Browsing articles in "Success Stories"

We love to hear how all of our furry friends are doing. Do you have a Homeward Bound dog that you love and cherish? If so, please send your success story (and pictures if possible) to Nicci at so we can post them on our blog.

From Kennels to 4-star Hotels

Jul 18, 2013   //   by Sherri   //   Blog, Success Stories  //  No Comments

In February 2012 we adopted two Mini-Schnauzers.   We loved the breed, having had a Schnauzer for many years.   We wanted to fill a big void in our hearts and do something good for the pet kingdom by considering adoption.

We found Homeward Bound, which had about ten Schnauzers, most of which had been rescued from breeders.  We visited PetCo to see all of them and they were mostly a sad case, indeed.  We were still grieving over the recent loss of our own animal friend, so we stepped back and would look another day – returning a mere two weeks late.   There were only two of the originals left, perhaps because they were in the worst shape, both physically and emotionally.  One of them did not even look like a Schnauzer, having thin long hair and over-sized feet (a result of living life in a kennel).  We were prepared to adopt one of them, but did not want to separate them – so we took both.  Their lives were about to make a dramatic turn for the better; they hit the doggie lottery.

These two Schnauzers, that we named Stella and Paris, were a mess.  They both were scared, dirty, and mal-nourished; they had ear infections and rotting teeth, which caused them pain; each had hair that was brittle and like wire.  We got them home and they spent most of the first few weeks in the “shelter” of a crate.  They knew nothing about being a domestic dog.  It took months for them to have enough confidence to even bark. They pooped and peed when-ever, where-ever, so it was an extra challenge to train them during a Minnesota winter with a foot of snow on the ground.  Paris, having the most emotional problems, had great difficulty with the idea of going through a door and over a thresh hold, sometimes running into a closed glass door.  Walking on a leash, much less running, was a big deal for them.  Playing with toys or people – even our cat – was foreign.   Slowly, they warmed up to the idea of good food, a warm bed, and being in our presence.

Fast forward 15 months.  After veterinary care (including a few surgeries), high quality food, exposure to new environments, patience, and a whole lot of love – these two have made a remarkable recovery.  They have each gained a healthy weight and now have hair like silk.  They come to us when called.  They love going for walks and Paris loves to run.  They sometimes play.  They sleep in our bed.  They wag their tails and give us happy smiles that only a happy dog can.  To our surprise, they are good travelers and have been to North Carolina and Florida (by car), sometimes staying in four-star (pet-friendly) hotels.

Adopting Stella & Paris has a feel of divine intervention.  As a pair, they have been good for each other, accelerating the recovery process – for them and for us.   We think it’s possible that Stella could be the mother of Paris; she is protective and they have some unusual, but shared characteristics.  Somehow, they managed to stay together long enough for us to find them.

For others considering adopting, know that it can be much work and full recovery may never happen.  Adopting a breeder rescue is like getting a puppy, except with years of bad habits and neglect.  Rescue dogs need high quality food and health care, along with an abundance of patience and love.  Our dog’s recovery is an on-going process.  We have occasional set-backs, but we see progress on a regular basis. 

Unconditionally, we love them both and we are grateful to have Paris and Stella.   Every day, they show us likewise.

Charlotte & Bill C., Chanhassen MN 

Paris and Stella ”Before”                                                                 Paris and Stella “After”

Paris and Stella BeforeParis and Stella After









She brightened my life each day

Mar 7, 2013   //   by Sherri   //   Blog, Success Stories  //  No Comments

Bella 2009I  wanted to say thank you for rescuing my pup Bella (formerly Corrina) so  that I was able to adopt her. I adopted Bella (aka Corrina) from you in September 2003.  She brightened my life each day for the last 9+ years and was an awesome lil’ sis to my 1st pup Blazer. I have never met a dog  that was so incredibly sweet, bursting with love, enthusiastic about life, and that gave real hugs (jumped up to put paw on each shoulder & nuzzled your neck). 
My heart started to break the week before Xmas when her face swelled up  out of the blue. We took her to the vet, only to eventually discover that she had Malignant Melanoma in the roof of her mouth and it had already spread to her lymph nodes. We fought along side her for 2 1/2 months, treating the abscesses caused by the tumor and eventually removing her left eye to relief her of the pain & pressure the tumor  was putting on it as it grew. My baby girl Bella continued to wag her tail & shower us with love until Tuesday, March 5th. She was off Sunday & when i took her in Monday the vets told me she wasn’t breathing as well anymore. I took her home to spoil her & love on her for as long as I could & give my step-son a chance to say goodbye to his little bud. Bella went downhill fast that night, unable to lay down without struggling to breath.

I did the hardest thing I ever had to do & let her go Tuesday afternoon. My heart is shattered without the love & snuggles I enjoyed every day from my baby girl. This is a picture of her from 2009 when I had my 1st son. She  is sorely missed by all of my kids and most so by me. I’d give anything to have one more Bella Hug right now!

Thank you for saving her  & bringing her into my life. I don’t know if I would have made it through the last 9 1/2 years without her by my side….


Bella and Big Brother Blazer 

Bella Hugs








We love you Bella


In Memory of McEnroe

Jan 25, 2013   //   by Sherri   //   Blog, Success Stories  //  No Comments
Hi  Homeward Bound folks.  11 years ago we adopted a black lab from your organization-(Bellows, renamed McEnroe by our family).  We just lost him  today and it made us reflect on what a gift and privilege it was to love him and have him in our life.  His life had started hard, born in a  pound and not adopted because he was one of so many black lab mixed puppies that come into pounds every year.  We have been and are especially today thankful for the work your organization does to unite loving families with lovable dogs.  Our lives were profoundly enriched by McEnroe and we will look to you for another dog when we are ready…   The Styve Family


Love this dog!

Jan 3, 2013   //   by Sherri   //   Blog, Success Stories  //  No Comments

Hi! Here is a updated picture of Jaspar! We seriously love this dog more
then you know!!! He is sooooo snuggly and adores our kids :) his hair
is coming in very nicely and enjoys the groomer :) We sure enjoy him
being in our family :)


Success Reels

Sep 21, 2012   //   by Sherri   //   Blog, Success Stories  //  No Comments

We adore all of the success stories that our adopters send to us.  They mean so much to us and validate the reason that we “do” Rescue by opening our hearts and homes to dogs that were unwanted and serve as a bridge between their former lives and their new lives.  We are particularly excited about these five stories that, thanks to the generous donation of time and talent by Thomas Strand, we get to share with you in video format.  We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do.

Murphy and Ringer 

Murphy + Ringer from Thomas Strand on Vimeo.

Sky and Balto

Sky + Balto from Thomas Strand on Vimeo.


Mason from Thomas Strand on Vimeo.

Sugar Belle

Sugar Belle-Vimeo 1080p from Thomas Strand on Vimeo.


Sasha from Thomas Strand on Vimeo.

A Loyal Guardian

Sep 7, 2012   //   by Sherri   //   Blog, Success Stories  //  No Comments

(This is one of the most bittersweet Success Stories we at HB have received on on of our alums.  Thank you to the Rice Family for sharing it with us.)

A short time after we invited him into our home, I would hear him get up at 2 a.m. every night. I followed him once without him knowing. ..

He walked down the stairs very quietly and walked to every door where he paused and looked. Checking carefully, he would look out the windows into the yard. He would then climb back up the stairs to my son’s room… There he would pause checking to be sure that everything was where it was suppose to be. A slow walk across the hall would bring him to my daughters room, where he inspected the room, checking carefully that the little girl sleeping there was where she was supposed to be. Finally he would step quietly back to our room where he would go to my wife’s side of the bed and check. He would lean in close, to be very sure, because she was his favorite. I, now lying in bed pretending sleep, would sense him on my side of the bed. After a short time he would lean close and give me a lick in the face. The only salute a dog can do.  “All present and accounted for sir!!!!” He would silently report. 

Cheddar has done this every night for most of his life. Eventually I got him to stop waking me up… at 2 am, but he made his rounds every night. He wanted to be sure his pack was safe. He belonged and he was loved. He had a job. He did the best a dog can do.

He is in his final days now. The spark has gone out of his eyes and he can no longer make his rounds because his bones hurt and he is not steady on his feet. I will try the prednisone one more time, to see if he can come back. But I am not going to let him suffer. It is hard to think that 10 years ago someone threw him away. Someone thought he was junk.

Such a loyal guardian… Such a kind soul…

I don’t know if you rememeber Cheddar, just thought you would like to know that we are going to have to say goodbye to Cheddar shortly there are no words for how much we will miss him. 

 Cheddar 1

Cheddar 3  Cheddar 2

Cheddar 4

She became queen of the castle!

Apr 23, 2012   //   by Nicci   //   Success Stories  //  No Comments








Millie (formally known as Suzy) came into my life on a snowy weekend in 2007. She was shy, skinny and recovering from being treated for heartworm.  It took her a while to adjust to her new life and routine, but once she settled in she became queen of the castle!  She is such a sweetheart! She loves to walk, eat treats and hunt chipmunks at the cabin. Friends and family call her her Velcro because she likes to be right next to her people all the time. Millie is truthfully the best dog EVER! 

Double the love!

Apr 22, 2012   //   by Nicci   //   Success Stories  //  No Comments


We adopted Carl(the one on the bottom and he is a mini Dachshund) and Claire(known as Faith, is a Dachshund mix,and in the middle) from Homeward bound when I was in middle school and high school and now I am in college and we couldn’t be happier with them. Oscar is the one on the top that we recently added. 
Carl didn’t have a name when we adopted him but he is a very relaxed and fun dog. We adopted him when he was a few months old and he is now about 6 years old and he is amazing dog. He even completed basic dog training and became a registered therapy dog!  My family and I just love him very much. He is very social and loves meeting other dogs and really enjoys kids, which is great considering his little size. He is just a very relaxed dog that can spend all day just being lazy and cuddling with you. He enjoys naps and going on short walks. He also just loves the summer weather. We just love Carl and wanted to say thank you!
We then later adopted Claire(known as Faith) She was thought to be a Dachshund mix. She is about 5 years old and is a wonderful dog. She took some time to come around but she really is one of a kind. She is very different from Carl but very funny. She is doing much better with meeting strangers and other dogs. She just loves car rides and going on really long walks. We just wanted to let you all know that they are doing great and we couldn’t imagine our lives without these guys.
Jocelyn,Nikki,Mark,Rodger,and Mariel

“She has a HUGE personality- is silly, loveable and even non-dog people seem to take to her.”

Apr 22, 2012   //   by Nicci   //   Success Stories  //  No Comments







Just a quick update for you on Phoebe who was named Feebee when we were lucky enough to find her at Homeward Bound.  Phoebe’s story was not as sad as many of your rescue friends are, but she was surrendered as an 8 month old pup by a family who had a toddler and the combination was just not working out so well.

Phoebe is now 5 and she is the perfect match for our household.  She has a HUGE personality- is silly, loveable and even non-dog people seem to take to her.  She is the frequent photo subject for us- You can see how photogenic she is.

Love the update to the web site- keep up the good work.  Phoebe is friends with two other dogs who also came from your rescue- We appreciate the labor of love and work you all do.
In gratitude,
(adopted Memorial Weekend 2007)

“We hope she’s happy as she looks because we couldn’t be happier to have her with us!”

Apr 22, 2012   //   by Nicci   //   Success Stories  //  1 Comment






We adopted Delia (formerly Dusky) from Homeward Bound in August 2008.
She had been up for adoption for a very long time because she was
already a senior and has a very quiet nature. (Why do people always
want the bouncy, boisterous puppies? Don’t they know they can be just
as wired at 2 AM as they were at 2 PM?!)

We quickly learned that she would try to become invisible in chaotic
situations (like pet adoption events or anywhere with children) but
her sweet, intelligent personality would shine in a calm, quiet home
with a soft bed. Also, she needed extensive dental work leaving her
with only fourteen teeth but completely pain-free. That and treatment
for her arthritis have helped her relax and enjoy a life of good food,
good friends, car rides and shoulder massages.

We hope she’s happy as she looks because we couldn’t be happier to
have her with us.

Melinda, James and Malcolm (the cute puppy)



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