First, she was hit by a car in her native Qatar. Then she came to SHUG with a surgically repaired front leg that she steadfastly refused to use. Then she got adopted into a wonderful family with a four-foot-fence—which the essentially three-legged Zaina cleared one day. Her heartbroken family had to return her to SHUG.
Zaina-the-desert-princess was, shall we say, royally peeved. She gave her foster family such a hard time we worried she’d never forgive us. Zaina boycotted food, pouted, gave everyone the stink eye and refused to play with her very nice foster siblings. After some time, though, Zaina decided to forgive and forget, and was happy again.
A lovely SHUG adopter came to meet her, but her resident saluki made it clear there was only room for one desert princess in that home.
We worried for Zaina.
Meanwhile, Jorja Stephenson had “met” Zaina on Facebook some months before and thought of her often. But fostering and volunteering for a greyhound group in her area kept her hopping. She mentioned Zaina to her husband, who just shook his head and pondered his wife’s sanity. Jorja saw when Zaina was so happy with her new family and so sad when she “bounced.”
Then fate intervened. One of Jorja’s friends put in an application with SHUG and listed Jorja as her personal reference. A SHUG volunteer called and they chatted. Zaina’s name came up. Afterward, Jorja confessed she “Facebook stalked” all the posts and pictures about Zaina and practically had a PowerPoint presentation ready for her poor husband. He agreed to the sassy little saluki.
Jorja picks up the story:
After the paperwork and travel logistics were sorted out, I brought her home. I immediately wondered if I’d done the right thing. She found a dog bed and curled up on it and hardly moved for two days. She growled and snarked at our dogs, acted scared to death of us humans, and seemed so sad and unsure of everything.
But after a few days, the growling eased up, she started exploring the house, and she was eating and drinking well. She started coming up to me for timid pets and scritches and started sharing the couch with me when I wasn't looking.
After several weeks she was sharing the couch with any one of the dogs and she was greeting visitors at the door. She took a special liking for my seven-year-old niece. She started running with the greyhounds outside during potty breaks, barking and playing. I've even caught her playing with a toy on a couple occasions, and even snuggling with our Chihuahua, Isabella.
Zaina now demands that I drop what I am doing and lavish love and affection on her highness. Obviously I have no qualms about that.
Zaina has stolen my favorite chair, the best spot on the couch, my feather pillows at night, my Taco Bell on occasion, and most importantly, my heart. She has me wrapped around her dainty paws. I'm head over heels in love with Zaina, and I’m pretty positive she's smitten with me, too.
If you are on the fence about adopting one of these gorgeous rescues, I couldn't encourage you more to put your application in right away. My only regret is that I didn't get my application in immediately when I saw her arrive last June.
6 thoughts on “You Might Remember Zaina – The Hard-Luck Saluki”
I was lucky enough to spend almost 24 hours traveling with Zaina. When we got to the hotel, she immediately jumped onto the middle of the big bed (on the pillows) and did not move for anything. So my greyhound and Pepita and I curled around Zaina for an all-night snuggle-fest. In the car to Indy, where we met up with Jorja, she was my navigator, always watching me and the road. That is when I fell in love with her, so much that I almost hoped Jorja would not come. I was already planning a strategy for my husband. I am so glad she has such a wonderful person to love her. I always said I did not want a Saluki, after my time with Princess Zaina, I think that one day a little grizzle Saluki is also in my future.
I always loved reading and following her post. She is a special little girl and sometimes it takes a bit to find that forever home… No fault to anyone for we all love and want the best for all the wonderful hounds. When I read this I was so Happy and excited for Zaina and her family.
Wonderful story! Sometimes it takes us, and our dogs, awhile to find true love. But better late than never. Congratulations, and thank you for giving Zaina the time to realize that she was finally home.
What a perfect ending to this story…
We hope you have many happy years with dear Zaina…
Love from Solo and Krissy
ahhh this story was wonderful! i too was a Zaina stalker… since the first i saw of her i was in love.. i am now friends with her mum Jorja who is an absolute doll herself and a perfect mum for princess Zaina… one day i hope to meet them both~!!
We couldn’t be more smitten with her. She is the most amazing little snuggle bug I’ve ever met. We’re still seeing the ‘real’ Zaina emerge a bit more every day. She and I have been bonding since day one. I couldn’t imagine my life without her. We are very blessed to be able to call her ours.