Lovebugs Blog

Happy Tail: Max & Doug

We couldn’t have asked for a better person to adopt Max other than his new owner Doug!

 We received a call from a family who desperately needed to surrender their Maxht3Aussie/Boarder Collie mix. We did the typical run down of asking for some basic information and photos of the dog.  One look at his mugshot and we said "yes, we will take him in!" About a week after taking Max into our rescue, we realized good looks and good manners did not go hand in hand. While Max was responsive to basic obedience commands and proved to be smarter than the average dog, Max began to show signs of being “off”. Max began to lunge at people and other dogs for no known reason. His behavior was so unpredictable, that we were not sure what his trigger points were. We quickly enrolled Max into a board and train program experienced with Aussies where they confirmed this behavior.

CAUTION: Poisonous For Your Pup!

If you have ever wondered what the number one cause of poisoning in dogs is, wonder no more.

pet-medicationMotrin, Advil and other human medications account for the vast majority of companion animal poisoning cases each year.  Other substances that are poisonous to dogs are obvious things most people have heard of like antifreeze and chocolate but there are many things that can make your dog sick that just might surprise you. Remember a dog is very much like a toddler and is quite likely to put anything that looks appealing or appetizing into their mouth.  Below is a list of items potentially dangerous to the health of your Lovebug that you may not be aware of.

Our Wishes For The New Year...

Funding For Our Medical Needs Rescues, Loving Homes For Our Rehabilitated Rescues & Awareness In Our Community Of The Imminent Need!

 Calendar2013Coverlovebugsheaderheart Last Chance To Buy Our Lovebugs 2013 Calendar

For just $1/month and get one for yourself and everyone you love... it will be a great stocking stuffer or small gift to give during the holidays.  This sweet mini calendar is 5.5" X 8.5" and features a few of our over 400 rescues thus far.

> Click to get more details and/or buy caledars!

 



sheltertake lovebugsheaderheart CONSIDER LOVEBUGS FOR YOUR YEAREND GIVING!

Every cent you donate goes directly to our rescue efforts.  Help us rescue & find homes for dogs that will be put to sleep due to overcrowding at our local shelters! WE NEED YOUR HELP! 

> PLEASE CLICK TO DONATE NOW!

 

 Xmaspup1lovebugsheaderheart GIFTING PETS: DO'S & DON'TS!

There are things you should consider before you gift a pet during the holidays.

> Read Our Blog: Think Before You Give That Gift

 

Max formerly Monty3lovebugsheaderheart Monte Becomes A Certified Therapy Dog.

From OC to Nevada, Monte Gives Back!

When we met Monte at the Orange County shelter, we knew this adorable boy was special but we had no idea just how special he was.

> Click to read Monte's Entire Story.

Happy Tail! Monte Becomes A Certified Therapy Dog.

From OC to Nevada, Monte Gives Back!

Max formerly Monty3When we met Monte at the Orange County shelter, we knew this adorable boy was special but we had no idea just how special he was.  Monte had been turned into the shelter and adopted only to be returned two weeks later by a family that was not willing to make the lifelong commitment that every dog needs.  Lovebugs Rescue was ready to step up and make the commitment so that Monte would never have to worry about being homeless again.
Monte easily settled into the new routine in his foster home and flourished under the care of his loving foster parents.  It was quickly clear to everyone Monte met, that he was a smart and wonderful dog who was going to be a great companion to someone very special.  Little did we know that Monte was soon to embark on an amazing journey.


One day we got an application from Dr. Nancy McNaul who was interested in adopting Monte.  Dr. McNaul happened to be a therapist who helped patients working to overcome many different types of traumatic experiences and she was looking for a very special dog to help her in this important endeavor.  Of course it was impossible to tell for sure but Monte’s foster parents had a feeling that with some specialized training, he just might be a good fit.  Dr. McNaul must have had a good feeling as well and she quickly made plans to drive all the way from Reno, Nevada to Orange County to meet our man Monte.


When the day finally came for Monte and his potential new parent to meet, it was love at first sight!  Dr. McNaul was sure that Monte was the perfect candidate for the training it would take to do such important work and Monty and his new mommy happily drove off to begin their new lives together.


Fast forward several months and Monte, now named Max has completed his training and is now an official Therapy Dog!  Max goes to work with his mommy everyday and seems to know exactly what each patient needs from him and gladly obliges.  We have also learned that Max has unbelievable empathy with distressed children and is a wonderful help to them.


We are so happy to have been able to make this wonderful match for one of our Lovebugs and so proud that this loving, twice abandoned dog now has the opportunity to touch the lives of many.

Max formerly Monty Max formerly Monty7 Max formerly Monty4

Please Think Before You Give That Gift!

Pets As Presents!

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Movies and TV have given people the idea that adorable puppies make heartwarming holiday gifts. In reality it can often end in the heart-wrenching realization that this living, breathing "gift", is not a good fit for the family and they are now faced with the dilemma of how to get rid of their new pet.  All too often we find these “gifts” discarded at overcrowded shelters where they run the risk of being euthanized.

During the holidays, many people capitalize on the flow of emotions and spur of the moment decisions.  This is when the pet stores are full of popular breeds straight from their puppy mill suppliers. Backyard breeders are also in high gear at this time of year. You need only look in the classified ads to see the flood of people trying to turn the family pet into a Christmas money maker.

Bringing a dog into your home should be a family decision and not a surprise gift. Everyone, including the children, should educate themselves on different types of dogs and decide what breed or mixed breed would best fit into their lifestyle. It is also important to remember that an adult in the household will ultimately be responsible for the dog, not the children. The adult must be willing to accept this responsibility and be willing to care for the dog for the next 15 or so years, which may be long after the children lose interest or leave the nest.

Instead of buying that cute little puppy as a gift, we suggest giving books on pet selection, training, care, health, diet, and individual breeds. Pet care supplies and subscriptions to pet magazines and newsletters are also good choices.  These presents are wonderful ways to introduce the joys of pet ownership and will help when deciding what type of dog is right for your home.  It's a decision that everyone in the household should make together when they are truly ready to commit to a new lifetime companion. This will benefit everyone - the gift giver, the family and the deserving animal.

Once you have decided to make the commitment and add a furry family member to your home, we believe that choosing to adopt from a reputable rescue is one of the best ways to find a dog that is a great match for your family.  Most of the time the dogs have lived with foster families who get to know each of the dogs very well.  Knowing the dog’s personality, temperament, good and bad habits, likes and dislikes, etc, will go a long way to help ensure a great match is made for everyone.

We hope that when you hear someone say that they plan to give a pet as a gift, you take the opportunity to educate them. Animals cannot speak for themselves, but you can be their voice and convey the message that pets aren't disposable; they need love and commitment their whole lives and choosing a new pet should be something everyone in the family enjoys together.

FALL in Love With A Lovebugs Rescue!

 Calendar2013Coverlovebugsheaderheart Order Our Lovebugs 2013 Calendar

For just $1/month and get one for yourself and everyone you love... it will be a great stocking stuffer or small gift to give during the holidays.  This sweet mini calendar is 5.5" X 8.5" and features a few of our over 400 rescues thus far.  

> Click to get more details and/or buy caledars!

 

 dog chewing shoeslovebugsheaderheart BACK TO SCHOOL BLUES FOR YOU & FIDO!  WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR DOG'S SEPARATION ANXIETY SETS IN.

lovebugsheaderheart Read Our Blog About The Symptoms & Treatment Of K9 Separation Anxiety

 

lolaandhermomlovebugsheaderheart Help Lovebugs Fix Lola's Hind Feet...

Shortly after the rescue of her & her brother, we noticed that Lola had a deformity in each of her paws - similar to club foot. After extensive xrays and consultations with 3 orthepedic specialists, we finally came across one that could help Lola. Dr. Kenneth Bruecker with VMSG in SJC performed the first of two surgeries on Lola. The first surgery was a success and Lola now has a natural extension to her front two paws. When Lola is a little older, she will get the second surgery to correct the back paws, which are worse then the front.

> Click to read Lola's Entire Story.
> Donate To Help Us Pay For Lola's Second Surgery!

merlinfosterlovebugsheaderheart Tiny, 5lb, Blue Chihuahua Survives The Threat Of Chemical Burns & Shelter Overpopulation.

Magical Merlin was dropped off at the Orange County Animal shelter as a stray with no owner in sight. Merlin had terrible burns covering the entire surface of his head, down his neck and on some parts of his body. This little guy weighing only 5 lbs was no match for this type of abuse, but he is a miraculous survivor and is now recovering with us. The photos show the painful healing process Merlin has undergone so far. Despite being treated this way, Merlin is a very happy, playful young dog with a lot of love to give.
Merlin will be ready for his forever family by the end of next week.
> If interested in making Merlin a permanent family member, click here to fill out our online adoption application.
> Click to read Merlin's blog.

riverbedK9familylovebugsheaderheart Momma Dog Leads Lovebugs Rescuers to 5 Newborn Pups In A Lying In A Riverbed.

This family was dumped the other night in a riverbed left to die. Thankfully, one of our previous adopters found the mom running along the trail. We asked them to take her back to where they found her to see if she would lead them to her pups. They did and sure enough, mom led them to 5 tiny tots just days old tucked into some bushes in the riverbed. They are now safe and sound with Lovebugs Rescue. A huge thanks to Jessica Caravella for being the guardian angel this family needed ♥.

> Click to see images and read updates on this amazing little family.

Inspiring Rescues:

Riverbed Rescued Mama "Hope" & her Pups

This family was dumped the other night in a riverbed left to die. Thankfully, one of our previous adopters found the mom running along the trail. We asked them to take her back to where they found her to see if she would lead them to her pups. They did and sure enough, mom led them to 5 tiny tots just days old tucked into some bushes in the riverbed. They are now safe and sound with Lovebugs Rescue. A huge thanks to Jessica Caravella for being the guardian angel this family needed ♥.

Hopeandfamily

Special Needs Rescue: Suffers Foot Deformity

Little Lola In Need Of 2 Orthopedic Surgeries

Miss Lola was on the way to the shelter, along with her brother, when we happen to be at the right place at the right time. We wisked brother and sister away to the safety of one of our foster homes. Shortly after getting the two settled, we noticed that Lola had a deformity in each of her paws - similar to club foot. After extensive xrays and consultations with 3 orthepedic specialists, we finally came across one that could help Lola. Dr. Kenneth Bruecker with VMSG in SJC performed the first of two surgeries on Lola. The first surgery was a success and Lola now has a natural extension to her front two paws. When Lola is a little older, she will get the second surgery to correct the back paws, which are worse then the front. Lola also had to undergo surgery to correct both a umbilical and ingunial hernia. This little pup has been through so much in her short life, but the great news is she has found a forever family that is head over heels for her despite her imperfections. Lovebugs has paid $1,800 to date for her corrective surgeries, and is estimated to pay another $1,500 for her second surgery. Please help us by supporting Lola and making a tax donation today towards her medical costs.
> Donate To Help Us Pay For Lola's Second Surgery!

Lovebug Laurel Upon Rescue:

Laurel before extensionlolalegs

Now Named Lola in Her Forever Home Awaiting Her Next Surgery...

lolalolaandhermomlolahomelolahome2

Meet Magical Merlin Now Marly!

Abandoned 5lb Chihuahua Suffers Severe Chemical Burns!

MerlinadoptionNovember 2012 - Merlin (blue chi) now named Marly has gone home with a new loving family and has a new furry sister named Baby!

 

Sept 2012 - Magical Merlin was dropped off at the Orange County Animal shelter as a stray with no owner in sight. Merlin had terrible burns covering the entire surface of his head, down his neck and on some parts of his body. This little guy weighing only 5 lbs was no match for this type of abuse, but he is a miraculous survivor and is now recovering with us. The photos show the painful healing process Merlin has undergone so far. Despite being treated this way, Merlin is a very happy, playful young dog with a lot of love to give.
Merlin will be ready for his forever family by the end of next week.
 

Merlin at the OC Shelter on Rescue Day:

merlinsheltermerlinshelter2merlinshelter3Merlinwound

Merlin Safe At The Doctor Getting Love & Medical Treatments:

merlinconemerlincone2merlincone3

Merlin Cuddling In Foster Care:

merlinfostermerlinrecoveringmerlinrecovering2merlinrecovering3

Merlinadoption

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Summer's Over… BACK TO SCHOOL! You think you are bummed… think about how Fido feels.

dog chewing shoesDogs Separation Anxiety - Common Symptoms and Treatment

One of the greatest joys of dog ownership is the tight bond we experience and encourage with our dogs. However, if your dog becomes too reliant or dependent on you, dog separation anxiety can occur when you and your dog are apart.

Look At It from Your Dog's Perspective

To your dog you are the most important thing in his/her world. Dogs are pack animals that are very social creatures and thrive on company for many reasons. Your dog would spend every bit of his life with you if he could, so it's only natural that when you go out, your dog experiences varying degrees of distress or anxiety. He becomes confused, doesn't know where you are going, why he can't be with you and if you will be coming back to him. When the two of you are separated all he wants is to be reunited with his pack - which is you.

 

Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate your dog is suffering from separation anxiety:

  1. Getting really worked up or anxious when you are preparing to leave the house.
  2. Engaging in inappropriate behavior only when you are separated. Behavior such as urinating inside, excessive barking and destructive behavior are common symptoms of canine separation anxiety.
  3. Following you everywhere you go and immediately becomes distressed if he can't be near you.
  4. While you are away there may be excessive barking, crying, chewing, destructive behavior often directed at the windows and doors, inappropriate urinating, digging, escaping, loss of appetite and in severe cases, self       injury.

Why Do Dogs Experience Separation Anxiety?

In some cases the cause or trigger can be pinpointed to a particular event, but more often there appears to be no explanation for the dog separation anxiety to commence. Here are some examples of times when separation anxiety is most likely to occur.

  1. A change in routine. Such as school starting, your work hours changing or a family member leaving home. Dogs are creatures of habit and any changes can be very unsettling and confusing to them.
  2. After your dog experiences a traumatic event while on his own. A bad storm or loud fireworks while your dog is alone can make your dog associate humans leaving with something scary.
  3. If your dog is rarely left alone and becomes overly reliant on his humans.
  4. When you move to a new home or neighborhood.

Please remember that punishing your dog for his separation anxiety related behavior is NEVER the answer and if treated consistently and with love, separation anxiety is manageable.

 

What Can You Do To Help Your Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety?

Separation Anxiety Treatment

The golden rule is that you must educate your dog to accept the fact that sometimes you will need to be apart from each other. The earlier you start getting your dog used to this fact, the easier it will be, for both of you.

  • Ensure that your dog feels safe and comfortable when you are away from him. Provide plenty of fresh water and clean, warm bedding for your dog in a safe secure gated area of your home.
  • Be sure to give your dog plenty of exercise before leaving the home.
  • Provide some appealing dog toys to help occupy his time. Fill a Kong with canned dog food and freeze it for a fun treat your dog has to work for. Dura-chews, deer antlers and bully sticks are great options as well.       (we DO NOT recommend rawhide chews)
  • Leave a blanket or piece of cloth with your dog that has your scent on it.
  • Hide treats in your dog’s gated area so he will have something to hunt for.
  • Leave the radio or TV on while you are away.
  • Sometimes adopting another dog can help.
  • Take obedience classes with your dog.
  • Doggy day care or a friend or family member's home may be a good option.
  • Pay little or no attention to your dog when preparing to leave the house or returning.
  • Practice leaving without opening the door. Put on your shoes, pick up your keys, and walk to the door, but don’t leave. You may need to do this several times per day for weeks to quell your dog’s anxiety.
  • Keep your arrivals and departures as calm as possible. Don’t indulge in long goodbyes or excited greetings.
  • Have your dog wear a “Thunder Shirt” while he is on his own. www.thundershirt.com
  • Try calming collars and diffusers that release calming aromas (available at Petsmart)
  • Natural calming chews containing colostrum found in mothers milk. www.petnaturals.com

Ask your vet for help – there are many medications available to aid in severe cases of anxiety.

SPRINGING TOWARD OUR 2012 GOAL!

We Need Your Help To Rescue 100 Lovebugs This Year!

adoptalovebuglovebugsheaderheart 2012 ADOPTION GOAL UPDATE

Lovebugs Rescue is fortunate enough to have an amazing group of volunteers. These wonderful people all bring something different to our goal of guiding as many dogs as possible on their journey to their forever homes. We have volunteers that are great at caretaking, marketing, transporting, organizing, etc. Thanks to their tireless efforts, from January 1 to mid April 2012, 57 Lovebugs and counting are now part of loving new families and since our inception in fall of 2010, over 340 Lovebugs have found wonderful homes to call their own.  Click to see all our happy tails. There are many ways you can help us in our mission to find great homes for our dogs. Spread the word about the wonderful work we do, volunteer or better yet, become a foster. The Lovebugs will all be glad you did!

lovebugsheaderheart Tilly's Firstgiving Fundraiser: Tilly Beats Parvo!

tillyWe rescued 3 month old Tilly out of Carson animal shelter, where she was turned in without a mommy or daddy. Sadly, Tilly became very sick in the shelter and tested positive for Parvo which put her on the euthanasia list. We rushed over to the shelter immediately. Tilly was taken to our emergency vet right away. For the next 3 days, Tilly received round the clock fluids and IV meds. She had 24hr supervision and by day 4 was finally ready to go into isolation in her foster home. Tilly beat the odds and is now living in her forever home with another cattle dog. With your support, we can help another dog such as Tilly who is in need. We are setting our fundraising goal to $1,500, which is the amount we spent on Tilly for her emergency care. To donate towards Tilly's medical bills - Visit Her Firstgiving Page

lovebugsheaderheart Pogo's Firstgiving Fundraiser: Please Donate In Memorial Of Pogo!

tillyOur sweet, little Pogo sadly passed away after having a seizure in her foster home, which followed a two-day stay at our emergency vet. Pogo was diagnosed with inflammatory brain disease, likely caused by a brain tumor. While we were not able to save Pogo, there are many others like her that we can save. If you would like to donate in memory of Pogo, your funds will go towards another dog with special medical needs. Our fundraising goal is $1,300, which is the amount we spent on Pogo's medical care. To donate towards Pogo's medical bills - Visit Her Firstgiving Page

lovebugsheaderheart April 2012 Happy Tail:"Ireland" Update, now named "Emily!"
Neglected Momma Finds Love In Lovely Nellie Gail!  Click To Read Ireland's Story.

lovebugsheaderheart March 2012 Happy Tail: "Amber" Update, now named "Tipitina!"
Deaf Austrailian Cattle Dog Finds Perfect Family With The Help Of Lovebugs & Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue  Click To Read Amber's Story.

lovebugsheaderheart February 2012 Happy Tail: "Razzleberry" Update, now named "Coco!"
Abused Backyard Breeding Dog Finds Loving Family In Lap Of Luxury!  Click To Read Razzleberry's Story.

lovebugsheaderheart In Remembrance Of Those That Have Touched Our Hearts & Crossed The Rainbow Bridge While In Our Care.

It is hard to lose a loved one, no less easy when we fall in love with EVERY Lovebug we help. Despite our greatest efforts we pay our respects to 3 dear ones that have moved on.
oliviacharlieCharlie, Pogo and Olivia touched so many people's lives. From the volunteers who stayed by their side, to the vets who gave them the best medical care possible. Sometimes, it is just not meant to be. We are thankful that we were able to make a difference in these special lives, and they will never be far from our hearts as we continue to save more lives. Donate NOW to help us save the lives of at risk dogs before it is too late.

April 2012 Happy Tail: "Ireland," now named "Emily!"

Neglected Momma Finds Love In Lovely Nellie Gail!

irelandThis once badly neglected and discarded mom has chosen her new forever mommy and daddy and is living it up as a pampered princess in Nellie Gale Ranch. Ireland, now named Emily Dickenson, is enjoying her new family and loves to play and take walks with her new Shih-Tzu brother Chopin.






Ireland's Story:

This mama dog was discarded at the Baldwin Park shelter, terribly neglected and matted with 6 newborn puppies. No time for the beauty parlor, we had our vet remove her terrible mats so she can continue nursing and caring for her puppies.

ireland1ireland2ireland3

March 2012 Happy Tail: "Amber," now named "Tipitina!"

Deaf Austrailian Cattle Dog Finds Perfect Family With The Help Of Lovebugs & Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue

amberAmber was rescued out of Riverside County Shelter with her mom Jewel and two siblings. This family was covered in hundreds of stick fleas, and each flea had to be plucked off by our vet.  Soon the family was bathed and ready for adoption!
We noticed immediately that Amber was the highest energy puppy in the group, but just thought that was her silly personality.  Within a matter of time, we also noticed that Amber would many times be sleeping in her pen, while the others were playing around her. At first, we thought she was sick. But in fact we soon learned that Amber was deaf. Having never trained a deaf dog before, we scheduled an in home private training session with Amber to learn some basic sign skills. To our surprise, she picked up the signs within minutes!
We also learned that Amber has a very strong toy drive. Because Amber is an Australian Cattle Dog mix, we asked for the help of Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue, who has extensive experience in handling deaf and blind ACD breeds. Amber was transferred from a 1,500 sq. foot foster home in Southern California to a large ranch property in Flagstaff, Arizona with wide-open land and hiking trails that go for days. Lorina, the founder, personally took Amber under her care and continued her training on a more advanced level.  We followed Amber’s journey with Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue and enjoyed seeing her photos with other ACD’s, our favorite being one of her cuddled up to a lethal white.  
amberdeaftrainAmber made friends quickly and touched the hearts of many until one day, her new “mommy-to-be” laid eyes on her at an adoption event. The rest is history and Amber, now named Tipitina joins a family of ACD’s and furry friends on yet another wide open property the Hudson Valley of New York.  She even has a “twin” named Squirt, who is also deaf!
Tipitina’s mom is a part of the Purina Pet Pro Team and is has done extensive Frisbee training and performing with various dogs on a competitive level.  Tipitina has already begun to learn what a “frisbee” is and we can’t wait to see some videos of her performing in the near future! From California to Arizona to New York, our little deaf cattle pup has traveled a long way to find her forever home. We are incredibly thankful to Lorina, founder of Arizona Cattle Dog rescue for helping us find the right home for this very special dog.

amber1 amberalone amber2 amberandsis

February 2012 Happy Tail: "Razzleberry", now named "Coco!"

Abused Backyard Breeding Dog Finds Loving Family In Lap Of Luxury!

SophieandRazzyAfter starting her life as an abused breeding dog and then dumped at the Riverside shelter with multiple medical issues, we are pleased to announce that Razzy has chosen her forever family! Our little Razzy, now named Coco, has traded her dingy shelter digs for a luxurious home in Newport Beach. This prancing diva is now living the high life along side Lovebug, Sophia and brothers Charlie and Kobe. This pair of princess pooches can often be seen strutting their stuff at Fashion Island all decked out in matching pearls and tutus!

Her story is not an unusual one unfortunately!  Now that she has recovered and found a loving home she could not be happier!

Razzleberry's Lovebugs Journey:

razzyThe all too common story of a puppy mill mommy is a sad and lonely one.  razzyearRazzleberry and thousands of dogs like her, are kept in kennels their entire lives with the sole purpose of delivering litter after litter of adorable puppies that are sold for thousands of dollars in pet stores throughout the country.  Because the medical care of these dogs cuts into the profit for the breeder, they sadly do not receive even the most basic care they need.  At 6 years old, Razzy was no longer a profitable breeding dog and was dumped at the Riverside Shelter.  She was never groomed, bathed nor had her teeth cleaned.  As a result, Razzy has suffered razzleberryshelterbroken and missing teeth from chewing the bars of her cage. She has likely had a painful ear infection most of her life as her ear canals have narrowed and hardened. We also think that poor Razzy was "debarked". To make matters worse, she had a very large hematoma on one of her ears that was engorged with blood that required extensive surgical repair to remove. Razzy underwent surgery to not only remove the hematoma, but also had several teeth cleaned, a mammory mass that was removed, and she was spayed.

Reader Rescue Story: Kota the Lovebug

Article from ILoveDogs.com

Kota Wheaten MixThis week’s story is about Kota, a Wheaten Terrier-Border Collie mix. Kota had no idea he was about to bring joy to a heartbroken man and help a couple to become stronger in their love, but that’s exactly what he did. We hope you enjoy reading his story 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.

We May Have Rescued Kota, but Kota Saved Us
By Erin Grubisich

I desperately wanted a dog, but I didn’t just want any dog – I wanted one that was special.  I always felt it was important to rescue a dog, rather than purchase one from a pet store. The only problem was my husband did not want a dog.

He was going through a very hard time as he had just lost his grandfather.  He was really struggling emotionally and I was struggling trying to help him. On top of that, we disagreed on getting a dog, so I was really sad.

After about a month of discussing dogs with my husband, and bringing it up again and again, he started to realize how much I wanted one.  And so he came around and agreed we could get a dog (a miracle!), only if I was very responsible and took good care of the dog, of course.

kota-dakotaAs soon as I got the green light from my husband, I searched the internet to find our dog. I searched every local rescue and shelter until I came across Lovebugs Rescue.  I looked through their available pets and saw adorable puppies. There was one in particular that caught my eye: Dakota, a Wheaten Terrier-Border Collie mix.

I fell in love with his picture and desperately wanted to meet him.  I told my husband, and with some convincing, we arranged to meet Dakota at his foster mom’s house over the weekend.

I can’t even describe my excitement. When we arrived, I met Dakota, but he was incredibly timid. He carefully approached us from behind, not head-on, and if you even flinched he would scurry away. I thought he was just precious, and although he seemed afraid of me, I wanted to do whatever I could to make him feel safe.

Slowly but surely, Dakota came closer to me. First he got a good “whiff” of me, then he let me pet him, and the next thing you know, he was rolling on his back wanting a belly rub and flopping all over the place like a clumsy puppy does.  It was the cutest thing!

Cathy, the foster mom, told me that he was the last to be adopted because he was relatively larger than his littermates and some families thought he would be too big. I wasn’t worried about him being too big. I thought he was darling and wanted him to come home with us.

We ended up taking him home and shortening his name to Kota.  With each day that passed, Kota warmed up to us and gained trust in us as his new parents.

kotabwSomething that I never expected or planned for was how much Kota helped my husband and me.  He became our own little “therapy” dog.  I saw my husband laughing and smiling more, and with each day and encounter with Kota, he became happier and began to heal from the loss of his grandfather.

Kota helped us bond and through that our marriage became stronger.  He also gave me more purpose in life.

There is never a day that goes by that Kota does not make me laugh or smile, and I truly feel that dogs are a gift from God to help us feel complete.  We plan in the next year to get Kota certified and trained as a therapy dog, so that we can take him to visit patients in the hospital.

I believe that we blessed Kota by taking him in, but I know he has blessed us even more by being the most loving and fun dog I have ever had.

PHOTO: Erin Grubisich

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heart  Upcoming Events  

  • April 08, 2017
    Come on out and meet our Lovebugs at Super Pets! W
  • April 29, 2017
    Floral Home & Garden Tour Santa Ana, CA 10 - 4
  • June 04, 2017

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