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I knew that I aways wanted to get into dog rescue full-time but figured it would be later when I retired from the corporate world. Sure we did our part volunteering, donating and adopting but our lives changed when we met an amazing selfless couple, in Brazil rescuing the worst of street dogs and bringing them back to health and ready for adoption.
My husband and I adopted our first dog from them in 2016. We flew down and saw all the dogs that I had been following on Facebook. It was humbling for what they had been through, yet still had so much love to give to humans. Inspired to do more, we returned home and started the US charity using the same name so their US supporters could get tax deductions. We were an administrative office working on fundraising, marketing, adoption inquiry support, etc all in our spare time while we worked full time corporate jobs. But there always was a need for more.
So in 2017, after 18 years in the corporate world, and much contemplation, I decided to leave. We bought an old horse rescue farm in Pennsylvania to convert for the dogs. We do the same as before but now we bring dogs here in hopes of adoption. I thought I worked hard before, but I work harder and longer hours than ever. Every day is a chance to learn and help. We have met so many great people along the way, domestic and international, because of the dogs.
I don't have a paycheck now, but I get paid in dog kisses and seeing them happy in their furever homes. It makes it all worth it. The corporate off-ramp is not for everyone, but we can all do our part by helping others in need. Every day is a new day to make a difference.
We live in a rural area where people routinely dump their dogs. Reba, a 45 pound red Queensland Heeler, was one who came to live with us. She is very protective, as this story will prove.
Getting bitten by a rattlesnake once is possibly an accident. Choosing to be bitten again is true bravery! Reba has been bitten three times in the two times she saved me.
One day, I stepped out of the house barefoot and immediately heard it: The deadly buzz of an angry rattler. Instantly, I froze. Desperately I scanned our yard to see where the intruder was located but the yard was empty. The unmistakable sound increased. As I started to move, Reba snapped at my ankle and I saw the snake bite her twice on the face as I leapt back to the safety of the house.
We rushed her to the emergency vet. Antivenom cost $600 a dose and she needed three or more. There was no way I could afford over $2,000. Devastated, we gave her fluids and took her home to see what would happen.
For the next week I gave her super large quantities of Benadryl, more sub-cutaneous fluids and prayed. Her head swelled to the size of a small watermelon, and then, miraculously, the swelling faded.
Fast forward two years. I open the door to our house and see a rattler coiled up against the door frame. I think I screamed. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Reba attacked drawing the snake’s attention to her and allowing me to get safely back inside.
This time, we skipped the vet. Again, she swelled mightily and again, she survived.
Today, Reba is 19, somewhat deaf, and a bit slower, but she’s still going strong. I don’t know what I’ll do when we finally lose her. She is, beyond a doubt, my hero dog.
This is my rescue pup Snuggles, she turned 11 years old January 2, 2011. Her liter was a woops liter and all the pups found homes. Snuggles has been with me since she was 6 weeks old, she is part Lab and part Basset hound and 45 pounds of pure lap baby. She definitely has the hound traits but I wouldn't trade her for the world. She loves to go on bye bye rides, walking or playing ball in the house. She has her own bed but she prefers to sleep in the middle of my bed between me and my husband. She is the best medicine I have found for depression or anxiety. Sometimes I think I love her too much, but then again I don't think that could ever happen.
I look forward to retirement because I have a HUGE dream that I want to fulfill, which is starting my own retirement home for the elderly dogs that are dropped off at the shelters and left because they are getting too old, or they have been at the shelters already. I want to make what time they have left on this earth the best they can have, with as many hugs, kisses, and lap time they desire. (Oh and treats, can't forget those!) I know my Nuggie-Bear would want me to help and love as many fur babies as I could.
Frasier was a 10-mo-old sickly puppy that a neighbor needed to rehome, so my husband and I adopted him as our sole pet. Being small for his breed, he exuded a take-charge Napoleonic attitude, and ran our household on his schedule. When I underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer, he became a devoted support: sleeping against me at night, waking me every morning for his first of many walks, and insisting on his meals at fixed times. Catering to Frasier's schedule, my 6-mo regimen went by so uneventfully that my oncologist made me a benchmark for his patients, and he then recommended adoption of a needy pet to all his patients to accompany them through their treatment plan. Frasier lived to 13 years, and even though we've later adopted other Pyrs, he was the best and most loved of them all.
We heard Lucy's sad story and went to meet her. She didn't pay us much attention but we wanted to give her a happy home. She was given up for adoption when her first dad had a stroke. She was then adopted several times but always brought back. She even tried a foster home but that didn't work out either. By the time we adopted her, she had closed her personality, just waiting for us to bring her back as well. She did test us, but we had already committed to her and wouldn't give up on her for anything. Slowly she opened up to us and became a sweet, silly, lovable girl. We are so glad that we gave her the time she needed to feel comfortable with us and to know she had found her forever home. Give a newly adopted friend time to blossom with your love.
Nipper was no young puppy, but by no means over the hill , at 7 years old when his owner passed.
Distressed confused and consequently shedding hair he was a sad and scraggy sight when he enventually arrived at the Leicester Animal Rescue site.
Mrs P, had just lost her previous rescue dog but at eighty could still offer a loving home to an older dog.
The “stars aligned “ Mrs P. and Nipper arrived at LAR almost the same time and that was that.
Nipper has his forever home. Lots of love and attention. Don’t let the name fool you he is one snuggle bunny.
Mrs P has a loving companion and great security guard and a life full of meaning and laughter.
They both fill the others needs at an older age.
Please consider an older dog who may , like Nipper, have been berieved and are now alone.
Remember YOU are never too old to rescue and give and receive love in return.
Magic and Sassy came to live with us in December 2001 when they were both abut 6-8 months old. We adopted them at the same time from the Mohawk-Hudson Humans Society shelter, but they were not a bonded pair. They never really did become bonded, but they tolerated each other most of the time. I guess you could say they happily co-existed. Magic (the black one) was great at playing fetch and was very demanding when she wanted a door or window opened. Sassy (with the brown/grey stripes) loved carrying socks and foam balls around the house, meowing as loud as she could even with her mouth full. Both loved drinking from the bathroom sink and then sitting in the sink. Sometimes Magic would see me heading to the bathroom and race me to the sink. They were both very sweet and loving. Magic passed over the rainbow bridge in March of 2018, and Sassy followed her in June. We were lucky to have loved them for 17 years. The house feels very empty without them.
Teddy was rescued from a puppy mill when he was 5 years old. He was given to a rescue shelter that I was a volunteer at. He was so terrified of people that he wouldn't let anyone near him. The shelter was doing an adoption event just a few days after they received Teddy and they decided to take him to the event. I was volunteering at the event and I tried to get him out of the cage to go potty. He couldn't figure out how to get out of the cage or walk on a leash. I worked with him and got him to a point where he could do both. He had only one person interested in him and it was a pregnant woman with a 3 year old. I knew that would not be a good situation for him so she was told no. We ended up taking him back to the shelter and from that moment on whenever I would go there he would follow me around barking. He would whine and cry when I left and after 3 days I was not able to leave him. He picked me to be his mom and I gladly accepted. It was not an easy transition for him as he had never been in a house but with a lot of work, time and love he eventually settled in. He had an untreated thyroid condition and had to have most of his teeth pulled. He had to wear undies as he never got over his marking instinct but he didn't mind.In July 2016 when he was 11 he was diagnosed with Chronic Heart Failure and was given about a week to live. He was a fighter and made it until June 8, 2018 when his heart gave out. I had never had a puppy mill dog but I would gladly have another one. They are a lot of work but Teddy gave so much unconditional love -I think because he was happy to have been rescued. I miss him so much and am grateful he was mine!
We went to the shelter looking to bring another little bundle of love home. Walking along the rows of kennels this little Chihuahua mix caught my eye. I put my hand down so he could sniff it and to my surprise he reached through the slats of his kennel grabbed my hand between his paws, held on, and started licking my hand; then did the same thing to my husband and daughter. He had been at the shelter for almost two months. We could not believe someone else didn’t want to take this sweet little guy home. We adopted him immediately, but had to wait a few days to bring him home so he could be neutered. We changed his name to Stewie. Once home he fit right in with our other animals and immediately became the “caretaker.” Stewie is always checking on everyone and is constantly by our sides. He is so grateful for his forever home. He jumps up and down excitedly twice a day as we are preparing his food as if he still can’t believe his luck. We adopted him in August of 2014. In November of 2017 Stewie started to sniff me really hard in one spot, was very insistent and did this daily for two weeks. While there is no history of breast cancer in my family and I did not feel a lump, I decided I had better get it checked out. Sure enough in that exact spot they found a tumor and I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer. My family and I will be forever grateful to our little Stewie for saving my life. Without him I would not have gone to the doctor and it may have been discovered too late. We saved him from the shelter, but really Stewie saved me! What a little hero. I cannot say enough about adopting an animal from the shelter. It is such a fulfilling and heartwarming experience. They have so much love to give. Save a life … you will receive so much unconditional love in return.
Myself and my husband traveled through Europe in our campervan last year, but soon realised the dia situation for dogs once we crossed the border into Romania. There were stray dogs everywhere, struggling to survive, dodge traffic, fend off abuse, suffering from injuries and disease and worst of all trying to avoid the public kill shelter dog catchers.
We could not ignore the problem any longer when we came across a sandy coloured stray dog hanging outside a bar. She looked just like my childhood dog Sasha, but seemed to have poop on her head.
However, when this friendly girl came over for a stroke, we could see it was actually a huge dark scar. More worryingly, there was also a large growth on the side of her head. The bar manager said that she had been abandoned there a year ago. We decided to help this sweet girl. But how?
We researched online, and came across Barking Mad Dog Rescue, a UK registered charity, and contacted them for help. They were amazing; offered their vet, to look after her in their shelter, and find her a forever home. We just had to get her to their shelter. We had named her Chooky (after the beer, Ciucas, we were drinking when we met her).
The day and a half journey across Romania to get her to the shelter was quite an experience. In this duration we tried to get a collar on, (somewhat) lead trained her, slept with her in our campervan, and shared tons of cuddles and strokes. We fell in love with the dreadlocked matted furball. 3 months later Chooky came to the UK to live with us. She has had the lump removed and has taken over the best sofa in the house. She deserves it.