Zoom Zoom Oreo, over the bridge you'll find new toys and new friends to play with.

Zoom Zoom Oreo, over the bridge you’ll find new toys and new friends to play with.

05/08/14:  It is with deep sorrow that I share that Willow (Oreo) passed away yesterday. Judy wrote:

Hi Giselle.

We wanted to let you know that Oreo had a diaphragmatic hernia that we didn’t even know existed until today. When I came home at lunch she was very lethargic and in pain. I took her to the vet and they ultimately told me to take her to a board certified surgeon in Tampa. When the surgeon was able to stabilize her enough to operate they found all of her organs stuck in her chest cavity and they were dead. There was nothing they could do to save her. We are all very sad.

I’ve shed many tears since I received the bad news yesterday. The Harris family are so loving and kind, knowing that they are suffering this loss is painful for everyone. We all loved little Willow, she was so precious. Words can’t describe the shock of losing such a young dog.

Ozzie and Willow

History:  Never in my life has it been so hard to name a dog!  Never in my life have I seen an identical twin to my Ozzie!  What shall we call her?  Willow, Moo, Ozzietta, Cupcake, Snowcone, you name it, we thought it.  This precious little thing, weighing in at a whopping 14 pounds is about 5-6 months of age.  She came from Lake City, in the same fashion that Bart did, she was left in the night dropbox.  Ugh!  Holli Miller called me and told me I was going to want this pup, and I panicked. I have no funding.  I told Holli I couldn’t make any promises, and Holli shrugged.

I checked my email, and there it was… a donation from Laurie Baker.  Laurie previously adopted Courage, now Bo.  She is an attorney for Baker & Paul in Bradenton.

I called Holli, thrilled that I could, without hesitation, say yes!  A transport was arranged immediately.  I posted a transport request on Facebook, and received an email from Huck & Judy Harris who offered to transport this wee little pup.  Huck & Judy adopted Ginger Snap last December.  I was thrilled.

Huck & Willow – Love at first Sight!

When little Willow got out of their car and walked up my drive way, I couldn’t believe how small she was.  I don’t know why, but I thought the photos made her look much bigger.

We sat on the front porch, it was very clear that Huck was smitten with the pup.  When the Harris’ told me they wanted to adopt her, I didn’t think they were serious.  We agreed that she would be examined by my vet, get all of her shots, de-worming, spay and micro-chip, and they would sleep on their decision.

The day after I brought Willow home from the vet, I contacted the Harris’.  They want Willow, and that’s that!

Willow will be picked up this Saturday, and go to her forever home, where she will be very well cared for.  Oh, and by the way, when I told Huck that I found Willow on top of my stove, and I have no idea how she got up there… a future in agility came to mind!

You can see more photos of Willow on Facebook.

Can’t wait for updates!


Journey – rest in peace

You will never be forgotten

You will never be forgotten

We are very sad that Journey passed away after fighting pneumonia for over a week. It happened suddenly.

Pneumonia is a horrible condition that is sometimes very hard to treat, especially in puppies, and especially when a pup is emaciated. Almost five years ago, I lost a collie pup to Pneumonia, her name was Goldie Hawn. I am constantly reminded of Goldie, because her mother is Lady Di, my collie.

Unfortunately, we lost this little pup named Journey, last week, even though she appeared to be recovering nicely. Our Veterinary Care Fund is very low at this time. If you can afford to donate, we appreciate your generosity. Please join us by celebrating the short life of our pup, Journey. While we know we can’t save them all, but we can love them all.

Thank you Laura and your family for giving Journey a chance, holding her in your arms, keeping her warm, and showing her love.

You can see me many wonderful photos of her playing, very happy, and very much loved on Facebook.

Pneumonia Puppy

Pneumonia Puppy

We are rescuing a baby puppy from Lake City, who has pneumonia and is vomiting.  The shelter is very concerned about her level of care.  Thank goodness, Laura Burk has agreed to foster her, and is making her chicken stew!  We will update you shortly.  In the meantime, I believe a change in her meds might be in order.  Your thoughts and prayers for her speedy recovery are appreciated.  If you can donate toward her veterinary care, we certainly appreciate your help!

Laura said yes, maybe because this little girl looks just like her pork chop!


Sarah, let go of the puppy!

Sarah, let go of the puppy!

Wonderful little pup we rescued from Lake County.  Apparently, he is so special, the shelter director personally brought him home to foster!  He is smart, loving, and easy to train.  This little guy is only about 3-4 month of age.  His coat is like lamb’s wool and he’s already herding tennis balls!

You can see more of his photos on Facebook.

More details coming soon.

Foster Update:  Picked up Pepito from transport. From the first moment, it was easy to tell his life thus far had been one where he was well fed and socialized. He snuggled in the arms of the transporter, Sarah Buxbaum and eagerly went to Gisele and her daughter Sarah. He knows nothing but ‘friends’ and readily gives his affection in way of puppy kisses and snuggles.

On the ride home, he peeped a few noises from his crate in the back, but settled down within minutes and was quiet.

My 14 year old son got him out of his crate and he seemed excited to greet yet another new ‘friend’.  What a great day with all of these people adoring me is what he must have been thinking.  I introduced him to my two dogs and he greeted both with tail wags. He wandered around the back yard and lanai making himself at home. He checks in with his people every few minutes though and definitely likes to snuggle. He does seem to like small Kong balls collecting them and taking them into his crate and at times carrying one around out the side of his mouth.

This little guy has puppy breath and a round puppy belly. He is a true lover with no fears thus far. The train whistles at the stop light only seemed to intrigue him.

Pepito slept in his crate last night. He whined for <5 minutes and then settled himself. He slept through the night. This morning he went potty outside like a very good boy.  He is very sweet and loves a nice soft lap to sit when he has tired of play. He is naturally puppy curious, but listens to the command NO and releases from the activity.

He is very good with my son and his friend as well my two dogs. He does not obsess or make a nuisance of himself learning that new friends have to earn their spot in the pack. He has approached the cat, but with a polite respect and released once the cat hissed.

He is chewing like a puppy and so a good eye will need to be kept and bones offered for appropriate teething toys.

Pepito now Toby

Pepito now Toby

02/10/14 Update:  Pepito, now Toby was adopted by Staci of Jacksonville.  Staci recently lost her dog after 19 years.  She has plenty of love to give this little boy!

Cinderelley Cinderelley~Adopted

Her Prince is Waiting!

Her Prince is Waiting!

Cinderelley was adopted this morning and Bruce and Robin of Naples, Florida. She will receive training and become Canine Good Citizen certified, just like her new Prince, also a Collie. More updates soon!

Cinderelley Cinderelley

Cinderelley Cinderelley

History: Found as a stray in Lake City, and taken in by a good Samaritan named Charlotte, this gorgeous girl is said to be everything a collie should be. She herds puppies away from the road, sits with her paws crossed, and knows a ton of commands.


Kimberly and Cinderelley

Kimberly and Cinderelley

Volunteer transporter, Kimberly Gaines has made arrangements to get off work early today to drive to Ocala and pick her up for us!  I’d like to thank her boss, whoever that may be, for being so kind and understanding.

So, I’m making appointments for Cinderelley to be groomed and get fully vetted this week!  Woo Hoo!

Since she has no history, and has been a stray for quite some time, (living outdoors) we are bracing ourselves for the unknowns.  We don’t know until she is under during her spay if her teeth will need cleaning and/or extractions.  We also won’t know if there are any little surprises, like tumors, etc.  We are also crossing our fingers that she will test negative for heartworm, but it is highly likely that she will test positive.  But this matters not, whatever it is she needs, she will get it, and we will help her find the most wonderful home imaginable so she can live like a real princess!  However, this is why we are asking for a Virtual Foster, someone who will donate toward her veterinary care.  If you can sponsor Cinderelley, please see the donate button below and thank you!

12/18/13 Good morning Cinderelley!  

She arrived last night, but it was dark.  She ate really good, not a greedy gobbler!  Infested with fleas the capstar started working right away.  I de-wormed her, as she is thin.  But this morning in the sunlight, wow… what a mess.  Her feet and the matting under her belly are huge.  I also noticed that she has had a litter recently, maybe in the past six months.  Poor Cinderelley…. maybe she was cast out by her breeder.   I will give myself permission to feel sorry for her for just a few moments, but in an hour or so, we’re’ off to the vet to have a grand makeover!

She met the kids, and was gentle and kind, like a collie should be.  She met the pack, and again, was gentle and kind.  What can I say… there’s no creature more noble than a collie collie!

Please, cross your fingers and say a prayer that her heartworm test is negative.

Lady Victoria adopted in 2011

Lady Victoria adopted in 2011

After reminiscing about all of the collies that have come into our rescue, it dawned on me that Cinderelley could very well be related to Bart, and it is  highly likely that she is related to Lady Victoria.  Both she and Lady Victoria were found in the same manner.  She may also be related to McDreamy and McSteamy as they were all rescued from Lake City.

is this my carriage?

is this my carriage?

Afternoon Update:  Cinderelley is expressing milk.  Did she have a litter recently like I suspected, or is it due to a hormone imbalance.  Regardless, once she is spayed, this imbalance will straighten itself up on its own.

She was incredibly friendly with everyone!  She even let Mary draw blood without being held whatsoever.  She is very gentle taking treats.

What even more important is that she tested Negative for heartworm!  We have estimated her age to be 3-5, and a quick glance says her teeth are in good shape!

Please visit her Facebook Photo Album to see new pictures!

Santa’s Little Helper~Adopted

Fort Lauderdale, here I come!

Fort Lauderdale, here I come!

Santa’s Little Helper was adopted by Amanda Kaschak and is living in Fort Lauderdale! His soon to be Grandma adopted Dolly Parton from us years ago!


I'm a good boy!

I’m a good boy!

History:  This little boy is estimated to be 12 months of age, and weighs in at 44 pounds.  People who see him think he’s a Border Collie, Great Pyrenees.  Maybe!  Maybe not!  Is he full grown?  We don’t know!  But he is friendly, and extremely affectionate.  He is being fostered by Laura Burke in Ocala.

He has been fully vetted, but did test light heartworm positive.  He has all of his meds, and is starting on his heartworm treatment right away.  Because he is so young, and tested light, we strongly believe he will test negative in 6-12 months.

This cutie pie comes from Lake City, where many of our gorgeous dogs came from, Bart, Shep/Alfie, McDreamy, McSteamy and many others.  The moment I saw his photo, I said, “mine!”  He reminds me of Gordon Ramsay, and his coat is as soft as a lamb!

Got Toys, Will Travel!

Got Toys, Will Travel!

You can see a lot more photos of him on Facebook.

Special thanks to Julia Bechard who jumped through a lot of hoops for this little boy’s rescue!

Little Miss Muffet~Adopted

spunky little thing!

Little Miss Muffet is a Black 7 year-old Female Toy Poodle.  She is blind but that doesn’t stop her, heck it doesn’t even slow her down! She absolutely adores my children (Ages 4 and 6) when she hears them she just jumps and spins around waiting for one of them to come snatch her up… She is crate trained and appears to be housebroken if let out timely. She is being fostered in DeBary by Brittney Myers .

Now, I am sure most of you are saying to yourselves “That is one funny looking Border Collie!!!” and trust me, that was Gisele’s reaction as well… While going through a long list of dogs in need I said, “Gisele, that poodle is coming to me”, her reply “a Poodle, Really? Fine, but it is staying at your house…” Ok I have my reasons.

She adores children

Growing there was a close friend of the family who’s uncle bred small dogs (Poodles, Boston’s, Chihuahua’s etc..) Being a young child and an animal lover, I absolutely loved going to play with the little Boston Terrier pups. Come on who could resist?

While visiting one afternoon we were approached by an old poodle we guessed to be probably 7 or 8 years old; she had no teeth was a matted nasty mess but that didn’t stop me from kneeling down to say Hello. The man approached us and says, “You want her take her home. She’s no good to me anymore, if I wasn’t so busy this morning I would have already taken care of her.” Confused we looked at him and asked “Taken care of her?” We could have never prepared ourselves for his response.

You see she had been bred and delivered 4 purebred puppies, some were still born and she killed the remaining litter mates (obviously, something wasn’t right with them, she was just being a mother dog), but because she had destroyed the remaining puppies, nothing but money in his eyes, she was useless to him and only costing him money so his intent was to destroy her as well. Needless to say, we went home with a poodle that evening.

Before her grooming by Serena at Val-u-Vet

After some much needed vetting and groomed we learned she was 9, she was blind, had 3 teeth in her mouth and was partially deaf, she lived out her remaining 5 years with us. She was the sweetest dog.  When I saw Little Miss Muffet , with her matted mess of a hair do, I just had to save her too! I just had to! Boy does this girl remind me of my Belle!

Before her grooming

Little Miss Muffet has no problem going for a walk and playing in the yard she just runs and jumps, she is such a happy girl! If you are interested in Little Miss Muffet, contact  TheDogLiberator@gmail.com to arrange to meet her.

You can see many more NEW photos of her on Facebook.



the new little miss muffet!

The New and Improved Shep~Adopted

Shep is home!

Shep Update:  Shep was adopted last night by Johanna and Adriaan and will be living in Orlando.  Updates coming soon, but these photos show that he is making himself at home with his new pack.  New photos of him will be posted on Facebook.  They are thinking of naming him Sir Alfred, Alfie for short, and I love it!


No Name Shep

History:  Donations needed immediately, Would you sponsor this one year old boy? Emaciated, covered in ticks and fleas, this boy is very loving, but someone has done him wrong with the leash; he is terrified of it.  When we tried to get him out the car last night, he did a stop, drop and roll.  It was heart breaking.   

No Name Shep

He warms up quickly, and he’s hanging out with a kitten we rescued. He’s quiet and obedient. His transformation will be quick. He’s also great with kids! He comes to us as a stray from Lake City, Florida via Holli Miller.

I haven’t seen ticks like this since Frances; it’s bad.

Looking at images, I found many photos that confused me even more.  In this search on Google images, I saw Collies, Aussies, Border Collies and English Shepherds.  I did even more research, reviewing breed information and I’m still unsure.  Regardless, this gorgeous boy looks 95% collie.  What’s the big deal?  If I list him as a Collie, Collie-lovers will tell me I’m wrong.  If I list him as an English Shepherd, those folks will tell me he’s a Collie.

No Name Shep

This has happened to me many times.  I was asked by a Sheltie rescue to take Jedi; they were positive he was not a Sheltie.  Yet, when he arrived at my home, I was positive that he wasn’t a Border Collie!  Recently, many thought that Rawhide was an Aussie.  After research, he looked like a purebred English Shepherd.  I know, we’re splitting hairs here!

Updates coming soon.

02/07/13 Update:
Written by Dave:    Yesterday I experienced Shep’s shy and fearful disposition first hand and can honestly say it is the worst case I’ve ever seen. When Gisele told me he would not walk on a leash I thought to myself, come on now, how bad can he be? That question was soon answered when he jumped and bucked like a unbroken wild bronco. This brought back memories of the Pilot-n-Paws transport of Lady Di on the tarmac of Tampa Executive airport over three years ago. Jeff Bennett and a few other volunteers and I were unloading crates from his plane when she wiggled her way out of a harness only to be grabbed at the last second by her tail. If I didn’t hang on she would have been running loose on the tarmac and I would have had to face the wrath of Gisele for losing her Collie!

Shep, afraid of the world

Fortunately for us, Shep did not attempt to flee but looked for a safe corner of the front porch to retreat to where he found the bowl of cat food. Once lured to join Gisele for a bowl of moistened dog food, we were able to get a slip leash on him but he still fought. As he scarfed down his first few bites, he knocked over the bowl and frightened himself and realized what we had done. The sound of the metal bowl hitting the concrete sent him into a panic.  We were glad to have the slip leash on him or he may have taken off that time. He fought for a few seconds until lured to the spilled dog food and scarfed down a few more mouthfuls.

It wasn’t until we introduced Lady Di to Shep that we could get him to go where we wanted him to go. Slowly he followed her as she followed us to the side yard where we witnessed the first sign of playfulness in the boy. He’s also quite fond of the kitten being fostered, though I don’t think the kitten feels exactly the same way. Back indoors, Shep warmed up as he joined us on the sofa inside.  I was happy to see him relax just a little.
It appears this young dog may have been kept locked up in a barn or kennel his whole life, unexposed to any contact or socialization of humans. He’s not a fear bitter; only extremely shy and fearful.  I experienced a severe case in my first adopted border collie so I did a lot of reading on the subject.  I’m wondering how thunder will affect the pup. Thunder-phobic goes hand-in-hand with shy and fearful.  ~Dave
While I look at his kind and gentle face, knowing he would never hurt a fly, I wonder who did this to him, and why.  Why take such a noble and kind heart and destroy it.  What purpose does it serve for a human being to be so inhumane?  I’m very thankful that he’s here with us, for if I personally worked at a Shelter or Pound, I would have to deem him unadoptable.  But I don’t work at a Shelter or Pound, so I grin when I think about Shep’s future.  For there will be no eleventh hour for Shep.  Instead, we will find him the right home, and he will learn to enjoy everything he is so afraid of.

Such a Noble Creature

While Shep’s fears are severe, he will be exposed to something new every day.  And every day, he will learn that he survived it, which will make him stronger and more confident.  After taking a long hard look at him, we realized what makes him “not a collie”.  It’s his ears!  My nine year-old daughter Sarah pointed that out to me that Shep is an English Shepherd!  So, I can safely say that Shep is both, a collie/shep.

We must continue to help him on leash, and to be “outside” for he does have to go to the vet, and soon.  I think Lady Di has a full-time job now… to rehabilitate Shep.
02/10/13:  Shep has benefited by being with the pack.  He is very gentle, not hyper but likes to play.  He has become more self-confident.  Shep does not have any prey drive; he is very gentle with young children, and still is good with small cats.  He would make an awesome family dog.  

a great family dog

I believe he is very young, and will continue to grow; maybe the size of a golden retriever or English shepherd.  He is already taller than Lady Di.  He will see the vet on Tuesday for a complete examination, and his neuter.

 02/14/13:  Picked up Shep from the Vet. He had a rear dew claw removed, all of his shots, neuter and micro-chipped and three baths! Special thanks to Serena and Kerry who watched over him at Val-u-Vet! Shep is also used to the leash now! He walks like a pro!

The New and Improved Shep!

He enjoyed going to the diner which is next door to the vet, and we had breakfast outside! Everyone came out to meet him; as if he is a celebrity! Well… he is to me! Heartworm negative… good boy!  New photos of him are on Facebook.

02/25/13 Update:  Shep has bounced back quickly.  He is awesome on leash, not afraid like he was, and seems to enjoy the company of other dogs.  He is playful, but not over the top hyper like most puppies.  He could easily be head of the class in a puppy training program, and really should be taken to the next level in his education, and become Canine Good Citizen Certified (CGC).  Shep is a great family dog, good with people of all ages, he does gravitate to seniors, he is fantastic with young children, gentle with cats, and enjoys other dogs.  I can’t say enough about this noble companion.


The playful family dog

Truffles is a one year old Spaniel… maybe Cavalier, and doxie? Reminds us of our Nutella! She is a very sweet girl, loves children and does well with other dogs.

She really enjoys playing ball with the kids, however she is more than happy to cuddle up and watch some TV with you… Truffles is currently fostered by Brittney in DeBary, FL

Truffles’ photo album can be viewed on Facebook.

what a cutie pie






02/11/13: Truffles was adopted by Linda and is living in the Central Florida area. Linda will be taking her to work with her everyday, so I suppose she’ll be an ambassador at the office!

Ready to go to work!

Low Rider~Adopted

Low to the Ground Aussie

This approximately one year-old boy is packed full of energy. He is good with other dogs that have his same energy level.  We know he’s an Aussie, that’s obvious, but where did his legs go? They are short and stocky. I’m not sure if he’s got Basset legs or Corgi legs, but his bark is leaning toward Basset. Although he is low to the ground, he’s a big boy, probably weighing as much as other Aussies.

Low Rider is crate trained, and he is very good with children.

He is being fostered by Brittney in DeBary, Florida. She says he is a joy to foster. Low Rider needs an very active owner, someone who will run, or visit the dog park frequently. He could also be a potential agility or soccer dog.

You can see more of his photos on Facebook, and we will be updating this page with details.


Much to the surprise of many people, we do not use an adoption application but rely instead upon an interview process. Because we are a small rescue and keep all of our dogs in foster homes, we shy away from forms that tend to emphasis why someone should not have a dog. The interview process allows us to learn more about our potential adopters and their individual situations, concerns, pros and cons. By knowing more details, we are able to place dogs into homes that other rescues might turn down, because we already know our dogs. We’re small so we don’t need blanket policies that require fences or disallow families with small children or won’t allow senior citizens. We’re focused on bringing together caring people with the right dog.

Handsome little guy!

Whether you are considering an adult dog or a puppy, the first thing you should do is read our article onStarting Your Dog Out Right. Here you will find not only some good tips but some thoughts to ponder before committing to the responsibilities of caring for a dog.

If you are interested in meeting one of our dogs or learning more about it, please e-mail us atTheDogLiberator@gmail.com and let’s get the process going! Share such information:

Much to the surprise of many people, we do not use an adoption application but rely instead upon an interview process. Because we are a small rescue and keep all of our dogs in foster homes, we shy away from forms that tend to emphasis why someone should not have a dog. The interview process allows us to learn more about our potential adopters and their individual situations, concerns, pros and cons. By knowing more details, we are able to place dogs into homes that other rescues might turn down, because we already know our dogs. We’re small so we don’t need blanket policies that require fences or disallow families with small children or won’t allow senior citizens. We’re focused on bringing together caring people with the right dog.

Whether you are considering an adult dog or a puppy, the first thing you should do is read our article on Starting Your Dog Out Right. Here you will find not only some good tips but some thoughts to ponder before committing to the responsibilities of caring for a dog.

If you are interested in meeting one of our dogs or learning more about it, please e-mail us at TheDogLiberator@gmail.com and let’s get the process going! Share such information

as where you live,
your household composition,
your yard/fence/exercise plan,
pets you have and/or had,
your normal work schedule,
how much time the dog will be alone,
what you are looking for in a dog,
do you have a pool
what contingency plans do you have in place should you no longer be able to care for your dog and,
if you rent, do you have landlord approval,

and are you prepared to bring your new dog home if you are approved during your meet?

have you or anyone in your family ever been bitten or traumatized by a dog in the past?

also, provide us with your phone number, home address, including county and zip code

and then we’ll go from there! The more you share the better!

See more of our available dogs on petfinder http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=FL918

Join us on Facebook to get the latest updates on our rescued dogs https://www.facebook.com/DogLiberator

If you have any questions about our adoption fees, please read our adoption fee blog.


Shelter Photo

McDreamy is a 1 1/2 year old Merle Collie from Lake City Animal Services.  Holli Miller saw McDreamy and his brother McSteamy being owner-surrendered and she called me immediately.  Their temperament dictates that they have been farm collies all of their lives.  Believe it or not, they are being introduced to life indoors.

McDreamy and his gorgeous brother, McSteamy are both doing very well in crates, without any accidents.  I have appointments for them to be groomed, fully vetted and neutered.  They are both heartworm negative. Like other TDL dogs, their true colors will shine through every day, and we will learn more about them, but so far they are very friendly with children, not afraid of strangers and appear to be the type of dog that will soak up whatever you give them, i.e., attention and basic training.

Nice Smile!

They are very intelligent, and there’s no reason why these dogs can’t join the rankings of our fantastic collies!

Click here to view their first photo album together.

Click here to see McDreamy’s individual photo album!

Click here to see McSteamy’s individual photo album!

If you are interested in meeting her, please email TheDogLiberator@gmail.com and share such information as:

where you live,

your household composition,

your yard/fence/exercise plan,

McDreamy & McSteamy

pets you have and/or had,

your normal work schedule,

how much time the dog will be alone,

what you are looking for in a dog,

do you have a pool

The first day of their new life to becoming a TDL dog.

what contingency plans do you have in place should you no longer be able to care for your dog,

if you rent, do you have landlord approval,

and are you prepared to bring your new dog home if you are approved during your meet?

have you or anyone in your family ever been bitten or traumatized by a dog in the past?

Dr. Derek Shepherd: “It’s a beautiful day to save lives. Let’s have some fun.”

also, provide us with your phone number, home address, including county and zip code and then we’ll go from there! The more you share the better!


10/27/12 Update:  McDreamy was adopted by Taylor and Chris, and is setting up his permanent residence in Tampa!



Shelter Photo

McSteamy is a 1 1/2 year old Merle Collie from Lake City Animal Services.  Holli Miller saw McSteamy and his brother being owner-surrendered and she called me immediately.  Their temperament dictates that they have been farm collies all of their lives.  Believe it or not, they are being introduced to life indoors.

McSteamy and his gorgeous brother, McDreamy are both doing very well in crates, without any accidents.  I have appointments for them to be groomed, fully vetted and neutered.  They are both heartworm negative. Like other TDL dogs, their true colors will shine through every day, and we will learn more about them, but so far they are very friendly with children, not afraid of strangers and appear to be the type of dog that will soak up whatever you give them, i.e., attention and basic training.


They are very intelligent, and there’s no reason why these dogs can’t join the rankings of our fantastic collies!

Click here to view their first photo album together.

Click here to see McSteamy’s individual photo album!

If you are interested in meeting her, please email TheDogLiberator@gmail.com and share such information as:

where you live,

your household composition,

your yard/fence/exercise plan,

McDreamy & McSteamy

pets you have and/or had,

your normal work schedule,

how much time the dog will be alone,

what you are looking for in a dog,

do you have a pool

The first day of their new life to becoming a TDL dog.

what contingency plans do you have in place should you no longer be able to care for your dog,

if you rent, do you have landlord approval,

and are you prepared to bring your new dog home if you are approved during your meet?

have you or anyone in your family ever been bitten or traumatized by a dog in the past?

also, provide us with your phone number, home address, including county and zip code

and then we’ll go from there! The more you share the better!


McSteamy and Maiya

10/12/12 Update:  McSteamy, now Steamy was adopted by Maiya Korn!  Maiya and her Dad have had Collies, and their senior Collie recently passed away.  It was very sad, and I know their pain and sorrow too well.

Going Home

McSteamy was very calm, and as usual, he knew she was there for him.  “You are my Person!”  The photos can not lie!
Here’s is Brittney’s Meyer’s beautiful photo to art transformation of this adoption!

McSteamy by BrittneysTouch.com



Bart's story of survival

Bart’s story of survival


So much about my experience with Bart was not shared here on this page. I took the time after his adoption to publish his story. Now that I look back, it’s quite amazing!

Bart goes Home



Adoption:Bart was adopted by M. H. Clark and Pete Mellen, both university professors. No doubt, he’ll have his own degree soon! It’s not goodbye, it’s see you soon!


Bart Today:  Bart is a very healthy pup, he has gained so much weight, thanks to great veterinary care and Andi Brown’s Chicken Stew, that he is the epitome of health.  He is Parvo negative, and has fully recovered.  Parvo is a virus, much like a cold.  He is not only affected by the virus anymore, he also is not contagious whatsoever.  This is one strong little pup who has much to offer his new family.

Bart’s Shelter Photo

History: I opened an email last week that was full of cute pups, but one stood out because he was the only Collie.  I immediately replied to Hollie and asked if I could get him.  The photo was not very clear, but I knew I was looking at a long nose and beautiful eyes.  Emily Kennedy was with me when I received his first photo, and after I shared it with her, she asked if we could name him Bartholomew!

I neglected to explain earlier, that this little pup was left in the night drop box at Animal Control.  Not a very fitting option for a sick pup.

Friday, July 13th:  Sarah White volunteered to help with the transport, and the collie was coming to me!  That morning Hollie warned me that he had runny stool.  Once Sarah picked him up, she noticed that he had no energy, and something just didn’t seem right.  Once he threw up, she called me with serious concerns.  She indicated that it had a metallic smell to it.  I instructed Sarah to drive straight to Val-u-Vet on the way to my home.  I contacted the vet, and they stood ready to assist.  I wanted fluids and a parvo test.

After dropping him off, Sarah and I sat and waited at my house for the results.  Thirty minutes later, the dreaded phone call confirmed that he tested strong positive.  We discussed his options, his treatment, and the cost.

so sad

Scared out of my mind, I called Anita and we decided to ask for donations to cover his first few days of treatment.  If he survives, we will determine what the cost will be and decide if we should do a chip-in at a later date.  When a rescue has a medically needy animal, the funds used to save that animal are not available to rescue the next group that are waiting in line to be rescued.

We quickly had dinner and Sarah drove me to the vet to visit little Bart.  The moment they opened the door to his private room, I fought back the tears… it was Goldie Hawn all over again.  He wouldn’t have eye contact with me, and even as I sat on the floor close to his cage, he would not lift his head.  I opened his crate, and rubbed his little head and whispered sweet nothings in his ear!    Everything that can be done medically, was being done.

As I left, the staff and I agreed that the next 24 hours would be critical.  There’s really nothing we can do at this point, but pray, and see if he makes it.

When I got back home, Sarah and I sat together for a while, and I felt myself bouncing back and forth between hope and despair.  I was preparing myself for the worse, yet trying to be hopeful.  It surprises me that most rescuers aren’t bi-polar!

Hang in there little guy!


Saturday, July 14th:  I slept with one eye open last night, falling back asleep with a silent prayer, and had dreams of setting up my master bathroom into a triage area once again, exactly like I had set it up for Goldie Hawn, three years ago.  But did Bart make it through the night?

My son Ryan woke me up, he had made the coffee and let all of the dogs out already.  There was no excuse but for me to get out of bed and make the call.  I took one sip, and dialed the number.  Ray informed me that not only did Bart eat his breakfast, he’s lifting his head up and wagging his tail.  Wow!  Can I get excited now?  Not really, I have to stay in limbo for a while, but I can’t deny how good it feels to know he has eaten!

Tomorrow marks The Dog Liberator’s three year anniversary.  July 15th marks the day I adopted out Mel.  Bonnie Belle would be adopted just a few days later, and I got the rescue fever!

I’m getting emails from folks throughout the country that remember Goldie Hawn.  It feels so good to know she has not been forgotten. Goldie was my Lady Di’s pup.  They were both flown to me by Jeff Bennett of Pilots-n-Paws.

What I have learned in these past three years is incredible.  I’ve learned how strong I really am, and I’ve learned how weak I really am as well.

Saying Goodbye to Goldie Hawn, October, 2009

What he really needs is a foster with the intent to adopt.  Since I don’t have a foster that can take care of Bartholomew for several weeks, I will prepare my triage room, and visit him later today.  Thank you for your prayers, healing thoughts and donations.  I know I’m not alone.


You can see all of Bartholomew’s photos on Facebook.
Saturday, July 14th:  It’s been about 24 hours since Bart was admitted to the vet.  I visited him today, and his vitals are good, but what’s really fantastic is that he’s eaten twice!  I suppose he’ll be fed again tonight, and no vomiting or bloody stool!

Hugs and Kisses

He stood up and thumped his tail for me, and I got to hold him in my lap for while and smother him with kisses.  I’m hoping he can come home with me tomorrow, if everything goes well.  Is he out of the woods yet?  Not really, but boy this is great news!  I think the most important thing we did to save Bart is get him into the vet immediately, give him fluids, have him tested, and administer the anti-nausea medication.  I believe the anti-nausea medication alone has made a huge difference in saving our pups that have been exposed to Parvo.

As I reviewed the photos that Emily took of Bart and I, I hate my grey hair, my sagging neck, my wrinkled face… I didn’t look like this three years ago… but I sure love my family, my dogs, my job, our adopters, our fans, and my friends!  
Bart’s story has been published, and it’s quite a story.  For details, visit http://thedogliberator.com/bartholomew-revisited/  There you will find details about his story, updates, and book reviews!



How can I ever thank you?


“you said you wanted me to feel better!”

Sunday, July 22:  Bart had a very very good night! Everything is starting to work. Continue to cross your fingers that the worse is over and it’s all great news from here.

Well, again I spoke too soon. Bart will not soil in his room, he held his pee over night and went outside this morning, and he hides in the bushes to do his number two… all boys need their privacy! When I checked on him this afternoon, here’s what he did with the newspaper and wee wee pads! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24th: Here’s your update for today! Enjoy!

Proud with ears and tail up, wearing his red TDL tag!

Review a post regarding Rescue and the details the rescue of Bart and Shy Sharon, called Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid and how these two dogs literally rescued me!

Yes, Bart was adopted, and I will be providing details and updates shortly!




And he lived happily ever after. Thank you to everyone who made it possible! -Bart 2013 –


Lady Victoria, the Regal Collie~Adopted

Chilling out at the Vet's Office

Lady Victoria found herself at the Animal Shelter in Lake City. Found as a stray, she arrived at the shelter on 8/30/11. When I received her information, my first question was if she had been heartworm tested. A few days later, I didn’t get the answer that I wanted, she tested light heartworm positive. Knowing that we can’t treat collies with ivermectin, I had to say no.

Over the next few days, her face haunted me.  At the same time, I was working with Marjie Wolfe regarding two heartworm positive dogs in Brevard County. This launched our investigation into the slow kill method, the use of heartgard and doxycycline and interceptor. I consulted with the Veterinarians we use, and much to my surprise, interceptor was approved!

The lovely Erica Brilliant, and her Mom volunteered to transport Victoria to me yesterday.  Erica adopted Flash Gordon from me two years ago. Flash Gordon was one of my first rescues. He was transported from Alabama to me with Shy Shannon.

Severe matting

When I first met Lady Victoria, she was friendly, intelligent, gentle, and had a bounce in her step which is what I call “pride”.  She may have been neglected all of her life, but she has not been physically beaten or emotionally abused.  She is awesome on leash, and crate-trained.

But there’s more.

Lady Victoria also has a fairly large tumor on her belly. After Dr. Charlie examined her carefully yesterday, he believes it’s a umbilical hernia, and not life-threatening. However, while she is being spayed today, I’m having it removed!  She also had a very large sore on her paw, that being said, she’s going to be wearing the cone of shame for a few weeks.

The tumor

Lady Victoria is estimated to be the age of four, and she has been very neglected. Covered in fleas, and severely matted, the folks at Val-U-Vet and I concur that after a good bath, some comfortis, and a good meal, she’ll be just fine.


Recently, Karl & Dawn adopted Lady Priscilla who was rescued from Augusta, GA along with the Spice Girls.  Before I agreed to rescue Victoria, I called Dawn asking if she knew anyone that could foster a collie for me.  Immediately, she thought that her father-in-law would be interested!

Karl, Dawn & Lady Priscilla

Karl’s father, Frank, lives in Leigh Acres and he will be giving her a safe and loving home while she recovers.  I can’t tell you how blessed we are to have the volunteers that we do who will stop everything to help us save a dog.

Lady Victoria will not be available for adoption until we have had time to evaluate her, and allow her some time to recover from her surgery.


I'm Home!

10/06/11 Update: It’s official! Frank has adopted Lady Victoria!


10/4/12 Update:  Lady Victoria is heartworm negative!

Weatherly, the Border Collie/Aussie girl ~ Adopted

Volunteers are the life’s blood of rescue. Without them, the wheels on this bus would turn slowly indeed. So it’s no surprise, then, that TDL works alongside some pretty special people who volunteer their time, money, and inexhaustible energy — often anonymously — to ensure that as many dogs as possible make it out of shelters and into good, loving homes. Some of these folks we get to know personally, others are friends on a Facebook page, but our goal is always the same: Saving as many lives as possible, four feet at a time.

This is NOT the hot tub I was promised!

One such volunteer is the wonderful Julia Bechard, who volunteers for Lake City Humane Society. I met Julia when I went to Lake City to retrieve Miss Congeniality and later Java. We are Facebook friends and message each other from time to time about available dogs. In addition to walking, bathing, and fostering shelter dogs, Julia also makes videos of the dogs for the shelter to post alongside their photos on its web site. TDL followers know how we feel about videos; nothing shows a dog’s personality more. That’s why, when I saw Julia’s video of “Cassie” on her Facebook page, I had to find out more. Who was this dog and what was her story? The video showed a shy, gentle soul that wanted very badly to give and receive affection. Perhaps this was one I could help. Julia responded quickly that Cassie appeared to be an 18-month-old Border Collie mix and was shy and sensitive, but friendly. She added that she’d like to see her in a rescue or foster home soon. We all know that even the best shelter environment is difficult on a sensitive dog. According to Julia, Cassie had been starved and her fur was coming out in clumps from the stress and poor nutrition. I had two fosters at the time, but promised to follow up and see what I could do.

This is the video that Julia made and posted on her Facebook page. You can see why I had to find out more about this precious dog!

Waiting to go to the Dog Liberator

For the next week, I traded phone calls, e-mails, and text messages with Jennifer Marshall, the shelter’s manager. Jennifer confirmed Julia’s initial assessment of Cassie’s personality. In the meantime, both my fosters were adopted on the same day! Another e-mail or two to Jennifer and arrangements were made to make Cassie a Dog Liberator dog. Jennifer’s husband, Marc, graciously offered to transport the dog from Lake City to Wildwood, thereby cutting my transport time from four hours to less than two. (Thank you, Marc!)

So here I sit with Cassie, who now has a new name — Weatherly — and a new lease on life. Although still somewhat shy, Weatherly has regained a lot of her puppy joy. She’s one of those dogs that’s on the cusp of releasing the fears of her old life and fully embracing the joys of her new one. Sweet (I don’t have a problem with that word!), friendly, and loving, she LOVES riding shotgun in the car, walks perfectly on a leash, and has the softest fur you’ve ever felt. So far I haven’t been able to capture it in the photos, but Weatherly is actually pretty small at around 30-35 lbs. She seems to photograph larger and coarser-boned than she really is. But I’m working on getting “the photo,” as Holly puts it. Thankfully, Weatherly is hearworm negative (yay!). It’s obvious that she had puppies at some point this year. We’ll have her spayed soon and then she’ll be ready to go!

Pure, unadulterated puppy joy!

Sept. 11, 2011: Breakthrough! Weatherly has found her puppy joy! Today she played with my pack with complete and utter abandon. My other foster, Mini Cooper the Corgi, is in love with her and follows her around like a lovestruck teenager. He wants her to play with him all the time and pulls her tail just to get her attention. You’d think he was in grade school pulling her pigtails. Weatherly ignores him as long as she can, then the chase is on! I wish I’d had my camera handy to capture their antics. I did get a few shots of her playing with Shelby, my personal Corgi. What can I say? Our girl likes her men short and sassy!

Sept. 12, 2011: Today was Weatherly’s first full day in her crate while I was at work. I’m happy to report that she did wonderfully well! She just loves frozen beef marrow bones, so I gave her a big one to gnaw on and occupy her time, and apparently it did the trick. She displayed no anxiety whatsoever while crated and didn’t make a single move to try to escape. I must say, I was thrilled! You never know how new dogs will react to being crated for long periods of time and there’s always this fear that you’ll come home to a prison break disaster of mangled crate, potty-training accidents, and ripped up furniture (this happened to me with a dog I once owned). Not our girl — she was a perfect angel!

Playing with Shelby the Corgi

I’d also like to note that Weatherly has become quite the player. She loves to romp around with the two Corgis, Shelby and Mini Cooper. She’s the only girl in residence and therefore very popular. She continues to gain confidence with people and now comes inside when called instead of hanging back and having to be coaxed in. I just love this little girl and can’t wait for her to fully overcome her shyness with people.

Weatherly is being fostered at my home in the Ocala area. You can view her photo album on Facebook.  If you are interested in adopting her, please review “How to Adopt From Us” and email your information to me at amyb.thedogliberator@gmail.com.

Sept. 25, 2011: ADOPTED! Weatherly just left with the wonderful Nicole Nekoloff and Ricky Del Rosal, and I couldn’t be happier! It was obvious from the moment I opened the door and Weatherly ran out to greet them that she was their dog. My shy little girl turned into the Welcome Wagon before my eyes. Then, when Ricky went to get something from the car, Weatherly waited by the door for him to return. What a match! Tampa, welcome your newest Dog Liberator dog! ~ Amy

Cali (Formerly Weatherly) Gazing out at the birds on the lake

Jan. 30th Adopter Update: “Thank you again for helping us find Cali (Weatherly).  I’ve included a pic of her.  She loves staring out at the lake and all the birds.  She’s such a good dog.  Listens well and LOVES to snuggle.  Her second favorite thing is eating!  She has filled out nicely and her coat is beautiful! Nicole Nekoloff”


Java, the Australian Shepherd/Belgian Shepherd Girl~Adopted

Beautiful despite the hair loss

Last week, TDL pulled the lovely Miss Congeniality from Lake City Humane Society/Columbia County Animal Control in Lake City. While I was there, shelter manager Jennifer Marshall showed me another dog she wanted TDL to consider: Sheba, a beautiful shepherd mix that was suffering severe anxiety due to the rigors of shelter life. We didn’t have a foster spot at that time, but I promised Jennifer I’d try to find one and return for Sheba if I could.

Well, thanks to the crossposting of TDL’s supporters and our newest foster, Emily Womack-Golecki, we were able to pull Sheba the following Saturday!

I was super excited to go get Sheba, so much so that I arrived just as the shelter was opening. I knew she’d been really stressed and losing tons of hair because of it, but I still wasn’t prepared for the sight I beheld when Jeff, a member of the shelter’s staff, brought her to me. Wow! This poor girl’s ears were bloody, she had tufts of hair just hanging onto her back and abdomen, and her back legs from hock to tail base were completely red, hairless, and covered in sores where she’d been scratching. Her once-full tail was now one big dread lock. Much more “stress” and she’d be completely bald!

I love her ears

Saturday, June 11, 2011:

After we’d exchanged the necessary paperwork, I asked Jeff if we could try Sheba (now Java) in the cat room. I don’t have cats, but I wanted to make sure she was okay around them as that’s one of the questions we receive most frequently from adopters. Silly me, Java couldn’t have cared less about the cats — she was more interested in getting the attention of the children petting the kittens. Well, that answered another question: How was she with kids? From the look of things, pretty darn good! With that, we were homeward bound …

Crazy ears!

It wasn’t until we got home and I was bathing Java that I realized just how extensive her hair loss/skin condition was. She was covered in sores from where she’d been scratching herself and the better part of her body was red and inflamed. I consulted with Holly and Gisele, both of whom reassured me that Java probably had either a flea allergy or a food allergy. But there was also the possibility that she had mange, maybe even sarcoptic mange (the variety that is highly contagious to both dogs and humans), so I quarantined her in a separate room, away from the rest of the pack. Despite the collodial oatmeal bath, Java was really miserable at this point and crying loudly while scratching and chewing on herself, so I gave her 50 mg of Benadryl in the hope that it would help her rest.

And then I sat down at my computer and Googled “sarcoptic mange.” Mistake. BIG mistake.

You see, there are two things I know with absolute certainty about myself. 1. I will not, under any circumstances, eat mayonnaise. 2. While I hate ticks with a purple passion, I will go after them (with tweezers, not bare fingers). Mites that burrow into flesh and then lay their eggs, on the other hand, I simply do not “do.” The mere thought sends me into convulsions of horror.
I quickly e-mailed Gisele and Holly with my latest suspicions. Their responding e-mails were sympathetic enough, but I imagine they thought I was overreacting … and they were probably right. All I could think of at this point was an army of microscopic flesh-burrowing mites making their way to my bedroom while I slept. Java continued to scratch and claw at herself all night, which did nothing to ease my fears. Ugh. ~ Amy

Sunday, June 12, 2011: Today, in addition to being extremely itchy, Java developed diarrhea. I have an idea her upset stomach is due to all the changes — environment, diet, etc. — but will be glad to hear what Dr. Hendrix has to say when he sees her tomorrow. Although she’s not eating, she is drinking and remains bright and active on our walks. I’ve been giving her 50 mg of Benadryl every 8-10 hours; it seems to take the edge off the itch, for a little while anyway. As expected, I’m starting to itch myself. Of course, I’m imagining the worst because … well … that’s what I do! ~ Amy

GOOD NEWS! Dr. Hendrix does not think Java has sarcoptic mange. He took five skin scrapings from different areas on her body and didn’t find a single mite. Instead, he believes Java has allergic dermatitis with a secondary infection caused by all her scratching. At this point he couldn’ t say whether the allergy was food- or flea-related, so we’ll have to work on that one. Java also has a pretty severe ear infection. In the positive column, both her heartworm and her fecal tests came back negative, which is definitely cause for celebration! She may look a mess right now, but Java is actually in much better shape than expected. And now I can stop itching! Yahoo!

Lovely face

Monday, June 13, 2011:

Java currently weighs 50.7 lbs., but could stand to add 5-7 lbs. to her lanky frame. Dr. Hendrix agrees that she is approximately 4-years-old.  He has advised us to keep her on antibiotics for several weeks before attempting to spay her. That means Java’s on medical hold for the time being. Stay tuned, though, because we’ll be posting updates and new photos soon! ~ Amy

Thursday, June 16, 2011: Java goes to the groomer tomorrow for the spa treatment. I’ll be sure to take before and after photos, just like they do in “Vogue” magazine. She may go in a “don’t” but she’s going to come out a “do”! Stay tuned! ~ Amy

Thursday, June 23, 2011: Java is now staying with new foster Emily Golecki, her two girls, and their Australian Shepherd in Wesley Chapel. Here, Emily tells us about our girl’s first day in her new home:

“Hey Amy, It was no problem at all coming up there and what is funny is she actually laid down and fell asleep in the car on the way home. When she first got to the house I took her for a little walk and then we introduced her to Kurri who I think was more excited to see J than she was to see Kurri. Java actually curled her lip as if to snarl but never made a sound, she still has yet to bark or growl. She was a bit timid at first but now moves around the house as if it were her own. She is definitely an alpha which is funny because so is Kurri so when they walk together it is like they are competing to be first and they actually shoulder bump each other as if to say “out of my way!” but they don’t fight or argue, it is like a friendly rivalry.

Java and and her Aussie foster friend, Kurri.

She is timid around men. My dad came by and she hid in the kitchen and then again when my “boyfriend” came by last night she was real shy almost afraid but was okay taking treats from both. She LOVES the Dentley brand raw hides, hates milk bones and would only take her pills with a bit of peanut butter. I kept her in the crate over night as she did have a pee pee accident after her nap yesterday but that is to be expected during the transition. She does try to mount Kurri but I just give her the look and she moves away as if to say “what? I am not doing anything” LOL but I think it goes back to the Alpha thing. OH and she love love loves to eat! I generally give Kurri dry food in the morning and wet at night so last night I mixed Java’s dry food with a can of wet, you would have thought she hit the lottery! She was so excited. Then this morning I did the ½ and ½ of the two dry foods. So far no diarrhea woo hoo! I don’t think that there will be any problem putting a little weight on her. She did scratch a bit but I gave her some Benadryl this morning and you were right about her hatred of having her ears washed out. I am still not convinced I am doing the drops right but I just squeeze it in and try to massage it before she runs out from underneath me.

One more story, she went on her first jog last night. I have to teach her to run in a straight line as it is not good to stop in front of your human lest she go flying over you and does a face plant on the concrete. Needless to say I busted up my knee and feel like I got punch in the chest but she stopped to come back and make sure I was okay instead of running off. We will try it again tonight as she seemed to enjoy it once we were back up and running again. She is so graceful compared to my squatty dopey kurri. LOL. Well that is my epistle of day 1. We will see how day 2 plays out especially with me being back at work today. I am sure Kurri is taunting her outside the kennel as payback for the head humping this morning.”

Java is currently being fostered in Wesley Chapel. You can enjoy many photos of her in her photo album. If you think that you might want to give her a forever home, please first review our Dog Tips page, then read our Adoption Process and e-mail holly.thedogliberator@gmail.com.


06/29/11 Foster Update: Java has adjusted very well to her “home”. She and Kurri get along great as Kurri has pretty much accepted that she is part of the household for the time being. When she first came she tended to be very timid around men. Now when my dad comes over she comes right up to him to say hi. I think that she has learned that he is good people and always has treats on him for her. She is no fool! LOL. Other men she is kind of leery about but if given time and gifts, she will warm up quickly. She is a female after all. She is great with my daughters and doesn’t seem to be wary at all when they get crazy (they are 5 and 7).

She has not chewed a single item in the house and to date I think I have only heard her bark twice both times it was to wake me up to ask if she could jump on the bed. As she has become more comfortable, her playful personality is starting to come out. She loves wrapping up and playing in the sheets as I am changing them out on the beds.

She is also putting on weight nicely and her coat is looking shiny. Holly recommended getting Halo Dreamcoat from Whole Foods especially since she seems to have sensitive skin. Her bald areas are healing nicely but there are times she is still itchy. I know when I have a scab it itches like crazy so that is understandable. It does make her a bit restless at night when settling down to bed but once she is asleep you don’t hear a sound out of her until morning. I have also found that by making her sleep in her crate she settles faster than letting her roam free at night.

Another interesting fact, My sister is a self professed cat lady, she does not care for dogs but tolerates them because I have them although she does like Kurri. Elizabeth stayed at my place on Friday and Saturday while I was in Birmingham to look after the dogs for me. She fell in love with her and Java became her shadow. She even stayed over on Sunday just so she could continue to hang out with her. If Java can melt my sister, she can melt anyone. She is just a sweet and smart dog.

She doesn’t mind having a bath, I think she just tolerates it. I will bathe her again Thursday evening before her surgery as I know it will be a couple of weeks before she can get her tummy wet post-op. Plus the oatmeal shampoo makes her feel better.  I have attached two pics, the laundry one was taken on a phone but she was just too cute to not try to get a shot. The other was taken this morning, she was so happy and smiley.   ~ Emily Golecki

Miss Congeniality, the Gentle Border Collie Girl ~ Adopted!

Adoption Update 10/3/12:  Carly is heartworm negative on the slow kill!!!  Woo Hoo!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in rescue, it’s this: You have to be flexible. Sometimes the dog you set out to save is not the one you come home with! Case in point …

Friday, June 3, 2011: As you probably already know, my last foster (Soldier Boy) didn’t work out exactly as planned. That left me with an open foster slot and three weeks to go before leaving town on vacation for several weeks.

I looked at TDL’s web site to get an idea how long, on average, it was taking adult dogs to get adopted. Approximately two to three weeks. Summer is a very slow time for adoptions and that would be cutting it close, but I couldn’t just sit around with both the means and the time and NOT foster. Shelters in my area are full to bursting, so it’s not like there weren’t dogs I could help. I made sure I had a back-up foster in case the dog didn’t get adopted before I left, then I started looking …

… and found “Faye,” a 2-year-old red merle female Australian Shepherd at Lake City Humane Society/Columbia County Animal Control. She was described as timid and shy, but friendly. Clearly the shelter environment wasn’t doing this girl any good, and it looked like she’d already been there for three weeks or so.

Such an intelligent, gentle girl.

Don’t misunderstand me – it had nothing to do with the shelter itself. Lake City Humane Society is a wonderful shelter and its staff works very hard to care for and save as many lives as possible. In fact, TDL has rescued several excellent dogs from Lake City: Harry Potter, Kipper, Piccadilly, Penny Lane, and Dolly, to name a few. But shelter life is hard on sensitive, intelligent dogs and most herding breeds fall into that “sensitive and intelligent” category.

So I had my mission. I called the shelter to verify that Faye was still available and in need of rescue. “Yes!” was the answer I received. Jeff at the shelter performed a heartworm test for me. It came back negative. Awesome! Now to break the news to Gisele, who thankfully is very tolerant of me and my hair-brained schemes. (I suspect she thinks of me as a wayward child: well-meaning, but occasionally in need of a good talking-to. I’m just glad she has a sense of humor!)

Anyway, I called Gisele and explained the situation. Pause. “Okay, sounds good to me,” was her response. “Call me when you get there and let me know what she’s like.” Isn’t she cool?!?

Saturday, June 4, 2011: I arrived in Lake City as the shelter was opening and introduced myself to Jennifer, the new shelter manager. Friendly and direct, Jennifer took me to meet Faye, a lovely, petite little Aussie, then got straight to the point. “I received a call late last night from an Aussie rescue that said they could take Faye,” she said. “However, yesterday a man surrendered two female border collies. The Aussie rescue can’t take the border collies, but I was hoping you could.” I explained that I could only take one dog because I was the only open TDL foster and would be leaving on vacation myself in just three weeks. I couldn’t commit my back-up foster (a family member) to more than one dog.

Telling everyone "goodbye."

She continued, “You’re the one here now, though, so if you still want Faye she’s yours.” I thought for a second. “Let the Aussie rescue take Faye,” I said. “I can take one of the border collies.” I called Gisele to let her know our plans had changed. She concurred: Faye would go to the Aussie rescue and we would take the border collie. Now for the canine version of “Sophie’s Choice”: Which border collie?

Let me tell you, one of the most heartbreaking parts of rescue for me is standing in a shelter surrounded by dogs vying for my attention and knowing I can only take one with me when I leave. I don’t know how other folks cope with the responsibility, but I have purposefully developed tunnel vision. I don’t look at the hounds or the bully breeds, both of which I personally love, because I know I am there for a different reason. The senior citizens are even harder to bypass because in many cases they have the least likely chance of making it out alive. And it’s not that TDL has never rescued other breeds, because we have and we do. We also take in senior dogs. But our primary mission has always been to rescue the herding breeds. And honestly sometimes it is about numbers: We’ve got one space and we have to choose one dog. If that dog is adopted quickly or another foster home becomes available, we can go back and get another.            

Knowing all this and of course my own situation, I decided to take the younger, friendlier of the two dogs, a 3 ½-year-old tri-colored female named “Maggie.” She was lovely, but she was also heartworm positive. Only time and proper vetting would tell us to what extent she was actually affected.

Before we left, Jennifer asked to show me one more dog: A gorgeous black and tan Australian Shepherd/Belgian Shepherd  mix named “Sheba.” A sensitive beauty, Sheba was extremely stressed in the shelter, so much so that she was losing a lot of her hair, poor girl. I knew I couldn’t take her then, but promised Jennifer I’d post Sheba’s photo and listing on TDL’s facebook page, which I did. Thanks to our wonderful supporters and fosters, TDL was able to pull and therefore save this girl, too!

That's a happy face!

Sunday, June 5, 2011: What a sweet girl my new foster dog has turned out to be! So amiable and likeable, in fact, that I decided to call her Miss Congeniality (“Miss C.” for short). Miss C. weighs 38 lbs., but is long-legged and fine-boned with an almost regal bearing. She must have lived with children at some point; she literally gravitated toward the young boys who visited the shelter with their mother while we were there. She gets along very well with other dogs, appears to be housetrained, and is learning to tolerate the crate. So far, Missy displays no ball drive but instead prefers to sit by my side while the other dogs play. And she loves a good marrow bone!

Miss Congeniality will be fully vetted and her heartworm status further assessed later this week. We’ll post more updates at that time, so keep an eye out!

Monday, June 13, 2011: Miss Congeniality has turned out to be one of the easiest fosters I’ve had. Pretty much everything is okay with her. She’s just a no-muss, no-fuss kind of girl! Intelligent and docile, Miss C. goes with the flow and gets along well with everyone, canine and human alike. She’s not high energy at all and prefers to sit back and watch the other dogs run around and act silly. Occasionally she’ll join in the chase, but I think she realizes she’s “above” it all. lol

Miss C. does have one funny habit: She’s a food hoarder. At dinner time, she likes to dump all her food out, eat some of it, then shove the rest up into the corner of her crate to be consumed at a later time. Is she saving for a rainy day? I really can’t say, but it is humorous to watch!

Thursday, June 16, 2011: Good news from the vet today! Dr. Mutchler said Miss C.’s heart sounds really good. He even went so far as to say he probably wouldn’t even have known she was heartworm positive if I hadn’t told him beforehand. Woo-hoo! The entire vet’s office fell in love with our girl; in fact, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out of there with her. She was a total lady throughout the whole process, reclining on the table with her front paws crossed and tail just a-waggin’. Good thing she has a meet this weekend because she’s really starting to steal my heart!

Miss Congeniality won the hearts of the Higgins family, including grandson Grayson and dog Riley.

Saturday, June 18, 2011: ADOPTED! Today Miss Congeniality won the hearts of the Higgins family with her poise and ladylike demeanor. Linda and Dana adopted Riley (formerly Drummer) last year and decided their gentle pup needed a friend. As you can see from the photo, Riley and the Higgins’ grandson Grayson clearly agree!

~ Amy

Miss Congeniality is being fostered in the Ocala area. You can enjoy many photos of her in her photo album. If you think that you might want to give her a forever home, please first review our Dog Tips page, then read our Adoption Process and e-mail amyb.thedogliberator@gmail.com.

Picadilly and Penny Lane, our Corgi sisters ~ Adopted

Do you know what happens when you develop good relationships? You end up with Corgis…..

Amy is one of our go-to volunteers. Despite a busy life, despite being located almost two hours away in Ocala, despite having been sick with one thing after another since September (she is a teacher and is trapped all day with those germ-carrying short people!), she has been one of the first to offer to help time and time again. As a result, when she asks for us to rescue a certain dog and offers to foster it, how can we say no. Amy loves Corgis…..

Pam is the director of a shelter in rural Florida. Recently we contacted her about pulling dachshund puppies Pippin and Pompy. As she has gotten to know us, she has liked what she has seen and taken the initiative, asking us to pull dogs that she thinks we might be able to place.

Last week an owner came into Pam’s shelter and surrendered his two corgis, three-year-old sisters Picadilly and Penny Lane. Pam immediately called us and asked if we could take them. Amy got word and said she’d foster. Zondra said she was going to be going to the shelter anyway, so transport was no problem. Well, it seemed we were getting corgis!

Amy is a wonderful foster. She has several dogs of her own and knows how to ease the transition for a recently abandoned dog. (Isn’t is sad, that someone would abandoned their dogs during the holidays???) Be sure to check out the girls photo album. Amy is good with her camera and is constantly adding to it. She shared with me her idea for a video of them. I won’t ruin the surprise, but it is going to be cool, so keep an eye out for it!!!

If you are considering one of these dogs for your family, please read about our adoption process and then e-mail gisele.thedogliberator@gmail.com

Amy is wonderful about keeping a diary of the dogs. Here is what she has so far:

Foster Diary of Piccadilly and Penny Lane, 2 ½-year-old Cardigan Welsh Corgi sisters who were rescued by TDL from a rural Florida shelter. Both girls have been spayed, vaccinated, and micro-chipped.

I met these enthusiastic, fun-loving corgi sisters earlier this week when I picked them up from TDL in Orlando. They’re super-sweet and just want to crawl up in your lap – but watch out, or they’ll both be up there at the same time! Both girls are pretty confident and blended into my pack very nicely within 24 hours. Of course, being ladies they did have to remind the boys to keep their distance a time or two (or three!). Beyond that, however, there wasn’t a snarl or raised hackle between them.

Piccadilly is the sister with less white on her head. She’s also the dominant one and quite confident, thank you very much! She loves the couch and still needs to learn that it is for people, not puppies. Not to worry, though – I’m on it! Piccadilly is the first one to come racing when she sees me and would like to play, play, play. Exactly what she wants to play, I’m not sure yet because it’s been cold out and I’ve been sick. This weekend I will find out whether she’s a ball player or a disc dog. (Be forewarned: I can throw a ball, but a Frisbee … not so much. I will try, though.) The energy to do something active is there with both girls – what they lack in stature, they make up for in enthusiasm. Just need to find out which direction they want to go.

Penny Lane, the more submissive sister, is slightly smaller and has more white on her head. She was slower to warm up to me (it took a few hours instead of a few minutes like it did with Piccadilly). However, now Penny is extremely loving and just as focused on being with me as Piccadilly is.

Both girls would rather hang with me than my dogs, but I’m sure that will change in a day or two. For now, I’ll just enjoy the attention! Piccadilly and Penny Lane share a crate during the day when I’m at work. I’ve been feeding them in the same crate, as well, and haven’t had a problem. I may start separating them for brief periods of time this weekend as they are very attached to one another. It would be wonderful if they are adopted together, but it may not work out that way and I’d like to make the initial separation as trauma-free as possible. So far, we haven’t had any “accidents” in the house. Paws crossed it stays that way. Physically, I’d say the girls both weigh approx. 25 lbs. They have a little less bone than my or my mom’s Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Both girls have long tails with a spot of black in the middle.

Picadilly – February 20, 2011 Update:

Picadilly is doing great in her new forever home. She is having fun playing fetch and going for walks around the neighborhood. She is in great health and a very smart dog, so smart I caught her writing one of my college papers for me. The only thing she thinks could be better is more belly pets, because the amount she is getting is never enough.

Stephen & Picadilly


Pippin and Pompy, Dachshund Puppies ~ Adopted

Pippin and Pompy are two little brindle dachshund puppies that one of our volunteers saw at a rural Florida shelter. They were four of them, just five weeks old, huddled together, shaking. She called me and asked if I would foster them. I grew up with Dachshunds, so they have special place in my heart. Plus, as the puppy foster, I know that a shelter is no place for puppies so young.

We contacted the shelter manager who is just lovely, explained to her who we are and what we wanted to do. She agreed to let us pull them, but by the time we got there, two had already been adopted. That broke my heart, to think of them separated from other puppies at such a young age.

But now I have these two little boys and I couldn’t be happier. We named the darker one Pompy because my daughter just finished studying him in her Roman history class (plus it sounds cute!) and the lighter one Pippin because, you guessed it, we’re Tolkien fans! I was concerned about introducing them to the rest of the puppies because they are so much smaller, but silly me! they ran right out and joined in the fun. KitKat the Border Collie is forever trying to herd them into straight lines, but they’re German dogs and have their own opinions! Playful, affectionate, fast as quicksilver, they are an absolute joy. Sure, I’m biased, but I’m also right!!!

You can view their ridiculously large photo album on facebook.

December 10th Update:

I can’t hardly stand how cute these two are!!! They happily play with the other dogs, but they love their people too. When I’m outside with them, they jump around my feet doing the “Pick me up! Pick me up!” dance. Adorable. Of course, the second they’re picked up, they reward me with kisses. They are less than enthusiastic about the cold snap we have been having, much preferring to run around the house and try to reach the great heights that we call the couch. Precious. They really are!

December 20th Update:

These little guys just crack me up. They love to be inside on your lap, and they love to play with each other, but they are also play wonderfully with the big dogs. This video says it all. KitKat the Border Collie started to stalk Pippin, got distracted and then got pounced! Pretty soon everyone joined in! Gotta love a little dog with a big dog personality!!!

Merry Christmas To All

December 22nd Update ~ Adopted!!!

Today was a good day! Both the boys were adopted! Yay!!!!

Kyle and Lauren were ready to bring home a playmate for Zoey, their Dachshund puppy. But who would it be? When she first got here, Zoey was really taken aback by the energetic puppies, taking refuge on the back of the couch behind Kyle. Pompy was content to play with toys and scamper around, but Pippin just had to jump up on the couch and sniff around Zoey. When we went outside, the interactions continued, with Pompy impressing everyone with his ability to fetch the ball, and Pippin wanting Zoey to join in the fray. Kyle and Lauren decided that Pompy would be a better fit, as he seemed more inclined to respect Zoey’s space and even managed to sneak in a lick on her face. Good decision!

Just as they settled on Pompy, Ryan arrived to meet Pippin. And it was clearly once again a good match. Fez, Ryan’s 6-year-old bulldog, died suddenly of cancer in October. Understandably, he wanted a young puppy, a small breed but one with a bid dog personality. Having lived with bulldogs most his life, a stubborn streak was almost expected. Again, good match with Pippin. lol I know they will have years of fun together!

Kipper the Rat Terrier Puppy ~ Adopted

Kipper is really something! Just 3-months-old, 7 pounds, he can outrun any puppy I have, including the Kelpie and the Border Collie. Okay, he might not outrun the Kelpie, but it is at least a tie!
Kipper isn’t shy. When you pick him up, he covers you with licks and kisses, wiggling with complete joy. This is a really affectionate and loving puppy. But he isn’t a couch potato; he is a rocket of energy!


It is hard to tell how tiny Kipper is in the photos, but trust me, he is. He has the tendency to carry things around in his mouth, usually things three times his size. You know, rope toys, balls, branches, trees,….. It really is funny. I’m just loving this little guy!


You can see lots of photos of Kipper in his photo album

November 31 Update:

Kipper has never met a dog she didn’t like. This morning she met Pollywog the Boston Terrier. She and Sassafras the Old English Sheepdog had a blast playing with her. Here is just a snippet of their time together.


December 5th Update:

Kipper continues to be a one-man (dog?) welcome wagon. Last night we took in two 6-week-old dachshund puppies and one 6-year-old Boston Terrier. The Dachshunds hit the ground running (literally) and were ready to play. Kipper was more than happy to oblige them. He did not play too rough or rowdy but just at the perfect level. Maybe it’s because he was glad to finally have someone here who is smaller than him!

The more telling tale, though, is how he responded to Dolly the Boston Terrier. This 27-pound dog has lived her whole life with a loving senior couple, and being moved into a foster home has been a huge shock for her. She was very nervous and tentative, giving the other dogs a wide berth. But after a while, Kipper approached her and, without getting into her face, started doing the bouncing-on-the-front-legs-butt-in-the-air thing. After a minute or so, Dolly was bouncing right back at her. It was wonderful to see. Kipper made this sweet dog feel like she was “one of the gang” and before I knew it, Dolly was playing with Cricket too! Kipper has a way with other dogs ~ as you look through his photo album, notice in how many he is playing with another dog.

Kipper is quite the little guy. He is affectionate and playful but has a sensitive spirit to him that belies his age. Whoever adopts him is going to have one special puppy!

December 10th Update:

Kipper is so cute. Today I had my camera out and got video of him playing inside with dachshunds Pippin and Pompy, and then outside with Cricket. He is precious!


December 14th Update:

Kipper cracks me up! This morning he noticed the lovebirds for the first time. He was convinced that if he jumped high enough he could get in the cage with them. Too funny!!!

December 16th Update:

Kipper has been adopted. It happens time and time again: I’ll have a wonderful puppy who keeps getting overlooked and I wonder why. And then I meet the family that finally adopts him and I know: their perfect family simply hadn’t found them yet! Leslie and Colin have a stunning, and huge, Black Lab named Darcy. But he gravitates toward Colin. Leslie was hoping for a dog to be her buddy. Enter Kipper. At first, he was a little freaked out by Darcy ~ he’d never seen such a big dog. He kept barking at him, but from the safety found by standing between my feet. Then, he was barking from between Colin and Leslie’s feet. Then he was licking Leslie’s nose. then he was licking Darcy’s nose. And then it was a done deal! My little guy is going to have a wonderful life, and I couldn’t be happier!!!


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