The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

The Story of Splenda the Puppy ~ Adopted

It is Saturday night and the transport is in a fifteen minutes early. My husband and I zip down to Aloma Jancy Animal Hospital, where they kindly allow rescues to meet transport drivers and pick up their pets. When we get there, we find 3 drivers, 26 dogs and 5 representatives of The Dog Liberator. Paul and Terese Pipitone already have their new foster, Delta Bell. Sarah and Kim have our Flip and Radar on leashes, stretching their legs. Amy shows me my litter of puppies that Sarah is going to be taking on to Val-U-Vet in Deltona to be spayed/neutered. As for all the other dogs? The other rescues haven’t shown up yet.

We get busy moving our dogs over to Sarah’s car. In go all the puppies. Paul and Terese head home to settle Bell into her foster home. Still no other rescues. Kim needs to get going ~ she still has two puppies to transport to Tampa! We unload all of the dog crates into the parking lot, and she heads off. And still no other rescues. It is so dark, I haven’t had a chance to see my puppies, so I turn on the car light and look in on them. Wait a second! There are six. I am expecting five. I ask Amy. She says that they were all in the same crate and that she was told that they were mine. I pull out the little girl in question. Clearly a border collie. Hmmm, the shelter knows that’s our focus.

Now over an hour had passed and there are still no other rescues on scene. Knowing the drivers are exhausted, I go into Aloma Jancy and asked if we can put the dogs in their runs until their rescues show up. They don’t even know there is a transport that night, and their runs are full. They call the rescues, can’t get in touch with one; the other says to just leave the dogs there and she’ll get them later. The over-taxed vet techs scramble to make room, and the drivers and my husband move the heavy crates of dogs into the back, and then into the runs. Meanwhile, I am still holding the mystery puppy. I don’t want to leave it in such uncertainty. I go through all the paperwork, compare it to the puppies that we have offloaded, and can’t find any to match it. So frustrating. Forget it! I’m not leaving this puppy here, with no paperwork, without knowing if anyone is expecting it, not knowing where it would end up.

Back into the crate with the puppies that it has traveled with all day. Off to get spayed and vetted. Sigh of relief. I dream about that puppy that night. I worry so much about them…..

Monday morning Gisele calls and says the puppies have had their surgery and are ready to come to me. We meet in the parking lot of The Patio Grill in Sanford. There are my puppies. I can see them in the daylight. They are beautiful. And there is my extra puppy. Gisele laughs. On the paperwork, Val-U-Vet named her “Extra Puppy.”

Back home again, puppies playing in the back yard and I get to know them. And I fall in love with them. Like I always do.

And my extra puppy? She turns out to be simply wonderful! The first to break the shock of so much change, the first to come over to me for love and attention, the first to lick my hand and face. She plays with the other puppies, especially the ones who are the most tentative, as if to say, “It’s okay. Stick with me. We’ll be fine.” I adore her.

I call Gisele to tell her about the puppies. When I get to the extra puppy, I say, “You’re not going to like this, but she is, you know, that word.”
“Oh no, not…”
“Yup. What are we going to do?”
“You can’t use it. You know we hate it.”
“I know. But that is what she is.”

What word, you ask. “Sweet.” We hate the word sweet. Go on to Petfinder or Adopt-A-Pet and start counting how many dogs are described as “sweet” or “playful.” We are of the opinion that if those are the only words used to describe the dog, they don’t really know anything about it. So we avoid them as much as possible. But now we’re in a quandary. Because this dog really is sweet!

I call Gisele later. “Guess what I named the puppy.”
“Tell me you didn’t name her ‘Sweet’ .”
“No, I’d never do that. We hate sweet. I named her Splenda!”

I think Gisele is still laughing!!!!

Be sure to check out Splenda’s photo album. She is being fostered in Winter Park, Fl. And if you are interested in adopting Splenda, please review our adoption process, then e-mail me at .

March 2nd update:

Well, never fear about Splenda making an adjustment. She is having a blast. She plays hard and fast, and then wants to settle into my lap. I love that. She is very brave too. When there is an unexpected noise in the back yard, most of the puppies take off for the sliding glass door, but not Splenda. She bravely barks at it! I wonder if she realizes how small she is. No perspective since all the puppies are the same size and my adult dogs are low-to-the-ground Basset mixes. lol


March 7th Update:

Well, our little girl has found her home. And now I know why she ended up with me in such an unexpected way: I was just a stepping stone to her amazing forever home!

Jeanne has been considering adopting another dog for some time and following our blog for months. It wasn’t until she saw Splenda that she knew she’d found her dog. She drove down from Jacksonville to meet her, and as she wrote to me later, “When I first saw her sitting in the corner an arrow went straight through my heart and I had to catch my breath at how beautiful she was, then I noticed an incredible calm come over me that told me it would all be okay that she “was” the one.” Although I adore each and every one of my adopters, I am especially happy with this match. You see, Jeanne works at Julington Creek Animal Walk which she describes as “Disneyland for dogs.” Splenda will get to go to work with her every day! So perfect! So happy!

4 thoughts on “The Story of Splenda the Puppy ~ Adopted

  1. Just saying, Splenda was splendid on transport with me. Quiet all the way, lots of kisses while being carried in. Only time she made a peep was when I stopped looking at her (once at the vet), or when I held the camera up. So glad this little… >.> honey, came with us!

  2. From her new mom – we may have to change her name from Splenda to Perfect as she is being just that! Her photos did not do her justice as she is more than beautiful in person. I am just amazed by her!

  3. I really love puppies, and I've watched the video I can't help myself to weep because my pet just died last week. I am planning to buy another pet. And Splenda is reminding me of my passed away puppy.

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