I adopted my service puppy in training, Finnegan, from the Marshall County Humane Society in Indiana at 10 weeks old. I have Spina Bifida, and I'm training him myself. He is a great help to me, and when he gets a bit older, he's going to help me do pet therapy at our local nursing home. Finn has learned to open and close doors, take my jackets off, pick up various items, pay at the stores and many other commands. Finnegan is so smart that he was sitting and laying down on command within 15 minutes after I met him. Finnegan is 15 months old now, and I don't know what I'd do without him.
He hung back when all the other dogs came charging, looking at me with those big brown eyes full of hope, worry and fear. His head was full of scars of troubles from an earlier time in his short life. That was the day a year ago when Petey stole my heart. Once a scared, abused puppy, Petey has left that terrible life behind forever. He now gives back to our community by working as a certified therapy dog—sitting with children at the local libraries while they read to him—between kisses, of course. He enjoys his work. After his day is done, there is a proud swagger to his step and he holds his head just a little higher. It hurts my heart to imagine the loss of happiness and joy to so many people of all ages if Petey hadn't stolen my heart that day at the local animal shelter.
Thanks, Jeannie! Stay tuned for additional winning rescue stories to come over the next few weeks.
We adopted Yoshi from the Darlington County Humane Society. He is a mix and is about 3-years-old now. He went from being a shelter dog on the euthanasia list to a therapy dog for an organization called Paws for People. Yoshi now is a certified "Courthouse Canine." He goes to court with children that have to testify in abuse cases and sits with them on the witness stand to provide comfort and security. He also visits the Children's Advocacy Center where he provides therapy to children being interviewed after allegations of abuse surface. When he’s not visiting children, Yoshi visits rehabilitation centers where he brings many smiles to the elderly. He is one of our family members and we love him!
Thanks, Deanna! Stay tuned for additional winning rescue stories to come over the next few weeks.
Back in 2003 when my youngest son turned 10, I finally agreed that he could get a dog. Having grown up with cats that were always rescues, I knew that adopting was the only way to go. We went to our local animal shelter but the dogs there at the time just weren’t a good fit for our family. The shelter worker suggested that we go check out an adoption event at the nearby PetSmart. When we got to the event, there were only two dogs left. My son had his eye on a Cocker Spaniel but the lady told us that she was finishing up paperwork for another family to adopt her. That meant that we only had one choice, a Jack Russell Terrier named Pia. We were told that Pia had already been surrendered twice. The first family decided they couldn’t handle her and new baby. The second family already had a dog and Pia and that dog didn’t get along with each other. I had some reservations but I tried to keep an open mind—just because she didn’t blend with the first two families didn’t mean that she wouldn’t be the perfect fit for us. The woman who ran the adoption event asked my son if he wanted to walk Pia around the store. He did just that, and it was a match from the first step. He came back 10 minutes later to tell me that Pia was the one. Here we are eleven years later, and Pia is still giving us her love and keeping us entertained with her youthful ways. My son is away at college, so now she is my baby girl to love and cuddle. I know it is cliché to say this, but I can’t imagine life without her. It took three tries for Pia to find her forever home, but they do say, “three times a charm.” If we hadn’t considered adoption, we would not have found her.
Congratulations, Wendy! Stay tuned for more winning rescue stories to come over the next few weeks.
Co-hosted by our friends at Grown and Flown. Our Adopt a Shelter Dog Story Contest will run from Monday, October 6 to Friday, October 31. We'll select one grand prize winner to receive an ASPCA prize pack, as well as two runners-up, with the chance to have your story featured on the ASPCA Parents site!