Guest Post: The Adoption of Mulligan

Mulligan and Ashley

This week, I’ve invited a fellow rescue adopter to blog about her adoption experience. Ashley Farrugia, take it away!

mul·li·gan* noun Golf: a shot not counted against the score, permitted in unofficial play to a player whose previous shot was poor. A “re-do.”

In our case, Mulligan is our Labrador retriever who came from Kentucky to The Animal Guardian Society (TAGS), the rescue that Chris and I adopted him from.

I never had a dog growing up. I had always wanted one, but the standard response from my mom and dad when we asked for one was “no.” So, of course, when my boyfriend, Chris, and I bought a house in January of 2011, I started my search for a dog. My good friend since high school Nick Iordanis was a volunteer with TAGS, so I knew my dog would be a TAGS dog.

Chris and I had decided to wait until October to start looking for dogs on the TAGS website. We thought October would be the best time since we both had some vacation time then and we would have settled into the groove of living with each other and our new routines.

However, things did not work out quite as we’d planned.

Mulligan at Petsmart waiting for a family to love him

On May 7, Nick was at the Petsmart in Whitby and sent me a message saying, “I really think you and Chris should come over to Petsmart. There is this new boy Thompson, and he is going to go fast. I think this is the perfect fit for you.”

We trusted Nick, so we got in the car. At Petsmart, Thompson was in his cage looking ever so handsome even though he was a little thin and had some tufts of hair sticking out on the side of his body.

We were smitten! Chris and I found ourselves asking if we could take Thompson for a quick walk just to see what he was like on the leash. He was AWFUL on the leash, but we trusted that with some patience, some guidance, and treats, he would be a great companion when I am running and training for half marathons.

We went ahead with the application and the home visit, and Thompson came to our home for the extended visit on May 20, 2011. He never went back to his foster family.

We came up with the name Mulligan because Chris, an avid golfer, explained to me that a mulligan in golf is a “do-over.” Well, our dog got a second chance, too—he is our favourite do-over!

There were some challenges at first; it wasn’t all fun and games. Mulligan was terrified to go up and down the stairs, had a real issue with men, and did not want to eat dog food. But with a lot of love and encouragement (who knew Chris’s voice could go that high?!), Mulligan grew more confident. Now his favourite spot to nap is on the stairs, and he greets everyone, male or female, with his big lab smile. And as for the food, as much as he would still love to eat people food all the time, he is quite happy with his dog food.

Posing with the Strongbow

Mulligan warms my heart and makes me smile every day with the quirky little things he does. He has learned how to give a high five and knows that when I shake my hair, he needs to shake his coat off (this is VERY handy when we are coming in from a wet walk).

Mulligan is not just a dog anymore—he is a personal trainer, a great listener when I need one, a foot warmer, and another member of the Farrugia–Methe family.



Thanks, Ashley, for sharing your story of Mulligan’s adoption! There’s nothing quite like giving a formerly unwanted dog a second chance at a good life. Mulligan’s definitely living it up now! ~ Cathy

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