Dunnville, Ontario

Famous for the spectacular Elora Gorge and its 80 foot limestone cliffs descending into the Grand and Irvine Rivers. Adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers regularly flock to Elora, Ontario to enjoy some fun and take in the natural beauty.

Many original stone buildings from the 1800′s still make up the downtown village centre. Over the decades, Elora has maintained its old world charm and the century-old buildings have been transformed into unique galleries, gift shops, artists studios and charming restaurants creating the perfect four-season shopping and dining destination.

Elora is a cultural haven with so much to offer. Rich in live music, visual arts, crafts, up-scale boutiques, natural beauty, architecture, culinary flavours, and diverse in culture; Elora provides an alternative lifestyle not typically found in small, rural communities in this day and age. Discover for yourself what makes Elora so unique and you will fall in love too!

Happy Adoptiversary
by Shelley Norman

shelley norman dog adoption

The wind howls through the still bare branches of the big willow outside the window, as rain drops splatter against the glass then start their long slide down the pane. It’s a cold, late winter night outside, but inside it’s toasty warm as I sit on the couch watching TV cuddled up with my BDF (best dog friend), Holly. I stroke her soft fur and look into her big brown eyes saying, “I’m so glad you live with us.” That, however, wasn’t always the case.

Five and a half years ago, we laid our sweet Emma to rest. She’d been our girl, more a child to us than a pet. We’d loved her dearly and she’d loved us back a hundred fold. It had completely broke my heart watching the light go out in her ever bright and shining eyes. My husband had wanted to get another dog right away, but I couldn’t, it seemed wrong to. Disloyal. So as a compromise I asked for six months.

As I turned the calendar page to February that year I knew I only had a few weeks before the six month deadline was up. My husband was regularly bringing up the topic of puppies, I knew it wasn’t fair to make him wait longer than we’d agreed. But as I looked at the picture of Emma hanging on the fridge, I just couldn’t warm my heart up to the idea of a new dog. But a deal was a deal. I did ask for another compromise though and that was, that we get an adult dog, not a puppy. Adding a puppy to the already rambunctious group of preschoolers I took care of Monday - Friday, just didn’t seem like a good idea. I didn’t need another creature to potty train!

So we decided on a female dog, around the age of two, must be good with kids, housebroken and big enough to train to work with cattle. I figured that would give us lots of choice. But as I checked out websites for animal shelters and rescues, online classifieds, local vet offices and on the bulletin boards at the local pet supply store, there didn’t seem to be very many dogs that came close to fitting our criteria. And the few that did meet our criteria were either out of our price range or had already found new homes.

On the morning that the six month deadline was up, my heart reeling at the thought that half a year had gone by without my precious girl, I dutifully opened up a local online classifieds page to see if anything new had been posted since the previous day. A new posting had been made in the pet section just minutes before and I opened up the ad. And I froze. The picture showed a black dog with white shawl and butterscotch eyebrow spots and speckling on her legs. She was in a kennel crate with her ears back and her tail tucked against her tummy. But none of that was what captured my attention. It was her eyes. I saw Emma looking at me through those eye. Telling me she loved life, and wanted a chance to live it. Just as Emma had so many times during that last year. Once I was able to tear my eyes away from the brown ones in the picture, I read the short description. Two year old female available for adoption via a vet office in a town less than an hour away, contact for more info.

My request for more information lead to a series of emails during the day back and forth between the vet office and me. The dog had been found wandering in a secluded rural area during a snowstorm several weeks earlier. She’d been skin and bones when animal control had picked her up. When the required time had passed and she hadn’t been claimed at the pound she’d been transferred to the vet office before going up for adoption. She was very healthy, in fact she’d donated blood to help another sick dog while at the vet’s kennel, she was completely housebroken, had been aggression tested to make sure she’d be safe with kids, and her breeding was thought to be mostly Australian cattle dog. She sounded like a good fit. I showed the daycare kids the picture and they gave a thumbs up. And my husband was very excited when he got home and I told him. He asked me to make an appointment the next day to go visit her.

It was snowing heavily the afternoon of Saturday, March 1, 2014, but my husband was bound and determined to go visit this dog. I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be just a visit, and with trembling fingers I opened up the drawer where I’d stashed Emma’s leashes and pulled one out to put in my pocket. At the vet office I gave the receptionist our names and she called on the intercom to ask the kennel assistant to bring out the dog. I could hear a ruckus coming from behind a closed door on the other side of the office. As soon as the door opened a blur of black fur shot across the waiting area and jumped up on my husband and started licking him, as if she‘d known him her whole life. Then she turned her big brown eyes on me. The receptionist said to spend a few minutes with her, then we could go home and think about it and let the clinic know on Monday. But I knew there was no way I could put her back in that little cage. She wanted to live, and we could give her a good life.

At first I felt guilty each time I petted Holly, our new dog. I felt like I was betraying Emma to show affection to another. And Holly kept back from me and gravitated towards my husband or the daycare kids instead. Then one grey and dreary day it was just her and me in the house. I was missing Emma horribly and I was feeling very sad and lonely. All of a sudden Holly came over and put her head on my lap and looked up at me as if to say she was sorry she hadn’t meant to make me sad. read more Shelly Norman I couldn’t help it I started sobbing, I told her she was a good girl and it wasn’t her fault, that I was the one who was sorry and gave her a big hug. Ever since then Holly has been my shadow, she rarely leaves me out of her sight. And I’ve come to learn that I have enough love for both of my special furry girls. Happy Adoptiversary Holly!