Kobe
DOB: 1999
DOH: 10/2006
Favorite Food: Everything
Dislikes: Paco

I found Kobe when I was visiting my sister, Joanie, and her family in Myrtle Beach, SC, for a long weekend. At 7:30 am, I headed out for my morning run and trotting down street comes a woebegone scared little beagle mix. I have a gift with most animals and can generally get them to come to me. No way was this little boy stopping. He was quite worried and looked it as he continued past me right down the street. Off I went on my run as I observed the quiet little suburban community to see people walking their dogs on leashes. No other stray or loose dogs along the way.

I couldn't get the poor stray out of my head so I headed back to the house to convince my sister that we needed to search for the little dog. My pleas fell upon deaf ears. "People don't always leash dogs down here. And at the end of our cul-de-sac are woods. On the other side of the woods is a trailer park where he probably belongs," I was firmly told by my sister. The rest of the day was spent doing activities with the kids, from heading to the pool to soccer and then kayaking. Exhausted, I was now lounging in the sun room as the tireless children came running in shouting. "Aunt Kathy, Aunt Kathy, that dog you were talking about is outside! Come on, you have to help him!"

As we all raced out to the street, there was the little beagle trotting down the street, looking over his shoulder as a small parade of 5 children trailed him with a local mom carrying kibbles and cheese on a paper plate. Ends up, the little beagle boy loves chairs…armchairs specifically. He snuck in to one of the other houses through an open door and had ensconced himself in an armchair in their living room.

Upon discovery, the parents did not think about the fact that this little guy might be scared and failed to secure him. They attempted to feed him in the garage and off he went, trotting down the street with his fan club. My littlest niece was 7 years old at the time so I yelled to her to crouch down low and maybe he would come to her. It worked! I quickly went over and was able to pick him up.

My darling sister refused to allow me to bathe him in the house so outside we went to a hose and shampoo. We took pictures and started making flyers as I convinced sis to hold him until Monday and bring him to a no-kill shelter. I had 5 dogs at the time and one had cancer and was going in for weekly chemo so I just could not handle one more.

We put the little guy in Joanie's garage (hubby would not allow him in the house) and I fed him hamburger and tried to get him to trust me. He was hiding in a large metal cabinet and was absolutely terrified. Very shy, fat little belly – probably from eating too much junk food – he would not take food from my hand or eat in front of us.

I had to leave on Sunday night but checked in right away on Monday morning. Joan and I attempted to locate a legitimate no-kill shelter and encountered more than one scam along the way. I was shocked at the response from one shelter who promptly told Joan to "put that dog back out where you found him. Three or four days, he'll find his way home. He's a huntin' dog and that's what them dogs do."

After two weeks of unsuccessful attempts to locate a shelter or adopt him out via my extended network, I had Joan take him to a vet, paid for his shots and flew down and picked him up. Kobe gradually came out of his shell and is now the sweetest little boy you ever met. He loves to run, have anything in his mouth, carries his "dollies" around the house and has a bit of a rivalry with Paco.

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Paco
DOB: 2004
DOH: 04/2006
Favorite Food: Not a Foody
Dislikes: Other Dogs

I found Paco in El Yunque rainforest, Puerto Rico as I took a vacation day at the end of a conference.

Paco was loose and hanging around a very busy parking lot with lots of tourists driving in and out to see the sites and hike into the rain forest. I hoped before I got going, that his people /owners would claim him. Well, he was still there as I got ready to hike into the rainforest myself. I soon found myself reaching down to play with him. He went upside down and let me tickle his belly.

A local family came up and commented on how cute he was. I asked them who would leave their dog here while they hiked, to which they simply responded that people regularly drive up and abandon dogs here. The mother even noted how a personal friend of hers had three puppies tossed out a window a few months prior and stayed there for 5 weeks to quarantine them and bring them back to States.

Shocked, I scooped up the little boy and continued down the mountain. On the way, I called my office and exclaimed "Guess what I found!" No surprise to my staff that I had found a dog as they know I am passionate about rescue. My trusty employees found out the rules on bringing a dog back to New York and locate a veterinarian and a WalMart. I stopped at a local store that kindly called the vet for me and found that they spoke English. Next, I smuggled the poor boy into Walmart (97 degrees outside so he was coming with me). As I raced around the store to pick up a collar, leash, food, and a carrier, little Paco he stayed quietly hidden in a beach bag, for a full 20 minutes!

The adventure continued as off we went to the veterinarian, who was reluctant to give me a health certificate. I begged and pleaded with the Doctor to let Paco fly home with me the following day. I pointed out that if I abandoned Paco he would surely face a tragic life, possibly death. Poor Paco had so many flea bites all over his body that had morphed into cuts from scratching -- that it looked like he might have mange. I suggested the vet think about the situation and promised to bring Paco back the next morning all cleaned up and he would be able to see he was a healthy dog with flea bites. He agreed...albeit reluctantly.

Next on the agenda was smuggling him in to the very fancy El Conquistador Hotel where we were staying. A dog carrier with a beach towel draped over it, racing through the lobby and going outdoors wherever I could to minimize contact with hotel staff, I got the very shy Paco into my room. On to the bath and I have never seen so many fleas in my life never mind from one little fellow! We shared a little dinner together on my bed. My active agenda had me scheduled for a tennis lesson with the hotel’s pro. Paco came with me and I introduced him to Juantio the local pro I had been playing with all week. I explained the situation to Juantio and he asked what vet I had seen. His face lit up with a smile as he excitedly said "I teach his son tennis. I will call him!" Juantio called the vet at his home and asked him to give the senorita a health certificate for the little rainforest dog.

The next morning Paco and I went back to the vet with a cleaned up little white dog for a follow up exam. The vet was very rough with him and there was a tense moment as Paco turned into something from a Stephen King movie and ruined the vet’s shirt. He slammed the door and I was worried about what was going to happen next. I did not have a "Plan B." However, the vet authorized his assistant to write up a health certificate and proof of vaccines. Paco and I flew to his new home in Bedford, NY, leaving his hell behind and ascending to ruler of the roost. All 17 macho pounds of him!

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Sadie
DOB: 03/2006
DOH: 04/2006
Favorite Food: Liver Treats
Dislikes: Maggie

I am part of an informal rescue circle so I receive between five and fifteen emails daily with animals who desperately need homes. I try not to open them as I invariably feel so sad and too often have said "What’s one more!" and then I add to my large "family."

In February 2006, I opened an email with a three year old rottie mix who needed a new home. I had recently lost two of my pack so I had the room. I was traveling (to Puerto Rico where I found Paco) but I reached out and told the family I could take Sadie when I returned in March.

Sadie had been adopted by her family as a puppy from North Shore Animal League in Long Island. But when "Grandma" moved in with her walker and aides, trouble began. Now there were four generations in one little house. Sadie is close to 100 lbs. and one move of her big body could have knocked Grandma down, causing a broken hip or worse. The aides were from El Salvador and were terrified of Sadie.

So poor, gentle Sadie was spending her days either in a postage stamp sized backyard or tied to the dining room table. The family was afraid to let Sadie play with the little ones and she was living an isolated life. She was so sad and the family felt that she would be better off in a new and loving home where she got lots of attention.

Sadie came to join our household and she is a total mush. At first, my now-deceased Newfie-mix, Simon, bullied Sadie a bit and she was not sure about this new place. But everyone sorted it out and Sadie is a very happy girl. She commutes to New York City only occasionally as the thunderous train ride, honking taxis, and belching buses make her nervous. She has a bad ACL so gets an anti-inflammatory daily and glucosamine. But she still loves to go for shorter hikes and has to skip the long runs -- regretfully. She’ll be begging to go with the rest of the crew as we have to leave her behind as after about a mile, she tuckers out. She has a bit of a mean girl streak and badgers Maggie a bit. But overall, it’s one happy family.

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Jojo
DOB: 10/2009
DOH: 4/2011
Favorite Food: Rawhide Bones
Dislikes: Truck Tires

JoJo was found tied to a fence in Washington Heights, NY along with another pittie mix. Both of them were pitifully thin and had scars on their faces. They were rejects from a fight ring.

JoJo was only 33 lbs. and full grown. As you can see from the "before" pictures he was so sad looking. His head looked huge becaue he was so underweight. Every bone on his back protruded. His nails were fecal stained, his white bib stained yellow, and his ears a mess.

He was taken to New York Animal Control Care (NYACC) by the folks who found him. Dogs as thin as he was have no immune system so they regularly come down with kennel cough. They are moved to the "sick room" where they rarely recover and generally move right into the "euth room" where they are put down very quickly. It is a very sad place and so many animals are killed each year.

A local rescue group pulled JoJo. I had seen his picture in one of the many emails I receive and his eyes looked so soft, I decided to try to save him and add him to my pack. I traveled up to Washington Heights with macho little Paco, as he is aggressor in my household. I had to be sure the pittie would not respond if Paco instigated a fight.

We met JoJo’s foster parent, Laura Simpson, and Paco promptly mounted JoJo and attempted to bite his back. JoJo paid him no attention though... a good sign. However, the bad thing was JoJo would not stop fiercely tugging his leash. Apparently, the fight ring people starve the dogs, attempt to teach them to be aggressive and reward them with kibbles.

I could not walk two steps with JoJo as he had been trained to grab the leash and tug and tug. He also growled while doing this so rather disconcerting to other people who tend to be cautious around pitbulls. This behavior was so ingrained; it took a lot of effort to retrain him.

Laura brought JoJo to my house so she could check out me and my home and make sure all the dogs got along. Although it was spring, JoJo had to wear a coat as he was still sick and so thin. He had dermodectic mange on his back and the top half of his tail. He peed like a girl, had never seen grass and could barely sit as his hind end bones stuck out so far. He didn’t really know what to do with all this space and other dogs!

Despite being a vegetarian, I cooked chicken and sweet potatoes for JoJo and fed him three times a day. He gained 7 pounds the first week and when we weighed him at the vet’s office, the vet tech’s mouth fell open when she heard me exclaim that he had gained that much weight. She could not believe there was room for him to be thinner!

I took him to work every day on Metro North so he could become socialized and eat three times a day. This worked well for about six weeks. However, once he was feeling stronger he then thought that train time was playtime with "mommy." Instead of sitting quietly on the train as he had been doing for weeks, he would lie on his back, make awful noises and try to wrestle with me. Not a good thing to do on an early morning train filled with Wall Street commuters and so quiet a pin drop could be heard!

I hired a trainer and tried multiple techniques but JoJo is a handful so he now enjoys staying at home each day!

Poor JoJo missed his entire puppyhood as he had spent it in a cage. He has tons of energy, is very smart and now he weighs over 80 pounds! His coat is glossy and shiny from the wild salmon oil he gets daily in his food. His mange is gone, the hair on his tail has grown in fully. His ears are still mangled and sometimes itchy but other than that he is one happy pup.

He learns quickly, sits well and respects the invisible fence. He loves to go for long runs and never seems to tire. He wrestles with Sadie, claims his place on my bed each night and loves his rawhide chew toys.

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Maggie
DOH: 12/2010
Favorite Food: Beef Rolls
Dislikes: Ferrets

Through our local Rotary Club in Bedford, NY, we decided to hold a two-week fundraising and adoption drive dedicated to the SPCA of Westchester in December 2010. We campaigned under the slogan "I Collect for Critters" and placed collection boxes in many of the local retailers. We built a "wishing well" and placed it in Bedford Center. Denise Macri owns the local deli and was kind enough to take the wishing well in at night and put it out each morning. We held adoption events on two sequential Saturdays. I am happy to report that we raised $1900 in cash, $5000 in kind goods, and homes for three lucky dogs.

As I stopped by my local Bedford Village Veterinarian to pick up their collection box, the Vet Technician, Christine told me about a "really good little Chow lab mix" that had spent a year in a cage at the Veterinarian’s office. She asked me to keep her in mind if we had a home.

I promptly offered to pick Maggie up and bring her along to the adoption event. She was so sweet and docile, and wagged her tail non-stop. While several people expressed interest, no one stepped up all the way. I just could not put her back in a cage so I took her home for the next few nights. On Monday morning I brought her to work on Metro North wearing an SPCA "Adopt Me!" vest. Maggie was all love, all the time. After a few days I gave up and added her to the family.

Maggie is a Shar-Pei-Chow-Lab-mix with the cute little ears and carriage of a Shar-Pei, the thick fur of a chow and backbone of both those breeds but the temperament of a Lab. She had very hard life before her rescue. Most likely she was tied up, probably chewed on rocks or a chain as she has no teeth on her bottom jaw and her top canines are ground down. She has scars on her head and is terrified of cameras. But she is an angel! She commutes on Metro North railroad with me to NYC office many days and just lays under the seat. Many of the other passengers do not even realize she is there until we move to get out of our seats! She wags her tail non-stop. Her nickname is "love bug"!

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Mishka
DOB: 1998
DOH: 04/14/2000
Favorite Food: Picky Eater
Dislikes: Anyone who may come between her and her "mom"

One early morning in October 1999, Kathy was returning to her apartment building on New York City’s Upper West Side when she ran into one of her neighbors. Ronnie, a retired school teacher, was never up that early so it was quite unusual to run into her. Ronnie told Kathy she had planned on calling her so she was glad they ran into one another. She asked if Kathy would be willing to take in another dog.

At this point, Kathy had four dogs in a two bedroom apartment so she initially told Ronnie that she was maxed out. However, being a softie for all dogs, she asked "Why, what is the situation?" Ronnie proceeded to explain how a dog walker had found a Labrador mix walking down Broadway on the Upper West Side, alone, cold and apparently abandoned. The dog walker had taken the dog in but could not keep her and had tried to foster home her several times with no luck. One of Ronnie’s friends had tried to foster the dog but she had a bad hip and could not walk the dog easily.

Kathy offered to take the dog for the weekend and try to find a home for her. The dog sitter brought the dog over to Kathy’s apartment. Kathy drove the dog first to her mother’s house to try to convince her mother she needed a dog. When that failed, she drove further up to one of her sister’s houses to see if her sister’s family could add the pup to their brood. They had been thinking of getting a dog for the kids.

Her sister agreed to adopt the dog, however, in one week she was taking her family away for a week of vacation time. Kathy offered to keep the dog for those two weeks and then transfer her to her sister’s care. In the following two weeks, the dog bonded with Kathy and refused to let her out of her sight. When Kathy and her sister met to transfer the dog to her new family, the dog cried and whined the entire way home to her sister’s house.

The next few days, the dog proceeded to get very attached to Kathy’s sister and her children while her husband was traveling. When he returned, the dog refused to let him enter the house or his bedroom. Overcoming these hurdles, the husband made peace with the pup. However, the following day, the dog proceeded to scratch every doorway in the house, tore the curtains off the kitchen door, knocked plants off the window and finally bit the husband as he was picking up a doggie toy off the floor. This all took place in three days. Kathy got the call to come back and get the dog.

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Mandy
DOB: 1991
DOH: 04/14/2000
Favorite Food: Bread
Dislikes: German Shepherd Mixes

In December 1992, Kathy was assisting in the rescue of a dog who was on the kill list at the SPCA in Harlem. After rescuing the dog from the shelter, Kathy and a friend were trying to flag a gypsy cab to take the dog back home. At that point, they noticed a little dog walking without a leash, alongside a man on the other side of Second Avenue. Kathy was impressed that the dog was apparently so well trained that she did not need a leash in a busy Manhattan neighborhood.

However, just a few minutes later, the little dog was running across Second Avenue and jumped up into Kathy’s arms and began kissing her face. Apparently, she just happened to be walking by the man and was homeless, wandering the streets.

Kathy and her friend searched the entire neighborhood trying to find someone who might recognize the little lost dog. When their enquiries came up completely blank, Kathy decided to bring her home rather than turn her in to the shelter where she would have faced death in a few days. She was almost the same size as Kathy’s most recent rescue addition (see Seamus’ story) and sadly, she had scars all over her back indicating prior abuse. She had either been burned or beaten badly leaving the ugly scars.

Kathy brought her home and named her Mandy.

At first, Mandy was very docile with the other 3 dogs (in a NYC studio apartment). But once comfortable, she was quite spunky and was especially fierce if she saw a German Shepherd mix walking down the streets of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It seems that Mandy may have been used as a fight-dog so she developed an aggressive, take no prisoner’s attitude. She was a sweetie with people but could be very aggressive with certain breeds. Somehow she could spot a shepherd mix a mile away! She got along beautifully with her "siblings" and was a great addition to the household.

Mandy lived a very long and great life. She was 17 years old in 2008 and had developed doggie dementia where she would stare in corners and forget where she was and stand there barking. She was frail and almost blind and deaf but still sweet and spunky. She got her daily dose of glucosomine, chrondroitin and MSM as well as a wonder drug called Adquan. Until just a few months before she passed on, she regularly went for two-mile walks and loved her chew toys and sitting on the front porch. She readily gave out kisses to anyone who asked for one!

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Simon
DOB: 1994
DOH: 04/14/2000
Favorite Food: Liver Treats
Dislikes: Big Male Dogs

In 1995, Kathy had lost Luna, her l3 year old Lab mix. She had raised Luna since she was 3 months old when Kathy lived in Colorado and losing Luna was especially hard. One evening in March, Kathy was walking her dogs in Central Park when one of her neighbors approached her. The neighbor had recently started a rescue group and told Kathy that there was a "Lab mix" that she must take now that she had room in her household after the passing of Luna. Kathy agreed sight unseen and went over to the doggie day care who was fostering Simon to pick him up the following day.

Simon was a large Newfie-lab mix with a gorgeous coat and a beautiful friendly face. He promptly came out from the play area to the sitting room, climbed up in one of the chairs to get eye-level with Kathy and hand her a big black paw for a handshake. How could you not fall in love immediately? Kathy took him right home.

The "story" of Simon was another saga. Apparently, a woman was bringing him in to the local ASPCA in Harlem but the woman was crying as she climbed the front stairs. Another woman saw her and asked what was wrong. The woman explained that her husband had recently died and left her with three dogs but not enough money to care for them. So she was turning the youngest dog in to the ASPCA in the hope that he would find a good home. But she was very broken up about having to give up her dog.

The second woman was a local animal rescuer and she explained that the dogs at this shelter were regularly killed rather quickly and Simon would not have much of a chance for a new home. She convinced the woman to let her take him and board him until she found him a new home. The owner agreed and Simon was brought to the doggie day care on the Upper West Side. One evening, he was being walked in the neighborhood when Kathy’s neighbor saw him, fell in love and knew he would fit in with Kathy’s brood.

Kathy brought Simon home and he promptly ate every book in the house! Hard covers, soft covers, white pages and yellow pages. His coverage included a $165 Dodd and Graham book on Securities Analysis. He was very apologetic but kept this habit up for months. He was very friendly with people but wanted to show the neighborhood male dogs that he was indeed the "top dog." He became the leader of the pack.

While Kathy still lived in NYC, Simon would run alongside Kathy on her roller blades along with Mishka as they traveled to work across Central Park and down Fifth Avenue. Both Simon and Mishka were hand-signal trained and would run in the streets with Kathy obeying the commands to slow down, stop and start again.

Simon played the role of office greeter as he welcomed every client in to the office. He would insist on attention from the team members, often going so far as to climb up in the guest chairs to get a better angle for petting and complaining (loudly!) when the petting stopped. He was quite lovable and maintained his "top dog" position in the pack to the end. Once Kathy moved to Bedford, Simon happily commuted on Metro North and fellow passengers would occasionally mistake him for a coat on the floor under the seat!

Simon lived a very good long life, especially for a large dog. He was at least 13 years old when he passed on. He had bouts of cancer and was subjected to chemotherapy which bought a few more months of time but at a large cost. Simon passed away peacefully in Kathy’s home.

Up until the last few months he continued to be very spry and enjoyed his hikes with the rest of the pack. He slowed down and could not run or jump up on the bed in his last year but he was still a lovable lug to the end.

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Cassie
DOB: 3-12-94

I decided to rescue a Golden Retriever and contacted the Long Island Golden Retriever Rescue Group. They had a recent addition who had been traumatized in her previous life. Cassie had tried to and had bitten the rescue gal when she tackled her on the road. So they needed a special home with an experienced dog owner who would be able to give Cassie the love and attention she deserved.

Cassie joined my pack and was very mellow most of the time. She had a sweet personality and was very docile. She walked well on a leash, got along well with the other dogs.

We believe that she had been tied up with a chain in a backyard with very little shelter. She chose to sleep on the stairs rather than a dog bed or couch which led us all to believe that the steps in a backyard had been her only shelter from the mud and snow. Once she felt safe, she got used to sleeping on her doggie bed and occasionally jumping up on the bed.

Cassie had some food issues as we also felt she had been starved along the way. If she managed to get something in her mouth, it was almost impossible to get her to release it. She also is the only dog I know who escaped through the invisible fence and stood the shock to come back in when she was ready. Most dogs will not subject themselves to a second shock to get back home!

Cassie led a very good life but developed arthritis in the late '90s. She was on pain medication and had a great life. Unfortunately in 2006, we had a bad experience with a dog sitter who left a day early and Cassie was stuck on the floor and missed her medications. She never regained her total mobility and would fall and get stuck over the dog door and out in the yard. She had a wonderful life in the Boyle household but it was an unfortunate and an untimely end of life.

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Moose
1994-2006

Moose was rescued with Soda as they were both former sled dogs in Madison, CT whose owner had sold the house, moved to Vermont and was going to kill his remaining dogs. The nurses at the doctor’s office where the owner’s wife worked banded together and took turns feeding the poor dogs and circulated a plea for help to Best Friend’s Sanctuary in Kaneb, Utah.

That plea made its way thousands of miles across the country from CT to UT and back to Pittsburgh to a rescue group who regularly sends Kathy all the rescue requests for dogs and cats in CT, NJ and NY. Having lost her precious boy, Seamus, the previous day, Kathy received this email in the morning and thought that not many people would take two old dogs and especially large Huskys. So she replied to the email and inquired about the dogs.

The following Saturday, she loaded her four pups into her SUV and drove 90 minutes in the pouring rain to Madison, CT to meet Barb Yenco, the nurse leading the charge on the rescue attempt. They took her dogs out of the car one at a time to let them meet Soda and Moose and be sure there was no aggressive behavior.

Well, poor Moose was deaf, had frost-bitten ears and was caged in a small kennel with just an igloo for shelter. He was both curious and terrified of the other dogs. It took a long time to get him to allow Kathy in the kennel without Moose hiding fearfully along the back fence. He was a beautiful large white Husky mix.

Like Soda, he had no teeth, smelled horrendous, his fur was coarse and harsh to touch and he was also a bit underweight. He was not neutered and at 10 years old, it was not a priority as all the other dogs were neutered and Moose would be contained on the property.

The former owner had insisted that Moose travel in a crate so he was loaded in to a large crate which took up the entire back section of the SUV. He was terrified and howled the entire trip home. Because he could not hear, Kathy could not even encourage him and he could not hear her calming words.

Soda and Moose did not know what to do upon being brought in to the house. They were scared and huddled in a back bedroom and attempted to hide in the bathroom. Kathy left them alone for a few hours to sort out the relationships between all the dogs (now six).

After settling in and realizing no harm would come to him, Moose began to relax. He was getting fed and got to go running with the pack so Moose blended in beautifully. Kathy managed to train him on the invisible fence using the white flags alone as he would not be able to hear the warning beep of the fence. He learned quickly and got the hang of the dog door as well. He loved hanging out with Simon and Mishka. He would be waiting to greet Kathy whenever she drove up the driveway. He slept on the side of the bed and had a very happy life.

Unfortunately, in 2006, Moose began walking with his head tilted. The first veterinarian practice misdiagnosed him with a back injury. Luckily for all, their MRI machine was broken and Moose went to a practice in Yonkers NY for an MRI and a consult with a neurosurgeon. He had a brain tumor. Moose started on a course of oral chemo and was doing well. Another tragedy befell him as the dog sitter misunderstood when Kathy would be returning from a business trip and left the home early failing to give Moose all his medications. When Kathy arrived home that evening, Moose went in to severe convulsions, was rushed to the vet but even strong doses of valium failed to stop the seizures. He had to be put down. But he lived the last two years of his life knowing love, good food, proper shelter, lots of exercise and great doggie companions.

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Soda
1992-2005

Rescued in 2004 by Kathy, Soda was an abandoned sled dog. At one time she had been the Northeast Champion Sled Dog but her owner neglected her so she was fragile and underweight. He moved to Vermont and was going to kill his remaining sled dogs. A group of nurses from the office where his wife worked banded together and put out a plea through Best Friend’s Sanctuary in Kaneb, Utah.

The power of the internet is awesome as that plea worked its way to Pittsburgh, PA to a group which regularly forwards Kathy the pets who need rescue in NY, NJ and CT. While traveling thousands of miles, the two sled dogs (Moose and Soda) were less than 50 miles from Kathy’s home.

Having lost her precious Seamus the prior day, Kathy received this email about the two old sled dogs the following morning. She thought that most people would not want two large dogs and especially older dogs. So she loaded her SUV with her current 4 dogs and drove up to Madison, CT in a monsoon.

The former owner insisted that a crate was needed to transport Moose so the entire back section of the SUV was filled with a large borrowed crate. Upon arriving at the home of the former owner, Kathy took her current dogs out of the car, one at a time to see if everyone got along.

Poor Soda was pacing around the backyard, shaking and barely standing up. She was soaking wet, had no shelter other than underneath the porch off the back of the house. She was very docile but quite nervous to be touched. She was severely underweight at just 35 pounds when her normal healthy weight would have been closer to 50 pounds.

Kathy was shocked to find she had no teeth from poor nutrition and had never been petted, handled or allowed inside a house! She was terrified to be loaded in to the car with these other dogs. All soaking wet and very smelly!

Everyone arrived home safe and sound and the current dogs allowed the new ones to blend in. The two sled dogs were terrified to be in a home. They had no idea what to do and attempted to both hide in the bathroom. They reeked but could not be bathed for a few weeks as they needed to acclimate first before handled and cleaned.

Soda was not housebroken so that was a bit of a challenge with a 12-year-old dog. She would also go out the dog door but not head back in to the house. A neighbor had to be paid to come down daily during the cold winter months to be sure Soda was safely back in the house and not risk freezing to death.

Soda eventually was trained on the invisible fence. Her fur got softer, she gained a little weight and enjoyed running in the woods with the other dogs. She never was truly affectionate but did get to know Kathy and would come when called. She got cancer the following year and had to be put down but at least her last year was in doggie-heaven on earth!

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