February 3, 2012

"When Iyal is distressed, Chancer is distressed. Unlike Iyal, Chancer knows what to do about it."

"Iyal rages by crossing his arms, sitting down hard on the floor and screaming and kicking. Chancer unknots the crossed arms by inserting his wide muzzle through the locked arms from below, opening them up and nuzzling toward Iyal’s face, licking and slobbering, until the boy’s screams turn to tears of remorse or to laughter.... Chancer doesn’t know that Iyal is cognitively impaired. What he knows is that Iyal is his boy."

A dog and his boy.


edutcher said...

For once, something real out of the Gray Lady.

When The Blonde is all down and her knees and ankle hurt and she just can't get it together, Quantum and Quasy will curl up around the affected parts and administer the doggie penicillin.

Dogs are there for that.

PS I see Soleil's brief stay is already having an effect.

Dead Julius said...

That is such a sweet story. (The excerpt anyway; I didn't click on the NYT link because you just know that they will do something to ruin the sweetness. They always do. They're Liberals who will be voting for Obama, after all.)

Anyhow: Are all dogs so inherently compassionate?

EMD said...

This is what the NYT does best.

I wish they knew that.

Ann Althouse said...

I think the NYT knows that dog stories are popular. They always rank well on the "most emailed" list (as do diet and health stories).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

“Sometime after their 3rd birthdays, our wonderful fairy tale of adopting two Russian babies began to show cracks,”

I'm glad that they have a dog to help with their trouble. Dogs are wonderful. Unconditional love. Poor dog.

BUT....WTF is wrong with these people? Seriously. They have to go all the way to Russia to pick up a couple of kids to adopt. Like some sort of exotic souvenirs?

Didn't they know that the majority of abandoned children available for adoption in Russia are from very poor circumstances, alcoholic parents. Did they not do ANY research.

There are plenty of adoptable children in the US. What is wrong with adopting a child from your own country?

I guess it just isn't chic enough. After all at the cocktail parties you can get much more interest when you have collected a child from an exotic foreign country like Russia instead of some backwards redneck area like Kentucky or something. So avant garde!! So socially advanced.

So...sooo. Brangelina. All the really cool people adopt from the menu of exotic overseas children...doncha know.

These people make me sick.

glenn said...

Underneath all the wonderful goodness in this story there's the policy of Russia dumping its damaged orphan children in the West. The last time the Russians had to deal with a problem of their own making was 1941. We bailed 'em out every time from 1917 till now. Every time.

wpw said...

I wonder how long it took Donnie to generate that coverage. Ilya is a truly disturbed child, Morasha is a lovely girl, Chancer is a great dog, and Herb (in the family picture to the right of Morasha) is a wonderful grandfather.

But Donnie is a publicity hound... and the kids are really just trophies. Check the body language in that family picture - the kids are raised by the congregation and the grandfather, not the parents.

There are plenty of American kids looking for good homes too.

traditionalguy said...

Ordinary people need a physical and emotional rock too. This kid just lacked the social skill set to get himself one. Good dog.

You seldom make me cry, Professor. But this post did the trick.

The Unknown Pundit said...

"Hello. I'm Mr. Peabody and this is my boy, Sherman."

Love The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Amy said...

A children's hospital that is a client of mine has a service where their genetic department docs will view a video of the potential adoptee. They will advise the potential adopters of any problems, especially fetal alcohol syndrome, whose characteristics are quite noticeable to experts but not to others. This is done PRE adoption (and preferably pre-falling-in-love-with-the-child. I know it sounds cold, but how much heartache could be avoided just by using a service like this. Surprising more people don't know about it.


ErnieG said...

We have some neighbors who adopted a child from Eastern Europe some years ago. When they were showing him off, I noticed that the back of his head was quite flat. I had heard that this condition can be caused by allowing an infant to lie on his back for an extended time without being picked up or cuddled, a practice common in some institutional settings.

At 7:15 every morning, a school bus with heavily tinted windows stops by.

chuckR said...

A close friend adopted from overseas because adopting children of the same ethnic background was important. She saved one from guaranteed death (via an operation to repair the heart), and the others from lives that probably would have been nasty, brutish and very short as well. She knew some of what she was getting into and did it anyway. It has taken a heroic effort and the patience of a saint - well beyond what I would have the fortitude to sign up for.

ps - this all happened pre-boutique adoptions

TMink said...

DBQ, many people adopt internationally because it is ridiculously difficult to adopt in the US. My wife and I were done with our home study and about to start looking at photos of Hispanic babies from the Texas area when we found out she was pregnant with triplets. The reason we were looking at Hispanic children was because that was where the need was greatest and we are racists.

But it is much easier to adopt from overseas. Some people also do it to give the children a better life in a country where they can excell. Our church has a very active adoption component. Many of the children are from Africa or China.

Finally, 1,000,000 babies are aborted every year in America, so there are less children to adopt here. Those that can be are mired in red tape that is horrid.

I doubt that has anything to do with people who adopt children as accessories like you mention though.


Petunia said...

I've only skimmed the article so far, but I hope Chancer has a long, healthy life. About 50% of Goldens get cancer by the age of seven.

I don't understand the whole boutique adoption thing, but I'm amazed and so impressed by people who knowingly adopt special-needs children, whether from their own country or not.

I wonder if this family would have continued with the adoption process had they taken advantage of the service Amy mentioned?

TMink said...

I know people who go out of their way to adopt special needs children. They believe that they have the emotional and economic resources to bless that child.

Christians have a long history of adoption. It started in Rome, where unwanted children were left to die at the city gates. The Christians would gather them and take them in believing that they were precious creations of God.

That wonderful practice continues and is growing!


Freeman Hunt said...

What is wrong with adopting a child from your own country?

Nothing. What's wrong with adopting from overseas?

Also, being an orphan in many others countries is a fate far worse than being an orphan in the United States.

holdfast said...

It's too damned easy for the parents to change their minds at the least minute in the US.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's too damned easy for the parents to change their minds at the least minute in the US.

I think a lot of people adopt from overseas to avoid the stress.

Here the biological parents get, I think, ten days. Imagine bringing your adopted infant home, caring for him, bonding with him, then on day ten a social worker comes to pick him up and take him away.

That happened to one of my best friends.

In some states they get six months!

holdfast said...

Dogs are the best ambassadors - wherever we've lived, we've always met most of our neighbors via the dogs - on walks, at the local park, etc. I don't know how many times I heard "oh, you're with [Sr Dog] and [Jr Dog] - you must be [__]'s husband!"

I Callahan said...

Didn't they know that the majority of abandoned children available for adoption in Russia are from very poor circumstances, alcoholic parents. Did they not do ANY research.

In all fairness, this was 1999, and a lot of this wasn't as widely known as it is now.

However, I'm partially with you, but I'd go one further - if you can't have kids, and you can't adopt within your own country, maybe that's just your destiny?

That may sound mean, but that's the way I see it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why would anyone care that other people adopt overseas? Seriously, why? Children don't matter if they aren't from the same country. I don't get it.

Gene said...

This isn't just a dog story. This is an uncommonly well written story, apparently by someone who isn't on the staff of the New York Times.

Regarding foreign adoptions, I know a family who adopted a Chinese girl to go along with their own natural daughter. Initially, the child looked like an over-stuffed dumpling. But it soon became clear they ended up with a winner--a smart, pretty, slender adolescent who currently attends hard-to-get-in schools for gifted children (as does her older sister.)

Moral of the story. Avoid Russia. Visit China.

holdfast said...

We've actually been giving the Chinese adoption thing a little thought. We have two wonderful boys, and for medical reasons we're not going to be having any more the old fashioned way, so it might be a good way to add a little girl to the family, especially knowing that their is a surfeit of little girls there who are not really wanted.

Carnifex said...

Our cats will huddle up with us when one of us is sick, but I think they're just worried that they can't work the can opener without thumbs.

I had one that acted like an alarm clock. Every morning at 5:30 she would climb onto the bed and start patting me on the cheek. If I rolled over, she would follow, and pat some more. If I buried my head in the pillow, she would start pulling on my arms. After five minutes of this she would get tired, and lick me on the mouth. And that wakes you right up.

Tari said...

holdfast: the wait for Chinese girls is years now, because most of the healthy infants are saved for favored Chinese families. It's a belated attempt by the government to stem the unbelievable gender imbalance they are facing.

Melissa Fay Greene is an international adoption advocate from Atlanta, which explains why she wrote this piece. Her book There Is No Me Without You is one of the things that sparked the avalanche of adoptions from Ethiopia (and that worked so well, didn't it?).

As far as the dogs are concerned, that was a spectacular story. Thanks, Ann, for linking to it.