ASPCA Happy Tails: A Dream Home

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 1:15pm
Happy white dog looking over shoulder of woman holding him

When Dream first came to the ASPCA, he was no spring puppy. At 6 years old, the 10 lb. Maltese was surrendered by his owner when she could no longer care for his mounting health issues. We knew it would take a special kind of adopter to open their home to Dream, but we didn’t anticipate that it would take almost a year before he found his match. The long wait was worth it, though, because this affectionate pooch eventually found what can only be described as his “Dream Home.” Here is his Happy Tail.

Dream arrived at the ASPCA in April 2013. His previous owner couldn’t afford to keep up with his health problems, which by then included arthritic build-up, unstable knee caps, diffuse hair loss, and diabetes that required twice-daily insulin injections. After his intake, we found a potential adopter who agreed to take Dream in on a foster-to-adopt “trial run,” but after 10 days, she felt his issues were more than she could handle. That brief glimmer of hope continued to fade in the ensuing months, as we saw a string of potential adopters back out when faced with the intensive costs and care Dream needed. We were beginning to worry about sweet Dream—until we discovered that the perfect person had been there all along.

Tanya N. has been a fospice parent (part foster, part hospice) to four animals from the ASPCA, and has also been a foster parent to two cats. She met Dream while she was volunteering at the ASPCA Adoption Center last summer. “I saw an adorable, bald, thin, but energetic and curious little Maltese,” she says of their first meeting. “I inquired about him, but was told he was not up for adoption yet because they were working on stabilizing his diabetes and medical issues.”

Small white dog posing for camera

Over the next several months, as we tried and failed to find a home for Dream, Tanya continued to check in on him whenever she was at the Adoption Center volunteering. “I was very excited when I came in one day and heard that he was finally adopted,” she recalls, “but then I was saddened when I went to volunteer again and learned he had been returned.”

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By this point, Dream was not in good shape. The clinic worked hard to maintain his diet and slow his hair loss, but he was still balding and very thin. Just when all prospects seemed bleak, Tanya had a revelation. “I saw that nobody had adopted him yet, and I said, ‘That’s it. I’m taking him home with me. He deserves a loving, stable home and a family who is committed to giving him the care he needs—and my family is going to be that family.’”

Young couple walking with their dogs

After almost a year in the ASPCA Adoption Center, Dream was off to a new life and a new start in Tanya’s home. He had a much-anticipated meet-and-greet with Tanya’s current fospice dog, Daisy, and then he settled right in. She tells us, “Dream has adjusted to home life better than any animal I’ve ever seen. He loves to play with toys that squeak, thoroughly enjoys all the attention and love he gets from new friends (and reciprocates with many, many kisses), and most of all loves to chase his new sister Daisy around the house!”

At a recent medical exam, the veterinarian told Tanya that being in a home and out of the shelter has had a profoundly positive effect on Dream’s health. She says, “He was in the shelter for so long, and now he finally has a place to call home. We are so very lucky to have him, and we strive to give Dream and Daisy the best life any dog could have. They deserve it.”

After almost a year in waiting, sweet Dream has finally found the home of his fantasies.

Happy couple smiling while holding two dogs

Glitter the Cat sitting on ASPCA staffer's lapWant to read more ASPCA Happy Tails?

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What an awesome, awesome story and what a sweeet little "Dreamy" pup! :) ~


Medicine has it's place but nothing beats LOVE!


Tanya and family, you have such loving hearts. I wish you many happy years with your wonderful Dream. And the love and care you are showing to your Fospice sweetie, Daisy, is so very beautiful.

DiAnne Armstrong

While I find these stories very uplifting I also find them very confusing in their title tagline of "Happy Tails." Because in Sacramento there is a "Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary" and it sounds like your stories are associated with them.


What a great story and I'm happy Dream found a home


I'm in tears... great job Tanya you and your family are wondering!!!

Anonymous Friend

Your love and actions in caring for the smallest, fragile and sometimes overlooked creatures in this world remind me that Love can heal, Love can mend and Love can positively change everything around it. Thank you for sowing love into this world through these precious animals. I can't wait to see it come back to you and yours.


I'm SO proud to call you my friend, Tanya! You are an amazing person and I love you for loving these sweet babies when others passed them up. The world needs more people like you in it. Give hugs and kisses to sweet Daisy and Dream! :)


This story is a reminder that people should not buy, adopt or take a animal unless they are prepared to pay for whatever medical the pet may require for their entire life. Giving a animal a home is a lifetime commitment and a financial one too. Glad this tale had a happy ending and someone kind and loving stepped up to give this dog a good stable home.