It was only a few months ago that Roberta and Curtis Griner’s dreams of adopting children were starting to become reality — a reality that they were excited to share with their rescued fur babies.
The Griners traveled to Poland in December 2016 to meet three little girls they knew were the ones for them from the moment they laid eyes on their pictures. After spending several weeks with Jessica (9 years), Victoria (8 years), and Veronica (4 years), the girls were officially adopted and came home with the Griners.
The first order of business was meeting the dogs, of course.
A dog sitter stayed with Red, Max, and Maggie at the house while the Griners were in Poland. It was difficult for both the pups and their owners to be apart for approximately six weeks, but the end result was more than worth the wait.
Curtis and Roberta had the girls wait with a neighbor for the first ten minutes of their arrival so that they could greet the excited pups. Then they brought the girls home and had them meet each dog one at a time. Jessica, Victoria, and Veronica had only ever been exposed to small dogs (Roberta stated that she only saw two dogs that even resembled pit bull types while in Poland), so she wanted to make sure that they weren’t afraid of the larger breeds.
As it turned out, the girls and the dogs loved each other right away. Red, whom Roberta initially worried might have too much energy around the young ladies, has been the biggest fan. “He watches over them, sleeps with them, goes outside with them…” Roberta told PupJournal.
Maggie, who is “amazing with everyone and everything” according to Griner, is also loving the attention. Max, the oldest of the three, is less preoccupied with his new sisters, but still loves them all the same.
Jessica, Victoria, and Veronica are settling in nicely and enjoying their new life with the Griners and their pups. Between a busy schedule with school and activities like swimming, ballet, basketball, and soccer, they still find plenty of time to play and interact with their furry siblings.
The girls have learned to feed the pups and regularly look forward to the chore. This isn’t as simple of a task as one would imagine, because the dogs get fish oil and vegetables added to their meals, but the girls have learned quickly!
They participate in other chores with the dogs as well, such as washing them…
And even learning to train them…
These activities strengthen the bond between the girls and the dogs, as well as teaches them responsibility and compassion for animals. In fact, each girl has a set of chores that teach them things like positivity, respect, and cleanliness in order to earn four points each day. Their reward for getting four points is being able to have a dog sleep with them that night.
Maggie accompanied Jessica and Victoria to the school bus on their first day of school. Roberta usually has at least one dog with her when she picks them up in the afternoon — something that the girls specifically request.
While her sisters are at school, Veronica’s nap time is accompanied by her furry siblings. They love to sleep next to her and watch over her while she naps.
All of the Griner kids have been enjoying some snowy winter fun.
When the girls are away, the dogs wait for them to return. The first thing the girls do once they get home is let the dogs out. The love is clear between the newly adopted daughters and the rescued dogs.
Maggie, Red, and Max have also helped with the girls’ transition into their new home. There have been no issues with sleeping since the dogs have begun joining the girls in bed at night.
Roberta has also noticed a significant difference in the transition of dropping them off for school when a dog is present. Seeing how much the dogs trust Roberta and Curtis helps the kids trust them as well.
Apart from teaching the girls respect and positivity, they are also becoming involved in rescue like their mom. (Rescue runs in the family, as Maggie was adopted from the Greater Charlotte SPCA, Red was adopted through South of the Bully Rescue, and Max was rescued from a neighbor.)
Roberta frequently photographs shelter dogs in an effort to help them get adopted, and recently took the girls for their first experience at the Darlington County Humane Society.
Jessica, Victoria, and Veronica play with the puppies and give them love and attention while Roberta works. While at Petco events, the mere presence of a child playing with a puppy can help draw attention from prospective adopters.
The youngest, Veronica, will even try to dress the puppies up like her mother does for photo shoots.
Now, whenever they pass a Petco in the car, the girls will ask their mom when they can “help dogs” again. Victoria has expressed interest in becoming a veterinarian or possibly a dog trainer when she gets older. She definitely shares Roberta’s passion for rescuing animals, and recently told her mom, “Buying dogs is no good, and dogs should not live outside.”
Roberta Griner, who knew from an early age that she wanted to adopt children, frequently talks about how lucky she and her husband Curtis feel to have such amazing girls and dogs in their family.
We can’t imagine better parents or a better home for Jessica, Victoria, Veronica, Maggie, Red, or Max. Once again, these dogs are proving just how powerful their love and life lessons can be — from learning trust, to teaching respect for all living beings, to making the girls feel safe and secure.
Congratulations to the beautiful Griner family!