We’re All About Second Chances

Most dogs won’t take a 1,000-mile road trip once in their life, let alone twice. Chance’s journey has been epic, and it’s been worth every mile traveled!

In April 2023, a pair of 2-month-old brindle puppies arrived at Rancho Coastal Humane Society from San Antonio, TX. That’s a 1,275-mile trip! We took a chance on two puppies we’d never met, but our partnership with Petco made this rescue mission a must! We named the boy Chance and the girl Ace. At first, they were both shy, slow to settle into the shelter routine.

Lots of potential adopters met this adorable duo. Ace’s personality attracted her forever family within weeks. Without his sister around, Chance withdrew further. We knew Chance needed a place where he could learn to trust humans. That lesson is often best taught by other pets. Enter RCHS Foster Volunteer, Genny Breon. She brought Chance home to meet her cats and three other dogs, including RCHS alum, Nina. We had great confidence in Genny because she had already transformed Nina from a sweet, but shy girl into a loving, confident companion. It was Nina’s turn to help another dog become his best self!

Meanwhile, Ace, renamed Nala, was thriving with her new family. They never forgot their interaction with Chance, and they continued to check our website to see if he had been adopted. “My boys and I looked for Chance whenever we took Nala on a walk. We were hopeful that we would see Chance with his new family. Everyone loves their floppy ears!” – Jeff Brown

After a month in foster care, Chance was settling in. Genny reported, “Chance only barks when he sees new people. He still is not fully comfortable with the cats. Sometimes he will bark at them and other times, they sleep by each other.” Chance was acting like a normal puppy! Genny added, “He is really sweet and loves attention. He loves to play fetch and enjoys playing ‘tag’ with Nina.”

While Chance was thriving in foster care, Genny and her family were planning a move to Washington State. Tearfully, they returned Chance to RCHS so a new family could find him. More than 1,000 miles north, the Breon fur family settled into their new home, but something was missing. They didn’t feel whole and needed something to fill the void: they needed Chance!

That’s when our Animal Care and Adoption Team kicked into overdrive. They set up a road trip with expenses paid by a special donation, and days later, Chance was on the move again. Michele and Keegan met at the shelter at 4 a.m. on a chilly Tuesday. They loaded Chance and all his “stuff” into a roomy SUV and headed north on I-5. They stopped every few hours to stretch their legs and find a grassy spot for Chance to whatever he needed to do. They stopped for the night in Redding with another 4 a.m. departure the next day. Their final destination: Everett, Washington.

When they arrived, Genny and her other dogs came out to greet Chance. Keegan thought Chance looked a little confused. Chance wasn’t scared, but it had been an exhausting trip, and he was not quite sure about this new experience. Keegan said, “Chance recognized Nina and his other dog friends right away and, after a brief sniff stop to thank Genny for this reunion, all four dogs were doing Zoomies in the back yard!”

Michele said, “We all went through a journey. It was only two days, but it felt like we were gone a month, because of the distance we traveled and what we left behind. We took a flight back to San Diego, but our hearts were heavy with thoughts of Chance’s year-long trek home!”