Dogs’ adoption becomes joint effort

Cannon Connections: Alisa Boswell Cannon Air Force Base Senior Airman Amber Coker plays with her dogs, Ivory, left, and Koda, in her new home in Portales. Both dogs were adopted by Coker and her boyfriend, Darrin, via the Internet while the two were deployed overseas.

Alisa Boswell

Two Cannon Air Force Base personnel members made the adoption of two furry companions their first priority upon coming home from deployment.

Senior Airman Amber Coker said after her boyfriend, Senior Airman Darrin Miller, began searching the Website www.petfinder.com to find himself a dog and after he found one, Coker decided she needed one too.

“He sent me a picture and asked me what I though and I said, ‘I think she’s great,’” Coker said of the first dog, Koda, a 6-month-old German shepherd/wolf mix. “Then I said, ‘I want a puppy too.’”

Coker said she and Miller asked the organizations holding the two dogs to hold them for two months more until they returned from overseas.

“We were gonna wait,” Coker said of the second dog, Ivory, a 5-month-old labrador/wolf mix. “But I started looking and found Ivory, so I jumped on it and he (Miller) was OK with it.”

Bob Maddox, of the Humane Society, where Ivory was adopted, said his organization was touched by Coker’s desire to have the dog waiting for her when she returned to the U.S., they decided to donate dog food and supplies to her for Ivory.

“When she walked in the door, they turned that dog loose and it ran right up to her,” Maddox said. “It was two or three months we had been communicating with her about the dog. It was a neat deal.”

Coker said the challenge with two puppies in the house has been housebreaking them.

“We’re teaching them to sit, which is a good thing but them learning not to pee in the house has not come so easily,” Coker said, laughing. “It’s definitely hard having two puppies at the same time but I love them and I wouldn’t give them back.”

Coker said she and Darrin lived in Clovis for more than a year before deploying but after returning home, they moved to Portales due to more housing, which allowed pets.

She said the pet deposits were well worth it and they enjoy living in the more quiet community with their new companions.

“We always wanted two of them, so if we’re not here, they’ll always have each other,” Coker said of the dogs. “I already have so many pictures of them. They’re all over my phone.”

Coker said along with housebreaking the two dogs, she and deal with the stereotypical puppy behavior of them occasionally chewing on things they shouldn’t, but the two dogs keep her constantly laughing and smiling with their goofy and enthusiastic behaviors.

“”They’re so loving and they’re so excited when we come back after we’ve left,” Coker said. “They just love to love you. It makes all the potty training issues worth it.”

Coker said the best part about adopting the dogs is knowing Koda and Ivory will always have a good home for the rest of their lives.

“So many people don’t know they can adopt from shelters and it’s so sad because so many dogs are in need of good homes,” Coker said. “They (Koda and Ivory) have a place that’s theirs and makes them feel safe.”