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 firstname.lastname@example.org so we can post them on our blog.
We adopted Belle (previously Sassy, often we call her SassyBelle), Mom to be Candy Bar kids, back in January & we just love her so much! Belle is the sweetest girl who loves to snuggle & play with her brother, our Schnoodle Graham. Belle’s cousin, Shaggy (my sister in law’s dog) also was adopted from Homeward Bound in June of 2013 (he’s the larger white dog in the photo of the 3 dogs). Belle goes everywhere we go, camping, boating & lots of walks! We are so thankful for Homeward Bound taking such great care of her & her pups!
Shortly after getting married in September 2009 my husband and I decided to add a dog to the one dog, Sandy, and one cat, Fluffy, we had. Sandy was getting older and we felt a friend would give her some company and thought another dog would really complete our little family. We looked at several local no-kill rescues and at the top of our list was our Bo (then called BoBo), an 8 year old pomeranian and corgi mix.
On the day after Christmas 2009 my dog Sandy and I went to meet Bo at the Homeward Bound Rescue adoption event at Petco (my husband worked that day). We went to the back room where there were many dogs barking and whining. Sandy got very frightened and wouldn’t move a step. I finally was able to get in the entry a little and ask for “BoBo,” but right as I said his name I spotted him before the volunteer did. He was within a little fence pen pacing around, tongue hanging out. He was adorable. Me, Sandy, and Bo walked around the store together and tried to spend a little time getting to know each other. It was hard though as there was a lot going on. I decided this little dog was just too cute to let go and hearing another women comment that if I didn’t adopt him she would just cemented my decision that he was mine.
Once home, Sandy and Bo instantly were friends. They napped together, went potty together, and went on walks together. Our cat Fluffy tolerated him and that’s all I could really ask for. Bo fit into our family more perfectly than I could have ever imagined. Sandy taught Bo a lot of doggy things that Bo didn’t know about. Like it’s fun to be in the backyard and explore, you don’t need to be scared. Or that on walks you are supposed to smell every single mailbox you walk by. She was such a wonderful and gentle teacher for Bo. Bo also didn’t know any words such as walk, treat, outside, or potty, but with Sandy’s help he quickly learned. I also began teaching Bo tricks. The first one, “sit,” was the most difficult and took the most amount of time. “Shake” was the next one and he learned it a bit quicker. After that he was a natural and understood he was meant to learn something new. He came to know sit, lay down, stay, shake, jump up, speak, and growl.
Bo also grew in regards to his personality. When he first came into our home he was anxious, would get frightened easily, and was very wary of children. If a child approached us on a walk Bo would get a terrified look on his face and run away as Sandy plopped down for belly rubs. Getting used to children took a little longer to see improvement for Bo, a couple years I’d say. Although Bo never adored children the way Sandy did, he would no longer run from them and would sit nicely as they pet him. He would even run after them a little sometimes after they finished petting him. Such a transformation from where he was before.
Early 2012 was a very difficult year for our family as we lost both Fluffy and Sandy. Fluffy passed away at the age of 17-1/2 from lymphoma and Sandy passed away at the age of 14 from kidney failure just a few months later. Bo grieved both their losses, but especially missed Sandy. It took a couple weeks for Bo to act normally on his walks again and stop turning around and looking for Sandy. He also wouldn’t go out in the yard alone and needed either me or my husband out there with him. Eventually he got better, but like anyone missing a loved one it just took time.
Just about a month after Sandy passed away we found a cat outside our house crying in a thunderstorm. We brought the kitty in and fed him. We tried to find his owners but had no luck. He was such a sweet cat and he got along great with Bo so we decided to keep him. We named him Niko. Bo and Niko became great buddies, going outside together, eating next to each other, asking for treats together, and sometimes sleeping by one another. Bo had companionship again and it was obvious he loved it.
About a year after finding Niko we moved to a new home in a nice little association. Bo quickly made so many doggy friends. It was like he became a puppy again. He got even more excited for walks as we almost always ran into a couple of his friends and sometimes we would have a fenced-in area where they could go off leash and run around. Bo had so much fun here and watching him so happy while playing with his friends filled my heart with such happiness. My husband and I made good friends here too we met during these playtimes. Going on a walks with Bo became the highlight of the day for us and Bo.
In October 2013 Bo hurt his back when he stepped onto the curb the wrong way. I brought him to the vet where they did an x-ray and found he had a bulging disc. He got some pain meds and a few hours later I brought him in for a chiropractic adjustment. Bo felt so much better after that and with a few more treatments he was almost back to his regular self. Though, while doing the x-ray though they found that Bo had an enlarged heart. The vet said it wasn’t an emergency now but suggested looking into it sometime soon. While his back was healing Bo was limited to very short walks and he missed his friends very much during this time.
Eventually, he got better and was able to go on longer walks. Although I didn’t know it at the time, but what ended up being Bo’s last walk in November was perfect. We walked around the association and Bo asked to turn the long way instead of the shorter way. He was so cute so I said yes even though I was a little worried about his back. We walked by one of his friends’ houses and Bo sat and stared, waiting for them to come out. I didn’t think they were home and was just about to leave when I saw the door open. We shut the fence and they all ran around and played. A few minutes later a couple more friends showed up and there were dogs running everywhere. This was his first time playing with his friends since he hurt his back, and sadly was also his last. In the middle of playing, Bo stopped, ran up to me and rubbed his head all over my leg (something he did when very happy or excited). I kneeled down to pet him and the look on his face said, “Thanks for letting me play with my friends. I missed them so much!” And then he ran back to his friends to play some more. I teared up in that moment, and cry now again remembering it.
It was shortly after this that Bo got sick. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I don’t like to remember him that way. But because his heart was enlarged it wasn’t pumping correctly and one of his valves tore, leaking blood into his chest. It actually clotted over and he improved for a few days and the vet hoped for the best, but when it happened a couple more times within the same day we knew we couldn’t let him go through that anymore. We spent a little more time at home with him and let him and Niko say goodbye. We had someone come to our home where he would be most comfortable to make his trip to Heaven on December 6th. I told him I will always love him and he will always be my little boy. After he was gone that day I felt my heart had been torn out. It was the hardest thing saying goodbye to him. That night Niko woke us up doing a crying meow and slept the rest of the night on my chest, something he never did before and hasn’t done since.
I know Bo is happy and has been reunited with Sandy and Fluffy in Heaven. That brings me some comfort but not having him here to kiss and cuddle hurts so badly. Even 6 months later we all still miss him terribly and he remains in our daily thoughts. Bo was so special and had so many things that just made him “Bo.” The silly half-sneezes he would do when excited, the way he rubbed his face all over your legs to say he missed you when you’d come home, how hyper he’d get when I would sing the goofy “walkie song” I made up, and I could go on. Nearly anytime we went out with Bo on walks, at dog events, or at parks at least one person would comment he was the “cutest dog they’d ever seen,” and I would have to agree.
Bo was such a light in our lives and like I always told him “he holds such a special place in my heart,” and he always will.
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”
I 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….
1/18/2013Hi 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
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
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
Sky and Balto
(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.
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!
- Dog Adoption at the Pet Smart in Maple Grove
Saturday, August 2, 2014
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Maple Grove PetSmart
- Warm Water Dog Wash
Sunday, August 3, 2014
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Frattalone’s Ace Hardware
- Dog Adoption at the Petco in Fridley
Saturday, August 9, 2014
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
- Dog Adoption at the Petco in Fridley
Saturday, August 16, 2014
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
- Dog Adoption at the Petco in Fridley
Saturday, August 23, 2014
11:00 am to 3:00 pm