Update on Sombra, heartbroken Lab from Espanola shelter

Last week we posted the story of Sombra, the sensitive Lab mix who was surrendered along with the other family dog. A traumatizing event in its own right, but Sombra endured a second abandonment of sorts when her owner returned to the shelter that day and reclaimed Sombra’s brother.

This past Friday I was back at the shelter for my usual shift. Across the parking lot, I noticed a large black dog being gently coaxed in to the passenger side of a car. It hit me: Sombra had gotten adopted. I think I screamed “wait!” (the memory is a blur) and ran over to ask the woman standing there if I could say goodbye.

Breathlessly, I began telling her how much I loved this dog and to please be good to her. She’s had a tough time of it here, I said, and she needs extra special care. The woman smiled. She pointed to a long-haired dog about Sombra’s size in the back seat of the car. He was the same way, she told me. Shy and scared and completely shut down, and today… he thrives. Now I smiled as the woman continued. A friend had cross-posted the article about Sombra; as soon as she read it, she knew she could give her the home she deserves.

I spent the rest of the afternoon walking dogs and wiping away tears — a salt-watery blend of relief and gratitude and bliss. I was still weepy well into the evening.

Sombra, after an extended fetch session

When I couldn’t wait another second, I emailed Sombra’s adopter (who wishes to remain anonymous) asking for an update and for photos of the dog in her new surroundings. I checked my in-box obsessively, and on Sunday, received pictures and this report:

“Yes, Sombra is doing very well. On the ride home she was totally stressed but now that she is in a home she is settling in beautifully…. She and my dog get along very well. She’s feeling safer and safer and is a total love. Super cuddly and loves fetch, toys, and walks. My heart is totally hooked already.”

So thank you, DogTime readers. And thank you, Save a Dog users, cross-posters, and volunteers — everyone who goes out of their way on a behalf of a single animal. This is what we can accomplish.

Sombra enjoying a bone in her new home