Sugar Bug~Available!

Meet Sugar Bug, the lovable 4 year old, pure white Aussie girl! She is visually impaired and a deafie, but doesn’t let that let that stop her. She loves to chase the ball and cuddle with anyone! Her love knows no bounds and she is happiest when cuddling with someone on the couch.

Sugar Bug would be best as the only dog in a household since she wants any and all attention on her. She is a quick learner and has already picked up on several of our hand signals here at the rescue.

For more information about adopting Sugar Bug, feel free to contact us at adopt.thedogliberator@gmail.com

Lady Cordon Bleu ~ Adopted

15894895_10154714795149792_1247299341882875298_nLady Cordon Bleu (formerly Maggie) is a approx. 2 1/2 years old Australian shepherd. She weighs 55 lbs. This stunning girl was an owner surrender to a shelter in AL, who just came to TDL. She’s a wonderful dog, BUT she thinks chickens taste great with ketchup, which makes her a not-so-good farm doggie. She definitely needs a home without chickens, cats, or other small animals! 

More information and photos coming soon.In the meantime, check out her photos on Facebook!

Maggie is located in Deltona, FL. If you’d like to meet Maggie, please go here first to learn about our adoption process.

Update from Serena: “Welp. It’s safe to say Bleu is not dog aggressive. Although we have yet let her out with the pack she’s certainly showing no bad behavior with Bernie. They’ve been hanging out for a bit and she has finally acknowledged him. Just some quick sniffs and her attention is back on me lol.”

She’s a doll really. Total people person. Gives gentle kisses and loves to snuggle.

16113205_10154717559179792_5612932461801616483_o03/15/17 Update from Serena: Deja Bleu, What can I say, I fell in love with her! As I tended to this creature who had such a beautiful soul, I contemplated for quite some time if I should keep her or not. I’ve been helping Giselle with TDL for over 4 years now and I haven’t been in the position to adopt until recently. I thought it would be a great present to myself to adopt Bleu and become a forever Mom to a TDL dog. I’d give Gisele all the excuses in the world as to why Bleu had to stay with us, and even went through some great lengths to keep her hidden from adopters so she could be by my side. I had decided, Bleu was mine.

She a spectacular dog! She’s slightly stubborn when it comes to who gets to sleep in the middle of the bed, but the perfect snuggle buddy once we both would get settled in. When I move, she moves. Even to go get a glass of water, she accompanies me to the kitchen and back. She blends in perfect with the pack and tends to follow Bernie’s lead when roaming around outside. Bernie is my Sheltie of 8 years! When Bernie barks, Bleu barks, as if responding to his rants. When Bernie runs, Bleu chases him as far as Bernie’s legs will go. She loves to chase! Bernie chases the tennis balls and Bleu chases Bernie.

Living in the life of rescue though, I know through experience, things don’t always work out as planned. With Bleu being so perfect, I always thought she could serve a greater purpose. She would be a great service dog, or therapy dog. She has that gentle temperament but playful personality and it’s a perfect blend to be approachable to any person. Although she prefers to stick by me, she is always welcoming to anyone she met. Dog or human.

It wasn’t long before a family came along that needed a dog like Bleu, and it was all by chance. I have a day job working at a Call center, I have a team of people I enjoy working with on a daily basis and they all knew I was excited about this new dog. While having open discussions about dogs and who has had what breed and such, it came to my attention that one of my colleagues, Sarah, has been wanting a dog for some time, but hasn’t been able to take the next step because her youngest son Alden has a fear of dogs. “HOW AWFUL!!” this is all I could think to myself! I love dogs, and dogs are my life! How can a human be deprived of “Man’s Best Friend”? When I inquired further, Sarah explained that he had sensory issues. His little brain is easily overloaded with environmental stimuli. This makes it hard for Alden to determine if the gaze of a dog has malicious intent or not. Whereas you and I might be able to determine within seconds, what intentions a new dog has when being introduced to a pack. Because of this, he developed a natural fear of dogs.

After hearing all of this, I immediately thought of Bleu. I didn’t say it right away but I knew… I knew Bleu would be perfect for Sarah and her Family. Just like any other dog Bleu gets excited when stimulated, but in general, Bleu was a very gentle and quiet dog. I went home to Bleu that night a snuggled her close. I reminded myself why I am in Rescue, It’s not just about the dogs. It’s also about the people who feel complete once they take home a TDL dog. That feeling of completeness when you expand your family. I knew I had to let Sarah know I had a dog that could potentially help Alden get over his fears, and let her family get the dog they have always wanted.

I went to work the next day and shared my thoughts with Sarah. At first, she was a little unsure. Having tried several times before to introduce Alden to dogs had not been successful as of yet. She asked for some time to consider and I told her to take all the time she needs. If the situation didn’t work out, I would absolutely take Bleu as my own.

After lots of thought and discussions with her husband Aaron and the family, Sarah decided it was time to introduce Alden, and her older son Taylor, to Bleu and see how well they got along. We choose a local community park to meet at. Her older son Taylor was beyond excited, he told me he has been begging for a dog for years! After some standoffish hellos from Alden, he was able to reach out and pet Bleu. After a few more moments my heart swelled with pride as I passed along Bleu’s leash to Taylor and his younger brother Alden who immediately told us he was scared of all dogs… except Bleu. Bleu gave him hope and confidence! They both asked lots of questions about Bleu. They wanted to know everything about her. How much to feed her, what her favorite food was, what toys she preferred. The questions were endless and I was happy to answer them all. After a walk down the nature trail and some practice teaching the boys some basic training habits, we went to the baseball field for a run! I ran with the boys and Bleu, several laps around the bases and we were all exhausted! Sarah’s Husband Aaron was able to catch us at the end of the play date and get a quick introduction to Bleu himself! All and all it was a great meet! Although the decision had not been made, I knew by instinct this was a match.

Sarah wanted to allow some time to pass, ensure this is the dog the family wanted. After a week, it was decided. They couldn’t stop talking about Bleu. They couldn’t stop reminiscing about the fun they had at the park! I was thrilled. We agreed we wouldn’t rush it and wanted to meet a few more times to allow both Bleu and Alden time to adjust.

Every day Sarah and I would swap stories. I would tell her about all of Bleu’s little quirks and habits. She would tell me how excited her boys were and how her husband was convinced Bleu would prefer him over anyone else. As the days past the excitement grew. Taylor has written stories and generated care plans for their first week together! Alden and Sarah have gathered all the necessities of owning a dog. Toys, bowls, crate, food, treats, new leash and collar, more toys!

When all is said and done, Sarah and Aaron, along with their boys Taylor and Alden, now have a brand new member of the family! Aaron is a pastor at Heart of Christ Christian Church in Orange City. Their family is very large and extensive. Bleu will be accepted with open arms to a whole new world full of love and happiness! We couldn’t be more thrilled that Bleu will get to be with a family who didn’t think they would have the chance to experience life with a dog! We know that Bleu has forever changed the lives of these boys by adding to the ultimate joy of life! Unconditional love! She will have more friends and family she ever believe possible, and she will get all the attention she deserves!

03/30/17 Update from Serena: Wow! Bleu has settled right in with her new family and is bonkers about her boys! She is protective and proud to have them. She’s even helping to keep them in line! She has already ratted Alden out for trying to sneak out of bed. HA!

 

Alden himself has really become quite fond of having a new cuddle buddy. Bleu quickly discovered all the yards with chickens while adventuring out in her new neighborhood during her walks with the family!

 

The family came out to our annual reunion recently and Taylor got the biggest dose of doggie love yet! Bleu ran her little heart out! Over and over and over again! Bleu loved being able to see her loving pack so soon and was quite happy showing off her new Family! These are the moments we live for!

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Jon Snow ~ Adopted!

13872592_10209054798702565_521691469_nJon Snow is a 6 month old pure bred Aussie pup who comes to us after his one special need was noticed. Jon is great at a lot of things, play, cuddles, watching out for mailmen, but he may not hear them coming because he is deaf. He doesn’t let that effect him at all.

 

8/12/16 Update: Jon is a lucky boy. Adopted!

 

11/1/2016 – Jon is back with us. He is the sweetest little guy, a total love, and is a BIG fan of cuddles and love. This love muffin is ready to find his forever home!

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11/21/2016 Update: Jon has found his home with the Martin family of Deltona, Florida.  He will have 3 doggy siblings and is fitting in well!

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Ser Davos Seaworth~ Adopted!

Introduction Davos! This little guy is so friendly and sweet. He will follow you around everywhere, and is always looking for pats and hugs. We just love him! We will be posting updates to this album as we get to know him better.

As far as what breeds he is, your guess is as good as ours. We see Cattle Dog, Aussie, Hound, and maybe some Corgi? All we know for sure is that he’s stink’n cute!

Davos weighs approx. 12 lbs, and is around 9 weeks old.

He is located in Deltona, FL

If you’d like to be considered for Davos, please go here to learn all about Our Adoption Process. We don’t use a traditional application, but we would like you to answer a few questions so we can get to know you better.

 

8/16/2016 Update: Davos has set sail with the Workman family of St. Cloud Florida! Congratulations to them all!

Lady Lyanna Mormont ~ Adopted!

13754319_10154162914609792_589699202985166653_nWhat can we say about Lyanna? She’s quite a bit smaller than her two brothers, but she’s definitely in charge! She’s a girl who knows her own mind. Bright, playful, and alert. Please keep your eye on this album for updates and more photos.

As far as what breeds she is, your guess is as good as ours. We see Cattle Dog, Aussie, Hound, and maybe some Corgi? All we know for sure is that she’s stink’n cute!

Lyanna weighs approx. 10 lbs, and is around 9 weeks old.

She is located in Deltona, FL

If you’d like to be considered for Lyanna, please go here to learn all about Our Adoption Process. We don’t use a traditional application, but we would like you to answer a few questions so we can get to know you better

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8/8/2016 Update: Lady Layanna Mormont found her home today. She will be joining Casey Stains of Melbourne FL and her family which includes two children, three dogs and her partner Mike! Sounds like this little Lady is going to have quite the kingdom!

 

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Lord Beric Dondarrion ~ Adopted!

  13718730_10154162903874792_7122180013783012328_nSay hello to Beric! He was born with only one eye, bit it’s not getting him down in the slightest. He’s a very happy and affectionate boy, and would make a great family dog. We will update this album as we get to know him better!

As far as what breeds he is, your guess is as good as ours. We see Cattle Dog, Aussie, Hound, and maybe some Corgi? All we know for sure is that he’s stink’n cute!

 

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13620886_10154162904279792_6281332831435758421_n Beric weighs approx. 12 lbs, and is around 9 weeks old.

He is located in Deltona, FL

If you’d like to be considered for Beric, please go here to learn all about Our Adoption Process. We don’t use a traditional application, but we would like you to answer a few questions so we can get to know you better.

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8/20/2016 Update: Beric was adopted by Lori and Rachel of Jacksonville! It was love at first sight

 

 

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Flynn ~ Adopted!

12144662_10153509944574792_8371856800179336767_nFlynn is coming to us to find a forever home.  He is incredibly smart and is easy to train (Who says deaf dogs don’t listen? [Read More]). Flynn is devoted and loyal and could easily be someone’s best buddy. He is also quiet and did we mention, house broken? He’s got that down pat. It’s time for Flynn to have a forever family all his own, and we are looking for just the right person for the job. Does that sound like you?

12122714_10153522800104792_1299266316807842049_nFlynn is in Deltona, FL and yes he is available for adoption! He is approximately 3 years old and 50 lbs. He is also deaf but that doesn’t hold him back in the least. Interested in becoming his family? Check out Our Adoption Process and answer the questions in email. 

Check out his Photos on Facebook!

12021946_10206737196283953_2115093453_nFlynn (aka John King) can’t wait to meet his next best friend(s)

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3/31/16 Update: Flynn was adopted by the DeRosa family of Florida! Congratulations to them all.

Barksdale ~ Adopted!

12508699_10153679361684792_8625680880779691905_nBarksdale is a 3 year old male BC/Aussie mix who is neutered, up to date on medical, and is smart as can be.

From Barksdale’s owner:

It is with a heavy heart that I have to put my three-year-old Australian Shepherd mix dog up for adoption. He is a great, loving, energetic guy. However, I have to move to Washington DC for my job. There is no way that he would do well in the city. I’m afraid it would be terribly unfair and selfish of us to move him up north with us.

His name is Barksdale and he is up-to-date on shots, current on heartworm prevention, neutered, microchip, housebroken and he knows basic training commands. He’s leash trained and very, very smart. He is also great with my young daughter (18 months old), our nephew (7 years old) and our older dog (15 years old). He’s also good with larger and smaller dogs.

He is the perfect, active family dog.

1915792_10153679361839792_1240238926921948374_nIf you’d like to be considered for Barksdale, please go here to learn all about our adoption process.

Check out his Photos on Facebook!

Barksdale is located in the Orlando, FL area.

 

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12418018_10153720820199792_7850985474006663357_n1/24/16 Update: We have another incident of Foster Failure! Barksdale was adopted by his foster family, the Cowens of Orlando this weekend. They recently lost their Border Collie, Dakota, and thought fostering would be a good way to honor her memory. They weren’t sure if they were ready for another dog yet, but Barksdale, now Charlie, won them over quickly. Such a happy story. Congrats!

 

John King ~ Adopted

12023173_10206737195643937_642810266_nJohn King returned to us after his new home didn’t work out. He is doing quite well in foster and is ready to find his forever home!do He is incredibly smart and is easy to train (Who says deaf dogs don’t listen? [Read More]).

John is devoted and loyal and could easily be someone’s best buddy. He is also quiet and did we mention, house broken? He’s got that down pat. It’s time for John to have a forever family all his own, and we are looking for just the right person for the job. Does that sound like you?

11999863_10206737195203926_954690376_n8/20/15 Update: John King is in Lake City, FL. He is available for adoption! He is approximately 3 years old and 50 lbs. He is also deaf but doesn’t let that hold him back in the least.

Interested in becoming his family? Check out Our Adoption Process and answer the questions in email. 

Check out his Photos on Facebook!

 

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Past History:

John at the shelter

We had a gorgeous white Aussie and named him Anderson Cooper.  When I saw this little guy’s picture at the pound, I figured why not name him John King!  While we made a commitment to get him, his time was running out.  We are very grateful to everyone who played a part in his transport to us.  It was close!

Bath time!

 

This young pup is being fostered by Jen Wilson in Daytona Beach.  He is getting used to his new surroundings, and we’ll be updating his progress shortly.  You can see his photos on Facebook. 

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12270098_10207127168953026_1628173245_n11/22/15 Update: John was adopted by Patricia Ann yesterday. He has a new sister, a Border Collie named Poppy! So happy for you, John!

Grunt ~ Adopted!

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Grunt is a 4 year old Australian Shepherd. Unfortunately, his family is no longer able to give him the attention and exercise he needs, as dad is in the military, and mom is busy taking care of two boys.

Grunt also is VERY smart. Here is what his owner told us about him: “I was sick when my husband was away with the army and I took blankets and pillows to and from the bed to couch every day. After 3 days of doing it Grunt started taking the pillows and blankets for me every morning and night. To this day if he sees me pick up a blanket or pillow and walk towards the bedroom (we have lived in 3 different houses since) he takes it out of my hands and puts it on the bed. He picks up on routines Very quickly. He Loves his people. He is very caring and protective and loyal.
12115552_10153508881324792_419576556063983742_nGrunt needs to go to a home without young children. He is a very sweet dog, but little kids make him nervous!

If you would like to meet Grunt, please go here for more information about our adoption process. Check out his Photos on Facebook.

Grunt is located in Central Florida.
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10/11/15 Update: Grunt was adopted by Russ and Guylaine of Jacksonville today! Yay Grunt!

Amber ~ Adopted!

11988494_10153460625644792_4581866218970253680_nAmber is an Aussie Puppy.

If you’d like to be considered for adoption please go here to learn all about our adoption process. We don’t use a traditional adoption application, but we do have a few questions we’d like you to answer before setting up a meet!

Check out the Photos on Facebook!

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9/14/15 Update: The sisters have left the building! Lori Taylor and her husband adopted Amber today!

9/24/15 Update: Amber got a surprise today, Her sister Kimberly came to stay! The Taylors adopted them both!

 

 

 

Kimberly ~ Adopted!

12003912_10153460627744792_8348795280765746687_nKimberly is a young Aussie Puppy.

If you’d like to be considered for adoption please go here to learn all about our adoption process. We don’t use a traditional adoption application, but we do have a few questions we’d like you to answer before setting up a meet!

Check out the Photos on Facebook!

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9/24/15 Update: Kimberly was adopted by the Taylors! They preveiously adopted Amber, her sister, and were fostering Kimberly. Not surprisingly, they experienced “foster failure”. Yay Kimberly and Amber!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Roddy Piper ~ Adopted!

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Roddy Piper is quite noble, and would make a great therapy/PTSD dog!

We estimate that he is between 12-16 weeks old. He is scheduled to be spayed/neutered on Monday, and will be available for meets after that.

If you would like to be considered for Roddy, please go here to learn all about our adoption process.  Check out Roddy’s Facebook Album and also check out the litter’s photos on Facebook!

Roddy PiperAlthough we don’t use a traditional adoption application, we would like you to answer a few questions so that we can get to know you better. As we expect a lot of interest in these puppies, priority will be given to those who answer our adoption questions. The puppies are located in Deltona, FL.

If you love the pups, but can’t adopt, please consider being a virtual foster!

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8/14/15 Update: Roddy Piper was adopted by Alesia and Reece of Lake Mary today! Yay, Roddy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madeline ~ Adopted!

Madeline (3) Madeline is the smallest, but she won’t be pushed around! She has the heart of a lion.

We estimate that she is between 12-16 weeks old. She is scheduled to be spayed/neutered on Monday, and will be available for meets after that.

Madeline (2)

 

 

If you would like to be considered for Madeline, please go here to learn all about our adoption process. Also check out Madeline’s photo album and the litter’s photos on Facebook!

Although we don’t use a traditional adoption application, we would like you to answer a few questions so that we can get to know you better. As we expect a lot of interest in these puppies, priority will be given to those who answer our adoption questions. The puppies are located in Deltona, FL.

If you love the pups, but can’t adopt, please consider being a virtual foster!

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8/17/15 Update: Madeline was adopted by the Millers of Orlando. We’re so thrilled for them and for Maddie. Congrats, little girl!

 

 

 

 

Jake from State Farm! ~ Adopted!

11695776_10153317015434792_5279203885427443470_n[1]Say hello to Jake from State Farm (we’re calling his that, because it looks like he’s wearing a pair of khaki pants!). Jake’s a lovely 17 month old purebred Aussie who weighs in at around 30 pounds. This wonderful boy is very friendly and well-behaved. He’s fully trained, sits on a dime, loves to play with a tennis ball, likes other dogs, and doesn’t care at all about chasing cats. He’s one of those “just add water and stir” dogs. We think he would be perfect for a family with kids. All around easy peasy!

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If you love cuddles you will love me.

He has already had his “beauty bath” (groomed) and has no matting, no fleas, stunning teeth… He could be a model. Loves to cuddle and doesn’t jump up.

11709771_10153317018174792_7026487466462241980_n[1]Want to see more of Jake? Check out his Photos on Facebook!

Jake is located in Deltona, FL. Awesome family dog… kids a plus!

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20093_10153319593719792_5582116039099107014_n27/14/15 Update: Jake was adopted by Karen, Brad, and their daughter, Faith, today! He will be living in lovely Baldwin Park, just minutes from the dog park. Congrats on finding a great forever home, Jake!

 

 

 

Lenny – The fluffy little boy! ~ Adopted!

11150809_10153189485379792_4921830681176971320_nLenny is being transported to us on the 30th, along with his sister, Libby. We don’t know a whole lot about him yet, but we believe that he’s around 12 weeks old, and that he’s an Aussie/Collie/Spaniel mix.

Both he and his sister have intestinal parasites and mange, so they will need quite a bit of vetting when they get to us, so any donations to our Veterinary Care Fund would be greatly appreciated:

Check out his Photos on Facebook!

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5/30/15 Update!  Lenny is a very active and smart young boy! Curious and friendly, he’d make a great family dog. The folks at the vet’s office think he’s going to be a fairly large dog, definately bigger than his sister, Libby. Lenny is currently at Newman Vet, and will be available for adoption soon. If you’d like to be considered for him, please check out Our Adoption Process
6/1/15 Update! Lenny was adopted by Daniella and Mark tonight. Congrats on your wonderful new puppy, guys!11391761_10153208499209792_4397526763494819616_n

More photos and details coming soon!

 

Luna Belle ~ Adopted!

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Shelter Photo

 

Luna Belle is about 6 years old and is an Aussie mix out of Alabama. She joined TDL in April but has been recovering with TDL Volunteer Rachel until she was ready for adoption.

Luna comes to us from a hoarding situation. She lived with many other animals, was underweight, and had lost fur due to a flea allergy. Luckily with a little TLC her fur is back and she has put on a few pounds. She was also heartworm positive but has already undergone treatment and from here she has a few antibiotics and her regular preventatives (no other special measures). She will continue to test light positive for heartworm for a while longer, but that should fade soon.

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Luna practicing her “sit!” at her Petco classes

 

Luna is an awesome girl. She is house broken, crate trained, good on a leash, very polite (no jumping up from this girl) and is not an “over-barker”. She may give a woof if she sees something very strange but the average things of life (cars, mailman etc) don’t really phase her. She has 2 more classes at Petco and then she will get her first obedience certificate (Yey Luna!!!).

 

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Luna when she first arrived at TDL (she looks so much better now)

Luna would do best as an only dog, not because she has any issue with other dogs, but because she came from a home where she had to share her life with lots of other dogs and she would really like to retire and be someone’s best girl. She would be a great first-dog for someone new to dog ownership or maybe an older family because she is generally calm, quiet and easy (just add water and stir) but really she could be great in any home.  She is not really the kind of dog who wants to go to the dog park but would love to be someone’s walking buddy (again, good on a leash!).

Luna isn’t clingy. She is happy to be with you, but if you need to run some errands she isn’t one to freak out about it. This sweet girl seems to understand that you’ll be back and is content to wait until you come back for her. She just seems to understand, and waits for you to come home and pat her on the head.

 5/17/15 Update: We are so proud of Luna! Yesterday she graduated from her obedience classes! Here she is in her mortarboard, standing proud. We couldn’t be more pleased!

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 5/30/15 Update! Luna was adopted by Zach and Julie of Orlando today! They already seem to have hit it off and we are so happy for them. Congratulations to all!

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More updates to come! In the meantime check out her photos on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sipsey~Adopted

Sipsey now Cyrus

Sipsey now Cyrus

Found at a camping site near the Sipsey river, this 2 year old Aussie boy is deaf blind.  He was adopted today by a former TDL adopter!  You can see more of his photos on Facebook!

Hedwig~Adopted

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Hedwig is a 9 month old  male Aussie with quite a past. He comes to us from  Alabama but thanks to transport he is now in Deltona, FL.

Hedwig’s story begins with a breeder. He was one of 5 puppies which the breeder brought to the vet when it became apparent they were sick. When the vet diagnosed the litter with Parvo, the breeder left the pups at the vet!

Luckily a good Samaritan took the puppies in and gave them a chance. Hedwig was the runt of the litter, and almost died several times. Luckily he survived the ordeal and made his home with the good Samaritan where he lived until he began chasing after the horses and was almost kicked.  Because of the danger,  we were contacted and were happy to take this sweet little survivor.

Hedwig is one smart cookie and is quite the runner, but wasn’t a  big fan of agility training.

10356159_10152691686614792_238865206148466248_nWhy did we name him Hedwig?  Well not only is he white, like the owl from Harry Potter, but he is small! He is very small, possibly due to being the runt of the litter. He also has an adorable heart shaped nose! How cool is that? He is able to see and hear just fine which is awesome as we know Merle Aussies can have trouble with this.

1236851_10152691687114792_217105637610673277_nHedwig is also afraid of new things. He is not fear-aggressive, he simply shuts down. On transport he refused to walk on the leash and just quit. Maybe it was a bit too much change all at once.

You may remember a similar story from Courage, who also shut down on transport and had to be carried to the car. Courage went on to be a well adjusted dog and we expect Hedwig to do the same.  He is good with other dogs and will need a patient and firm owner to overcome his fears and build confidence.

Check out Hedwig’s photos on Facebook!

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Close Your Eyes, Open Your Heart – How Do you Adopt Again After Your Dog Dies?

How Do you Adopt Again After Your Dog Dies?

This post will explain the grief and anguish people go through after they have lost their beloved dog and how hard they try to replace their dog that has passed away with an identical copy.  “How can I adopt after my dog dies?”

There is a puppy mill that advertises they will create a special order Border Collie just for you.  All you have to do is tell them what you want.  The manner in which they can produce an identical replica of your deceased dog is frightening.  For example, you can go so far as to request a red merle female with one brown eye and one marble eye – and they will produce it.  So what happens when you purchase a dog that looks identical to your dog that has passed way – will they be identical?  I say no – it’s impossible.

Finding the Perfect Dog After Your Dog Passed Away

At least 50% of the emails we receive to adopt are from people who have recently lost their dog.  The other 50% are from either people who want a second or third dog, or people who are ready to adopt their first dog.  Many times, people who are grieving the loss of their dog are looking to adopt one exactly like the dog they lost.  Maybe it’s a red merle Aussie female, or a classic black and white Border Collie.  Throughout our interview process, I gather information about their home environment, their experience, the dogs they have had in the past, and I focus on recommending a dog that has the right temperament for them.

Most of the time, adopters are wanting to adopt a dog they see in a photo.  The problem with that is that they are completely overlooking the dog’s temperament.  Many times, I am forced to recommend a dog that they did not notice, a dog that they did not look at, a dog that they are not interested in because… it doesn’t look like their dog that passed away.

I totally understand this, because I did it too!

How I found my first Border Collie

In 1981, while living in Houston, a friend of mine found an abandoned litter of puppies under a shed at the Herman Park Medical Center’s rose garden.  I took as many puppies as I could, found them good homes, and kept one, that I named Troubles.

Troubles 1983

Troubles 1983

I didn’t know what breed she was, until I asked a friend, who without hesitation, said, “border collie”.  I didn’t know what a Border Collie was at the time.  I had Troubles until 1994, and she was amazing dog.  Her focus was on me, and only me.  She never took her eyes off of me, and did everything I asked.  She was incredibly trained, yet she had no training.

When Troubles died, I was a complete mess.  Back then, there was no email, no internet, no cell phones.  I faxed flyers to local humane societies asking them to help me find a dog just like her.  My faxes went unanswered.

I visited a local Border Collie rescue, and met dozens of border collies, all of them unhealthy, and unbelievably hyper to the point that they were insane hyper.  I looked around at other border collies on the property that appeared to have great health and great temperaments, and asked if I could adopt one of them.  The answer was, “no, that one is mine.”  After pointing dogs that was I interested in, I learned that they were all owned by the rescue.  How many dogs can one person possibly own?  I left without a dog, and going home to an empty house was brutal.

After a few more days had passed, my grief did not subside one bit.  I even asked to take on projects at work that would cause me to work overtime.  I wanted to avoid going home.

After seeing my despair, my then husband took it up on himself to look in the local paper, and there it was!  An ad for Border Collie puppies.  He called them, and there was one female left.  She was expensive, $450.  We didn’t have that much money, but somehow we would manage our bills, and go without a few things for a while!

Can I Replace My Dog That Just Passed Away?

When I arrived I had the luxury of meeting the puppies parents, and the female mommy was a real love.  I went to their back porch and met the baby female.  There she was hiding under a chair.  She was gorgeous.  We brought her home and we named her Reckless.

Reckless quickly became my third heart dog.  First was my Collie, Nelson when I was just a kid, my Troubles, and now Reckless.

I want to Clone My Dog

Reckless, 2002

Reckless, 2002

Much to my surprise, Reckless was nothing like Troubles.  So even though my goal was to replace Troubles, and I did get another Border Collie – the two were as opposite as day and night.  Troubles was anti-social and a one-person dog, Reckless loved the world, and wanted to visit people!  Many times Reckless was sneak off and visit a neighbor and just hang out.  Neighbors would knock on my door and ask if they could take Reckless on their walk.  Reckless was a social butterfly.

Let me explain it this way.  You may have a family of four children, and they even look alike, but one is a Saint, one is a Trouble-Maker, one may be a Scholar, and one may be a Drop-Out!  Dogs may be similar, but even siblings are different.  We see it all the time when we rescue a litter!

Reckless died in 2009, and for the next few months I knew that I was incredibly lucky and grateful to  have had three heart dogs in my life.  I figured – this is it, I can’t possibly be blessed again.

Ozzie, Adopted 2009

Ozzie, Adopted 2009

Ozzie was owner-surrendered, and while he is a purebred Border Collie, and a very good boy, he’s not my heart dog.  Many other dogs found their way into my home, and The Dog Liberator was born.  Finding great homes for great dogs was easy for me, and even though many of them reminded me of Nelson, Troubles, and Reckless – I did not keep!  Why would I keep a dog for myself and rob a family of having the experience that I  had.  I came so close to keeping great dogs like Trixie Belle, Tim Tebow, and Jake.  The temptation was unbearable, especially when I had two young kids constantly asking me, “can we keep them?”  Oy vey!

Several months had passed, and I rescued Lady Di and Goldie Hawn.  I expected to keep Goldie, but she passed away.  I eventually kept Lady Di, and she is amazing.  I really thought that she would be as close as I could get to having a fourth heart dog, but I was wrong.

Princess Lady Di, Adopted 2009

Princess Lady Di, Adopted 2009

I didn’t keep Ozzie and Lady Di technically for myself or my family, I kept them because they created a fantastic pack environment.  Ozzie is the walmart greeter, and Lady Di is the sheriff!

China, Adopted 2010

China, Adopted 2010

Months later, we rescued China, and against my will, we kept her as well.  The bond between China and my daughter was too great to break.  China fit into the pack taking on the roll as the cautious player.  China had another purpose to serve.  Her job is to be the Deaf/Blind icon of our rescue.  She has served her role very well, because of her work at representing deaf and blind dogs, we have been able to rescue and adopt dozens of dogs like her.  She has been the reason for Deaf Dogs Hear with Their Hearts, and The Chosen Ones.

These three gorgeous dogs have been helping me rehabilitate and resocialize rescued dogs for almost five years now, and they do a fantastic job.  I couldn’t rescue without them, for it takes years for a human to teach a dog what another dog can teach them  in five minutes.

Your Dog Can’t Be Replaced

The TDL Pack

The TDL Pack

This past January, I received a phone call from Lily’s Dad, Dusty.   Dusty’s friend had to surrender her 2 year-old Chihuahua.  Seriously?  What am I going to do with a Chihuahua – one of the breeds I dislike the most.  Dusty begged, and I had no choice but to say yes.  When that little red cutie pie entered my home and sat in my lap I knew I was in trouble.  She won me over in less than five minutes, her name was Athena, but we named her Rosie.

Later, when I picked up my children from school, they both screamed, “can we keep her?” Thank God they felt the same way I did.  It has been four years since I have said yes to the word Keep!  Rosie doesn’t really have a job here with our rescue, other than to represent her breed, which unfortunately is probably one of the most homeless and desperate breeds there are right now in our country.

Finding Your Next Dog Might Be Easier Than You Think

No one can resist Rosie!

No one can resist Rosie!

In 2007 only 800 Chihuahuas were homeless on Petfinder.  Today there are over 18,000 homeless Chihuahuas.  If there ever was a breed that people should be trying to adopt, it’s the Chihuahua.  That’s not the only reason why I was so excited to keep her.  Ozzie is now 7 years-old, Lady Di is estimated to be about 6 years-old.  We believe China is approximately five years-old.  Their life-span is estimated to be approximately 13.  Combine that with I’m getting older too (yes, I sing Stevie Nick’s Landslide often).  My hopes are that as I am forced to say goodbye to each of these amazing dogs, I’ll have my Rosie to console me.

Rosie has been part of our pack now for 7 months now, and she is my new Heart Dog!  She barks when she hears even the slightest noise, she steals toys and bones from every dog every chance she gets.

Rosie, we can take her everywhere!

Rosie, we can take her everywhere!

She serves absolutely no purpose here except to make us laugh and give us unconditional love.  She will rub her little face on yours and make funny grunting noises expressing her deep love for us.  She’ll sleep with anyone, anywhere if you let her.  She is the most wonderful dog I have ever known… and she is a Chihuahua!

My decision to keep her did not go without ridicule and sarcasm.  People who know me took advantage of embarrassing me with comments like, “excuse me but that doesn’t look at all like a Border Collie.”  I took the sarcasm with grace, and watched how each and every one of my friends couldn’t help but hold her… knowing that they wanted one too!

Dianna's ChiChi, adopted 2014

Dianna’s ChiChi, adopted 2014

Recently, former adopter, Dianna Noreen found her own Rosie, and named him Chi Chi – now that’s one lucky dog, and one less Chihuahua on death row.

While I’ve had nothing but collies all of my life, Rosie taught me a valuable lesson.  Close your eyes, and open your heart.  You never know what dog will bring you the joy you’ve been missing.

Saying Goodbye To Your Dog is Never Easy

Update:  Just as I finish writing this, I received a text message from our Brittney, that Laddie passed away this morning.  For those of you who attended our reunion last year, you’ll remember laddie, a big gorgeous Collie that was surrendered to us.

Laddie, RIP

Laddie, RIP

It wasn’t until after Brittney decided to keep him, she learned from her vet that he had a stage 3 heart murmur.  Laddie died in his sleep.  He enjoyed the company of Brittney’s family, adored her young son, and enjoyed playing with this new pack.  He died knowing love, family, and companionship.  Ironically, the first thing Brittney’s sun asked her is, “can you find us another one?”  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  Every dog is unique, as unique as each of us are.

 

 

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