On the eve of Giving Tuesday 2015

Well TDL, it is that time of year. Giving Tuesday. I know we often call for donations, but Giving Tuesday is different. The donations given on this day support our rescue through the year and not only keep the doors open but the dogs out of the shelters! Since 2009 we have rehomed over 1,029 dogs. Most came from shelters, but some were owner surrenders, strays, and canine connect candidates. This year we overcame a lot. Before 2015 even began our foundation was shaken when our beloved Gisele suffered a heart attack and a long recovery. Through it all, the adoptions did not stop. This was thanks to hard work of Gisele and her family, our awesome volunteers, and those who support us through every storm. Several times we have questioned how we will continue our fight for dogs on death row, but every time hope seems lost, our volunteers and supporters come through. So here we sit on the eve of our biggest day where we see what support we will have for coming into 2016, and we’re the first to admit, we are nervous. It is like awaiting the birth of a child (or puppy) and wondering what the future will hold for it. Your one-time donations and your commitment to monthly donations through virtual foster are what makes it possible for us to say yes when we get the call in the 11th hour that there is a litter of puppies, or a dog with special needs who needs out of the shelter immediately. If you are currently considering donating, or have donated to us in the past, I want to take a minute to say thank you. The dogs you see on this page are alive because of your generosity. Without your support our hands are often financially tied, and it is by far the most frustrating and heartbreaking obstacle we face. Thank you for supporting us as we continue to charge toward the birth of what The Dog Liberator will be in 2016.

~Sarah B~


Click to support now

Yogi Bear – Rainbow Bridge

Stacey and I say our final goodbye

Stacey and I say our final goodbye

04/02/14 Update:  We lost Yogi this morning at 10:37 am.  I will provide details shortly.  He will be greatly missed.  I would like to thank Sarah White for pulling him for us, and Brittney Myers for fostering him.

04/01/14:  It is with great concern that I share Yogi’s current medical condition. All bloodwork and fecal testing was negative. His increased thirst and weight loss is our main concern. Dr. Oliver opted for an x-ray, and the x-ray revealed a large mass on his spleen.

It doesn’t take a degree to see that Yogi is declining, and that cancer is probably the reason. I will be meeting with the staff at Newman today, and again tomorrow to discuss our options with Yogi. While we weigh all of the options, know that his comfort and quality of life comes first.

Yogi BearI am thankful that Yogi was never adopted while in foster care with us. I would hate to put a family through this.

While at first, we thought his condition was due to allergies, and the change in diet and allergy medications did help, but they only helped ease the symptoms, not the root cause of his problems. I can only assume that Yogi has had this cancer for quite a while. If only dogs could talk.

Not High Maintenance!

Not High Maintenance!

02/14/14 Update:  Woo Hoo!  Yogi’s hair is growing back.  That means we did it right!  I don’t think it was allergies so much as it was poor care, lack of  nutrition and a lowered immune system after being on his own for so long.  Yogi is not a hyper dog, he is very much a couch potato.  He is also not “in your face” and needy.  When you want affection, he is happy to comply, but he is not what we call a velcro dog either.  Yogi has the perfect temperament, happy to be near you, and comply with your desires!

02/07/14 Update:  Clearly, what Claire Bear taught us helped Yogi immediately.  A combination of medications and his new food has cleared up his skin issues, and he’s ready for his forever home.  Yogi will be a loyal and noble companion… you can see it in his eyes, that he is starving for a true friend.

01/27/14 Update:  Yogi is responding well to treatment.  He will be ready for foster care any day now, and will be ready for adoption!

Yesterday, I asked Sarah White-Buxbaum to visit Halifax Humane Society, located at Daytona Beach for us.  There, she met Intake Manager, Michael Dombrowski and introduced The Dog Liberator as a potential rescue partner.  Mr. Dombrowski is a very proactive coordinator, is determined to increase the number of dogs saved, and decrease its euthanasia rate.

It was quite an experience for Sarah, with permission, she took many photographs, walked through the facility, and talked about a future relationship between Halifax and The Dog Liberator.  But the real purpose of her visit was to meet and evaluate one dog – his name was Dylan.

you're picking Me?

you’re picking Me?

Sarah shares her experience with us in detail below, but first I want to introduce you this gorgeous boy who we have renamed Yogi Bear!

Deciding if we were going to pull this dog was not easy.  Judging from his shelter photo, it seemed like a no-brainer, he looks like a TDL dog, but looking closely we saw massive hair loss.  The shelter was kind enough to send us more photos, and we saw even more hair loss and severe redness.  Immediately we thought about Claire Bear.  But fixing his problems is a no-brainer to us!

BoBo, one ear up, one ear down!

BoBo, one ear up, one ear down!

Once he arrived, I got a closer look at him, and realized he might not be a border collie, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Then, it dawned on me… it’s BoBo, and he’s a collie/border collie.

You can see more photos of Yogi on Facebook.

Do I think it’s going to be hard to fix Yogi?  No!  I already bought him the right shampoo (he’s getting a bath today) and delivered Natural Balance Vegan food to our vet so he can start eating the right food right away.  Yogi will benefit from our experience with Claire Bear!

Written by Sarah White-Buxbaum:

01/23/14:  On the heels of our post, Casting the First Stone, I am excited to write about my shelter visit today! Today I ventured to Halifax Humane Society after receiving information about a border collie in the shelter. Upon arrival the staff pointed me in the correct direction to meet the Intake Manager/Foster & Transfer Coordinator, Michael. I must say I was impressed with how he worked and the changes he has made. He expressed a desire to work with rescues to save and transfer 1,000 dogs this year. It is exciting to hear the passion he has for helping dogs find their second chance and we are excited to continue working with Halifax Humane Society in the future.

After a brief chat I met Dylan (who we are calling Yogi Bear) and I admit, at first, I wasn’t impressed. He stood, gave a little woof from his kennel, and that was about it. We took him out to the play area which was complete with agility items. At first Yogi stood and soaked in the sun, sniffed around, and observed the world around him. After a few moments I called him his name and he trotted right over. After a scratch and a pet I saw him transform into a new dog.

"This is the way out"

“This is the way out”

Gone was the quiet and aloof dog from the run, now he had transformed into inquisitive, attentive, talker. We tried playing with a few toys (a ball, a stick, and a disk) which he watched me throw but he wasn’t too interested, he had other plans! He showed me how he could sit, and then showed me the gate “Let’s go! Let’s bust out of here!” I played dumb and he led me to the gate, put his nose through, pawed it, and sat down. I picked up the leash and he gave a happy woof!

"If you won't open the gate, I will"

“If you won’t open the gate, I will”

I was able to see him interact with two of the other shelter dogs, one who was a little pushy/dominate and one who was more mild/friendly; he did well with both!

When it was time for paperwork we had to put him back in the kennel for a few minutes. As I loaded him in I promised him, “Don’t worry buddy, you’ll be out in a few minutes!” He looked at me as if to say “well, okay… if you promise” and then slowly trudged in.  As soon as the paperwork was done the staff brought him back out.

The moment he saw me again, his ears went up and he pranced over. I asked him if he wanted to come with me and he proceeded to have a full conversation with me, sat by the door, then nuzzled my hand and quietly woofed again, “Let’s go!” The shelter staff in the lobby celebrated his second chance and wished us well.

As we walked across the parking lot one of the staff asked “Hey are you busting him out?” I stated that I was and he gave a joyous “Yeah!” Yogi Bear couldn’t be happier as he stood by the bumper, prancing in place, waiting for me to hurry up and open the car! He loaded up with no trouble, settled right in, and traveled like a champ. He also walked fairly well on the leash.

Yogi Bear is currently receiving treatment for a skin condition which has left him with a few spots of thinning fur but he hasn’t let that phase him and hopes you won’t let it phase you either. We will continue to update you about Yogi Bear as we learn more.  ~ Sarah

Join us in saying Goodbye and Thank You to Sarah White

It is with a lot of emotion that I ask you to join us in saying goodbye and thank you to our Sarah White-Buxbaum. Words can not describe how much she will be missed by all of us, especially me!

If you are interested in transporting for The Dog Liberator, please visit Sarah’s transport ad!

Click here to read all about Sarah’s adventures transporting for TDL!

Lamb Chop~Adopted

shelter photo

shelter photo

This little girl is about 9 weeks old, and is believed to be a Great Pyrenees, however, her paws beg to differ.  She was found in a ditch by the side of the road, rescued by a good Samaritan, and brought to Hale County Humane Society in Alabama.  She was transported via Pilots N Paws to us on Saturday where Sarah White and our new volunteer transporter Jarrett scooped her up!

Visit Facebook to view tons of photos of her in her own photo album!

with Sarah White

with Sarah White

She appears to be very healthy, eating well, and being de-wormed.  For adoption information, please visit our Adoption Process.

02/19/14 Update: Lamb Chop stops traffic!  I took her to the vet today and everyone held her.  Dr. Oliver checked her heart, all good!  She is about 8-9 weeks of age, and I heard from many regarding her breed.  The list of guesses includes Poodle/Golden Retriever, Aussie/Great Pyrenees, Poodle/Aussie and many others!  Regardless of her breed, one thing is for sure, she is stinking cute!

Not all fluff, this girl has got brains!

Not all fluff, this girl has got brains!

But that’s not all.  She is doing very well in her crate, only crying for a few minutes, and she sleeps through the night without a peep… but by 6:30 AM, she’s ready to rumble!  She is awesome with the pack, and desperately wants to play with the other dogs.  She is also (get this) leash trained!  Yup, you heard me – she is one of the only puppies I’ve ever fostered that is ready to walk on the leash like a good girl!  She is going to make someone very happy!



02/20/14 Update:  Lamb Chop was adopted by Dean today.  Dean is a former adopter of TDL.  She will have two awesome dogs to play with, and she’ll need them to help her burn some of that puppy energy!  She will return to us after 2 months to be spayed.

Ginger Doodle~Adopted

Ginger Doodle, deaf and knows hand signals

Ginger Doodle, deaf and knows hand signals

01/14/14 Update:  Ginger went to the vet today.  She was an instant hit, greeting everyone with the famous Aussie wiggle!  She will be groomed, get all of her shots, heartworm test and micro-chip.  She is one friendly little girl! 01/12/14 Update:  Ginger is an awesome little girl.  She is very affectionate and prefers to be with her people.  She is good in the crate but she does get lonely!  She would prefer to be a couch potato!  She would be the perfect dog for an older couple or a person living alone who really needs company.  It is almost impossible to notice that she is deaf – she’s that good! History:  This cute little 22 pound mini aussie was owner-surrendered to us this morning, and let me tell you, tears were shed.  Her owner adores Ginger, and trusts that Ginger is in good hands with TDL.  Ginger is totally deaf, but does not have any visual impairments that we can tell!  She is very friendly with strangers – she only needs a few second to warm up!  Ginger Doodle does know several hand signals! You can see more of her photos on Facebook. She needs a little help on the leash, and I suspect she has been treated like a princess all of her life – nothing wrong with that!  She is very healthy (she could afford to shed a pound or two) and needs a loving home.

My daughter Sarah edited this photo... this means she's in love!

My daughter Sarah edited this photo… this means she’s in love!

Ginger Doodle gets nervous around infants but did well with toddlers.  Ginger also lived with another small dog and they interacted very well together, however she seems to be nervous around big dogs.  She doesn’t always do well on long car trips… if she can’t see outside, and she doesn’t feel the breeze, she might get sick in the back seat!  Allowing her to skip a meal if you’re planning a trip would be recommended! She is housebroken and crate trained.  So far, she is whimpering once and a while in her crate, but that’s because she can’t hear that we are home and she doesn’t know that she is not alone!  Winter would wake up me barking at 2:30 every morning, just to make sure I was there, and he wasn’t alone.  It was hilarious.  He quickly learned not to be afraid at night! We’ll be working with her over the next few days, evaluating her and introducing her to new things. Ginger Doodle really reminds me of Baby Ga Ga and Squeeze!  She is gorgeous! 01/19/14 Update:  Ginger was adopted by Courtney of Windermere.  Courtney runs her own business, and will soon be creating dog-related products, where Ginger will be her model!  I’m sure we’ll be getting a lot of photo updates!  Ginger has settled in nicely into her new home, and is learning a new routine.

Here’s a video posted on Facebook of Ginger learning agility!

Billy Ray is now called Bama

Billy Ray~Adopted

Jeff Bennett Flies Billy Ray to TDL!

Jeff Bennett Flies Billy Ray to TDL!

A desperate email was sent to Becky, and she forwarded it to me, asking for our help.  It read:

Hi Becky,

I was wondering if you might be able to help me, I wondered if Gisele might have room for these babies, which I was told look very border collie…… the male that we think got the mama pregnant looks like a full blooded border collie and is black and white.

They are part of a mama and four puppy stray family I have been trying to catch in a very bad neighborhood in my town; the local kids were shooting at them with BB guns and the adults were throwing things at them to try to chase them off. One of the puppies was run over before we could get them and there is still one puppy and the poor mama at large, I have been going every day for about 4 hours after work trying to trap the mama and the other pup but I am losing hope.



I did manage to catch two of the pups on separate days last week and I need somewhere for them to go as soon as possible. They are very scared of people but have come a long way, they still hide under my bathroom sink alcove when we go into the bathroom but they let us pet them and will tolerate us holding them short periods too. They are obviously depressed and even more scared without their mom and I feel horrible at having to had to separate them from her, but they were sure to die out there in that neighborhood.

I would be willing to drive them to Gisele if she will take them but I need to be sure they are going somewhere where the rescuer will understand their past and work with them, they are not like most puppies that are bubbly and silly and all, they have had a rough life and will need someone who understands and will give them that patience. I have only ever heard great things about Gisele and wondered if she might have room.

Enjoying human contact

Enjoying human contact

I am still going out there daily to try to catch the mama and other puppy until I think there is no chance, but in the last three weeks we have had no luck for them.

I would be so grateful if you could talk with Gisele or anyone else you think might be able to take them in and bring them on out of their shells, they are having to live in my bathroom 24 hours a day and I know they are bored and unhappy there, just want what is best for them.

Thanks for any help you can give them.  ~ Melissa in Ozark


So this little boy comes to us from Melissa from Ozark, Alabama.  He appears to be VERY healthy, but he is shy.  Much like Brittney’s Mystery, once you hold him, he feels safe and secure.  So is she really shy, or just unsure?  He is really enjoying the little Aussie pup that joined him on transport.  I want to thank our Sarah Buxbaum for bringing him to us from the airport yesterday, and Jeff Bennett for his life-saving flight!

I need a hug!

I need a hug!

At first we thought he was like Shy Sharon, a fear biter, but that’s not the case at all.    Once I put a leash on him, and he saw the puppy, he wagged his tail, and felt comfortable to come out.  I picked him up without any issues.  He did hide a lot in the back yard, under furniture, and then he wandered off to the shed where he sat and watched us.  My son Ryan, picked him up, and he immediately relaxed.  He didn’t try to wiggle out of his arms, he was very content to be there.

This little boy is going to find his self-confidence really fast!  He’s going to be an awesome little Border Collie.  For now, he does have an achy breaky heart, so after tossing around some name ideas we decided to name him Billy Ray!  For while he’s sad today, it won’t last… he’ll be TDL star soon!

Check out his photos on Facebook.

Lisa and Billy

Lisa and Billy

10/21/13 Update:  I received an email from Lisa who was interested in knowing more about Billy Ray.  She shared with me photos of her former Border Collie, Baja Boy.  Baja Boy was adopted from a Border Collie rescue while they lived in Arizona.  They moved here, and embarked on adventures on the beach, teaching Baja Boy to paddle board!  When on one day at the beach, Lisa shared with me over the phone what happened.  A man was walking back and forth on the beach, Lisa would waive at him, being friendly and trying to say hi.  The man didn’t waive back.  Baja Boy was minding his own business enjoying the beach when it happened.  She wrote in one of her emails:

He was poisoned while we were on vacation. He never got more than 25 feet from us and was in our sights the whole time, and we saw it happen (didn’t know it at the time), but it was too fast acting. He died in our arms as we rushed to the vet. Our vet did an autopsy and found a hole the size of a golf ball and said whatever it was, it was very toxic and nothing we could have done different.
Lisa's Baja Boy

Lisa’s Baja Boy

He was the only one we brought that trip because we wanted him to have special time, and he paddle boarded with whale sharks, slept in between us, and played with his Frisbee until he was exhausted. He had a wonderful last weekend, we just regret going to the beach that last day..

Billy Ray is now called Bama

Billy Ray is now called Bama

When I read her words and called her to talk, I was horrified with what she shared.  A few days later, she came to meet Billy Ray, and it was truly love at first sight.  So while Billy is still fearful and unsure, he has big paws to fill!


Pup needs a Sponsor“This little girl was found alone on the side of the road. She was flea infested and starting to get thin so I’m thinking she was dumped. She’s doing great so far. We have gotten her 1st set of shots and de-wormed her. We are quarantining her for 2 weeks and getting her 2nd set of shots before we transfer her.”

We are still waiting for a Virtual Foster to sponsor this pup’s medical care, but she was transported to TDL yesterday, thanks to Jeff Bennett, Becky Harshman and our Sarah White!

NiNi with Jeff Bennett

NiNi with Jeff Bennett

Is she an Aussie?  She sure looks like one, but I noticed her legs are short and stocky, her feet a big too!  She has the most awesome temperament, considering she was abandoned at such a young age.  She is fearless, friendly, happy, social, is great with other dogs, and loves to play!

Today is Anita Barber’s birthday, and when asking her for name ideas, Anita asked us to  name this little girl NiNi!  I asked why, and she said that’s what her nieces call her, Nini!  I think it’s adorable!

NiNi is a hit!

NiNi is a hit!

So, is Nini a Basset-Aussie?  A Jack Russell-Aussie?  I’m not sure, and I won’t know until she grows a bit more, but she is precious!  My kids just love her!  She’s doing great in her crate, she cries for a little bit and settles down.  I will be providing daily updates!

Nini was adopted by Loryn

Nini was adopted by Loryn

You can see more photos of her on Facebook.

Update:  Nini was adopted by Loryn of Kissimmee Tuesday.  It was love at first site.  Loryn has been following TDL for quite a while, but the time was never right… until now!  Woo hoo!

Here Hugo~Adopted

You can see the sores on his head

What’s a Lhasa apso Yorki mix?  A YorkiApso!  Britteny Myers looked it up for me, that that’s Hugo!

Written by Sarah White:  Hugo came to us after being dumped in an apartment complex with two other dogs. One was re-homed, the other unfortunately didn’t make it, but little Hugo came to us thanks to two good Samaritans, Jon and Chris, who took the little guy in and helped him out. We think Hugo is a “yorkie apso” (Part Yorkie, part lhasa apso). This cute little guy is just waiting to wiggle into someone’s heart.

Could you please help us by being Hugo’s virtual foster? http://thedogliberator.com/virtual-foster/

Hugo is great with the pack, he is quiet in his crate, and he needs a lot of grooming.  I’m afraid that grooming will lead to some serious medical attention.  His scabs are inflamed.  I’m sure a theraputic bath by Groomer, Serena Drake and the attention from the folks at Val-u-Vet will turn him around on a dime.

and you can see the joy in his heart!

Of course, the first thing I did was serve him a meal of Doc’s Stew by Andi Brown.  He gobbled it.  Along with Andi’s “Best in Coat” I’m sure his fur will be gorgeous soon!

What I find interesting is McDreamy is very fond of Hugo.  He follows him around with his tail wagging constantly.

Hugo will visit the vet tomorrow (Tuesday) and be neutered on Wednesday.  We will have more information about him then, and of course, we’ll share updates!

Hugo’s photo album is on Facebook!

with good Samaritans, Jon and Chris

Sarah says goodbye to Hugo!

10/28/12 Update: Hugo was adopted today by Diana Hall and her husband, and is setting up his permanent residence in Okeechobee, Florida!

Brittney Meyers gave me a glimpse as to what Hugo will eventually look like!

Hugo with a Full Coat

Sweet Tea~Adopted

Sweet Tea arrived last night, and is very impressive. It’s obvious she has had training. She is awesome with the pack – no issues whatsoever. She immediately knows I’m the pack leader, and has eye contact with me, which is awesome. She is sitting under my daughter’s computer chair, my daughter in it, which is awesome. She is quiet, polite, and GORGEOUS! If you have kids, you need to email me immediately and scoop this little girl up!  You can see all of her photos on Facebook.

History:  Beautiful 3 year old female BC being transported to us by Rebecca Hogue Harshman (thank you Becky) from Alabama. She will be brought to me by Sarah Buxbaum tonight (thank you Sarah). I can’t wait to meet her. She is said to be good with kids, and dogs.  For info on how to Virtually Foster a TDL dog visit http://thedogliberator.com/virtual-foster/

Quite the Couch Potato!


Sweet Tea, now Riley, Adopted by John Fair of Orlando

You can see all of her updated photos on Facebook.

Here is BrittneysTouch.com rendition of one of Sweet Tea’s photos!


Homeward Bound

Jaffe's original surrender photo

Three years ago, I received a call from a shelter in North Florida who wanted my help.  There was a ten year old Border Collie there, named Jaffe.  Jaffe’s owner had recently passed away, and the family was trying to find a home for Jaffe.  They called the pound, and everyone agreed that Jaffe would be much better off safe in rescue.  I agreed to take Jaffee, especially after I saw how gorgeous he was, and that he was certified Canine Good Citizenship.  Wow!

I wasn’t worried at all about re-homing Jaffee.  Zondra drove to pick him up, and then brought him to me to be neutered by my vet.  During all of this, Gary Jones was expressing an interest in the dog, and emailing me about him.  To make a long story short, Gary adopted Jaffee.  When I sent a photo of the two of them to Jaffee’s original family, they gasped at the resemblance between Gary Jones and their deceased brother.  They were ecstatic about Jaffee’s adoption.

Jaffe and Gary come for a visit

Today Jaffee is 13 and Gary still tells me about how perfect Jaffee is.  “I’ve never had a dog like him in all of my years, he’s perfect.”  So, while Jaffe lost his owner, he really didn’t.

This has happened to me more times than you can imagine.  I know immediately when an adopter walks through the gate of my yard if the dog is going to take to them or not.  The dogs’ reactions tell me where they have been.  China, for example, was terrified of adult women so that told me not only where she has been, but what she experienced.

It is true that male dogs are much more loyal than female dogs.  I would’ve never admitted that years ago, because I’ve always had females, and always felt they made better pets – not true.  Male dogs are loyal to a fault.

We write about how most of our dogs have no history, but after they have been in our foster care, we gather a lot of history!  I can tell if a dog has been alone on the streets for a while, if the dog was abused, or if the dog was recently owned by a wonderful family.  In many cases, that wonderful family will find a country road to drive on, pull over, and drop off their wonderful pet.  Sometimes they drive to a fancy neighborhood and abandon their dog hoping a well off family will take the dog in.  These dogs are caught by either a good Samaritan or animal control and brought to the pound.  Some owners personally deliver their dogs to the pound, and some drop them off under the cover of night and leave them in a drop box (like Bart).

Isn’t is amazing that even though dogs can’t talk or write memos, we can tell their past.

Even though we (rescue) can’t stand to see a dog abandoned, sometimes there are no options.  Financial hardship, sickness in the family, allergies or a unexpected move forces people to surrender their dogs.   There have been times that the original owners have contacted me, explaining that they surrendered one of my available dogs.  They are appreciative and relieved that their dog is safe in rescue, and they are elated that they will be able to follow the dog’s story, see it be adopted, and know that their dog is safe in a loving home.  This was the case with To The Max and Mowgli.  Both of their original owners followed their story until they were adopted!  That’s what I call closure!

I have fostered about a dozen dogs that were so highly intelligent, so emotionally aware that they were convinced their owners were coming back for them.  Those are the dogs that sat at my fence, staring at the road, looking left then looking right.  Eyeing every car that drives by to see if they recognize it.  Those are the dogs that look at strangers in a different way, or they don’t look at all.  Instead of witnessing a happy dog running up to a stranger and greeting them, they take one look at that person, walk passed them, and prefer to stare at the road rather than introduce themselves.

“That’s not my person.”

Jake: Depressed, waiting for his person

When “that’s not my person” happens, I fall apart.  I have so much empathy for that dog and I know that no matter what I do, I can’t bring their family or their human back.  This was the case with Jake.  Jake broke my heart, I adore Jake, and we all know he is living the good life with his new humans!  But when he was first adopted he rebelled and was returned to me the next day.

Dogs to pick their owners.

Now, about Chaz.  We all know that Chaz was found as a stray in Jacksonville.  Like most strays, he had no collar, no tags, un-neutered and not microchipped.  His face was posted on the craig’s list “found” section for a while, until weeks passed and he needed a rescue.  TDL was highly recommended, and Chaz came to me.  Chaz immediately went to the vet, had all of his shots, was neutered and was microchipped.  Chaz always had awesome manners.  He would not jump on people, he was not the type of dog to give you kisses, he was just a very polite dog.  I warned people before they came to meet Chaz that he would basically ignore them… and he did.

Door number one, Door number two or Door number three?

Chaz had one meet where the potential adopters felt that they wanted a larger dog.  Regardless, during the meet, I noticed that Chaz was interested in the woman, but not really interested in the man.  Next!

Chaz was later adopted by a lovely young lady, and for one brief moment, I saw a real spark in his eyes, he liked her.  She took him home and he terrorized her cats… he was returned.  Next!

Chaz then met a lovely couple, who owned an adult Golden Retriever who was un-neutered.  We sat and talked for quite a while, trying to let the two dogs get to know each other…. and Chaz bit their Golden Retriever.  It was not a good day for Chaz.  I wondered if he making sure he was not going home with them that day!

Chaz: Always looking out and waiting

Chaz was estimated to be about 3-4 years of age, even though I thought he was older.  I crate-trained him quickly, and we worked on indoor barking.  He learned very fast.  He was happy at my house, loved the kids and the other dogs, but I can’t say he was joyful.  He was like many other male dogs that I have taken in, that really do not understand where his home is.

From the time Chaz was found on the streets of Jacksonville, until this morning, almost 4 months have passed.  Last week I received an email from a young lady named Rosie who simply stated, “that’s my dog, and his name is Shane.”  I stared at the email for a while, before responding!  We spoke over the phone, and she confirmed for me that Chaz was clearly her dog.  I didn’t know if I should be happy or furious.  I did know that we had a hard time communicating.  She has a heavy Spanish accent, and I talk too fast!

Of course I can apologize now for my tone, but I have to admit that at the time, I was rude.  I bombarded her with questions like, when was he missing, how did he get out, why didn’t you look for him, how did you look for him, why wasn’t he wearing a collar, why wasn’t he neutered, why wasn’t he wearing a tag?  She answered all of my questions with honesty and nervousness.  Poor kid, all she wanted was her dog back.

As a side note, I’d like to interject that just a few days ago, I helped one of our fosters and got two quotes from vets to stitch up a dog who was accidentally cut on the face.  One quote was for $1,500 the other quote was $187.  What?  You heard me!  Spay/neuter is not always affordable in all areas.  You can pay $50 – $60 at one vet, and more than $500 at another.

He wasn’t wearing a collar because he has allergies and scratches (she’s right).  He wasn’t neutered because they can’t afford it (she’s right).  He got out because of a hole in the fence (my Ozzie escapes at least once a month).  I asked her if the hole in the fence had been fixed… she explained that they have since moved and have a perfect fence now!  She explained that they have had Chaz since he was a pup, and their family misses him very much.  She never saw the Craig’s list post….. kids aren’t supposed to be cruising Craig’s list, and her parents certainly wouldn’t be if it was in English and not in Spanish.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

I asked Rosie if I could speak to her Dad.  That afternoon, her Dad called me, and we had a great conversation.  He asked me to speak slowly, as his English wasn’t that good.  He described Chaz as HIS dog.  “He sleeps with me and wife every night.”  Rosie’s Dad reminded me a lot of my Dad, very loving.

This situation was not about doing the right thing, clearly, Chaz is their dog.  This situation was about doing what’s right for the dog.  Sarah White has met Chaz several times, and agreed that while he was content here at my house, he did not express joy.  Sarah and I realized that Chaz was much like a foreign exchange student… not understanding a word I say!

Before making any arrangements, I discussed with Rosie’s family the importance of Spay/Neuter, monthly Heartworm preventative, Collars and tags, and of course, the micro-chip.  Their loss for Chaz was great, and their level of commitment was genuine.  I worked on getting Chaz transported back home to Jacksonville, but everything failed.  I wondered if this was a sign!

My job is not just to find new homes for homeless dogs.  My job is not just to find great homes for homeless dogs.  My job is to find the right home for homeless dogs.

Chaz, now Shane again

Sarah White just so happened to have a planned trip to South Carolina this morning, and volunteered to bring Chaz home.  She arrived at my house before dawn this morning, and Chaz was delivered to Rosie’s father around 7:00 AM.  Sarah described the reunion in detail.   Once she was back on the road again, she posted this on Facebook:  “8am – Georgia: finished the most awesome transport this morning. Every one sobbing, tails wagging, hugs and kisses everywhere. I’m still crying. God is good!!”

What she saw when she pulled into the driveway of Chaz’ home was his Dad waiting for him, his hands covering his face in disbelief, and tearing up in relief that his dog was home.  Chaz, who is really named Shane went nuts!  Sarah said she had never seen Chaz so happy, dancing around in circles, and excited to see his owner.

The father then explained that they have another dog, a dog that Chaz raised from a pup.  The dog is a tripod, meaning a three-legged dog.  “He lost one of his front legs, and we adopted him.  Shane raised him from a pup.”  When the dogs were reunited, Sarah was confident that we had done the right thing.

You need not worry, Chaz is microchipped as a TDL dog, has all of his tags, and should he ever get lost again, I will know about it!  He can run but he can’t hide!

I tried to contact Rosie’s Dad before noon, but he didn’t answer.  He took Shane to the groomer’s as soon as they opened this morning!  I did contact Rosie’s Mom late last night, and I can’t tell you how happy they are to have their Shane back.

"Shane from now on, please!"

So while this is no script for another Homeward Bound movie, I hope it serves as a lesson for all of us, that we should not judge.  As rescuers, we are not God, nor are we judge or jury.  We are to put the needs of the dog first, and in this case, I had nothing to offer Chaz.  I could not make him happy.  Shane, however, made it very clear to us that he just wanted to go back home, and we complied!

Welcome Home Shane!

If anyone would like to volunteer to teach me a few Dog Commands in Spanish, I’m trainable!


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