children. We panicked for a minute when I went to finalize the adoption because he disappeared. Eli apparently likes to jump on the elevator to visit residents on other floors. He is very much at home.”
Since Silverado Orchard Park is so family-oriented, there’s a fenced in yard with a playground so grandchildren have a place to play when they come for a visit. That gives Eli a bit of a yard to play in and get some exercise. He has toys and plenty of belly rubs and people of all ages at his beck and call. It's a happy ending that One Tail at a Time has been working hard to find for him.
“There’s even a gentleman there that has stepped up to work with Eli on training and keeping an eye on him,” says Freidman. “He gets so much love and attention, the separation anxiety won’t be an issue here like it would be in a traditional home setting.”
Max the cat and I volunteer at our local nursing home. On the Alzheimer’s floor there, he has his own fan club that waits by the elevator for his visit. The interaction and the smiles and laugher that Max generates are amazing. I thought often how much better it would be if they had pets there 24 hours a day like at the Silverado. That's why I really love this creative solution for Eli.
"We’ve had enough situations crop up in the years we’ve been rescuing that we realize we need to think outside the box for some adoptions,” says Freidman. “There is a great placement for almost every dog. We felt bad at first that he wasn’t going to have a specific pet parent…but he’s not missing out on anything.”
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