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Up Country’s “Be Rescued” Contest Runner-Up, Christine and Maude!

June 19, 2014

Even with three legs, Maude helps Christine to feel safe everyday!

Runner-up – Christine Zimmerman and Maude

I chose Maude (well, she chose me) to be a guard dog (alarm) after some strangers walked into my house while I was sleeping in the middle of the night. I had never had a dog, never wanted one, but I had to do something to alleviate my fear!

I went to the shelter in search of a terrier (that's what all the online quizzes said I should get). But Maude (then Godiva) was housebroken; so I thought I would give her a look see. We went outside where she ignored me, went off to poop, and then came running. I sat on the bench and she came and sat next to me and stared into my eyes. She knew. And she knew we would be ok, even if I didn't know how to have a dog.

Her leg was lame and we found out it was broken beyond repair. After 2 unsuccessful surgeries, we had the leg amputated. And she is happy as a clam. I learn from her every day what it means to be OK. And I love that dog.

Christine and Maude chose the “Dog Food” collar and “Patchwork” lead (she also purchased our “Pirate” collar when Maude lost her leg!) – aarggh!


“Be Rescued” Contest Runner-Up, Bethany and Ellsworth

June 18, 2014

Ellsworth taught Bethany that while you might wish for one thing, an unexpected gift just might be the best present ever!

I work at the SPCA, serving Erie County, in the Development Department. I have worked here since 2007 and before that, I was a volunteer for five years. For as long as I can remember, I wanted a dog. I believe I started asking for a dog when I was probably around ten years old. But, wisely, my parents wouldn't let me have a dog because of the amount of responsibility they entail.

From the time I was a child, I envisioned having a yellow lab with a black nose and naming him George Bailey. Everyone at the SPCA knew who I was looking for and whenever a yellow lab with a black nose came in, I was paged to go and meet the dog. But none of them ever looked at me in that special way that made me think, “Now this, this is MY dog!”

In March 2010, I was working in my office when a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy walked into my office. He wasn't using his right front paw, but that didn't stop him from putting his two little front legs up on my chair. Needless to say, I was smitten with this little fella. I asked around the office to find out his story. The SPCA is fortunate to have a wonderful employee named Patty who goes to puppy mill auctions where millers sell dogs that can no longer breed. I learned that this puppy was from an Ohio Amish puppy mill and that the millers were going to kill him if no one bought him. I also found out that the executive director was going to foster the puppy because he needed a leg cast before we could place him for adoption.

I have always been a foster mom to cats and kittens, but never to a dog. Without hesitation, I told her that I would take him overnight. Needless to say, I have had him since that day. Ellsworth Fitzgerald Huntington III means the world to me. Thanks to physical therapy, he walks without any problems. He's taken numerous obedience classes, a few nose work classes (and beaten bloodhounds at it!), he's traveled to Acadia National Park with me on numerous occasions (he is, after all, named for the town outside of Acadia), he goes on nature hikes, he raises money for the SPCA by walking in our annual Paws in the Park Walk, he has been the SPCA spokesdog on many occasions, and best of all, he is truly the dog I was wishing for over two decades.

I have never known a dog to love his/her owner as much as Ellsworth loves me, and the feeling is mutual. Oh, and did I mention he ONLY wears Up Country collars? One of the first things I did was look up collars online and I bought him the Union Jack collar and an elephant collar. I was finally able to buy dog collars, and I loved it! Now, he has more than 40 of them. This little Cavalier has truly changed my life for the better. I can't imagine my life without him. Thank you for letting me tell you a little bit about Ellsy, the best dog in the entire world.

Bethany and Ellsworth chose the “Ragtop” collar and “Adopted” lead – it’s good to be loved!


Helen and Roxie – Another “Be Rescued” Contest Runner Up

June 10, 2014

What makes Helen and Roxie so special?  Roxie taught Helen that not only can a pet give love, but sometimes a whole new career and outlook on life!

I had just recently lost one of my dogs by the name of Jocie to cancer and was searching Petfinder.com for a dog like Jocie, my heart dog. Jocie was said to be a Golden Retriever and Rottweiler mix. I searched and searched all of the listings for Golden/Rottie mixes, and finally came upon a puppy that was said to be a mix of these breeds.

My husband and I drove to Arizona to pick her up from a woman with a rescue organization who had saved Roxie’s whole litter. The rescue said she was 4 months old, but when we got there, she was so much smaller than she looked in the picture I had seen. I thought, oh no, she's going to be a small dog, not a big girl like Jocie. We took her home anyway and soon dubbed her the Devil Dog, as she was a terror, chewing up the house and bowling over our Golden puppy and her brother, my daughter's dog. Well, it turns out Roxie was about 8 weeks old and grew into the big beautiful girl you see in the picture. She appears to be more Aussie mix than Golden/Rott, but I love her so much!

How did she rescue me? Roxie and I started doing agility when she was about 4 years old. It started out to be just for fun, but it grew into so much more. Roxie is an amazing agility dog! We have achieved goals beyond my wildest dreams. In March of 2013 we flew to Oklahoma for AKC Nationals. Then this year, in February, she earned her Master Agility Championship (MACH) from AKC, a lofty achievement. I never had done anything like this before. Roxie and agility have given me so many amazing memories and wonderful friendships that I never would have had otherwise. I consider her to be my best friend, my teammate and partner, my Rox-Star!

Helen and Roxie chose the “Sparkle” collar and lead – bling it on!


“Be Rescued” Contest Runner-Up Caitlin and Jupiter

June 6, 2014

In celebration of our 30th Anniversary, our Be Rescued campaign entries have taught us many things. Caitlin and Jupiter remind us that taking a chance might bring you the greatest reward of all – unconditional love.

This is Jupiter (a.k.a JsuJsu), my hilarious and sweet 7-year old pit bull who rescued me on Groundhog Day, 2012! JsuJsu entered my life at a time when I knew that I was not ready for another dog. I had lost my beloved Comet (also a pit bull) six months earlier and I still missed her terribly. With college ahead of me in the fall, I didn’t feel like myself without the dog who had been my best friend since first grade by my side. But, then Jupiter came along.

She was not coping well in the shelter environment and was in need of a family to take her home for foster care, so we figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. After all, we knew that eventually we would be ready for another dog - so giving Jupiter a break from the shelter might be good for her and us.

Two and a half years later, Jupiter (who prefers the more girly nickname “JsuJsu”) is still here, bringing our “foster failure” tally up to three! Every single day she makes us laugh, whether she is wiggling her way onto the couch, crawling UNDER her agility jump, or rolling around in the grass. Some of her favorite things are lying on the hammock and enjoying the spring air, munching on watermelon, and walking to the ice cream stand down the road on a late-summer evening. She enjoys the simple pleasures in life, and that’s what I admire most about her.

Whenever I’m home from school and working at my desk for extended periods of time, she always comes over to me and puts her paws on my lap, as if to remind me to take a moment to enjoy the day and to remember…that I am loved.

Caitlin and JsuJsu chose the “Peace” Martingale collar and “Black and White Dot” lead – peace out!

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Be Rescued Contest Runner Up- Clair and Peeky the cat!

June 5, 2014

Here is our first Be Rescued campaign runner-up.  While we had many dog entries, only a few cats were entered.  We picked Claire and Peeky because their story showed us that kitty love can be the best!

Runner-up – Claire Gorman and Peeky

This is my little lovely, Peeky. She came to me one dark, cold, sleeting November night in 2004. It was actually my roommate who discovered the small not-quite-a-kitten, not-quite-an-adult cat picking through a garbage pile outside of our dorm. She knew I had a soft spot for animals, so she let the cat in the building and called me down. I still remember seeing that little girl, wet and cold, but so pretty and not at all afraid of her new surroundings or the people coming near her.

From that moment, she was mine. I tried to find her owners and called the local shelters multiple times, but no one was looking for this sweet little girl. Living in a dorm, we didn’t keep much food in the room. However, having just come back from Thanksgiving break, I did have two slices of pecan pie from home. I had nothing else to offer her in the middle of the night, and to my delight and dismay, she ate it. And so she was named Pecan. But Pecan is not the catchiest name, nor the easiest to roll off the tongue, so the evolution to Peeky was made.

I had a hard fight to keep my Peeky, and I won’t go into all of the details, but I’ll share with you the last part of her “gotcha” story. I was forced to give her up, and so after much heartache and tears I turned her over to the Animal Protective Association of Missouri. Before I left though, I asked how I could check on her, to see if she was still around or if she was going to be put down. I was given her ID number and told that I could call the shelter to inquire, but all they could tell me was whether the animal was at the shelter or not – they could not elaborate on adoptive status or the “or not”. I called every single day. I didn’t sleep. My brother saw how emotionally attached I was to this animal and devised a plan to tell a little white lie to plant the seed of guilt in my parents. It worked.

One afternoon, they came home with a Hallmark card that read, “it sure would be nice if somebody understood,” and on the inside of the card it read, “We do.” Her adoption papers were in there too! I had a year and half left of college, so Peeky spent her time at home with my parents and brothers where she taught every one of them (even my mother who couldn’t stand a cat before Peeky) how wonderful the love and affection of a feline can be.

After graduation, I moved out of state for law school. This is where the story changes and she rescued me. I was suddenly a thousand miles away from family, friends, a climate I enjoyed, and a good life. There was no comfort, no familiarity, and very little happiness – except for Peeky. That little cat’s shining face looking at me through the blinds, waiting for me to come home from class, could make even the dullest heart come alive. If there was little else to look forward to aside from the semester’s end and traveling home, I knew at least I could spend a few hours in bed asleep each night with her next to me. And to speak of traveling, this girl has done it all – she has made eight flights, and five multi-day road trips - all in the best of spirits and all in the name of being my faithful companion.

There was a time, particularly at the end of my schooling, where I was having a very hard time settling down at night. My blood pressure would rise, my pulse would spike and my mind would race. Among other remedies, it was suggested that I sit underneath a cold running shower. But what eventually worked…was Peeky. When this would come on, I would lay very still, with Peeky near enough to rest my hand on. She always obliged. There is something in her constant purr that can ease even the highest-strung person. Through thick and thin, there has been Peeky.

She has adapted to new animals: a canine brother, and her canine sister who is special needs and requires a rotation in the house because she cannot be out at the same time as the other animals. Peeky comes running any time I raise my voice because she hates to hear me upset, and provides me with constant entertainment. Did I mention she gives kisses when you ask for them? And if she isn’t right there already, that she comes when you call or whistle for her? How could a bad day not Be Rescued by Peeky?

Claire chose a Pop Hearts cat collar for Peeky and a red Comfort lead for her dog!

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