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Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Tale of Two Shelter Dogs: Blog the Change; October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! Show Off Your Shelter Pet Contest! And FiveSibes/ASPCA GIVEAWAY!


“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”
~ Karen Davison

Today, we are joining the Be the Change for Animals Blog the Change and with October being "Adopt A Shelter Dog Month" what more of a perfect time to talk about bringing awareness to the millions of dogs that enter shelters every year. As an advocate for the ASPCA, we here at FiveSibes wish to talk about adopting a dog from a shelter, whether it's a cute puppy, a 'tween, and especially senior dogs.
 

My previous two angels, Sandy (above left with my daughter when she she was a toddler) and Chelsey (above right with my daughter when she was a teenager) were both adopted as puppies from our local SPCA. While I grew up in a household full of dogs and had my own as a teenager, our  Sandy, a golden German Shepherd/Chow mix (I suspect a little Husky in there), was the first dog my husband and I welcomed in our home as a married couple.


Sandy was a sweetheart. A true gentleman who was quite fond of my daughter! And what a wonderful, gentle dog to teach my daughter at an early about about caring for a pet. At 13, he developed tumors on his chest, and my sweet boy was diagnosed with cancer. My husband brought him home after a vet follow-up for one last weekend with us. My daughter, just about five at the time, drew pictures and we taped them up on the wall behind Sandy and hugged him and that Monday, we helped him to journey to the Rainbow Bridge, where he would no longer suffer.

 
My big handsome boy, Sandy, took a piece of my heart with him...our family's first dog, the first dog my baby daughter was introduced to... my beautiful shelter pup.




Instant pals!
For me, my heart was so sad about losing Sandy, I needed to visit the shelter dogs to give and receive some doggie love. I told my husband I just wanted to "visit." And then I saw this gorgeous, happy German Shepherd/Akita puppy. I looked at my husband...(he said he already knew the pup would be going home with us that I could not possibly "window shop" for a shelter dog without getting one!)...so I said, if the puppy loves our daughter, can we have her? Well, the puppy happily followed my daughter all around the SPCA kennel! Another couple were also eyeing her, and my daughter scooped her up and said, "Sorry, she's ours." Decision made! Chelsey was a wonderful dog. She was a fast learner. Super smart and very obedient. She grew up with my daughter as her best friend, swing buddy, and protector. 

Hours they would spend together out in the yard playing. When we brought home a dwarf bunny, my daughter named him Sugar (he was brown and white and my daughter said it reminded her of white and brown sugar)! 

Immediately, Chelsey, Sugar, and my daughter bonded as buddies! This trio was inseparable! What a wonderful time in our lives! So many days my daughter would make herself comfy on the kitchen floor and read books to both Chelsey and Sugar. It was so special and full of love, that I have those moments imprinted in my mind forever! 



Chelsey helped us welcome into our home our first two Siberian Huskies, Harley, and a year later, Gibson. She mentored our two young Huskies and on the days our aging girl wasn't bothered by arthritis, she would play and tutor the Husky pups in all things canine! 

My two girls - best buds!

I loved that girl! Thinking of Chelsey brings me back to a time of fun-filled days spent with my young daughter, her bunny, and our family dog, who we were lucky to have for 13 wonderful years. This photo was taken on the last Christmas Chelsey spent with us. Chelsey. I hope she knows what an impact she had on our lives and how much we miss her. And to think if I didn't visit our shelter that day after missing Sandy, I would never have met and loved such a wonderful dog.

To this day, nine years later, my heart still squeezes when I
think of her. Our beautiful Chelsey - my shelter dog.

According to Olivia Melikov of the ASPCA, "We believe it’s not the size of your home but the size of your heart that matters." We so agree, and thankfully, the heart can hold much love.


"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."
- Sydney Jeanne Seward

I wanted to share these two special dogs' lives to show that shelter dogs are wonderful dogs. The love they give is immeasurable. I think, even though both of ours were puppies when adopted, they somehow knew their lives were made better and they were so appreciative of it and always willing to make us happy, but then I believe that is a dog thing really...loyal, trusting, devoted. Whether you adopt a puppy, teen, 'tween, or senior dog - you and your dog will forever be thankful! And please do give a senior dog a second look - they deserve lots of love in their golden years and still have lots of love to share. 

Still need a reason to consider adopting a senior dog? Well, how about 10? Check out these top 10 reasons over at The Senior Dogs Project.


As part of the ASPCA's Big Love campaign, their Adoption Center in New York City is offering a very special promotion! You can adopt a big dog and, according to the ASPCA, throughout the month of December, "all dogs over 30 pounds will have their weight subtracted from their adoption fee!" For more info on Big Love and all other Adopt a Shelter Dog Month events, visit the ASPCA website HERE.


In honor of shelter dogs, the ASPCA has joined forces with Animal Planet to launch a social media contest celebrating shelter dogs. Share your cutest photos of your shelter dog at www.aspca.org/MyRescueDog, and you will be entered for the chance to have your photo featured on the October 17th episode of Pit Bulls and Parolees and win prizes! 

Also be sure to share your rescue pup’s photo on your social media channels using the hashtag #MyRescueDog and tagging @ASPCA and @AnimalPlanet! They will be posting some of their favorites!
 

Enter the ASPCA's #BigLove Contest! This October, tell the ASPCA why you think BIG dogs rock and you’ll be automatically entered to win a pair of Pet Pal Pillows from Pottery Barn! And if you’re already a proud parent of a bigger-sized dog, share your pet’s photo on social media with the hashtag #BigLove. Be sure to tag @ASPCA on your photos, and they will share their favorites!


"It’s not the size of your home but the size of your heart that matters." 
~ Olivia Melikov, ASPCA


ASPCA Adopt A Shelter Dog Gift Pack:  
ASPCA Bag Dispenser
ASPCA Squeeky Dog Bone
(Open to all; ages 18 years and older! Gift pack will be sent directly to randomly selected winner by the ASPCA. Entries close October 23, 2015 at 12 AM EST).

***CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER - MOLLY PITCHER!***
PLEASE DROP US AN EMAIL WITH YOUR DOGHOUSE ADDY SO WE CAN HAVE YOUR GIFT PACK SENT TO YOU! 
 



While it is Thursday evening, and since this is a "flashback" post, I thought I'd do double-duty and join it up with my FiveSibes Flashback Friday blog hop! I hope you enjoyed our trip down Memory Lane with our two shelter dogs, Sandy and Chelsey!


Flashback Fridays are brought to you by us - the FiveSibes - and our co-host, Love is being owned by a Husky, each Friday. We hope you'll find a photo or video from Memory Lane, post it, and link up to our blog hop each week! If you don't catch it on Friday, you can link up any time during the week! To catch our past Flashbacks, just enter "Flashback Friday" in the search box. We hope you'll come join us!
 

44 comments:

  1. Mom ad many shelter dogs as a child, and she says they were all wonderful pets. Although we don't have any shelter dogs now, we do support our local shelters with donations and food. It only takes a little extra to help.

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

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    1. That is so wonderful how you support your local shelters! I'm sure those doggies really appreciate it! <3

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  2. What amazing memories you have! Shelter dogs rock don't they? Question about the giveaway, is it open to Canada as well? Thanks :)
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. Thanks, Jenna! <3 And yes, enter! It's open to everyone, everywhere (18 and older, of course)! Good luck!

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  3. I keep my pets safe during the summer months by making sure they are eating healthy, are groomed properly, drinking enough water, and are wearing identification. I entered as "Amie De" with Facebook

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    1. Hi, Sarah! Your pets are lucky to have a wonderful home! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the giveaway drawing! :-)

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  4. I have always had rescue cats and dogs starting with Kim, a terrier mix, who was my pal into my teens, then Cookie, Isabelle and now Kilo the Pug. What lovely memories. I wish I had taken more photos of my kids with the dogs and other pets. #RescuesRock

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    1. Love Kilo, he is so cute! Thanks, Talent Hounds, the photos are great to reminisce over for both my daughter and my pets as they grew up with her! I have to admit, I was a bit teary eyed! But all wonderful memories!

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  5. Most of my dogs have been shelter dogs. Shelter dogs definitely rock! Love all of the photos that accompany your lovely stories. Thank you for blogging the change for animals.
    Sue
    Be the Change for Animals
    Talking-dogs.com

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  6. That's a neat promotion! Haven't seen that one before.

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    1. Thanks! Hope you entered, and good luck!

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  7. Rescue dogs are the best. I loved seeing all the pictures of you and your family!

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  8. It is great to hear about the wonderful experiences you've had with rescued dogs! Your story about Sandy is very similiar to the story of the dog I had as a child. She lived to be 13 (I was 11) and had to be helped to the bridge because of cancer. I still think of her all the time.

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    1. They really touch our lives and stay in our hearts forever, don't they? If only they could stay with us for so much longer...

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  9. Even thought we used to live by a baseball stadium that always had fireworks it would freak my dogs out. I would always keep them inside during the fireworks and put their thundershirt on them.

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    1. Molly, what a wonderful Mom you are. Fireworks sure can be scary to some dogs, Chelsey was very afraid of them, also. We kept her inside as well with a fan or ioinizer on for white noise.

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  10. You can't go past a shelter pet. Love the article and photos of you and your family.

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  11. It looks like you found true love at your shelter. ♥

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  12. Adoption is always the best way and your lives are proof! Love Dolly

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  13. Wonderful memories and great photos -- thanks for sharing! All my dogs, except the Lhasa Apso, my first dog, were shelter dogs and all were identifiable breeds. So if you want English Springer Spaniel, or a GSD or a Shih Tzu, they are fairly easy to find in shelters. Petfinder makes it even easier!

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    1. Thanks, Mary! And yes, you are so right, Petfinder is great for helping to find the breeds someone is looking for!

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  14. Love them! How on earth did your husky not wanna eat sugar the bunny. Oir husky loves chasing them!

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    1. Thanks! I think because Harley was a baby she was used to the bunny from the start! But yard bunnies - beware!

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  15. Love this story, but the pictures really make it ;)

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  16. On the fourth of July I always have my dogs on leash or in the fenced in backyard. Even if they are familiar with fireworks and okay with them you never want to put them in a possibly harmful situaton. We only bring them out for bathroom breaks and the rest of the time they get to sit inside with the music on and some of their favorite toys and treats.

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    1. So agree! Safety first! The music is a great tip - our FiveSibes love music! We use it as background noise to help calm them in many situations. Thanks for coming by, Heather!

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  17. My humans keep me safe by keeping me on a leash, using a calming collar during stressful times, and keeping me inside when there are fireworks going off outside! :)

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    1. All great ways, Spencer! Love those calming collars!

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  18. We're so glad you've had these wonderful dogs in your life.

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  19. Informative discussion - I Appreciate the points , Does anyone know where I might get access to a blank a form copy to fill in ?

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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