Steve and Heatherle Chambers are a typical Northwest family who are very busy and outdoorsy. They had a Lab Retriever who they lost about 9 years ago, and like many people who have lost Pets, Steve decided that he never wanted another dog. Audrey, the Chambers daughter who is now 10 years old, wanted a dog from the time she could pronounce the word and could distinguish dogs from other types of Pets, but Steve was firm that the family would never get another dog.
Several years ago, the Chambers family did adopt a cat, Fanta. Fanta’s a big boy, 23 pounds of love, and he does work well with the family’s busy schedule, but both Audrey and Heatherle still wanted a dog,
On a recent family visit to the Clackamas Town Center, they played with rabbits and cats, but looked at dogs too. Apparently something touched Steve as one day not much later, much to Heatherle’s surprise, he showed her a photo of a dog he had seen on a Hannah website. The next day, the family visited Hannah again and met with a counselor for the Pet Match interview.
According to Heatherle, the Pet Match process was fantastic. The counselor really listened to their needs and wants, and found that indeed there were dogs that could adapt to their lifestyle. Because the family hikes, camps, goes for long bike rides, and run, the Chambers thought that an older, perhaps bigger dog would be perfect for them, but the counselor determined that a younger smaller dog might be better. A younger dog could accompany Heatherle on her 12-15 jogging miles every week; could keep up with the family on hikes, and would be happy to go camping with them. She told them she had the perfect match in mind who was due to arrive at the Pet Center that very day.
When Bean, a 6 month old, 7 pound shih tzu-malti-yorkie mix, walked into the Pet Center, Steve was drawn to her. As he approached her, she rolled over on her back for some love, and for Steve, that was it. Neither Steve nor Heatherle realized that they had met Bean on their earlier prior trip, but this time she did tug at their heart strings. They decided to go have lunch and think more about the idea of adopting a dog. But on the way to lunch, they peeked into the Hannah window and saw another couple playing with Bean.
During lunch, Heatherle kept watching Steve to see if he was really serious about adopting a dog, and she says he kept making “cow eyes” at her. Apparently little Bean had managed to touch Steve’s heart (a man who was never ever going to adopt another dog). That very day, after lunch, the Chambers family was back at Hannah to complete a match with little Bean. The counselors at Hannah talked Heatherle through the adoption process and setting up their home to get it ready. While Heatherle was still a little unsure about Bean – mostly because she was a full 15 pounds smaller than the dog she had pictured in her home, she says she just put her faith in the Hannah matching process.
After attending the Orientation meeting and collecting all the things Hannah provides for new Pets, Bean was on her way to her new home. Now, after a few short weeks, the Chambers and Bean are a happy family unit. As for Fanta – well Bean adores him.
Bean has already joined the family on a camping trip where she was the perfect little passenger in their RV and held her own on a hike. Heatherle hasn’t take Bean running with her yet, because like a child, she likes to stop too often to “smell the roses, and whatever else is in her path. On the upside though, Audrey now joins the family on walks, which she rarely did before. Heatherle has been getting some tips from the trainer on how to help Bean keep up on runs, and is hopeful by spring she will be able to go for at least one run a day.
As for Steve? Well Bean has stolen his heart too. He bought her a little tutu for Halloween where she was a hit with everyone who saw her. And most recently, he purchased a basket for his bike so Bean can accompany him on his rides.
Bean is doing great in her training classes. Heatherle says, “She’s pretty fantastic.” She’s been exactly what we wanted out of a dog.” And to everyone’s surprise, little Bean has changed the family lifestyle too. They now spend more time at home doing family activities, and Bean is included in everything they do.