Meet Migo, The Rescue Dog Who Rescued Me
As many of you know, my dog Reo passed away in December at the age of 16. He lived a long and wonderful life at The Rookwood Inn. I knew I wanted another dog for the inn but also knew that Reo’s paw prints would be very hard to fill. After the holidays I began my search. I was smitten with Reo’s intellect, his quirky personality and his funny little face; not to mention his spotted paws. There was never a question in my mind…I wanted a rescue dog. I began by visiting our two local shelters but they had nobody who was the right size (medium), past the toddler years and trained. So, I began to search online for rescue dogs.
Migo was the first dog I saw and fell immediately in love wit him. Here is his history. Migo was found as a stray walking along a highway in North Carolina and rescued by a wonderful woman. He was young and scared. He lived for about a year and a half in a no kill shelter but nobody was interested in him because he was very shy and timid. The shelter decided that he would be a good candidate for their “New Leash on Life” program at a minimum security prison. He has spent four months there learning to trust and be comfortable with his trainer, learning to socialize with other dogs, lots of people and learning basic obedience skills. Migo and his trainer have even been working on agility skills such as learning the balance beam and jumping hoops.This program, and the many others in minimum security prisons around the nation are life savers for the inmates and the dogs. The inmates learn a skill (dog training) and have the opportunity to gain self confidence and unconditional love that only an animal can provide. The dogs are spared a death sentence which unfortunately is a high likelihood in overcrowded, high kill shelters and learn to love and trust.
I spoke with the program coordinator, Kay, and told her I would be traveling to Asheville, NC and asked if it was possible to meet Migo (he was known as O’Rourke or “O” at the time). I was fortunate that Kay, the volunteer in charge of the New Leash on Life Program, brought Migo to meet me at The Albemarle Inn owned by my friends, Rosemary and Fabrizio Chiariello. It was love at first sight. Within minutes he was giving his paw and kisses to me.
My application was completed, Migo and I were vetted (me to see that I would qualify as an adopter and he to get all his shots). He would be joining me in Lenox soon!
Despite a weeks’ delay caused by a snow storm, Migo arrived in Brattleboro, Vermont on January 30, 2016, along with almost 20 other dogs traveling to their new homes! We settled on the name Migo following the tradition of removing the initial vowel from a common word/name. In Reo’s case we removed the initial O from Oreo and for Migo I deleted the A in amigo. I had been thinking of naming him Rookie however when I arrived in Brattleboro to get him I tested out the two names. He had no reaction to Rookie, but when I called Migo he immediately looked at me and there was recognition in his eyes.
Migo, The Rescue Dog, Heading North
After a very long (15 hour) trip up to the Northeast from North Carolina we put him in the backseat of my car. My friend, Liz, drove and I sat with Migo. He immediately snuggled up to me, put his head on my leg and went to sleep. I’d like to think he remembered me from our visit a few weeks ago when I was in Asheville. Whatever it was, I felt that we had a special bond from that moment. When we arrived at The Rookwood Inn, he jumped out of the car and headed straight for the kitchen door. It was uncanny! He seemed to sense that this was his home!
Migo has settled into his life as both a family dog and inn dog.
I bring him to visit my mother and stepfather at their assisted living facility and he is loving and gentle with my parents and the other residents. He loves greeting everyone and giving kisses. He has even attended Friday night services at the facility. Migo also enjoys our guests of all ages, other dogs and even cats!
I want to thank Teddi, Kay and Migo’s trainer, Chris, for making it possible for Migo to come into my life and the life of The Rookwood Inn. Here’s a photo of Migo napping on the job. We hope you’ll come visit and meet Migo soon. He is eager to make new friends!