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My name is Noble and I was born in a puppy mill in 2008. Instead of selling me to a pet store they kept me as a breeder dog and I lived in a tiny cage, day after long day, for years until the day some nice people came and took me away. I was so scared but soon I was at National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado where people gave me good food, gentle touches and cleaned me up. I was so dirty and matted they had to shave me down to my skin. Good thing it was summer! I only weighed 10 lbs, when I should have weighed 14. I was in two different foster homes where I learned all about love and how to live in a home. My mom adopted me in November 2011 and I came to live with my sister, Cassie, and two kitties. I really like kitties and try to play with them. Cassie showed me how dogs play and what treats are all about. I’m still a little nervous when picked up but I like it when my mom holds me like a baby and sings to me. I like to wag my tail in a big circle when mom talks to me. I love to put my nose into the breeze and smell all the wonderful smells of freedom. The rescue shelter named me Noble because I had survived everything at the mill and still had lots of spirit and my mom decided that was a great name for me to keep. I love my life now and my mom loves volunteering at the rescue shelter that brought me to freedom.
National Mill Dog Rescue
Colorado Springs, CO 80908
When Weimaraner Rescue of the South (WRS) plucked Cole from an animal shelter in Alabama, he seemed like many other dogs. But his extraordinary character came to light soon after he arrived at his foster home. One evening, Cole suddenly collapsed and couldn’t move anything other than his front paws and head. His foster mom rushed him to the vet, where he was diagnosed with a spinal embolism and given a 10% chance of survival. Despite his paralysis, Cole seemed so happy to be with people and determined to get back on his feet. So WRS decided to support Cole and give him all the care he needed to recover. WRS gave him a cart, and right away he was zoom-zooming around! But Cole wanted so badly to walk again on his own. WRS took Cole for physical therapy and acupuncture and after four treatments, Cole regained use of his back legs. WRS threw a party for Cole and for the first time in weeks, he stepped out of the cart and unsteadily took his first steps. There was not a dry eye in the house! Cole was adopted by the WRS volunteer who had been caring for him. Over the next months, Cole got stronger and more coordinated. Now he can run around with his canine siblings—an achievement that makes us so proud! Cole’s family adores him and describes him as a spunky boy who knows what he wants. They quote from Talladega Nights on Cole’s philosophy: “If you ain’t first, you're last.” He is the first out the door, the first in the door, and the first to claim his spot on his couch! Cole’s perseverance and triumph has been an inspiration, and has renewed our commitment to every dog that comes into our care.
Back in 2006 I stumbled upon Hank at the Lapeer County Animal Shelter, Lapeer, MI, USA. Hank was an elderly Blue Merle Great Dane. He was one of 63 animals seized from a home that had been foreclosed on leaving the animals behind. Hank was such a big guy and it tugged at my heart to see this giant bag of bones sitting in a kennel at the shelter.
Hank was in such bad shape he had no hair due to malnutrition, he was infested with fleas and his eyes were sunken in from dehydration. He was so thin and weak he had almost no rear muscles left at all and struggled just to take a single step. From all his scars I could tell his whole life had been difficult. Embedded collar scars, botched ear cropping that left one ear folded over laying on his head among other old injuries. I was sure no one else would adopt him. In my heart, due to his age, I knew I wouldn't have him for long but he deserved better than the tragic ending I felt he was going to endure if I didn't take him.
Hank was estimated at 10 years old and weighed in at 102 lbs. when I took him home and within 2 months was up to a healthy 160lbs. He lived to be 13 years old and was the gentlest, kindest soul I ever had the honor of knowing. He passed away in May of 2009 but is still rates as one of the best dogs I have ever had. He taught me so much about what a little love and kindness can do for the soul. Best decision I ever made.
You wouldn’t expect an old, blind, deaf, lame dog to have much of a sense of joy would you? But...you haven’t met Ernesto.
Two years ago Ernesto, found wandering in a Walmart parking lot, was picked up by Animal Control and taken to a shelter. Old Dog Haven (Arlington, Washington) was asked to take him because of his age and Ernesto was welcomed into the home of Trisha Lovgren as an Old Dog Haven Final Refuge dog.
Ernesto isn’t disabled; he’s differently abled. Even though he can’t see, hear and is lame, he’s a happy, well adjusted dog that lives with people who love him and who are continually impressed by his determination, sense of humor and lightness of spirit.
When Trish talks about Ernesto you can hear the smile in her voice: “He amazes me. He’s happy as can be, always seems to know where he is and how to get from one place to another, and he always knows where the action is. He does a great imitation of a vacuum cleaner as he slides across the carpet with his face turned sideways pressed against the floor. Ernesto is a brave, tough pup with a heart of gold. He loves to be snuggled, to have his belly rubbed, to sneak into my bed at night, and to steal his doggie brothers and sisters’ food when I’m not looking. He’s also quite the tug-of-war player.”
Ernesto is a wonderful teacher. Trish says, “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t honor the fact that I am so lucky to have him in my life. I always think to myself when I’m going through one of life’s struggles/mini-crises, ‘If Ernesto can adapt, then I can too.’”
Ardeth De Vries
Old Dog Haven
Baloo had a gift. No...he WAS a gift. A gift that made a difference.
Baloo, an old, smelly hound dog mix, ended up in a large shelter. His adoption prospects weren’t good until Old Dog Haven (Arlington, WA) foster mom, Julie Cunningham, saw him and couldn’t resist bringing him home with her. As an Old Dog Haven Final Refuge dog, Baloo’s medical needs were taken care of, and his emotional needs were more than met by Julie and her family.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. What’s true is that the needs of Julie, her two autistic children, Mollee and Josef, as well as their friend, Keneau, and other autistic children were met by Baloo. Mollee claimed Baloo as “her” dog the moment she met him and she spent hours adorning him with necklaces and hats. Mollee’s expressive language exploded once Baloo joined the family. Josef, who is severely autistic, didn’t like dogs at all, but he would run his fingers through Baloo’s coat. Their friend, Keneau, subject to constant rages, would straddle Baloo, wrapping his arms around him allowing Baloo to calm him.
Julie ended up adopting Baloo permanently and even though Baloo was only able to stay with his family for six months before his old body failed him, he made a difference. It’s all about transformation: Baloo’s life was transformed when he went from being an old, smelly, throw-away homeless dog to a much loved, productive member of a family. Julie’s transformation began the moment she met Baloo and continued throughout the time he was with her. Mollee, Josef, Keneau and the other autistic children who spent time with Baloo were transformed because he gave them what they needed.
Ardeth De Vries
Old Dog Haven
My Sunnie, a lab-boxer mix, came to us from the Lapeer County Animal Shelter as a pup. Upon adopting her, the gentleman working at the shelter (now retired) said, “You picked a good one.” Truer words were never spoken! She is smart, loyal, sensitive and so loving. She is the perfect dog.
She was a total surprise for my children, and when I brought her home, they were ecstatic. It was love at first sight – for all of us! However, after living with us for about a week, Sunnie became very ill. I took her to our vet, where she was diagnosed with both kennel cough and parvo. We were devastated. Our vet worked tirelessly to save her, and we visited her in quarantine each day. Thankfully, she made a full recovery and was able to come home after 3 days.
Sunnie is my sunshine. She makes me happy when skies are grey. Just before Sunnie came into my life, I lost my dad in a motorcycle accident. I was having a very difficult time coping with the loss. My dad was a dog lover, and I knew needed something to help me through. To me, it made perfect sense to rescue a dog. Sunnie has been my therapist! She pulled me through one of the toughest times in my life.
I think she knows just how much we love her. We spoil her every day. She is a gift, and she makes our family complete.
Barry was born in June, 2006 and abandoned as a kitten in a NYC hotel room. Rescuers brought him to a shelter in New York where he lived for 5 years. He was sent to the Central Vermont Humane Society in East Montpelier, Vermont in February, 2012. He was adopted once before I got him but was returned after just 2 months as he was not comfortable in the busy household. I adopted him in June, 2012, at the age of 6 years old. He walked right into my house and made himself at home, as though he had lived there all his life. Barry is not afraid to say what is on his mind. He is very vocal and will meow at me if he is not being noticed. He will jump up on my lap and butt his head against me to give him hugs. He sleeps on my bed at night, snuggled up close to my legs. I don’t know why it took him 6 years to find a home. He is a very loving cat who loves to have his belly rubbed.
I was born in a puppy mill. I started out a cute little brindle colored Chihuahua pup, but in a short time I was grungy, I suppose I looked the color of dirt. I had my own wire cage, it was small, it made my feet hurt. I didn’t wish for a bed, a toy, a bone or even clean water, I didn’t know what those things were. Humans scared me, never a kind word, never a loving hand. My job was to make babies – not sure how many kids I have out there, maybe hundreds? The years all ran together, nothing ever changed, I got older, more crippled and then the cough started. I was in heart failure. The puppy mill people didn’t want me anymore, they considered tossing me in the dumpster… but I a wonderful rescue called, “Because of You Chihuahua Rescue” took me away.
The vet worked on me. I was neutered, most my teeth were pulled, xrays to figure out my spinal problems – the cramped cage was hard on my bones. I have congestive heart failure, I was filled with fluid, and I have a bad heart murmur. And broken tail, deformed toes, arthritis, cataract. Notice I have only have 1 eye? They don’t take us dogs out of the cages to clean, instead they just power wash us along with the cages.
When my mom & dad heard about me they knew I was meant to be with them. They drove far to get me. They didn’t care that I was a bloated, sickly old mill dog, my entire family loved me instantly and I loved them back.
That was 1 1/2 years ago and I’m still goin’ strong. Sure, I have my slow days, but don’t we all? Love, Harley
The most exceptional thing about Penny’s rescue by Corridor Rescue Inc. of Houston, TX is that unfortunately to the great volunteers there, it’s not exceptional, it’s the daily routine. Miss Penny and her two puppies were spotted by a Corridor rescue feeding volunteer, starving, weak, wracked with parasites and fleas and in so much need of help.
That was March 6th, and that will from now on be Penny’s birthday. It was the day Corridor Rescue gave her a future. And the day I saw her on Facebook.
Penny’s life changed because of simple gestures. Her first night in rescue someone from CRI brought a bed to the clinic for her. A red plush bed. See, at around 3 three years of age Penny had most likely never had a home, much less a bed. Her missing front teeth, all worn down past nubs from scraping food off the ground was a good indicator she had struggled every day of her life. I am so grateful for those who took care of her that first night, ridding her of fleas, stopping the itching and bringing her a bed.
Several months after rescue, after heartworm treatment and she had put on a few pounds, Penny came to Salt Lake City. Her eyes in the Facebook picture told the truth, she is the sweetest, most grateful and content dog I’ve ever been around. She loves her dog sister and snuggles with cats.
The night before she came I bought her the nicest bed I could find. I’m glad my other dog likes it because ever night Penny sleeps on top of a tiny cat bed, a red plush bed just like the one CRI brought her. The big picture heroes are CRI, the small-picture hero, the one who brought her the bed.
My name is Noble and I was born in a puppy mill in 2008. Instead of selling me to a pet store they kept me as a breeder dog and I lived in a tiny cage for years until some nice people came and took me away. I was so scared but soon I was in a wonderful rescue place in Colorado where people were kind to me, gave me good food, gentle touches and cleaned me up. I was so dirty and matted they had to shave me down to my skin. Good thing it was summer! I only weighed 10 lbs, when I should have weighed 14. I was still scared, especially of men, but I was soon in a foster home with a wonderful family. Unfortunately I was afraid of their teenage boys so I went to another foster home where I learned all about love and how to live in a home. My mom adopted me in November 2011 and I came to live with my sister, Cassie, and two kitties. I really like kitties and try to play with them. Cassie showed me how dogs play and what treats are all about. Im still afraid to be picked up and I get tense when Im in someones lap but I love to put my paws on Moms knees and get petting, follow her around the house and get tummy rubs. I love to put my nose into the breeze and smell all the wonderful smells of freedom. The rescue shelter named me Noble because I had survived everything at the mill and still had lots of spirit and my mom decided I should keep that name. I love my life now and my mom volunteers at the rescue shelter that saved me.