This week’s reader rescue story is about two dogs. One found his forever home as a young pup and the other found his as a senior. We hope you enjoy reading their stories as much as we did.
If you are the pet parent of a rescued dog, we want to share your story, too! For information about submitting your story, click here.
Tonka’s mama was adopted by her pet parents before they realized she was pregnant. Somehow they were able to find out that she bred with a Mastiff. She gave birth after coming to her forever home and the litter of six puppies was split up among three rescues in the Pennsylvania area. Tonka’s brother, Tank, was adopted right away by his foster mom. Tonka was fostered by the owner of Playful Pups and an employee until he was ready for adoption.
Before Tonka, we were dog parents to a German Shepherd/Pit Bull mix, Jack, who my fiancé had adopted from the SPCA before we met. Sadly, Jack passed away from natural causes in November 2011, and we were all very much affected by his passing. We had been waiting to adopt a new puppy until we were ready.
We also have a 3-year-old son who had grown up with Jack. So we were looking to find the perfect match not just for us, but also a puppy our son could grow up with.
One day we were looking around on petfinder.com to see what puppies were available in our area, when we saw Tonka’s listing. His sweet little face and his little round puppy belly made us fall in love with him immediately and we have always been suckers for brindle babies.
We contacted Playful Pups Retreat and immediately filled out the application for adoption. Shortly after, Tonka came to our house in Crownsville, Md., for a home visit and ended up staying! We have had him for a little over three weeks and he is already an incredible part of our family.
He loves to cuddle and take naps with us on the couch, loves a good belly rub and gives the best kisses. He is also incredibly smart and retains what we teach him so well! He knew the “Sit” command when we adopted him, and in three weeks has learned, “Stay,” “Lay Down,” “Leave It” and he is learning “Roll Over” right now.
I think my favorite thing he does is make this snorting noise sometimes when he is sniffing around in the grass. I call him my “little piggy” when he does this.
We live on a farm, and his favorite things to do outside are run, chase his ball and take walks down to the pond.
We love our Tonka and our favorite breed is most definitely “rescued!”
Love at First Sight Has No Bounds
By Stephanie Kalish
I first saw Timber in a picture a friend posted online in 2008 through the (no kill) shelter she used to work for. I immediately asked her about the dog in the picture. She told me that he had been in the shelter for more than a year because he is a senior Pit Bull. He was 11 years old at the time, and had been adopted but brought back because the family didn’t want him anymore.
I had to have him.
He had to come home to me and be loved.
So when I moved a few weeks later, I went to go get my boy.
An hour drive and a bunch of paperwork later, he was finally mine. We fell in love with each other right away. He was my bub, my baby, my friend and I loved him so very much.
He quickly became a very spoiled boy, even sleeping in our bed every night, but we didn’t mind. He was such a calm, loving and smart dog. How anyone would not want him is beyond me. People who think Pitties are horrible, dangerous dogs obviously didn’t meet Timber. His idea of attack mode was to lick you until you laughed. His whole body would wiggle in excitement at meeting a new person. He was a very special boy.
After two years, I saw he was losing weight and brought him to the vet. He ran a bunch of tests and came to the conclusion he had liver cancer. We gave him a little more time and tried some medicine. The vet ran more tests a month later. Sadly, there was nothing more we could do.
We went home and a few more weeks more passed, Timber was growing weaker and weaker. His body had become a shell of his old self. His face was sad and one day he gave me a look letting me know it was time. I knew in my heart I couldn’t see him suffer any longer.
We went back to the vet two days later. Timber was in my lap and I whispered, “I love you bub, goodnight” in his little ear. He went to sleep for the last time. My heart never hurt so much. But I knew he was going to a better place, over the Rainbow Bridge.
I knew when I adopted him that he would only be with me for a short time. Never did that change my love or need for him. Those two years of love and devotion that boy gave me meant more than anything. I am so happy I had the chance to give him a happy and loving home for as much time as I could. He will forever be with me and always in my heart.
Since Timber’s passing, we have adopted a pup named Curly. He’s a spunky fellow, but that’s a story for another time.
PHOTOS: Bridget Berry and Stephanie Kalish