Friday, December 14, 2012


Enjoy the Range of Dog-Based Emotions

...in this Friday-friendly humblebrag-appropriate rescue story.

The sorrow and the pity:

Chewy was a dog that everyone in the Modesto, California, neighborhood knew. He was spotted on many of the streets. Once he trailed a man named Adam while he was jogging, or stop to play with Denise’s dog, Boss. People in Graceado Park wondered who he belonged to. Chewy belonged to no one.

Are you my mommy?

When people would cross, Chewy came up to them in a friendly but timid manner. He seemed to want to be friends, but the moment a hand was outstretched he shied away. Curious, but reserved, as if they were not the person he was looking for.

People are okay after all:

The neighbors took a deep interest in the sweet dog that had seemingly become a pillar of the community. People left food for him, and blankets in the colder weather. During the rain, someone gave Chewy a large, plastic doghouse. Worried residents occasionally tried to catch him, but to no avail.


Gary informed the Kleins that some kids had been seen throwing rocks at Chewy. Infuriated, Lauren and Cecilia devised a plan to save him.

That plan might work on me, too:

If they could tranquilize him, Lauren and Bruce would have him neutered and would adopt him. One rainy night, Cecilia dosed some hamburger with tranquilizers, and then played the waiting game.

Brief comic Mr. Bean-esque interlude:

Cecilia did her best to move the heavy dog from under the car and down the driveway to her own car. But his dead weight made him nearly immovable. Fortunately, a paper boy happened to be nearby and helped her load the dozing dog into her car. When Chewy awoke, it was to a new home and a new life.

The kicker:

Even though Chewy had belonged to no one, he really belonged to everyone

I would genuinely like to hear about how you and your dog got together, at this time.

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All of our current dogs are semi-rescues. We got our first two French Bulldogs from a breeder, years ago, and my mother ended up training them to compete in obedience. Eventually, the breeder just started contacting us whenever she had a former show dog that needed a new home, especially if she thought they had potential to compete in performance events. And so that is how we got all three of our current ones!


@SarahDances HOW DID SHE DO THIS. Please send her to my house, I have a very adorable and extremely disobedient Frenchie! HALP

Although I'm guilty of being like Flanders' parent's: "We've tried nothing, and we're all out of ideas!" He's just too cute to discipline :(


@jule_b_sorry Hahaha, no, that is still totally an issue for us! Even though they've all earned titles, she still lets them get away with so much. Especially her favorite. She's even gone to the "But I don't want to crush his spirit!" level of rationalization.

What kinds of issues are you having?


@SarahDances This is the frenchie in question, giving the "You talking to me?" undisciplined frenchie face:



@SarahDances Mainly eating - he is pretty well-behaved in the house, but when we go out walking, he eats ANYTHING he can find on the ground. And he knows he isn't supposed to, so he snarfs it down as fast as possible - leading to him eating some really, really awful and inappropriate things b/c he'd rather eat a bottle cap that sorta looked like food quickly rather than miss out on anything that MIGHT be food by pausing to check it out first.

Also at the dog park, he thinks he's the referee and barks loudly at any two dogs that are playing and won't let them just play in peace. Or, if he wants a dog to play with him, he barks annoyingly at the dog and WILL. NOT. STOP. even if the dog gets upset and starts growling/nipping at him. He never does anything violent towards another dog, but it's still bad, aggressive, dominant behavior.

Any tips would be great!!


@jule_b_sorry Gahhhhhh what a cutie! For the food thing, start working on a "Leave it!" command. You can do this at home with treats. Put some on the floor, take him on his leash, and walk by it. When he goes to snarf it, give him a good pop with the leash while saying "Leave it!" in your most authoritative voice. When he stops trying to reach the food, and continues along with you, or looks at you, give him a treat! Preferably a better one than you left on the floor. Like, maybe put some kibble on the floor, and have some cut up hotdog or cheese for your "leave it" treat. So you send the message "Do not eat stuff on the floor, and pay attention to me, and I will give you something better!"

It may not always work, because bullies can be really stubborn when they find something really "yummy," but it should help. You can also start training him to wait for permission when you feed him. Make him sit, start to put the dish down. If he breaks, the dish comes back up. It may take several tries, but he will get the point pretty quickly. Once you've got him sitting even once the food hits the floor, release him with something like "Okay!" Again, you're showing that he needs your permission to eat, but that if he listens to you, he'll get fed.


@jule_b_sorry The barking/dog park issue is tougher. We had to stop taking ours to the dog park because one of ours just could not play in a socially acceptable manner, and would always end up getting his butt kicked by some herding dog or other. I will ask my mom if she has any suggestions for you on that count!


Thanks like it !@a


I saw our dog online on the local shelters website and she was standing still but her tail was a blur. We went to the shelter and every dog was barking (as usual in a shelter) except her. We walked up to her and she pressed her side up against the bars and looked at us with big eyes asking us to pet her. We fell in love instantly.

Here she is lying under our christmas tree two years ago, looking like the saddest puppy ever. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-e9Q0OuVWJHw/TQJBt4sSk8I/AAAAAAAAHvA/3hQhm39bCzg/s800/2010-12-04%252000.29.58.jpg


@Biketastrophy Aww sweet little face I just want to nom it! NOM NOM NOM cute puppy face...


@Biketastrophy That is exactly how we met our rescue! All the dogs were barking and going crazy and she was just siting up straight and proper (she has very good posture) and calmly wagging her tail. She also is very tiny but with giant ears and eyes so we are basically like putty in her paws.


I know you said dog, but what about cats? I adopted my cat through Craigslist, from a total stoner who opened the door wearing a Domokun t-shirt, legit had the bust of Beethoven wearing his headphones, and who had his other cats' accounts friend me through Facebook. (Backstory is my cat didn't get along with one of his other cats, and the other cat was sick so he felt guilty adopting that one out. I absolutely believe his story, my cat hates other cats.)

fondue with cheddar

@GEEKitty My cat Moo was a stray who hung around the apartment complex where I lived. She was super friendly and had no collar. I started feeding her and sometimes she would hang out on my porch. When she saw me she would pick up her pace and trot over to me for petting, her long, saggy belly skin swinging hilariously from side to side. There were a lot of strays around, but she wasn't like the rest of them and had obviously once been an indoor cat. Animal control would periodically come and round them up, and I didn't want her to be taken. I wanted to adopt her but I already had a cat who hated other cats so it just didn't seem feasible. One day she walked over to me as I was walking to my car. I pet her, and when I opened the door to get in she hopped right in, made herself at home on the floor, and started grooming herself. When she started licking her paws I realized she was declawed. That's when I decided I had to save her! She is the coolest, most ridiculous cat. People who aren't cat people like her. And it took several years, but eventually she and my other cat became friends (mostly).

Lily Rowan

@GEEKitty I got my cat from the pound, after seeing him on the website days in advance. My friend warned me that he might not still be there when we got there (5 year old male = likely to be put down), but he was, and he was fantastic! The loviest cat ever.

fondue with cheddar

@Lily Rowan Hooray! I'm so glad you got him in time!


@GEEKitty My family's cat Josephine was our neighbor's cat, originally. Our backyards bordered each other, and she had something like, 15, 20 cats. And chickens. But anyway, lots of cats. Some of them would climb over the fence and lounge in our garden, and Josephine just weasled her way into our hearts. We ended up feeding her and one day when she showed up with a hurt leg, that was it. We took her to the vet and before long, she was sleeping inside with us. When the neighbor moved away, we kept her. She was so so so wonderful. It's been a year since we lost her and I still miss her everyday.


@GEEKitty I mentioned that we'd be looking to adopt a cat or two on my facebook, and a freind got in touch to say that her cat had had an unexpected litter and as the friend was heavily pregnant she would need them to be adopted out of the house by the end of november, or they'd have to go to a shelter. She already had three cats and couldn;t have them plus energetic kittens when she was trying to deal with a newborn. One discussion with husband and a month later on, we brought them into the house.

And they're being neutered before we even think of letting them out.

I have one on my lap right now. While financially it wasn't the best time to get them (we JUST bought a house and it turns out that shots etc are expensive) I love them so much. One of them has a twisted tail that the vet thinks is a birth defect.

Here they are, being cute. http://paranerdia.tumblr.com/post/35941015555/id-like-to-to-introduce-tumblr-to-the-latest More cat pictures can be found on my Tumblr (warning: ALso available are pictures of my bum)

Tragically Ludicrous

@Anninyn Something similar is happening with me! One of my friend's parents' cats got pregnant, and she was searching for a home for them, knew I was wanting to get a cat, and in January Klaas-Jan will be coming home with me. (He'll be getting neutered before he goes outside, though.)


@GEEKitty My big cat came from the SPCA - he had been abandoned and picked up in a raid on a feral cat colony (I picture it like cops raiding a 1920s speakeasy). He's a total lover.
Our second cat wandered into our back yard to starve to death. There's a small colony of ferals there that I kind of look after (make sure they're all neutered, basic shots, clean water, some food), but she was in really tough shape by the time I was able to trap her. We had to keep her inside for a few days to give her antibiotics after getting her spayed and she was just too cute. Long story short, we didn't let her back out and she now spends her days happily playing with toys, meowing at me, and following big cat around.

Anita Ham Sandwich

@Anninyn Aww, cuties! (note: I didn't go back far enough to see your bum). ;-)


@Anita Ham Sandwich SO cute, though rather keen with their claws sometimes. I have large scratches on my back right now that happened after one tried to climb my shoulder and didn't get a purchase.

(It's a good thing. It's been known to start riots. Long story short, I got drunk and decided it was a good idea).

@Tragically Ludicrous surprise kittens are the best kittens. We were planning to get them in january/february, but they were available and it was nearly my birthday...

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Anninyn I got my cat (and her daughter!) at the SPCA. Jinxie was the only kitten left in the whole place, and I didn't absolutely need a kitten, but she was so cute, and we took her and her mom out of their cage to play a little bit, and her mom (my Juliet, who I talk to like Leslie Knope talks to Ann Perkins) was so calm and so friendly that we knew we had to bring both of them home. We don't know what happened to them before they got to the shelter, but they were both a little bit scared and nervous sometimes. Despite that, they're friendly and affectionate and just about the best cats you could ask for.

Two days after we adopted them, my brother found a fluffy abandoned kitten in a parking lot. Bella. He knew that if he left her there, she might not make it to the next day, so he brought her home just because it was a safe place. We were only going to keep her long enough to find a good home, but despite how weird she is (we think she might be part Maine Coon, and those cats have personalities, let me tell ya) she's basically like a dog. She sits on our laps and follows us around, and she's so so fluffy.

fondue with cheddar

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) One of my cats seems to be part Maine coon too, and she was also found in a parking lot and I didn't intend to keep her but did anyway because she was so awesome. She is the most talkative cat I've ever known! She does that thing where she paws you when she wants attention, and she has a tendency to look you straight in the eye when you pet her. Sure, the fluffiness has its drawbacks, but it's mostly the best. :)

Is your probably-Maine-coon talkative, too?

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@fondue with cheddar omg when she wants to talk she never shuts up. She's got great vocal range, too. She has occasionally meowed on cue, and expresses a whole range of angry-kitty sounds if another cat dares show up on our back porch.
And yes, she LOOOVES attention. She'll crawl into the bathroom sink right before I brush my teeth because obviously, she is more important than dental hygiene :)

fondue with cheddar

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) Obviously, she is more important than everything. :) She sounds exactly like mine! Except for the sink part because she's not allowed up on the counter.

Mine has conversations! She'll meow, I'll talk or meow back, she'll respond,...etc. Does yours do that thing where she really wants you to pet her but she flops over enticingly just out of reach? Mine does that all the time.

And she LOVES belly rubs. She used to hate it when you touched her belly, but she's so fluffy that it was irresistible. So one day I held her down and forced her to submit to a belly rub. At first she protested, but slowly her face changed from NOOOO to OMG THIS IS THE BEEESSSSST. It was adorable and hilarious. And ever since, belly rubs are her favorite thing.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@fondue with cheddar Mine's not allowed on the counter (or inside my closet, or on my desk, or outside) either, but she goes anyway, because she's stubborn.

She ALWAYS wants to be pet, and "flops over" is basically how she spends like 25% of her time. And yes, she loves being just out of reach, but I think a lot of cats are like that, no?

Bella loves all sorts of attention, but she's kind of ambivalent about belly rubs. Sometimes she loves them, and other times, like today, she'll flop over and it's just SO easy to just start rubbing her belly and she likes it for a minute, and then she's all "MEOW" and you have to stop. Seriously, the meows that come out of this cat sometimes are kind of unbelievable.


I got my first dog after a particularly hellish year of elementary school. I was sort of scared of dogs, but my parents and I agreed it would be good for me, and after lots of research, decided to contact a woman who bred and showed collies. We went to her house, where she explained that the puppy she had available wasn't up to the breed standard (she had a sway back, etc), and was the runt of the litter. When she brought her in, the puppy looked around for a minute, ran straight to me, crawled into my lap, and fell asleep. We learned how to not be afraid of everything/everyone together, and she ended up being quite an alpha female, and the best judge of character I've ever met.


@RubeksCube Too funny, we got our corgi from a local breeder. We had the choice of a few puppies, and part of what decided us on our Winnie was that she crawled into my lap, enthusiastically bit my fingers with her little puppy needle teeth, and then fell asleep. She has a good dose of sass along with her fluffy pants, but she's very sweet and loves playing and hanging out with her people.


@Bittersweet Here's my fuzzy girl with her favorite outside toy.


@Bittersweet Awww, she's adorable!


i went to the doberman rescue, and "interviewed" several candidates before settling on Damien (who later became Zero) - a goofy dobie with floppy ears, a prancy walk, and a silly, innocent approach to his world. within hours, he was biffles with the other dog (a german shepherd) and completely infatuated with Pablo, his feline companion. He would follow Pablo through the house, right over his shoulder. I found him a new home after my divorce and living situation made keeping him nearly impossible. i miss him every day :-(

Leah Klein@facebook

Funny you should ask! Today is my Boxer's birthday! She is 5. We bought her from a breeder. She had 10 brothers and sisters, all perfect little babies, gently snoozing in a huge box.

Our first Boxer we rescued. He was a victim of neglect and abuse, mostly by his owner's children. His feet were all worn down with sores from being kept chained up on concrete all day. When we adopted him, he was twice the size of me (I was in Kindergarten). He ended up as being the most loyal dog, always watching out for us!


Thank you for this, Nicole. This is going to be my doggie safe space for the rest of the afternoon. ::huddles::
I don't have a dog (yet!) but I am dog-sitting for my wonderful furry nephews this week. Both adopted from the pound, both lovely beasts. They like to press themselves up against me and sleep, so I wake up sandwiched between two big fuzzy space heaters. ALSO: yesterday I got home and took them out for their walk, and I decided to let them take me where they wanted to go (within reason). The two of them took me down the street about half a mile, around the corner, into the local shopping center, and straight to the door of the local pet store, where they were greeted with coos and treats by a satff member. Obviously they'd done this before.


I got my decidedly non-Australian Shepherd dog from the SoCal Aussie Rescue. He had been found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, and was brought to a high-kill shelter. One of the workers there recognized his potential and hustled to get him placed into any situation to save his life. My now-husband and I met him the day after he was brought to his second foster home (coincidentally the day after we moved in together), and immediately loved him and took him home. He is the sweetest, calmest, nicest, fluffiest dog in the whole world and was the dog of honor at our wedding last summer. No one has a better dog than I.


@mooseketeer What a lovely grin!


@mooseketeer love love LOVE!


This is not a story about my dog because I don't have one, but I am currently living with the dog in question and she is a nice enough dog for being a toddler garbage disposal who smells kind of weird and chases the cats.

So my father works on the family farm a few hundred miles away (he is retired, and we grow pine trees; it's not really intensive as 'family farm' implies), and one day he was hiking out to the family cemetery where his mother's aunts and uncles are buried. On the grave of his (great-) Uncle Arthur was a puppy! A skinny one. She looked like a pit bull terrier. Perhaps seven months old or so. My father thought this was strange -- a dog hanging out on a grave -- but figured that since this is a rural area, the dog may belong to someone. Dogs run loose. It's a thing. But when he went back the next day, the dog was still there! Still chilling on Uncle Arthur's grave. Very happy to see my father. Tail wagging, the whole nine yards.

So my father was like, "NO COLLAR? WELP. GUESS I HAVE A DOG. :DDDDDDD" and hauled the dog off to the vet in the county seat, wherein the vet took one look at this mostly-white pit bull terrier and started laughing and immediately IDed the dog as one of the many many MANY inbred pit bull types who inhabit the area. (Dog was likely bred for the purpose of hunting wild boar. This is a thing in the land of my people.) So then dog got some medicine for ear mites and got spayed and my father put a John Deere collar on her and now he shows her way more physical affection than he has ever shown my mother or me (he is a Strong Silent Type) and it is totally mutual. They take naps together. She's 78 pounds and thinks she's a lap dog and he is not about to disabuse her of this notion.

The best part? He named this lady dog Uncle Arthur and believes with all his heart that this dog IS that (great-) uncle Arthur on whose grave the dog was lurking. And that is the story of how my raised-Southern-Baptist father got a FAMILIAR. LIKE A WITCH. They're BFF. It's sickening. :D


@Fang And here is Uncle Arthur: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/p206x206/14750_105957459418264_6395420_n.jpg

Violet Blue

That is a fantastic story!


@Fang That is adorable and awesome, and it may have single-handedly made my day. :D

Judith Slutler

@Fang Uncle Arthur the dog. Amazing!


@Fang that is the best story on this thread of adorable-ness. Thank you for sharing.


I adopted Ellen Cherry (yes! from the Tom Robbins novel) from the Humane Society in the small college town I lived in at the time. She's a red chow mix, so fluffy, and wears too much eyeliner like her mama. She was already an adult who had made puppies of which we know nothing, and the Humane Society there didn't test their animals for anything, or perform any real veterinary care, so the day I adopted her we found out at my vet that she had an extremely enlarged heart from heartworm. She was already afraid of people, and then had to spend 2 months in isolation in my bathroom while she went through the injections she needed. That, plus an emergency trip when she reacted badly to the medication (I'm STILL shaken up from that) rang up to maybe $1000? Thank god for small town vets who offer payment plans.
It all turned out ok, she's my faithful hound. She's about 9 years old now, best we can figure. She still gives major side-eye to the husband and children I've since added to the family.


I have a rescue greyhound who raced until he was 5 in Alabama. I live up north and the first winter we had him was non-stop blizzards. It was pretty entertaining watching him trying to outrun the snow. He's almost 8 now, but when we first got him he was afraid of everything, from the coffee grinder to sneezes, strollers to little dogs. He still runs away from little dogs, but I sneezed right in his face yesterday and all he did was check the ground to see if anything edible had fallen out.

the ghost of amy lee

@katherinerine I just adopted a rescue greyhound a month ago! My guy is 4 years old, and just got off the track this summer. He is pretty aloof and has that sad greyhound face most of the time, but it all fades away if he sees kids or a stroller. He LOVES kids for some reason, and he loves tiny yappy dogs that jump up and bite at his face. My cat makes him very uncomfortable.


Our first dog: my dad's cousin had a couple of Labs that were show dogs in the competitions where they have to run obstacle courses, and her son let the dogs out in the backyard at the wrong time. WHOOPS. There was a litter of seven black and three yellow puppies, and they decided to keep the yellow ones in the family and offered us one. Otis Redding was incredibly sweet and really mellow and lived a long, happy life.

Our second dog: after Otis passed on, my mom and sister started agitating for a new dog, and I looked up some Lab rescues. The one we found had a female Lab that was dropped off at a shelter while heavily pregnant, with the owner saying he'd come back for the puppies. WHAT. NO. So the shelter contacted the rescue, and then my parents got one of the puppies. Bongo Fury is the dumbest dog I've ever met but also the lovingest and will always sit on your feet or try to worm his way onto your lap.


@anachronistique Oh my god!! We JUST got a black lab who is also named Otis!! (After Otis Redding, but his full name is Sir Wallace Otis Walters, Esq., because he's super classy.) He'll be 11 weeks on Tuesday. He's a total handful and he has me whipped. (He's sleeping in my lap right now.)


@anachronistique Had to add a pic: http://instagram.com/p/S3lA_qgrq7/


@macaroni Otis is an excellent dog name, and Sir WoW Esq. looks like an adorable addition to the lineage! D'awwwww.


With respect and affection, Nicole, I would consider deleting the fourth phrase that ends with a colon. Today is not a good day for that, though I know it is only a coincidence.

Nicole Cliffe

Just rushed home to do it. I think we're all in a daze.


I have always been a cat owner and lover - nothing against dogs but we were never allowed to own one growing up. My boyfriend adopted a Brittany spaniel about 1 month after we started dating, and I am so in love! It has been so nice to watch him grow up and learn, and I now consider myself an honorary dog owner, and a forever dog lover.

dracula's ghost

We went to the pound and said "show us your laziest dog" and they were like "this is our laziest dog," and surprisingly it was a 4 month old male pup. But the pound people know their business. Two years later and I have the sweetest, weirdest, dumbest, laziest li'l buddy in the world, who wants only to snuggle, and who smells like chips, and who gets compliments wherever he goes, for he looks very fancy but is really just a mystery mutt, with a curly tail like a little piggy's, silly ol' houndy jowls, and a fancy-footed long-legged trot like a dainty deer

I did not know you could love a creature so much


@dracula's ghost Hahaha, I tried that, and they brought me lazy dog after lazy dog, but none of them clicked. Then I met a dog whose tail was wagging so fast it was a blur, and was like, "This dog is pretty chill, right?" and they were like, "...Sure."

And we lived happily ever after.


@dracula's ghost "and who smells like chips"

YES! My doggie's feet smell like Fritos and I thought I was crazy but apparently it's a thing.


I had been wanting to get a dog for years, when the money and time finally came together at the same time, about 2 1/2 years ago. I was looking for a small dog, since I was living in a small house. My roommate had a dachshund (as did my parents), so I had an eye for them as I perused PetFinder.

There was a group of dachsies that had been rescued from a dog hoarder's house. I went to visit and see if one would be a good fit. There were a few dogs that were pretty friendly, but my pup was pretty shy. The rescue leader brought him over to me, and I hung with him for about 15 minutes before deciding he was the one for me.

He's had some typical dachshund problems since we've been together, but it's been one of the greatest joys of my life to see him come out his shell (slowly). Every time he warms up to a new person, or picks up a new skill, it melts my heart.


Hey, Modesto! It's nice to hear nice stories about places near where I live.

I don't have a dog (well, the family dogs are with my parents), but I can talk about my cat like I do all the time anyway! She was so tiny and had three legs and a stump and was hiding outside our apartment complex in the bushes, and a neighbor said she'd been abandoned, so I convinced my boyfriend and our downstairs friend that we couldn't just LEAVE her there. We took her in, gave her a flea bath, became completely attached, I named her Flat Tire without consulting my boyfriend, and now she terrorizes us on a daily basis. (And somewhere in the middle there we got her stump amputated because she was always hurting it. She doesn't seem to miss it, although occasionally the muscle where her leg would be twitches like she's trying to scratch her ear.)


@frigwiggin For the record, her only having three legs is actually kind of a bonus because she can't jump or climb very high. I can only imagine what kind of a disaster she would be if she could reach the top of the storage units.

Michelle LeBlanc@twitter

I was internet dating with my dog for about two months before we met, by which I mean I kept creeping on his petfinder profile every couple days just to see if he was still there. Finally, I decided it was fate and moved apartments so that I could live somewhere that a dog could live. Then I emailed the rescue and he was still there so I got him.

The day I went to meet him, his tail wagged so hard he couldn't do a "sit" because it was coming between his bum and the ground. We've been together five years now and we're still in LURVE



@Michelle LeBlanc@twitter He looks like he has the energy to run you ragged. HEY BALL LETS THROW BALL WHY AREN'T WE THROWING BALL WANNA THROW BALL

Michelle LeBlanc@twitter

@Biketastrophy yeah....yep, that's just about right.

We don't know what he is, but he's at least 1/2 jack russel terrier. He can jump high enough to hit the doorknob and it's only a matter of time before he learns to open it on his own.


@Michelle LeBlanc@twitter I did the same thing with petfinder! Some people okcupid stalk people, we have petfinder. I didn't end up with the dog I was stalking, but it all worked out for the best because my lil' buddy is the most awesome dog of ever (for me).


@bird I am doing that RIGHT NOW with petfinder. It's ridiculous.


The pup we had in mind was already adopted when we got to the animal shelter, but there were a few other ones available. Two sisters were curled up in a ball together napping. They looked identical, but one had a white paw. We chose the sweet little baby with the white paw and brought her home. A week later, we went to puppy play group to socialize her and lo and behold, her twin sister was there too! She had been adopted the day after by someone who lives down the road from us. They recognized each other immediately and proceeded to ignore every other puppy for the next hour, just playing with one another.


@LJ6000 I love this story so much.

Jen Thompson@twitter

Good God, I need this right now.

My husband and I found our mostly-hound mutt on Petfinder.com after I was drawn to her sad story; she was found running wild with another dog in very rural Tennessee. The rescuers thought the other dog was either her mother or her sister; they were both very pregnant. I'm not sure of the timeline -- if this happened while they were in Tennessee or after they were brought to New England -- but at some point they both caught distemper and lost their puppies. The mother/sister dog, "Maddy", was also diagnosed with heartworm.

Amazingly, both dogs survived, though our dog, then named Addy, was left with a chronic twitch in her facial muscles. (Sometimes it's called chewing gum chorea because it looks like they're chewing gum - it's apparently a classic sign of distemper.) Because of it, she was advertised as a "special needs" dog with a reduced adoption fee. Both my husband and I were surprised by how mild her chorea turned out to be; based on the description, we were expecting a hideous deformity, but sometimes we can't even see it. When she's stressed, you can hear her jaw clicking a bit, but so far it hasn't seemed to affect her quality of life. We really feel like we won the dog lottery; she's simply the sweetest dog in the world. We do think that the distemper might have affected her intelligence, a little bit -- the dogsitter has been trying and failing to teach her to shake paws for at least a year now, and she'd definitely get distracted and wander off if one of us fell down the well. But she makes up for it all with her sweet squishy hound face.

Jen Thompson@twitter

@Jen Thompson@twitter And here is her infrequently updated tumblr:



@Jen Thompson@twitter I'm kind of in love with your emodog and her adorable face twitch.


@Jen Thompson@twitter TOO CUTE FOR WORDSSSS <3 <3 <3

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Jen Thompson@twitter My parents adopted a dog who'd been running loose in Tennessee and brought north, too! She looks a bit like your girl, even.


Hoo boy I need this right now. I love everyone's squishy puppy love stories.
The people at the human society were surprised and thrilled when I expressed an interest in my boy. He came in to the shelter with a chemical burn down his back from a cheap flea and tick treatment, then being in the shelter made him so stressed out that he got really skinny and a little aggro. When I walked over to his kennel he barked his head off at me with his tail between his legs and his ears back; just a big old fraidy. He broke my heart and I totally fell in love with him all at the same time. I brought him home the next weekend. He's been with us for just over a month now and he is shockingly quiet, behaved within reason (he may have stolen more than one stick of butter off the counter and ripped open the trash to get at the package of old bacon I'd thrown out), an absolute snuggle monster and seriously the best friend I've ever had. His entire body wiggles when I come in the door and he sleeps curled up in a ball next to me every night.
God, I love my dog. Our best guess is that he's a Great Dane, pitbull, lab mix. Dane body, pitty head (oh, his velvety head!) and webbed feet. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mMzcWO0-9NU/UMNYhx1pfxI/AAAAAAAAAE8/gFdaCh4v9PU/s1280/PB230472.JPG




Unfortunately my pup is not a rescue pup. We tried to get one from the shelter, and even applied, but they wouldn't even consider us as applicants because we rent. The Ottawa Humane Society is pretty much the worst for approving people for dogs, though I did later adopt a guinea pig from them with no problem (cats and small pets -- TAKE THEM. But dogs they would apparently rather put down?)
Anyway, we found Darwin on Kijiji, WHERE HE WAS ON SALE b/c he was the last of his litter. We bought him from a farmer in Quebec who barely spoke English, but he drove Darwin into town for us because we didn't have car. The farmer's daughter or granddaughter came with them, and he was clearly her favourite because she seemed very reluctant to give him up. We picked him up from a McDonald's parking lot, and carried him home. But he is the sweetest, smartest dog I have ever had, so no regrets!


@Megano! I'm not going to apologize for getting a dog from a breeder. I have massive respect for people who adopt shelter or rescue dogs (including my sister), but it wasn't the best choice for my family and home situation.

The Humane Society's dog policy is mystifying to me - why wouldn't they want to match up dogs with loving owners, regardless of whether they own or rent?


@Bittersweet I know that in Australia they do that because the rental market is so crazy tight that it's already near impossible to find a place, even if you're perfect. Add a pet to the mix and your application goes to the bottom of the pile.
This has lead to a pretty big increase in pet abandonment in the last few years in Sydney in particular. Pet shelters want to give animals to people who won't have to make that kind of (incredibly difficult) choice within the next few years.


We got our Pitbull-mix, Lilly, in March from Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control. When they found her as a puppy on the streets on the south side, she had such bad demodex mange she was completely bald! She looked like a little crusty elephant dog. We had to go through a really arduous 2 month adoption process, and when I was told we could have her, it was basically the best moment of my life. Here she is looking pretty god damned adorable in a shark costume: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/199839_10101984607886703_1830057018_n.jpg

the FCACC (fcacc.org) helps out some of the cities neediest animals (Dogs and cats!) so if you're in chicago and looking to adopt, i would highly recommend checking them out!

Courtney Jenkins@facebook

@starkles My little pitty girl also suffers from demodex, which I guess is why the puppy mill people got rid of her.


@Courtney Jenkins@facebook oh no!!! I saw your post, and it was basically the most terrible thing i have ever heard. It's stories like yours that restore my faith in humanity! how wonderful that you took in a terribly abused dog and nursed it back to health. Here in chicago, there are SO many pitbulls at the shelter, so it makes me so angry to know that people continue to breed when there are so many wonderful adopta-bulls out there :)

Luckily by the time we adopted ours, she was cured of the mange-though she still has very sensitive skin and some patchy areas. I hope your little pibble makes a full recovery!


My first dog was a puppy I got from the pound 2 years ago but died after about 6 months (very sad story, but at least I gave him a great home for a while.)

Anyway, I had been a cat person before I got Cooper, and the fact that I had rearranged my life around this dog made his absence even worse. So I insisted on getting another dog right away. Two weeks later I was at the local beagle rescue getting this quiet, laid back, very shy beagle, who was originally named Bon Bon (blech!) and I quickly renamed Bailey.

For the first week I cried whenever I took her for a walk. "You're not my dog! You're not Cooper!" I basically ignored her and let her sleep on the couch. She ignored me back and didn't give any love at all. So on Thursday, I took her over to a friends for doggy sitting (since that was my late day). I went to work and had to admit that it wasn't working out and that I was going to give her back to the rescue. I wasn't going to ask for any money back; I was going to consider it a donation and a lesson learned. Then my friend who was watching Bailey texted me: "Come over here now. Your dog is howling for you." So I went over to his house, and lo and behold Bailey was *ecstatic* to see me. That's when I realized that while I hadn't bonded with her, she had completely bonded with me. I realized I couldn't give her back, thus I had to work it out.

That was a year and a half ago. She has turned out to be the best, most awesomest dog ever (IMHO). She's still quiet and shy around other people, but she lurves me and I love her back. Now? She sleeps on the foot of my bed and snores like a grown-ass man.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@stalkingcat Beagles are the greatest. <3

Courtney Jenkins@facebook

My dog was a puppy mill dog. She was unsuitable for breeding due to a genetic disorder and she was put in a trash can which was duct-taped shut and left to die in an alley.
My boyfriend's cousin found her and nursed her back to health. He wasn't able to keep her so we took her and now she sleeps in a bed and wears pajamas and generally is extremely spoiled.
She's a fawn colored pit bull.
Here she is : https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/527946_402669636447243_234881479_n.jpg


@Courtney Jenkins@facebook ah! she's beautiful! what a sweet face :)


@Courtney Jenkins@facebook Oh my GOODNESS that sweet face!! So glad you and your family came into her life.

Anita Ham Sandwich

@Courtney Jenkins@facebook Such a happy ending for that pup!

Tragically Ludicrous

I'm home for the holidays, which means spending some time with my parent's dog, who has decided that I'm also part of the family now. They got her a couple of years ago, when my little sister was starting to apply to colleges. My mom and dad went to the shelter on my mom's birthday, on a half-whim (they'd talked about getting a dog for years but hadn't made any plans about it) and came back with Lola. She looks like a black version of the brown dog my parents had through college and my early years, who died when she was 16 and that my parents absolutely adored.

Now they currently spoil the hell out of Lola, who is a complete sweetheart and likes to sit on the couch next to me when I come home and will definitely stare at you while eating, but doesn't do more than that. Her previous owners, which we don't know about other than that she was in a shelter in New Mexico before coming to Denver, docked her tail, so she has a stump that wiggles about a lot. She's the best.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Tragically Ludicrous In fact, as I was writing this, Lola decided to climb up onto the couch and fall asleep next to me. http://i.imgur.com/jB2Of.jpg


@Tragically Ludicrous
There's nothing better than spoiling a dog who is a complete sweetheart! Sweet dogs that come from questionable backgrounds always seem sooo appreciative for spoiling. "For me? Oh thankyouthankyouthankyou!"

Tragically Ludicrous

@stalkingcat My dad spotted her trying to get comfortable by a drain in a way that meant she could lean against something. Now she has just about everything in the house to lie upon/against. Her own beds, everyone else's beds, the plush carpet in the dining room, the couch...she's got everything a dog could want.

amateur hour

I got my puppy when I was living in Ecuador working as a peace corps volunteer. I knew I wanted to get a dog while I was there because otherwise I would have been so alone! The day I moved in with my host family, I woke up in the morning and heard puppies crying. They had been born that night. I picked out my favorite over the next week or so. While we were in Ecuador we would take 15-hour bus rides to go to the beach, and since I lived in a town where no one had a car he was free to roam around and make his own friends (he would disappear for the morning and come back covered in mud with the rest of the farmers returning from their fields, stuff like that). He came home to the US with me and has adapted into a great city dog. I love him!


My dog is a rescue, kind of. I have a good friend who runs a rescue for cornish rex and devon rex cats who called me out of the blue because there was a corgi in a high-kill shelter about 5 hours north of where I was living (i grew up with the breed and was thinking about getting one of my own). She called me at 3pm on Friday. I called the shelter at 5pm (after work), and they said they'd hold him until Noon the next day. Henry was on his way home with me by 11:30.


My dog, a yellow Labrador, was in training to be a police dog. She was gonna be a drug sniffing dog, I think. But she flunked out because she wanted to play too much. :) So she came to us at around 16 months of age - full-grown and fully trained! She's smarter than the average dog because of her training, but she really is full of energy and joy over everything. Plus now she leads a life of comfort and relaxation with me - no more policework for this girl!


I found my doggie on petfinder, and drove an hour and a half to meet him. He was clearly terrified - a tiny little 9-lb bundle of fur and bones in a cage, surrounded by larger dogs - but he wagged his tale while he barked at me. One of the workers at the shelter took us into a room together to see how we interacted, and he was like a little clown, jumping on our laps to lick our faces, then jumping down, then jumping up again. I couldn't take him home immediately because he still needed to be neutered, so three days later I drove back to the shelter. I couldn't believe they let me take him home with me! He cried the whole way home, then when we got to my apartment, went directly to my bedroom and jumped up on my 36-inch high mattress, settled down in the middle of the bed and looked at me as if to say, "What? You're going to sleep here, too?" After a few adjustments, it's been true love for nearly 7 years, and he is now an 11-13 year old, 15-pound little snugglemuffin.


Ten years ago (!) my mom went to the pet store to get dog food. They were having dog adoptions and she came home with the cutest corgi-Australian shepherd mix. I was at my dad's and when I got back she said "I got a dog! Isn't he cute?" and I said "yes!" And that was that.

Now it's just me and the pup and I don't know what I would do without him. He is the cutest, fluffiest thing. I am constantly covered in fur and really don't care because his face and doggy kisses and how he avoids puddles when it rains. He is also super opinionated, as in "I need to sniff this bush now. IT'S IMPORTANT."


@ellebean My cattle dog does that too! He's going to pee on that bush no matter what - it's more important than treats. And ditto on the fur. The shedding is constant, but twice a year he blows his coat and it looks like he's dying.

I got my little man a year ago from a local shelter. My mom knew I was looking for a dog (I'm pretty sure she was more excited than I was about it), so she 'just popped in' to Friends Forever to see what they hand. Pupster was hanging out in the office because he's that chill and friendly, and when she walked in he dropped a toy at her feet and gave her the puppy eyes for all he was worth. I visited him a week later and he immediately plopped down between my feet. We didn't stand a chance.

I wouldn't give him up for the world, even with his IBS (seriously), room-clearing gas, and extreme possessiveness. He's crazy smart and has me trained perfectly.


This is the internet, shouldn't we be talking about cats?

Really though, me & Penelope were in love from the start. Half lab, half boxer, 100% goof, she's really what made me and my husband go from "couple" to "family". We adopted her from a rescue at 8 weeks old; her homecoming was also the day she was spayed (FIX YOUR PETS EVERYONE) and watching a doped-up sleepy-eyed puppy flop around the house was all it took. (That quickly changed, though; both her parents are mega-high energy dogs, and she's no different.) At 20 months, she's super well trained if not still a touch high-spirited, but I can't imagine walking in the door without being pelted with puppy love.

fruiting body

I went to vet tech school and my second year, I got to be part of the team that picked dogs from the local shelters to be our program dogs for the school year. I actually didn't get to go on the second trip but when I went to the kennels the next day I saw THE BEST DOG IN THE WORLD. It was love at first sight.
He was six months old then, had been surrendered to the shelter for who-knows-what, and then lived in kennels at school for nine months. I took him home every weekend I could and then adopted him at the end of the school year. (He was also 35lb when I first took him home and convinced my now-husband we should keep him and then he topped out at 55lb...)
Now he's about two and a half, we live in the UK and my husband has grudgingly given up half his bed space for the creature. He definitely has issues: doesn't like other dogs, has terrible separation anxiety, and will eat ANYTHING. But I love him more than anything...

Faintly Macabre

A few months after our dog/love of our lives died at age 16, I started lobbying my parents for another dog. After some convincing, they decided to foster a pitbull puppy. Among the dogs we brought out into the trial pen was a beautiful black-brown brindle who immediately tried and nearly succeeded in escaping the pen. My mother chose her, saying, "I like her spirit!"

That spirit and escape-artist talent isn't so good in a house whose downstairs lacks real doors and where the dog can't be supervised 24-7. Left alone, she soiled her crate, and she chewed through kitchen chairs and every leash, toy, and rug we gave her. After a month of hell and arguments, a neighbor we knew fell in love with her and adopted her for good. She is now a beautiful fully-grown dog with a new dog brother!

My parents decided that they didn't have time for a dog, especially an untrained one. I decided to put off pushing for another dog for a while. Four months later, my dad is manning a booth at our neighborhood's Earth Day festival and texts me that there are adoptable dogs there--but we're not getting one. My best friend and I go and meet an old, lazy pitbull and two or three little dogs, all of whom are cute but don't really catch my attention, so I don't argue with my dad. Two of the dogs are foster dogs for the same couple, who take in new dogs as soon as their current ones are adopted. Despite his sweet nature, the old dog has been having trouble finding a permanent home. Unfortunately for my dad, my mother then shows up and falls head-over-heels in love with the old, lazy pitbull.

A week later, old, lazy dog became our dog. His grizzled pitbull face and size scare people, even though he never barks at other dogs and the only things he attacks are offered carrots. Like foster dog, he sometimes sneaks out our front door--to lie in the sun on the porch. When we're gone, he makes a nest of pillows on the couch and lies upside down, and at night he can't sleep unless he's under his blanket. He is a good dog.


our beloved family dog was stolen/dognapped from my grandmother's evil, abusive neighbor. she repeatedly called the ASPCA and cops about the animal abuse that she could clearly see taking place next door but that fucker managed to get out of it every time. then, one day, my cousin went over and the sweet dog jumped the fence and hopped right into her car. he has been our #1 love-bug, protector, walk-companion and cat-herder for almost 10 years now and I couldn't imagine life without him. whenever I travel home at the holidays, he comes and picks me up from the airport (with help from my dad) and it is always the highlight of my trip.


A local family had bred their lab with another purebred lab in the neighborhood, but it seems the lady dog in question was subsequently caught in a delicate situation with the mutt next door. Instead of taking the resulting puppies on Maury for paternity tests, the family sold them off relatively cheap. My childhood dog was the roliest poliest of the bunch. Instead of running around like a maniac with the other puppies, she waddled over to us and sat down so we could admire her.

She ended up being the best dog ever. Just this morning, I was thinking about Christmas and how she'd ignore the tree until you started pointing and telling her she had a present under it. She would trot over, delicately nose through the presents, find hers, and carry it back to her bed/spot to unwrap it. She didn't eat the paper, just ripped it off gleefully to find a bone or tennis ball or whatever. (She was always available to help you open your presents, too, if you wanted.)

Jemma Boyle@facebook

We adopted our wonderful Homer almost exactly a year ago, as a Hanukkah present to ourselves. We (my two teens and I) had moved into an apartment that actually allowed dogs, so we had been mulling it over for a while. I looked and looked, but the shelter fees are so crazy high, and I couldn't find any good matches on Craigslist. Finally, I posted a "dog wanted" ad myself on Craigslist, specifying just a few criteria: not too small or too big, not too young or too old, and in good basic health. After winnowing out just a few responses, we arranged to go see "Winston" about an hour's drive away. He had been in his foster home for about 6 months after being rescued from a flood several states away, down south somewhere. He was described as a black lab mix, about 7 and a half years old. Well, we walked into the foster mother's house, and this enormous, grizzled, graying, old guy slowly and groaningly eased his way up from his pile of blankets and came towards us, all stiff-legged, tail wagging like a maniac. One look told me he was at least 10, and maybe older. I briefly thought about nixing the whole thing, but he was just the sweetest, gentlest, most loving fella we had ever seen. We took him for a trial walk--very, very slowly, at his pace--and decided he was ours. His foster mother gave us his papers and said a tearful goodbye. As we were walking out, she called out, "oh, his papers said his name is either Winston or Homer." We immediately decided that Homer suited him perfectly--not after Homer Simpson, but after the classical poet and bard. Our vet confirmed that he was probably 10 or 11 and, aside from pretty bad arthritis, advancing cataracts, failing hearing, and 20 pounds of overweight, he was in perfect health. He's turned out not to be the walking companion I was looking for, or a partner in games of catch and tug-of-war my kids were hoping for; we realized he is not a portable dog, but a desktop version. But we are simply crazy about our lovely old gentleman. Happy Hanukkah!

Anita Ham Sandwich

I've got two senior, deaf Brittanies that I found through a rescue group.

The most recent guy came from a neglect situation: some asshat left him and his female companion dog penned up in the backyard of a house he didn't even live in most of the time. According to the neighbors, he'd come by every few days to throw some food over the fence. The owner refused to give them up to the rescue group, but eventually the neighbors convinced him that they had a "friend" who liked Brittanies, so when he relinquished the dogs to them, they promptly turned them over to the rescue group. Both dogs had pretty severe issues: the female spun in circles because she was so used to being in a small area. She also ate her own poo. I was originally going to adopt her, but she was diagnosed and passed away really quickly from breast cancer. She'd essentially just been bred until she couldn't have puppies anymore, and never spayed. The guy who I've got had to be shaved when he arrived with the rescue group because his flea infestation was one of the worst cases they'd ever seen. He also had to have teeth pulled and a massive anal tumor removed. His hips and spine aren't great from being enclosed for so long, but the leg weakness and frequent falling don't stop him from following me all over the house and loving long walks. He's had some issues with peeing inside, as prior to his foster home, he'd NEVER BEEN IN A HOUSE. However, he's doing great now! I gave him his first marrow bone the other day...he didn't know what to do with it until he looked at my other senior deaf guy, but once he figured out that it was delicious to chew on, he looked ecstatic! I'm teaching him that it's fine to jump on the couch or my bed (I'm a softie) and just trying to spoil the heck out of him.

Oh, I see some people are posting links to pics! Here's my new handsome pup: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/481434_10200175624417771_122145262_n.jpg

that one girl

We were on a preferred breed list for pugs at our local shelter, because who doesn't want a dog who can't breathe, has all the allergies, and thinks she's in charge? When we went to see our pug, Annabelle Pickle (orginal shelter name: Zoey), she had just been spayed, had some dental work done, and reeked of sulfur from a bath for possible mange. I immediately fell in love with this pathetic little specimen of pug and my husband sort of took it in faith that she'd get less pathetic eventually because he loves me. Nine months later, she is clearly the greatest dog ever and we are velcroed together and I can't imagine life without her snores. Even our 16 year old chinchilla has come to terms with her :)

Astronaut Mermaid

My dog and I met when I was doing relief work after last year's tornadoes in southwest VA and northeast Tennessee.

We'd gone into Glade Spring to start clearing parts of people's houses out of the road and look for people who were missing, and I go into this halfway flattened house and there's a mattress over the bathtub. Two walls are gone, but the mattress is still on top of the bathtub. That's one of the things they tell you to do in tornadoes: get in the tub and put your mattress over you. So I'm freaking out because I'm pretty sure there's a person under there who's suffocated by now. But when I flip the mattress over, there's this dog.

God, I'm getting teary. It was a female, and maybe seven or eight months old. Her tail's broken clean off to about two inches from her butt, and she's in pain and dehydrated, but she's this beautiful espresso-and-white thing that might be some kind of awkward ugly border collie/pit bull mix with freckles on her nose, and I took her out of the bathtub and cleaned her up and she is so perfect and we've been together ever since. Her name's Robin now. She's crazy and barky and thinks wind is the devil, but she is a GOOD DOG.

The people who lived in that house died. But they put their dog in the bathtub because, presumably, they loved her as much as I do.

Astronaut Mermaid

Oh! And this is Robin: http://postimage.org/image/p144ti5az/

We sometimes call her "The Dog who Loves Closeups". Also Robinator, Ramen, Wopper, Woppet, Woppin, Underwear Thief, Vacuum Cleaner, Girl Wonder, and Stairmaster.


@Astronaut Mermaid But they put their dog in the bathtub because, presumably, they loved her as much as I do. Oh, my God. RIGHT IN THE FEELS.


@Astronaut Mermaid YOU MADE ME CRY THAT'S NOT VERY NICE :(. But it's an amazing story. Thank you. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3


We got Aska from a rescue. I love to drop the 'r' word when we talk about how we got her, but honestly, she didn't need to be rescued. She is the cutest little dapple-coated daschund with the sweetest personality. We actually had to be interviewed by her foster parents and were up against 3 other families who wanted her. He foster home was in a gorgeous modern house owned by a wealthy gay couple who had two of their own dogs: a fat daschund, and a hyper daschund-chihuahua mix. I like to think we rescued her off the streets, but really, this dog was living the life. We still send her daddies pictures and updates and they sometimes dog-sit for us. We love our little girl :) And I love seeing and hearing about everyone's dogs :) Here she is when we first got her as a puppy:


I'm a long-time lurker & I signed up to comment JUST to talk about my dog. That is how crazy I am.
My dog, Oliver, was thrown out of a moving car onto a busy street. Luckily the woman who runs the shelter I adopted him from saw it happen, pulled over and he jumped right in with her. He had a serious eye infection, a terrible case of fleas, sore spots on his feet (probably from being kept in a cage off the ground) was skinny as a stick and hadn't been fixed. Six weeks after he came to the shelter, he was healthy again and up for adoption.
I didn't know any of this when I saw his picture on Petfinder. All I knew was that he was a Minpin-terrier mix, had a cute face, big radar dish ears and weighed 11 pounds. When I went to meet him, he came into the "adoption room" and completely ignored me while he sniffed every inch of the floor. Weirdly, I liked that he wasn't all over me immediately. He was making me earn his affection. I was into that.
Two weeks after I signed the paperwork, Oliver came home with me and I realised for the first time what I was in for. I thought that by adopting an adult dog, I would skip a lot of the stress that people have with puppies--and I suppose that I did. Instead I got the stress of rehabilitating an abused, neglected animal. He was not housebroken. He had no house manners and wasn't trained at all. He had separation anxiety. He was food, dog and person-walking-too-close aggressive. He was scared of his crate, of water, of loud noises, of the tv. He wouldn't walk on grass. I don't even think he'd seen grass before. He could not walk on a leash without pulling my arm out of the socket because he'd chase squirrels/robins/leaves. Altogether it seemed insurmountable, but after the first night when he went to sleep pressed against my chest, I loved him. I loved him so much. I wasn't going to give this stuff any choice BUT to be surmounted.
So Oliver and I took it bird by bird, so to speak.
It's been almost ten months since the day I brought him home, and we're still working. Training never really stops for dogs, I've learned, but I've also learned that I don't mind that one bit. Oliver has gone from being an anxious little bag of bones to a confident, mostly well-behaved, handsome (14 pounds now!) companion. Adopting him has been the best thing I've ever done in my entire life. I never thought I could love anything as much as I love him. It makes me so angry to think that someone treated him so horribly for two entire years of his life, but it just makes me hug him tighter and love him more. He'll always be safe with me. And I'm so glad that he knows it.


@Alle! i am glad you signed up so I could read that story. Way to go training your dog!

Caroline J.

@Alle! I really admire your patience and dedication.

Christopher Volkerts

So...I was in a play and one of my castmates had a friend who had a pair of pitbulls who had a litter of 16 (!) pups. All of whom lived. So they were obviously anxious to find forever homes for the little ones. They asked around if anyone might be interested, I said yes, in a noncommittal sort of maybe-ish way. About six weeks in they said hey take one- I said, well 8 weeks maybe- 6 weeks too young in that maybe they will forget I said I was interested cause I don't really really want one actually kind of way. 8 weeks in they said hey now's the time, I felt pressured, but hey went to the pad to view the pups. They had already picked out the one they wanted me to take, but all of the pups got to run around and be puppies and check me out. The one they wanted for me had no interest in me. And all the rest all 80,000 of them (so it seemed) ran about and were adorable puppies with each other. But one, one, would not leave me alone. He jumped about on me, he licked me, he crawled on me, he jumped on me, when taken out of the room came back and attacked me with puppy love. He picked me. He was mine. I went from slightly guilty I will do this because I said I would to completely smitten how did I ever live without this amazing creature in my life. I took him home and can't be more enamored of his awesomeness even now almost two years later. I am helplessly hopelessly in love with this 80lb ball of muscle and energy and unconditional love and can't imagine a day without my Jasper. I am complete.


Two dogs, two stories.

Molly P. Wallaby. I was in college and decided I needed a furry companion, so I went to the local no-kill shelter and somehow managed to find the best little furry creature ever. She was filthy, and smelly, and mysteriously hairless in spots. When I met her, she sat back on her rump and gently offered her front paws as a greeting, I guess. And that was it. She had just been brought in that day (after nearly being hit by an 18 wheeler), so the rescuers said I could foster her until they found her owners. I hoped I'd never get the call to bring her back, and I never did. Best. Dog. In. The. Universe. And after a few baths, she turned out to be the prettiest darn dog I ever saw.

Ellie Mae. I decided to take up running, and my first day out, I noticed a clicking noise behind me. I turned around and saw this ridiculous little dachshund mix with these huge swollen teets swinging back forth and these really long claws (the clicking noise!) and these little floppy ears. She followed me all the way home, even after I'd circled back a few times, trying to lose her. It was obvious she'd recently had puppies, so we went door to door and posted ads and flyers and nobody claimed her. So she's ours now. She has adapted wonderfully. She got her own special collar and tag recently, so now she is ONE OF US.


Sir Wallace Otis Walters, Esq. My man and I had been talking about getting a dog for a while (well, I was constantly commenting on random cute dogs and putting dog food ads I'd torn out of magazines on the refrigerator), and finally decided in October we were ready. We started looking at shelters, and trying to decide if we wanted a puppy or one that was a little bit older. Then, as luck would have it, his parents' back-door neighbors' dogs had a litter and were looking for homes. There were five, 2 yellow Labs and 3 black. We went "just to look" (like you can "look" at 5-week old Lab puppies and not fall in love) and wound up putting a deposit down on what would become our little O Man. He's almost 11 weeks (will be Tuesday) and has been such a blessing. Puppies are a LOT of work, but man is it cool to watch them grow up.

As for the name - he goes by Otis (as in Redding), but Wallace was on the shortlist of contenders, so we decided to keep it and only use it on his papers. Also, I knew if we actually called him Wallace (god forbid) we lost him I'd just be screaming "Where the fuck is Wallace, String?!" and nobody wants that.

Also: here's the O Man himself: http://instagram.com/p/S3lA_qgrq7/


I was not a dog person. I liked cats; dogs were way too rambunctious, needy, and they just generally got on my nerves. When I started dating my now husband, he had a two year old Lab mix and she drove me nuts. She jumped on me, she wanted to play constantly, she just annoyed me to no end.

Well. She always slept in bed with him, so when I would come over, we'd all jam in there together, and she usually slept on his side, of course. One day, she decided to sleep next to me. She started following me around when I would come over, and get excited to see me, and it dawned on me: this dog loves me now. And I defy anyone to deny the love of a giant black lab with a ridiculously waggy tail and the softest ears on the planet.

Boyfriend and I got married. Tori is OUR dog now. We take naps together, we play rope together, and she's the most wonderful creature on the planet. I can't believe I didn't like dogs before, because I love them all now ;).


I was in the midst of thesis-writing insanity when I began to realize that maybe the reason I kept dating guys with dogs and trying to convince my roommate to get a dog was that I actually wanted one myself. I hadn't been allowed to have a pet as a kid, and I wasn't sure I could do it. During a break from writing one night, I decided that I'd browse the website of a local rescue group, just to see, if I WERE to think about getting a dog, which kind it would be. I was halfway through scrolling down the page when I spotted her: a sweet-faced red and white adult lab mix. I swear my heart jumped at the site of her. I hesitated for a full three minutes before clicking the "send me more info" button.

It turns out Nina (then named Cheyenne) had been found abandoned outside in the Texas heat with a litter of puppies she had recently given birth to. She was horribly skinny and had a bad cold when they first found her. She was very timid when I met her, but I loved her right away. When I finally brought her home, she bonded to me immediately but lost her shit (quite literally) whenever I left the house. Slowly but surely, though, things got better. I also had the good sense to have our backyard fence reinforced so she couldn't escape, and I soon learned that she was quite the outdoorswoman and preferred to spend the bulk of her days lounging outside.

Now Nina is an integral part of the family: it's me, my Nina, the fiance, and his enormous shaggy lab mix. Nina is still a bit of a nervous Nelly, but having a full time buddy dog actually calms her considerably. The dogs love each other to death, and though I know in theory that we will probably one day have children whom we will love even more than we love our dogs, it's hard to imagine how that could be possible.

Jak Down

To make matters worst, when you have your hopes up about a man you seemed to have hit it off with, it's even more devastating when he seems into you one minute then act totally distant the next.our thoughts on the program


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