When my wife (Lindsy) and I first started dating she said, “You know the crazy cat lady? Well one day I’m going to be the crazy dog lady.”  Although I laughed, I knew she was only partially joking.  The only thing up for debate was when; five years from now, 20 or maybe even 40?  I’ve always had an affinity for animals, but Lindsy revived my affection for dogs.   It’s a good thing, because her three year old Chihuahua (Riley) decided to test my patience.  It took six months to convince little Riley I wasn’t going to harm them and I was worthy of consideration for a long term role.

During the course of our relationship Lindsy and I talked about owning other dogs but the timing wasn’t right.  We love Riley to death and she is wonderful but her disdain for other animals would make it difficult to add another pup.  Additionally, our living quarters at the time wouldn’t allow another animal. Finally, we weren’t willing to commit the time and money needed.

Years later and after moving to Washington, we eventually reopened the discussion.  We were living in a place with no animal restrictions, we decided Riley could use a forever companion (even though she would hate it at first) and we were finally willing to commit the necessary resources. Great!  Now what were we going to get?  Lindsy was leaning toward a small-to-medium size dog like a Corgi or Australian Shepherd but I wanted a German Shepherd.  I was drawn to the beauty, intelligence, loyalty and quirkiness of the breed.  Aided by adorable GSD puppy pictures online I was able to convince Lindsy to see things my way.  We both knew we wanted it to be a rescue and preferably a puppy.  We figured it would have a better chance of accepting Riley as the pack leader (alpha) if it learned its place early.  After months of searching, responding to ads and applying for nearly every rescue in the state of Washington I found a match! I was approved for a puppy that had been found with her litter-mates abandoned in an orchard and nursed back to health by staff at a local prison.  Although I couldn’t formally adopt her for another 4-6 weeks, so I continued to monitor the rescue website.  They posted a beautiful German Shepherd puppy (approximately 8-10 weeks), Calypso, who had been abandoned on the side of the road with her brother and sister who was available immediately.  She was the one!  I called the agency and snatched her up the day she was posted.  A couple days later (the soonest they would allow us to come get her) we drove to Othello, WA and picked up our sweet Abby girl.  It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and we are so happy Abigail (Abby)  is now such an integral part of our forever family.

Saving Pets One Meal at a Time


My lovely girlfriend and fellow dog lover, Lindsy Lucero, informed me of an outstanding non-profit organization called The Pongo Fund.

The organization was established in 2009 here in Portland in memory of Pongo, an almost 19-year-old dog (pictured above).  It is a Pet Food Bank for Oregon who saves dogs and cats from ending up in shelters when their families cannot afford to feed them.  They provide emergency assistance to anyone in honest need in order to help reduce shelter populations and keep people and their pets together.  To date the group has provided more than three million meals to animals.

If you need help

GROW, the Advantis Community Fund, is awarding $50,000 to non-profit organizations for projects that make a difference in our local community.  Several grants up to $10,000 each will be awarded. Vote for The Pongo Fund below:

Like them on Facebook

Follow them on Twitter

Saving Grace

A non-profit organization in Northern California called The Grace Foundation recently saved an abandoned and pregnant Dachshund mix named Casey who was scheduled to be euthanized.  Not only did they provide a safe and loving home for Casey but they also successfully delivered her five pups.  The runt of the litter, who they named Beyonce, nearly died at birth but Dr. Michael Russell, the foundation’s veterinarian, and Executive Director, Beth DeCaprio, gave the puppy necessary heart compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation that ultimately saved her life.

Read the full story here.

Casey with her pups

According to The Grace Foundation’s website none of the puppies will be available until after May 3rd.  They might hold on to Beyonce a little longer than the rest of her siblings to make sure that she is healthy and strong.

Here is the foundation’s mission:

Here at The Grace Foundation our mission is to protect, care for and heal these two important groups:

  • Children
  • Abused and Neglected Animals

Since its founding in 2004, The Grace Foundation has been dedicated to saving the lives of horses and other animals. Grace provides critical care and rehabilitation for abused and neglected horses, livestock, dogs, and other animals.

Many of these animals are then utilized for equine-assisted learning and therapeutic programs for youth and children. Since its inception, The Grace Foundation has helped thousands of kids who are at-risk or have suffered from abuse and neglect themselves.

Grace also offers programs for people of all ages that are struggling with autism and other physical and emotional challenges, as well as a variety of youth leadership programs and life science classes.

Thanks Grace Foundation for saving Casey and her pups and for all that you do!  We will all be hoping these pups and many others find the loving homes they deserve.

Super Dogs

By now most of us have heard the news that a dog named “Cairo” was part of the Navy SEAL team that took out bin Laden.  It is comforting to know that the “nations most courageous dog” and other four-legged friends put in harm’s way have undergone extensive training and been outfitted with top of the line equipment.  MSNBC reported the armor can cost upward of $30,000 and that last year, the military spent $86,000 on four tactical vests to outfit Navy SEAL dogs.

To some this might seem like an obscene amount of money to spend protecting dogs but, “no amount of money can replace the life of a canine that saves the precious lives of our troops in harm’s way” – Luis Reyes (The Navy’s first Master Military Working Dog Trainer).  I will sleep a little easier tonight knowing these protectors are protected.

What will they think of next?

Goodbye Norm

News broke this week that Jennifer Aniston’s dog, Norm, passed away a few weeks ago.  The Corgi-terrier mix was 15 years old.  In dogs years that is a long time but as all dog lovers know it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to a member of the family.

Jennifer told The Sun: “You have to say goodbye way too soon. It’s just so sad. It makes me so sad. But their love is unconditional and I love that.”  A relationship with a dog is a unique thing and they truly are man’s best friend.

Rest in peace Norm and sincere condolences to Ms. Aniston.  Thank goodness she still has her adorable white German Shepherd mix Dolly.

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