Success stories

Alma

Alma

Thank you Jill for sharing your love story with Alma! It is sure to bring a smile to many faces:

“My husband and I lived with our pack of three dogs for years. We had two girls, a blue heeler and a brown mutt, and a little male terrier mix. A pack of three distinct personalities is a bit of a challenge but also terrifically fun and rewarding. Our darling girls reached the end of their lives, both between 15 and 16 years old, within 7 months of each other and suddenly our hearts and our house were far too empty.

When we were ready to start looking for another dog I cast a wide net, checking every kind of organization from public shelters to breed rescues to private shelters and was rather overwhelmed with the variety and number of individuals everywhere in need. We only had two things in mind: we could not get another cattle dog because it was so devastating to lose our Roo, and we were interested in having a larger dog this time around. My husband in particular was thinking about a big ‘galumph’ of a guy. We took a trip up to Grass Valley to meet a shepard/ husky mix but she was still too feral from having lived on her own in the desert for who knows how long, I met a rottie mix who was a major escape artist and couldn’t be left alone in our yard, I kind of fell in love with a pit mix but she had major separation anxiety. It is worth mentioning that our brown mutt, Georgia, was very dog reactive. She required a lot of extra work and planning ahead for the twelve years or so that we had her, and though she was our darling Gigi, we honestly wanted our next dog to be plug-n-play. In other words, no drama.

As time went on we came to understand that even though we were thinking big, Dodi (our wonderful terrier mix) tends to prefer smaller dogs and that this should really be about him, of course. I also started to feel that I wanted another old soul, having just spent several years in the wonderful company of our two old ladies. I was already a fan of Muttville so one day I checked the website and I think it may have been that very day that I found Alma.

Alma was a small terrier mix about 12 years old who liked the company of people and dogs, tolerated cats, and was sporting the cutest turtle neck sweater in her photo. I filled out the application. I met Alma outside her foster mom’s house and I was astonished at how tiny she was. I took her string of a leash to walk her to the park and I almost immediately stepped on her, to which she responded with a perfunctory snap at my pant leg. I was starting to like her. Her behavior at the dog park cinched the deal though, because all six pounds of her walked amongst the running pit bulls and every other size and shape of dog as if she’d seen it all a million times (and I’m sure she has). She pee-marked everywhere and then laid in the sun, totally independent from her foster mom and myself. I called my husband and we agreed to a trial adoption.

We have now had Alma (Almie, Ammy, Yam-Yam) for 15 months and she is a huge six pound presence in the house! She and Dodi get along fine, she has a collection of cold weather coats and sweaters, and there are little steps all over the house leading up to the couches and beds. She is hysterically funny (she snorts like a little piglet), she has no teeth (and her breath is perfect!), she is proud and fearless, and she totally owns me. Alma was loved in her life before she came to Muttville and I am just so grateful and happy that Muttville brought her to us so we can now love her even more. A happy ending indeed!”


Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Bubba the Mastiff

Bubba the Mastiff

Thanks to mom Nancy for giving a second chance to sweet boy Bubba! Read the wonderful story of Bubba’s new beginning:

My household consists of my daughter and me plus two special needs mastiffs. Lucy was adopted from the Ukiah shelter about a week after my last dog passed. I wasn’t sure I was ready, but Lucy is a big bundle of love and if anyone was going to get me out of my funk, it was her. We then adopted Sadie, who I think we rescued from a rescue. She had been hit so hard in the head, we had to have 9 of her teeth removed. Needless to say, she had a rough introduction to life. We had a house full of girls.

I don’t know why I was looking another dog, but one day while I was cruising around on the internet, I came across the Muttville website. The very last dog on the very last page of adoptable mutts was Bubba. I showed his pictures to my daughter and her first question was “are we going to adopt him?” I laughed, thankful that she possesses so much compassion that she wants to save every dog in need, but thinking that would make three mastiffs in the house! I promised I would think about it, so I filled out the application to see where it would lead.

First, I heard from Deanne, Bubba’s foster mom, who let me know what a sweetheart he was and about his arthritis and neuropathy in his back legs. That didn’t scare me since we already had two special needs dogs, so what is one more? The defining moment was when we were told Bubba needed a house with minimal stairs and we have a one story house with absolutely no stairs! I think it was love at first sight for us….I mean who could not love that squishy face! We made the drive back from San Francisco back up to the Napa Valley and introduced him to his other sister Sadie and the three bonded immediately.

We learned quickly that Bubba loves his walks. Despite his arthritis (which I suffer from as well), I knew how important it is to keep moving and Bubba seemed to know that too. He is very vocal, so it has been easy to know when he wants something. When Bubba is ready to walk, he walks over to the leashes and starts talking. We live near a high school and often walked our dogs down there because there is a stream and open fields, but what Bubba likes best is the baseball field. The field is totally enclosed, so we took the dogs off their leashes and let them go. I didn’t know what to expect, but Bubba took off running…..and running….and running. The other two pooped out and were busy rolling in the grass, but as long as one of us ran, Bubba would follow!

Bubba has gotten stronger and filled out a little. He is doing really well and we love him dearly. When we adopted Bubba, we contemplated changing his name, but we were told he had a fan club and I realized how true that was when his picture was posted when we adopted him. We decided he was a Bubba and we would keep his name as is. We send pictures and are thrilled to keep in touch with the Muttville family. What a great organization and thanks to Muttville for saving our sweet Bubba’s life.



Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Sassafras

Sassafras

Meet one of the smartest Muttville dogs we know! She is so smart, she wrote her own success story. Read Sassafras’ story in her own words, as she tells us about her awesome life with her new family:

It all started on a sunny San Francisco day, I was rehabbing from hip surgery at Muttville headquarters during an afternoon open house and this lady wanted to take me for a walk. What a walk, I just wanted to rest, but I am a people pleaser so I got up on my 3 good legs and hobbled out the door. The lady was nice and seemed to offer good head scratches and belly rubs, little did I know on February 2, 2013 after I completed by Hydrotherapy this lady was going to be my new momma! Thanks to the awesome rockstars and volunteers at Muttville, I now have my very own happily ever after.

Let me introduce MY family: I have a Weimaraner sister Indigo who can be a bit of a pill, an iguana sister Slim who doesn’t bug me much and a cat sister named Diesel Ann. Diesel Ann likes to steal my plush bed and I am not a fan of her cat like ways. Crystal and C.J. are my mom and dad. They love me so much and show me how much they love me with hugs, cuddle time, head scratches, belly rubs, treats, but most importantly balls, lots of balls. I love to play ball! I carry one around all the time, one must always be prepared. No one knew how much I loved to play while at Muttville because I was hurt and then recovering from hip surgery. However, once all four legs worked again, I was ready to run. I may be older and tire more quickly than I use to, but I will chase the ball as long as you throw it. I even tore my pads by running too much a few months ago, who knew I had that kind of spunk left in me. Do not write off us seniors, we love more and play hard!

I have gone camping, went fishing in a boat, dined al fresco and visited many new places with great smells all with MY new family since moving to Elk Grove, CA in February. I have a great park across the street from my house, please come throw the ball for me! All in all, life is good and I wish/hope every dog is able to experience a happily ever after with balls, treats, walks and lots of love! Thank you Muttville for making my happily ever after a reality!

Love,

Sassafras


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Emma

Emma

Emma (formerly Amelia) was saved from a high kill shelter, and now lives an amazing life with her forever family – mom Margie and furry brother Ziggy. Enjoy her happily ever after tale…

After many months of looking a pal for my dog Ziggy, I spotted Emma on the Muttville website. She had a very sweet face, was the right age, and looked like she might be a good fit. Muttville was participating in the Maddie’s Adoptathon that weekend, Emma was to be there, and Ziggy and I got there early to be the first in line to meet her.

When Ziggy & I met Emma, she was pretty sad. She was still recovering from a spay operation; had very bad eye, ear and skin infections; and her fur had been shaved because she was so matted that her back legs were matted together. She was such a sweet girl and we couldn’t help but take her home.

When we got home she could barely go up & down stairs and cried when you “looked like” you were going to touch her. Her whole body was sensitive. My sister thought there was something wrong with her back legs as they were so stiff that she had trouble using them. I can’t imagine the pain she had suffered and for how long before Muttville rescued her.

With all of her physical and emotional pain she was still sweet, would seek affection, and was great about letting me put eye drops in & giving her medicated baths. Her ears were so bad that the vet had them “packed” with medicine so that I would not have to touch them.

It took time for her body and soul to heal. It was such a joy the first time I saw her run. She actually “bounds” like a puppy and is so joyful. Emma’s back legs still have some weakness going up stairs and when getting into the car, but that is a minor “whoops” moment.

The best thing in the world is that I can now touch her all over and she doesn’t cry! There is still some residual fear of “being” hurt, but it not actually hurting. She is a great pal for both Ziggy and I.

She has decided that it is her job to make sure that any “critters” that wander in the back yard get some barks and loves to go to the dog park. I don’t have to worry one moment as she loves all dogs & people. I want to thank Muttville for saving this sweet girl and making it possible for her to be in Ziggy’s & my life.

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Cesar

Cesar

Cesar has quite the reputation, according to his mom Hillary! Read Cesar’s success story – it will bring a smile to your face:

And so…… Cesar’s new life has begun.

He wants you to know that he has made a graceful adjustment to living amongst other dogs as well as cats although they remain somewhat of a mystery to him. He is enjoying daily walks on his own terms, but daily none the less and now 3 pounds lighter. He enjoys sniffing all kinds of new smells as he now lives close to the water. Cesar often enjoys just sitting and watching the great white pelicans, the seaweed wrapping around his legs on the beach, the hundreds of Canadian Geese always circling, and mainly having warmth and safety every day.

Cesar is on a very set schedule of what is now laughingly referred to as his 3 hots and a cot not to vary or he lets you know big time. Cesar still does not enjoy riding in a vehicle but he now sees it as a means to an end as he knows it delivers him to new adventures and many outings. Cesar has become a regular at “Bark and Wine” every Friday evening at the local dog park where he supervises the event from his prized vantage point under the picnic table where inevitably goodies fall for collection, he counts on this.

Stoic Cesar lived on the streets of San Francisco for 12 ½ years, he knew that many people were looking out for his welfare including his own circle of people within the homeless community, as well as S.F. Animal Care and Control. He most importantly knows that he has had the love of 2 key people, his former guardian who did everything he could for him within the boundaries of his own situation, and now this new guardian who feels so blessed to have Cesar enter her life.

Cesar very much hopes that the word gets back to those who cared about him the absolute most, that everything turned out o.k. that he is very happy. Mainly that he knows he has been lucky enough to have been deeply loved not just once but twice in his lifetime!

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Ponky

Ponky

Not only is Ponky adorable, she has an equally adorable name and success story too! Thanks to mom Nadine for sharing this inspiring story with us.

“I adopted Ponky in January 2012 when she was approximately 10 years old. The day I picked her up she had just had mammary tumors removed. She had stitches from her neck to her groin and she laid like a little baby in my arms. The first picture is her with her collar on and PRETTY miserable. She recovered quickly only to have a second surgery in April for additional mammary tumors and to be spayed. She once again recovered quickly and now is the happiest girl ever! I have enclosed a picture of her running on the beach one month after her second surgery.

Ponky comes to school with me almost everyday ( I teach at San Francisco State University) and brings a joy to the classroom that I have not seen. My students take turns holding her. Some have said they feel more relaxed making presentations when she is present.

Because she brings so much joy to my self and others, I take her to a nursing home in San Rafael once a week. She lays on beds, sits on patients laps, or whatever a patient wants (picture attached). The patients light up when they see her. Some of them have not spoken in days to humans, but when they are holding Ponky, they start speaking to her. It is truly a miracle, the happiness she brings to young and old.

Because she is so well behaved she travels everywhere with me. In a 1.5 years, she has been to New York 4 times. My family loves her and she loves them. She stays in her travel bag under the seat in front of me and does not make a peep. People comment when we depart the plane, saying, they had no idea I had a dog with me, and then they ask if I sedated her. I have never needed to.

As you can see, she is an angel and I am the luckiest girl in the world to have had Sherri place Ponky in my arms the day I came to her door and say I want to adopt a dog. I have so many more wonderful things to tell you about her but, I don’t want to overdo it.

Thank God for Muttville. I hope Ponky’s success story helps spread the story of how much joy a senior dog can bring to one’s life."

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Earl

Earl

Muttville’s own dog trainer, Maureen Backman, is proud to share her Muttville success story. Read a sweet tale about Earl – the boy who stole Maureen’s heart:

October will mark one year since Earl, an 11-pound chihuahua/jack russell terrier/basenji/you-name-it mix came into my life. As I write this, he’s sunning himself on the couch, completely content and at ease. I am amazed at different he looks, and behaves, compared to when I first brought him home.

How many times have I heard the phrase, “You never choose your dog; your dog chooses you?” Enough to make me cringe like I do when I hear any sort of cliche. I rank it up there with “The only constant is change” and “There is no I in team.” So bear with me as I check my cliche-hating ego at the door and tell you that Earl absolutely chose me. And I am so, so grateful he did.

I met Earl one evening when attending a meeting at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. Muttville had received several new rescues that evening, and I swooped up a mellow, cuddly yorkie who immediately started snoozing in my arms. Earl (I did not yet know his name) continually appeared in my peripheral vision. He ran around the meeting room, marking every piece of furniture, every purse and shoulder bag, that he could. He growled at any dog that came near him. He snarled his teeth at most forms of human touch. His bark, which I later discovered was the result of a collapsed trachea, sounded like a cough acquired by years of smoking and whiskey drinking.

If you had asked me to list my top attributes for my next dog, none of Earl’s behaviors would have made the cut. In fact, I didn’t feel ready to open my heart to another dog. Less than 6 months prior to my meeting Earl, my family dog, my heart dog, my beloved yellow labrador retriever, passed away. It was an emotionally exhausting experience. I took a red-eye flight home to be with him as he breathed his last in the grass outside the veterinary office. I cried for three days straight, and have thought of him every day since. Even thinking about getting another dog seemed like a betrayal.

But, I digress. Back to the Muttville meeting. As it neared the end, one of Muttville’s employees jokingly asked me to take Earl home with me to give them some relief from his behaviors. Against my better judgment, in fact against any judgment whatsoever, I agreed, and without anything ready in my apartment, or pre-clearing the decision with my fiance (now my husband), Earl and I got into my car and started our journey together.

The first week was rocky. In fact, at one point I emailed Muttville stating I couldn’t foster Earl because he was continually barking and snapping at my husband. My husband didn’t grow up around dogs and was still afraid of them. I was afraid Earl would prove too much for us and our small San Francisco apartment. But somehow, Earl convinced me not to give up. I found myself anxious whenever dropping him off at an adoption fair. What if he got adopted and I never saw him again? Through positive reinforcement training and lots of patience, he gradually became more comfortable with me, my husband, and the outside world.

We never brought him back to Muttville and, after four months, we officially adopted him.

I cried the day I received Earl’s official adoption papers. His intake from animal care and control was heartbreaking. Before coming to Muttville, he was picked up as a stray in San Francisco. Scared, shut down and massively underweight, he failed all the shelter’s behavioral tests. He had a microchip, and ACC contacted his original owner in Tahoe. Sadly, not only did the owner not want him back, but said he had “lost” him several times before. The SPCA did not want to take him. Thank goodness Muttville did, otherwise euthanasia would have been his future.

Now Earl has a home. He has love. He has training. I cannot think of a better way to honor my heart dog who passed away than by giving this senior dog the chance to experience happiness.

There have been setbacks and tribulations over the past year. His teeth were so unhealthy that the vet removed 23, leaving him with an adorable, snaggly grin. He has severe separation anxiety that has improved little since I brought him home in October. Unless someone can watch him for us, my husband and I have not been able to go out to dinner, out with friends, or anywhere that does not allow dogs, for the past year. Some days, when experiencing a setback in the separation anxiety training, I feel utterly overwhelmed – both trapped in an existence where I can never leave Earl, and a feeling of ineptness at not being able to help him fully overcome his fears.

But greater than any feelings of ineptitude or frustration is the joy that Earl has brought both myself and my husband. Over the past year, he has evolved into a playful, mischievous, snuggly, sociable dog. He often chooses to curl up next to my husband at night – such a difference from a year ago. He loves running along the beach, zooming up the hilly trails in San Francisco, and even enjoys greeting other dogs. Instead of shivering on the streets as a stray, he curls up with us under the covers each night, clearly the most blissful part of his days. When I see Earl experience pure happiness, I feel the same joy.

Earl, the fiesty little dog, with the missing teeth and silly bark, has made an incredible impact on my life. I love him dearly, and am so happy our paths in life crossed when they did.

By Maureen Backman, MS

- Maureen Backman, MS is the owner of Mutt About Town dog training in San Francisco. She is also the founder of The Muzzle Up! Project. To get in touch, email her at muttabouttownsf@gmail.com.


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Rocky Raccoon

Rocky Raccoon

We have both a happy and sad tale to share. Thank you to mutt mom Pam for sharing the story of Rocky Racoon, who recently crossed over the Rainbow Bridge earlier this month. Our hearts go out to Pam and her family. Thank you Pam for giving Rocky a wonderful life!

Rocky was one of the first dogs to be adopted in the Senior For Seniors program. He was adopted as a companion for my father who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. My father passed away in early May 2013 and Rocky passed away one month later from congestive heart failure. Rocky was adored by many of the staff and the residents of Spring Lake Village in Santa Rosa. He was a true gift to our family and all the people who knew him.

With love,

Pam Rosell


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Sally

Sally

Thanks to mom Suzanne for giving Sally, one of the most athletic senior dogs in Muttville’s history, the loving life she longed for. Enjoy this story as told by her forever family:

Before we can describe our excitement with bringing Sally home, we have to thank our 2 year-old terrier mix Roxie, for making it possible. Because of Roxie’s love of life and all adventures, we could expand our family!!

We first saw Sally and thought she was so cute, dynamic, and healthy beyond her 10 years. We found out she had been at Muttville for longer than usual, had been in and out of other shelters, and had been through two cancer surgeries…that was it. A survivor like her needed a forever home with a peaceful retirement! We also learned that between shelters and the humane society Sally was-TWICE-minutes away from being euthanized and someone stepped up to save her. We are especially humbled by those dogs who will not give up and the many volunteers who won’t give up on them

Well, our home is now filled with laughter, a few feisty exchanges over territory, and more joy than we could have imagined. Sally and Roxie love going on long walks together, napping in the sun, and chowing down their peanut butter treats (on opposite sides of the kitchen). But the really terrific thing is that their unique personality traits shine and grow together. It is a powerful thing to watch these vulnerable animals grow from tussles, to toleration, to a relationship. We are inspired by each dog’s willingness to trust again and forgive.

most importantly, Sally, Roxie, and Muttville sustain the larger vision of a society that does not give up on others.

Sincerely,

Suzanne, Victor, Sally & Roxie


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

Vladamir

Vladamir

Vladamir’s story is a shining example of what a new lease on life can do for an abandoned senior dog. Thank you to mom Leigh for giving Vladimir a chance to know love and happiness.

Life Of Vladamir

“Vladamir is one of those really fortunate dogs to have come right up to death’s door and return with an olympic tenacity for life. He was unable to move and seemed to have given up as he lay there in the LA Devore Shelter all alone. PetConnect.US saw this beautiful boy so depressed and sick, and made great efforts to get him out so he could live his remaining days in peace and comfort. Who was waiting to help this boy on the other side? Muttville! And, his saint of a mother to be, Leigh Leamons.

Vladamir had severe spinal degenerative disc disease. Did this prevent him from crossing the room for some love, or down the stairs for a spin around the block? Oh no! Leigh faithfully took this boy to acupuncture each

week to tend to his needs and make sure he was as comfortable as he could be. Dr. Kris Kruse of Animal Scan treated him with acupuncture and herbs. It really made a difference. His walking and mobility improved. He knew it and felt it. He knew his appointment days. He would head for the front door in anticipation because he knew that he was going to feel better and he would see Diana Martin who would so lovingly hold him and entertain him during his treatments. However, the cold winter seemed to take its toll. The good periods that Vladamir enjoyed seemed to get shorter. Dr. Kruse consulted with Dr. Carrie Jurney of AIMSS who had seen Vladamir initially. It was decided to repair the worst disc in hope to restore his quality of life that he enjoyed a few months earlier. He did well with the surgery but contracted pneumonia a few days later. He bounced back from that surprisingly quickly. When Vladamir left AIMSS to come home he left with lots of hugs and kisses from staff and Dr. Jurney. Unfortunately, his time was limited. So many people went to great lengths to do what was needed for him. You just couldn’t avoid loving him, his great spirit and beautiful sweet face. Vladamir lived the best possible last year of his life any dog could hope for with Gladys, (another wonderful senior from Muttville) and their incredibly devoted mother Leigh.

May you, Leigh, receive all the love and care you gave to Vlad in return during this time of seeing him over the rainbow bridge.


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

Are you the proud parent of Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include three of your favorite photos and send it to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line 'Success Story'.

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