Haley and Regan began their journey many months ago. The pair belonged to couple in Hudspeth County, and lived with two other setters; sadly, their owner developed cancer. The four dogs’ caretakers would travel to El Paso and stay for about four weeks at a time, leaving the dogs alone at home with enough food and water to keep them alive. After a few months of doing things this way, the caretakers realized that this was no way for the dogs to live, and they contacted the Humane Society of El Paso to take over care of the dogs. It was at this point their odyssey began with two HSEP staff members rescuing them from their former home. They hit the road for the two hour trek to the Humane Society of El Paso, and for what would become their ultimate journey.
On January 19th Regan and Haley became wards of the Humane Society of El Paso. Given the conditions they were living in, the mild behavioral issues they developed were completely understandable: they were very anti-social, and reluctant to accept affection. Over time, though, they came out of their shells and began to trust again. They were both members of the HSEP “Cuddle Buddy” Program, which involves volunteers sitting with the dogs in their kennels, giving the dogs treats, reading aloud to them, and most importantly, cuddling with them. This program helped illuminate the sweet-hearts hiding deep within Haley and Regan.
The HSEP staff also worked every day to make these dogs as happy as they could be in their situation. The pair was exercised everyday together, and became the shelter’s reigning Fetch Champions. Now happy, active, and sweet dogs, Haley and Regan had come a very long way.
Late in May, over four months after Haley and Regan hit the road to a better life, Betty Hoover, the HSEP’s Executive Director, received the kind of call we all hope to pick up: a family had seen Haley and Regan online while looking for a pet to fill the void left by their dog’s recent passing. From the moment the family laid eyes on Haley and Regan, it was love. There was one big problem: the family lives in Phoenix.
Amazingly, this perfect family was more than willing to make the seven hour trip to El Paso for their new loves! All they asked was that the shelter hold the dogs until they could get here on Saturday. Generally the shelter does not hold animals, but in this hugely special case, Betty made an exception.
The family arrived at the shelter on Saturday, May 30th a little after noon. Their expedition was long, but completely worth it. Just as we all had hoped, it truly was love. Finally, Haley’s and Regan’s journey to a better life had ended.
Shakespeare wrote “Journey’s end when lovers meet.” Haley, Regan, and their new family exemplify this.
Hunter, one of the setters rescued with Haley and Regan was adopted in April. Taka, the fourth setter, is still awaiting his fur-ever home.