Reflections in the Time of Pandemic: Tara O’Loughlin

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No, I’m not talking about the famed throwback Boston boy band (although that would be fun for another time!) I’m talking about all the new sweet and sassy puppy adoptions our Bedford neighborhoods have seen this past year; and our girl, Tenny, is one of them.

Yep, we did it. We took the leap this past September and adopted our very playful rescue pup. And heaven help me, we can’t imagine life without her now. We are getting the hang of things, ‘step by step’ (see what I did there?) ver the past couple weeks, I had the opportunity to chat with several other Bedford families who have also adopted a pup this past year. To my happiness, I noticed how all our stories, experiences, and “why’s” are all so different. This even more-so confirms that, although it may seem like a “pandemic puppy trend”, each experience is special and purposeful to each family dynamic – with or without a global pandemic happening – and I find that comforting.

So folks, sit back, relax and keep reading.  I’m going to share my puppy story and theirs with you – the poetic and the problematic.  Some of us have laughed, some of us have cried. Some of us have had our couches chewed, some of us wake up to a paw in the face. It’s all here. It’s real and it’s sincere. Enjoy!

Tennessee Scout O’Loughlin ~ The Moment Felt Rightthe O’Loughlin family adoption experience.

Courtesy image (c) 2021 all rights reserved

Tennesee Scout O’Loughlin

I always knew the day would come. My 3 boys have been asking for years to get a dog. As much as I was promised by my kids that they would take complete care of said pet, I knew it would be mostly me taking care of him/her, so I had to be sure I was mentally and emotionally ready. Did I think last June I would be a new dog mom in September? Nope. What actually did it for me was seeing how much it truly meant to my middle son in particular. He’s an empathetic and caring soul, and a hippie at heart who just wants everyone to get along and be happy. He was having one day in August that was really bringing down his spark. That day he asked if we could PLEASE start looking for a dog…and I just said quite simply, “yes”. And his spark came back!

When we got home I got to work on adoption websites that friends had recommended. I found a pup on Greater Dog Rescue New England’s website with a description that seemed to fit our family. So I went for it and submitted our application. Two hours later I got an email back to schedule a phone interview. My application was chosen out of 47 submitted that day alone. The coordinator had appreciated what I wrote down on the application, about our story and our why. I took that phone interview the next day, and the rest happened so quickly! In September we picked up our lady, Tenny (short for Tennessee, her birthplace). She was 12 weeks old at that time. Tenny was so nervous and shy the first week, then she came out of her shell. Her playful energy has been with us ever since. Her favorite things are chewing on footwear, hiking with her family, kissing her human brothers, and snuggling.

Have I gotten so frazzled because I have no idea what I’m doing? Yes.  It’s been such a blessing to lean on other seasoned and new dog parents in the hood.  I’m glad for the support system we have here in Bedford through neighbors, friends and the  Facebook Virtual Dog Park page. But! I’m proud to say we will have a graduate next week – Miss Tenny will be finishing her intermediate puppy training course. We are so proud!

Aspen Brooke Brosgol ~ It Was Meant To Be, the Brosgol family adoption experience.

Courtesy image (c) 2021 all rights reserved

Aspen Brook Brosgol

The Brosgol’s are a family of 7, with kids ranging from elementary school to high school. They started looking for a puppy back in December 2019.  They applied for a few, but didn’t get matched up until late January, to a puppy in Tennessee.  They were supposed to pick her up on March 28, but she had sadly passed away on the March 21 during her spaying surgery. They started looking again and were applying everywhere.  They were told almost all the puppies were getting 50-70 applications for each dog.  They went outside of Massachusetts and kept spreading the distance farther and farther.  The Brosgol’s were able to find a liter in Mississippi and applied in late April.  This liter was being transported up to New Jersey for pick up.  But during that application process, they also mentioned their back story about the puppy they had lost the month prior.  They didn’t hear back for a couple of days, and then got a phone call at 4:30pm saying to pick up their girl the next day, on April 30th. It was meant to be! Aspen Brooke Brosgol joined the family! They chose the name Aspen because all of the kids have a tree name; and Brooke, because they looked for a babbling brook that day while out on a Covid hike. Aspen is such a wonderful girl and a great family dog for the Brosgol’s.

They adore having her, and she loves to hike, cuddle, play games.  She is very social and loves other people and dogs. Most of all, the kids love the unconditional support she gives them. Welcome to the block, Aspen!

Gizmo Copperpot Luedde ~ Worth The Wait, the Luedde family experience.

Courtesy image (c) 2021 all rights reserved

Gizmo Copperpot Luedde

Bedford friends, I introduce to you, Gizmo Copperpot Luedde and his big brothers Evan and John! Perhaps one of the newest puppies to our blocks, Gizmo joined the Luedde family just last month.

After spending 6 months on a waitlist, Gizmo came to the Luedde family from Goldendoodles of Maine, on the recommendation of a neighbor. Due to all the new puppies arriving on all blocks in general, they had a tough time finding a vet who was accepting new patients, but luckily found someone in a neighboring town. Gizmo has been with the Luedde’s for a few weeks now, and they are still getting used to one another!

So far, Gizmo loves snow, staring at his dog food container, and meeting new people.  The Leudde’s can’t wait for Gizmo to get a little older so they can introduce him to all the fabulous walking trails around Bedford! Welcome to the hood, Gizmo!

Lola Guerino ~ The Perfect Puzzle Piece, the Guerino family adoption experience.

Courtesy image (c) 2021 all rights reserved

Lola Guerino

A lovely family with two sweet boys, the Guerino family welcomed Lola to the block this past year! Their adoption process during the pandemic was definitely longer and more tedious than some of their friends had experienced in years past. But they didn’t view this as a negative, because it definitely allowed for adoption agencies to find the best family fit for their adoptable animals as well. At times, the Guerino’s were getting responses that dogs were receiving over 200 applications in the first hour of their posting, and that it would take some time to get back to the applicants.

They ended up working with the adoption agency Stretch For Strays, out of Houston Texas, and their experience was so very positive. They had multiple phone interviews to discuss what they were looking for in an animal, their family activities, and to find out more specifically about Lola’s background and personality. This open communication supported such a strong foundation.

Once Lola arrived in the hood, she fit like a perfect puzzle piece into the Guerino family.  She loves to play fetch, go for hikes off leash and take naps too!

Their 5- and 9-year-old boys have stepped right up to help walk, feed and care for her – nice work, boys! Lola is the perfect addition to their family! Something even sweeter? Lola’s foster mother, who happens to be the president of Stretch For Strays, still checks in on her once a month and is always appreciative of the life the Guerino’s are giving their sweet pup that was abandoned on the side of the road with her littermates.  Welcome home, Lola!

In Conclusion ~ So folks, whether you’re a veteran dog family, a “no pets possible” family, or a new dog mom finding her way a little more each day—I salute you all. Let’s embrace each other’s story as we welcome these new kids on the block to our Bedford community. See you around town!

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