Rags to Riches Contest . . . The Story of Dina

A Rescued Dina with her Human Sibling Max

To thank the wonderful folks who provide intake, fostering, and adopting, I have created a $625 prize-filled Rags to Riches Contest.

I want those stories that capture a dog’s ‘rags to wags’ transformation—and am awarding an amazing 1/3 of the entries with prizes! The photo here comes from our most recent, 22nd entry, “Dina”.

We are taking only 30 entries so don’t delay in getting in your story. You can enter here: http://bit.ly/1uLnbY

Her kid’s favorite bedtime story, Dina was written by Nancy Freedman-Smith CPDT as soup for her soul.

Dina was a stray and my first rescue dog. She is the dog who changed the direction of my life. Her story is so interwoven with mine, it is hard to tell where her story ends and mine begins. Her story is my story too. Dina took me down the path of dog training, rescue, pet therapy, and stupid pet tricks. So many trainers I know became trainers because their dogs were difficult, but I became a trainer because my dog was wonderful. Dina took me places I had never been before. She was a once in life time dog, my heart.

In the spring of 1989 I was scurrying home from work to my apartment in East Boston to take Rollo, my wild child German Shepherd mix out to play at the little city park that the neighborhood dogs called their own. As I came up to the top of the hill, I spotted a small black and white Border Collie acting skittish and running back and forth clearly lost and in distress. From a distance I could tell she was in need of a meal, had no ID tags around her neck, and that she smelled faintly of skunk. She would not come to me and I hurried home for Rollo, hoping that if I had another dog with me she would let me catch her.

Minutes later when I returned with Rollo they were best friends at first site. The two took off in a flash to play herding dog games. The dog who would soon be my Dina darted, bolted, turned on a dime and she and Rollo romped until their tongues hung out of their heads with joy. When Rollo and I left for home, the little dog followed us, just out of reach. When I opened the front door, she flew up the three flights of stairs up to my apartment like she owned the place. After filling herself with food and water, she promptly fell asleep with her head on my lap on the living room floor and she never once ducked from my touch again.

When my boyfriend got home he took one look at her and said “no way”, so I took her for a walk around our neighborhood to see if anyone recognized her. Our next door neighbor, an older Italian woman came out of her house and exclaimed, “I know that doggie. She come-a evare day sam-a time. You gotta let her loose so she can go-a home. That soma bodies doggie. That nota your dogie.” On that day I bowed to the pressures of my boyfriend and neighbor, but if I had a do over I would never do what I did, which is set her free and shoosh her away.

I unhooked her leash.

“Go home” I insisted with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

The dog and I sized each other up. That moment is frozen in my mind. With no thanks to me, Dina was in for a happy ending, but at the moment, she didn’t leave.

Read the rest of Dina’s story and the other entries here.

Rescue is a great and really noble way to obtain a canine companion. First, it allows you to give a dog a great home. And, it often allows you to avoid the pains of puppyhood by adopting an adult dog. But, it takes a special person to try and repair the bad times that rescue dogs have often experienced. For this reason, rescue adoptions are often very serious business. That is, you must prove that you have the time to make the necessary commitment. You also must show that you are a kind and caring individual who can provide intelligently for this needy guy’s or gal’s health needs. To thank our many important rescuers and adopters, we have created this special rescue story contest.

We are looking for irresistible tales that capture your dog’s wonderful ‘rags to wags’ transformation. You know, those truly compelling stories that reside only in the heart. Folks need to communicate just why their rescue dog deserves to be King or Queen for the Day. Please join us in our fun new contest, Cece Kent’s gorgeous Cambridge Collar & matching Cambridge Lead — a set valued at $180 — awarded to our grand prize winner. Cece Kent’s dog fashion line offers a fine touch of elegance, with this gift truly befitting a lucky canine king or queen. Other wonderful prizes from our Foundation Store round out the total $500+ prize package for our top ten tales. Click here to see our entries as they arrive.


Pilots N Paws . . . Pilots Donating Time to Rescue Dogs

What an incredible thing this is! It is often very tough to get rescues from one area in the country to another, so that they can get to the places where there will be homes waiting. Pilots N Paws is intended to be a meeting place for those who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals. They provide the environment in which those involved can come together in a common place and arrange or schedule rescue flights, overnight foster care or shelter, and all other related activities.

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Please come learn about Pilots N Paws 5000

Pilots N Paws 5000 will take place during the week of September 12th through the 20th. This event was conceived as a means to draw public attention to three issues. The first and most important message that needs to be conveyed is that we have a serious problem in this country and as a result about 4,000,000 animals or more are euthanized annually. This would not be the case if there were more and better spay and neuter programs and laws regarding owners’ responsibility for their animals. The second issue is that because the problem is primarily regional a lot of these innocent animals could find permanent “forever” homes if they could be transported from high kill regions to areas with homes available. To accomplish this we desperately need more pilots to help with transports.

The final issue is that while aviation has proven to be a successful way to transport animals to safety, general aviation in this country is threatened. The threats range from onerous Homeland Security directives to crippling and expensive fees imposed on general aviation. We want to see general aviation perceived by the public accurately as a driving force in our economy, and one that contributes far more than its $150 economic impact would suggest. We want to see general aviation free of these threats.

To transport 5000 animals to safety in one week is a large undertaking, and it involves shelters, rescues, foster homes for animals and pilots. Each will play a role in the success of the Pilots N Paws 5000 and each must commit to its success.

Roadside births: Dog has litter of 16 puppies on turnpike

Tessia with her 16 newborn puppies (born on July 19th)

P.U.P.S., a nonprofit organization in Hopatcong, NJ, rescues Pregnant Moms from shelters that are “High Kill”, meaning they are so over burdened with unwanted dogs, they do not have the time or resources to find these wonderful, loving animals new homes. When a dog is pregnant and shows up in one of these shelters, their situation becomes URGENT as the shelter can’t and won’t be able to care and provide for a mom and a litter of pups.

P.U.P.S. transports these dogs into their foster network, where they receive the veterinarian care, the love they so desperately need and a safe environment to deliver their pups and regain their health, before being adopted into their forever homes. Sadly, EVERYDAY, they have to refuse pregnant canines scheduled to die in shelters because they just don’t have enough space and help for them.

Tessia, the Flat-coated Retriever-Border Collie mix shown above, is such a “good mother” and is busy tending to her babies. Her 16 puppies are ALL doing great, and a home has already been found for this lovely girl.

Tessia with one of her Golden-colored puppies

But, it’s how they were delivered which is quite the story, as shown in Matt Manochio’s article, Roadside births: Dog has litter of 16 puppies on turnpike.

Danelle Ruotolo of Sussex County drove to Delaware three weeks ago and picked up a rescue dog to bring to her shelter. The dog, Tesa, was pregnant, and began delivering pups en route to New Jersey, causing Ruotolo and her friend who was driving to pull over and help birth the puppies on the side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Ruotolo returned home with 17 dogs: Tesa and her 16 puppies, all of which likely would’ve been euthanized had Ruotolo not rescued Tesa. “We’re a dog-rescue that specializes in pregnant dogs,” Ruotolo said of Protecting Unborn Pups, or P.U.P.S, a nonprofit organization she’s operated out of the borough for three years.

“We get pleas, actually, from shelters needing help to save them,” she said. “”We usually do two moms at a time, we’re small.”

Ruotolo said her shelter has helped rescue and place 240 dogs. … Tesa’s been somewhat overwhelmed by having to nurse the 16 puppies every three hours, so Ruotolo has been switching the puppies from mom to bottle-feeding.

Ruotolo said she gravitated toward saving pregnant dogs early on. “”I’ve been with other rescues,” she said. “”When I found out the pregnant ones go down first … it’s just not fair … that’s why I started to specialize in them.” Ruotolo said she hears about pregnant dogs needing rescuing through various Internet sites that track them. She’s rescued dogs from up and down the East Coast, as far west as Ohio and Tennessee, and as far south as Georgia.