Adopted on Jan 08, 2012 – Archer Family

When Opal first came to us on January 8, 2012, she was a very shy girl.  After the first month she adjusted to our schedule and routines beautifully. Nothing better than living with two old retired folks.

Every morning she greets the day with a good stretch and a patrol around the property.  She then likes to watch me feed the goldfish in our fish pond.  She tilts her head to the side and watches the fish gather in a group, wagging their fish tails in anticipation of food.

Then it is time to  go get the newspaper at the bottom of our hill. I love how she bows down with her legs straight in front of her when my husband Tom puts her easy walk harness on her.

When she is all hooked up she shimmies from head to tail and is ready to go.  She shimmies whenever she is excited.  Tom, Opal and our cat Shasta walk down the dirt driveway that goes to our neighbors homes, then down a dirt path to the mailbox at the bottom of the hill.  When they return we all have breakfast.

After breakfast, Tom and Opal walk up our paved road foe 1 1/2 miles.  They are often joined by our neighbors two chocolate labs and a boxer mix named Pablo.  Opal loves her walks and is super good on leash.  She is also quite the huntress. Occasionally she has pounced on golpher holes and has caught a few golphers and moles.

She also shows alot of interest toward squirrels, but because she is on leash she has not caught any yet.  In the afternoon Opal takes a ride with me to pick up my granddaughter Amber, from school in Sebastopol.  She likes to ride in my little Yaris.  Its just the right size and easy to get in and out of.  We take Amber (she is 18 Yrs old)  home and usually visit for a short time and Opal plays with Ambers 9 month old puppy Nova, and older dog Daisy (who is the same age as Opal).

If my daughter and granddaughter visit on the weekend, they bring their dogs to play with Opal.  They love to run around the yard.  Nova is a big fan of ball chasing and Opal is learning from her. Opal has started to chase the ball but has quite figured out how to bring it back. She is playing more and even has a small stuffed toy that squeeks when chewed in the right spot.  She keeps this close by her bed.

Opal used to leap up and run from the room whenever I swept the floor. She was also very uncomfortable whenever I worked in the garden with the hose  or a rake. I know that she had a bad experience with a dog hating gardener in Iran, so I try to be very sensitive to her fears.  If I have to sweep, I leave the front door open so she can go outside if she wants.

She usually sits just outside  the door and watches me , then comes back inside when I am finished.

Opal has become very territorial.  She patrols the yard now and barks if anyone is walking or bicycling by on the road.

We live in a remote wooded area and don’t have a lot of people traffic.  On weekends we do occasionally have bicycle touring groups going up our road.  Sometimes there are as many as 50 – 100 bicyclists.  Opal will stand up on the bank in our yard and look down on the road as the bicyclists go by and barks.  She has become very protective at night which is fine with us as we like to know when someone is out there on the road.  She has a deep bark, very impressive. When I tell her that’s enough, she stops.

If the weather is not too stormy we all (cat included) go for a short walk down the driveway, in the late afternoon.  I have noticed one interesting change in Opals eyes.  Her pupils were very small and narrow when she first came to us.  Now I’ve noticed her pupils are larger and rounder over all.  Interesting.  The other day she was sitting by herself on the back deck looking around at her domain, seemingly very content and looking very regal.

I believe Opal is happy with her new forever family, and we are blessed to have her in our lives.  Through all her past pains and uncertainty, she has shown a resilience that is noble.  I am so glad that there are kind and generous people in Iran and Vafa who made this all possible.  The angels are smiling upon all of you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Jamie Archer

P.S. I have include some pictures of Opals new home so you can see where she lives.  It’s a little different.


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