It took one look at a picture of Pippa for a woman named Amanda Harris was on her way to the Atlanta Humane Society to foster her. The little puppy had just arrived at the shelter with her dad, mom, and brother. Pippa was just seven weeks old and while the entire family was in bad shape she was in the worst condition of them all. The entire dog family had mange, but poor Pippa had the worst case. She was covered in sores and scabs and had lost all her fur. Pippa was fragile and in a lot of pain, but all she wanted to do was snuggle. Amanda brought the pup home to foster her and had plenty of medication to treat her skin.
Amanda gave Pippa medicated baths and around the clock care. In return, Pippa snuggled every chance she got. She loves to burrow down into blankets and cuddle more than anything. Her skin was painful and itchy, but that never stopped her from snuggling. Thankfully, it took just a few days of treatment for Pippa’s skin to start healing. Her light colored fur even started to grow back. She received medicated baths each week, got medicine for her skin and even special food. Her skin started to heal very quickly. Best of all, her sweet personality began to emerge too. Though she is tiny, she has a big personality. Amanda, her foster mom, has two large dogs—the biggest of which weighs 80 pounds. Pippa didn’t seem to notice they were so much bigger than her.
Pippa loved to chase her foster brother and sister’s tails and even play a good old fashioned game of tug o war. The Atlanta Humane Society posted about Pippa’ progress on Facebook and soon someone stepped forward to adopt her: a woman named Terri Dickson. She fell in love with her after seeing photos and once she held her she knew she was the perfect dog for her. She lives with Terri now and snuggles up to her every chance she gets!
A rescue dog names Sara loves her mom Colleen very much. So much so, Sara has severe separation anxiety whenever her owner leaves her alone. Even if Colleen just leaves for a short amount of time, Sara the dog panics. Sara’s anxiety started when she got older, and she began to get destructive and even injure herself. Colleen says Sara would pant, bark, chew furniture, and pace restlessly around the house trying to find her owner. Sara even rubbed her nose raw once on a door while Colleen was gone. It broke Colleen’s heart to know that Sara was so distraught while she was gone.
So, Colleen tried all sorts of things to comfort Sara. She tried training, giving her CBD oil, giving her vigorous exercise, and even resorted to prescriptions for Clomicalm, Prozac, and even tried tranquilizers from the vet. Nothing calm Sara, unfortunately. Colleen then just made sure Sara was never alone: she stayed with her constantly, or left her at another house or took her to doggy daycare. But then Colleen’s friend gave her an idea: why not leave a “dummy version” of herself with Sara? It seemed crazy, but she was willing to try anything. So, she ordered the dummy and started dressing it to look like her. She even gave it a name: Dolly. She dressed it with her clothes so it acquired her scent, then left it around for Sara to notice.
She used Dolly for trial runs while she left and Sara fell for it: one day she arrived home to see Sara sleeping at Dolly’s feet in the bathroom. While Sara doesn’t think that Dolly is her owner, she seems to be comforted by her presence while Colleen is away. It certainly works the best of any method she has tried in the past, so she is confident Sara will be comforted each time her owner has to leave her alone!
Through no fault of his own, Sam found himself in the dog shelter. The only family he had ever known had a change in their situation and they could not care for him anymore. So, they dropped him at the RSPCA’s South Godstone shelter. He was a senior dog but everyone at the shelter knew that his sweet loving personality meant he would be adopted in no time. But unfortunately, that is not the case for sweet Sam. He’s been waiting for a year now with no interest from a potential adopter. In that time, 134 other dogs have found a home while he sits and waits. No one at the shelter knows why, but it seems no one wants Sam.
Emily Jefferson, who works at the RSPCA South Godstone says she and the rest of the staff just love Sam to pieces. He is older, sure, but he has plenty of energy and love to give someone. He loves being showered with attention and love his peace and quiet—something he doesn’t get at the noisy shelter. He needs a quiet home to relax and finally just be a dog. Sam is thirteen years old, but he certainly doesn’t act like it. The shelter staff says he loves to play and run around outside, and he also loves to curl up and relax with his people. For the right family, he would be the perfect companion.
The shelter staff is determined to find the perfect home for Sam. So much so, they have been posting about him on social media as much as possible in the hopes that someone will take notice of him and give him a loving home. On his one year anniversary at the shelter they gave him a party, complete with a cake. They also photographed him with his “packed bags” so he could go to a forever home. Sam needs a home with no children and no other dogs. He needs a family who can be patient with him as he overcomes his anxiety and can give him lots of love. To get more information about Sam, contact the RSPCA South Godstone shelter.
A woman named Laryssa Giles is a dog lover through and through. Unfortunately for her, she could not own a dog because it was against the rules set by her landlord. While she was a cat owner, she really felt like having a dog in her life was a missing piece. But her dreams of being around a dog soon came true when her next door neighbors brought home a puppy one day. That’s when she met Jake, a Bernese Mountain dog and Great Pyrenees mix. All she had to do was walk outside into the backyard in order to get her much needed dog fix. There was a fence between Laryssa and Jake the dog, but they still found a way to interact. The fence was pretty run down at the time, so Jake stood on his hind legs as a puppy and she could reach his nose. Then, as he got bigger and taller she could reach his head.
Eventually, the neighbors replaced the fence and made it quite a bit taller. But they realized how much Jake and Laryssa loved to interact, so they asked her landlord if it was okay to build a “window” in the fence. The landlord obliged and soon it was easier than ever for Jake and Laryssa to say hello to one another. Jake would wait outside and when he heard Laryssa leave her house he would put his paws up on their special window in the fence. Then, he would wait patiently for his friend to arrive and shower him with pets and kisses.
Jake loved the attention, but not because his owners were not paying attention to him. It’s quite the opposite: Laryssa says they are great people who love their dog very much. Jake is just a dog who loves to be outside most of the time, so he has an insulated doghouse to keep warm on colder days. Laryssa says he mostly refuses to come inside but does have a way of telling his owners he wants to come in: he stands on a bench and stares into a window. Laryssa has since moved away, but she says the new renter loves dogs too and is sure to say hello to Jake each day.
For a dog named Otavio, life has not been an easy journey. You might not know it from looking at his happy disposition now, but he has experienced a lot of pain and sadness as a younger dog. He has been through so much heartbreak, but his life is so much better now. The little dog was adopted by a woman named Joice Lamas and her husband last year. He was living with a rescue group at the time who rescued him from a horrible situation. The home was abusive and neglectful and Ovtavio and several other dogs were rescued from the home. Otavio had suffered many injuries which eventually healed, but he was still very terrified of humans for some time.
Joice and her husband knew they needed to give little Otavio time to heal and were very patient with him in his journey. He quickly blossomed and the once shy dog who would wince when someone tried to pet him eventually grew to enjoy snuggling. Though he began to heal, there were still noticeable remnants of his past. The most noticeable was around how Otavio ate his food. No matter how much food Joice or her husband gave him, Otavio always ate just half of the bowl. No one really knows why he does this, but it’s believed to be connected to his past abuse.
It’s possible he was only permitted to eat a small amount of food or even that he wanted to leave food for other hungry dogs in the home. Joice always tells him he can eat as much food as he wants, but he still only eats half. Joice hopes that as time goes on he will continue to grow and get better knowing that humans are here to help him and not hurt him ever again.
A woman named Jillian took her trash out one Friday evening, and had the feeling that she was being watched. She spotted someone hiding in the shadows on her dark street. When she got a closer look, she spotted two glowing eyes and the shape of what looked like a dog crouching in a neighbor’s yard. She didn’t want to scare the stray dog away, so she slowly and quietly walked toward the dog. As soon as she heard Jillian approaching, the scared dog ran. But when Jillian began talking to the dog, she seemed to stop and listen. Jillian knew there was hope.
The following day, Jillian saw the dog in the light. She was still keeping her distance, and when Jillian approached her she ran again. This time, she didn’t run as far or as far away. When Jillian turned to head back to her house, she realized the dog was following her. So, Jillian knew she could get the dog to trust her. So, she set out a bowl of dog food and water for the scared pup in her front yard. Then, she walked a safe distance away. The dog quickly ate all the food and drank and all the water. But she still kept a distance from Jillian. So, when she saw the dog again the following day, she knew she needed to do something more extreme.
She and her husband came up with a plan: they sprinkled a trail of dog food down the sidewalk and into their yard. Jillian sat right next to a large bowl of food in her backyard, and the dog came and sat next to her to eat. The dog had finally found a way to trust Jillian. She and her husband decided to keep the dog and gave her a name: Luna. Jillian says she and her husband are animal lovers and have always loved pit bull mixes so Luna was the perfect addition to their family. Luna is young and still learning, but she knows her name and some basic commands. Best of all, she loves her new family and taking naps in her new bed!
A man named Bill was on his way to his home in Missouri after going on a fishing trip in Arkansas. He stopped a rest stop on the way to throw away trash and use the restroom. He wasn’t going to be out of his car for very long, so he left the door open and his car still running. When he returned, he couldn’t believe his eyes: there was a dog sitting in his passenger seat. The dog was very thin, so he gave her the only food he had: a Rice Krispie Treat. She quickly scarfed the food down and sat there looking terrified. Bill knew the dog needed help, and she did the only thing she knew how to do to ask for it. The dog found just the right person that day: Bill and his wife are dog lovers who have taken in several stray dogs. So, Bill sent his wife a photo of the dog and she asked what they were going to name her. She was going home with her new dad Bill.
They named her River. She was terrified still when he arrived at home, scared to leave the comfort of the car where she had probably first been shown love. Eventually, he picked her up and carried her inside, where she met her new family: three rescue dogs, a rescue cat, and a human brother. The pack accepted their new doggy sister immediately. Then, Bill gave her a warm bath and washed off the blood and mud caking her fur and picked the ticks off of her body. Then, she was given a warm bed on the floor. River woke up the next morning in her new forever home and it was obvious to Bill and his wife that she had been someone’s pet at one point—she was potty trained and very well behaved.
They took River to the vet for a checkup, where it was discovered she had heartworms, tapeworms and wounds that indicated she had been in a fight at one point. But, she got the medication she needed and was quickly on her way to recovery. She has a great life now—thanks to her quick thinking that day when she jumped into the car.
Two women, Erin Einbender and Laura Berryman, are volunteers for the Austin Pets Alive! Group in Texas. One Saturday, they headed out with several adoptable dogs so they could shoot photos of them for the group’s website. They were almost finished photographing one of the dogs when they got an unexpected visitor: a stray dog walked right up to them and sat down. The women grabbed a leash and were able to attach it to his collar, realizing he was incredibly friendly. He was smiling, wagging his tail, and politely asking for pets, too. The pit bull was actually wearing a collar, but it had no tags. So, the women walked around the neighborhood asking if anyone recognized the dog. Unfortunately, no one knew him and they couldn’t locate his family.
So, they took him back to their photo studio and decided to get some photos of him. At first, he wasn’t interested in sitting still for pictures, but some tasty treats quickly changed his mind. They put a beautiful red print bandana around his neck and he just sat there and posed—he was a natural. The photoshoot was fun, but they really needed to help him find his family. So, Erin and Laura loaded him up in the car and headed to the Austin Animal Shelter. They were going to ask that he be scanned for a microchip. He loved being the car, smiling and sitting quietly the entire way to the shelter. Unfortunately, he did not have a microchip.
So, the women took those beautiful photos they had taken of the dog and began posting his picture on lost dog websites online. They were hoping his family would spot him, and sure enough that’s just what happened. His family came forward and picked him up the following day—his name was Zeus and they were desperately trying to find him. After his glamorous day of being a dog model, he’s now safely back home with his family!
For a man named Don Wargowsky, hiking is one of his favorite pastimes. He’s an avid climber and has a great passion for the activity, so when he was approached by a group to lead them on a hike at Mera Peak and Baruntse, he jumped on the chance. The two mountains are located in Nepal, and it can be a very lonely, quiet area to hike. They aren’t many animals around, as the conditions are typically harsh, cold and snowy. But something completely out of the ordinary happened when Don and his crew headed up the mountain: they were accompanied by a stray dog. They were ten days into their trek at were at approximately 18,000 feet up on top of a glacier when the pup, who was later named Baru, seemed to show up out of nowhere.
Don said he had remembered seeing the dog earlier when they were in the village below the mountain, and he realized she had probably decided to join the group on their adventure. No one could believe that the dog had somehow found her way up the treacherous conditions on the mountain. The climb was difficult, even for the humans who had plenty of hiking gear to assist them in the journey. The dog really didn’t need anything to help her. While they had remembered she was fairly shy in the village, she was very happy and energetic with her new friends up on the mountain.
Don says it’s common for dogs to tag along on hikes, but he figured Baru the dog wouldn’t stick around for long. But the dog proved him wrong, following them all the way up the treacherous conditions of the mountain. Once she realized she could trust the humans, Baru even agreed to sleep inside the tent on those cold nights. They even split their food with her—and she made it through the entire journey with them. Once they got back down from the mountain, one of the local guide named Kaji adopted her into his family. Don says he plans to head back to Nepal to visit her soon!
Charlie the golden retriever is eleven years old, which means he is now a senior and has slowed down quite a bit in his old age. A few years ago, Charlie had a terrible case of glaucoma that caused him to go blind and eventually, he had his eyes removed to alleviate his pain. While Charlie learned to cope with his sudden loss of sight, his family noticed that he seemed depressed and definitely slowed down from his former energetic days. But that all changed recently when someone new came into Charlie’s life—someone who brightened his spirits and helped him see the world again.
Charlie’s owners, a woman named Chelsea Stipe and her husband, love Charlie very much and knew he was still happy. However, they had a feeling he needed a companion in his life to help him through his older years. So, they brought home a little golden retriever puppy they named Maverick. The puppy had a major impact on Charlie—more than they could have ever imagined. Charlie and Maverick bonded immediately, and his family noticed that Maverick’s puppy energy was rubbing off his brother. Charlie was acting much more playful and happy since his puppy brother came along. The pair can often be found playing and romping around, even fighting over toys.
Maverick is just a few months old, but he seems to realize that Charlie needs his help navigating the world. The puppy will place toys in front of the blind Charlie, and when Charlie gets up to move, Maverick is right by his side to help him. When they go for walks together, Charlie helps keep Maverick in a straight line and away from any danger. Maverick often lays next to Charlie, trying to comfort him so he knows he is not alone. While Charlie is older and no one knows how long he has to live, one thing is certain: he has Maverick to help him through his twilight years with joy and happiness.