Success stories

Bailey

Bailey

Thank you to dad Ryan for letting us know how much Bailey is loved!

I fell for Bailey right away after adopting her last November, and it didn’t take long for me to have gotten much more attached to her, much more quickly, than I expected. She is as sweet as can be, and I truly feel like our bond and relationship goes both ways – she is getting the love and care she deserves, and I’ve gotten a great companion who has made me a better person.

Thank you and your organization, including your foster network, for the work that you do to help all of the great senior dogs who are in situations similar to Bailey’s last year. Your work makes a great difference for canines and humans alike!

Best regards,

Ryan


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'.

Helen

Helen

Our founder and Executive Director, Sherri Franklin, lost her own Muttville sweetheart, Helen, last week. Please join us in our tribute to a very special lady…

“I had to say goodbye to my beautiful big girl, Helen Belly. So so hard, but it was her time and her suffering is over. When I picked her up 3 years ago at Berkeley Animal Services, she had no hair and her skin was oozing. I fell in love and made it my goal to let her know that she was was loved. I remember how she liked to grab the leash and walk me and would jump in anyone’s car, especially if the person was sitting in the driver’s seat. I will miss curling up in her bed at night to read. I miss you, sweet Helen. I hope you are running free without pain and saying hello to some of your brothers and sisters that shared my house. Sail away, angel…"

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'.

Felix

Felix

At Muttville, we are lucky to have several amazing, selfless people we call fospice parents. They offer foster homes to our dogs who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses. One such fospice parent is Kay, who wrote this endearing story about her fospice boy named Felix:

After living with many senior dogs, my husband and I decided we would like to become fospice volunteers for Muttville. In most shelters, terminally ill animals are euthanized right away even if there is still some quality of life left for them. Not at Muttville; Sherri and team take these dogs and offer them a loving environment until it’s time for them to say goodbye. Every dog we have received into our home has instantly settled into our routine and has absolutely blossomed. Some have even lived longer than originally thought. Our current success story is Felix, a wonderfully, sweet, gentle and loving little soul. He arrived about one month ago and was a little shy and very skinny. He is already gaining weight, he runs around after our other dogs with his little tail constantly wagging. He stands and whines at the side of the bed until I pick him up and he takes his rightful place, right between Dave and me. He loves the beach and strolls along sniffing at every piece of seaweed he can find. He is a favorite at work and spends time with my coworkers who spoil him with treats all day long. If you think fospice work is not for you, I encourage you to think again. Making sure a dog has the best possible end-of-life care you can possibly provide is the most rewarding thing you can do. It’s life changing.


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'.

Hazel

Hazel

Thanks to Mutt dad and veterinarian Dr. Art Colyer for writing a loving tribute about his Muttville success story Hazel. It was also published in Honest Horses Magazine in September 2012:

I am often amazed at the extent to which some people will go for the benefit of pets and even more amazed when someone’s generosity benefits an animal with which their relationship is only temporary. My wife and I are parents to Hazel, a 12-or-so-year-old Chihuahua mix that was found last year running loose in the Bay Area. Muttville took her in and she was soon placed in a foster home. Unfortunately, over the course of just a few weeks she was diagnosed with severe progressive cataracts in both eyes which quickly rendered her completely blind. The wonderful doctors at Veterinary Vision felt that her eyesight in one eye could be restored surgically with a lens transplant so her foster parents signed her up for the $3500 the surgery and in no time Hazel could see once again.

We heard about and saw a photo of Hazel and decided to make the trip to San Francisco to meet her. She immediately reminded us of our elderly dog, Humphrey, who had recently passed. We were cleared as a suitable long term home for Hazel and we took her home. She is a delight! She has fit into our menagerie without a ruffle, and she has adopted our lifestyle as though she had been with us our whole life. She’ll hike with our pack on occasion as far as five miles, never balking or complaining. Being older, she sleeps a lot making her wonderful to travel with or keep under the desk on her bed at our veterinary clinic.

I often say that one of my favorite things about being a vet, aside from working with animals and the people that care for them all day every day, is seeing the best side of people most of the time – the side of people that is so willing to give with little regard for repayment. Hazel is a great example of this kind of “paying it forward”. Thanks to all the foster parents who give so much to help Muttville dogs find their perfect “forever home”.


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'.

Cubby (a.k.a. Cub 1471)

Cubby (a.k.a. Cub 1471)

Thanks to mom Carole for giving us this happy update on her Muttville boy, Cubby!

Muttville dogs get younger when getting lots of love and TLC. According to Cubby, “I have been drinking as much water as I can tolerate the last month. I am certain that our water taps into the Fountain of Youth. What else could it be?”

Our rescue dog Cubby, from Muttville on 2/4/13 keeps getting healthier and spry.

Our senior boy is off his pain meds (remaining on 1 anti-inflammatory) and he climbs 16 stairs several times a day. He even manages to find a way to maneuver down the stairs. He still ambles along on our walks but we have added distance. I am not certain but I could have sworn I saw him wink at me.

We are blessed.


If you adopted a Muttville dog, we would love to feature you in an upcoming ‘Success Story’. Please contact 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'.

Misty

Misty

The Muttville family honors the one and only Misty Kay Mabelline, who left this world on her own terms (that is so Misty!) Although we are saddened by her loss, Joe’s story will make you laugh and cry:

Four years ago this month, Sherri Franklin from Muttville placed a small dog in my hands. Her name was Misty Kay Mabelline and she was our first foster dog. Misty some might say was an odd looking dog; her tongue permanently hung out to one side, she had big, almost bulging eyes and her back legs were longer than her front, giving her an odd little walk, almost like she had high heels on her back legs. But to me she was perfect! It wasn’t long before I decided Misty belonged with us, something Rafael didn’t know for a few weeks, and soon she became a permanent part of the family. Misty wasn’t what you would call an affectionate dog; she preferred attention on her terms, didn’t want to be held or petted and loved to eat – probably the reasons I felt such a bond with her. But Misty literally brought a smile to our faces daily. If it wasn’t her oddly powerful bark that actually caused her front legs to leave the ground, it was her scrappiness with the other dogs. Yes, she was the smallest but no one challenged Misty Kay!

Misty’s health rapidly declined over the last two days and we knew it was time. Knowing she hated the vet’s office more than anything we arranged an “in-home” euthanasia to make her last moments less stressful. The appointment was set at 3:30. We had to do a quick errand at noon and at 1pm our cleaning lady called to say “Misty died”.

We are deeply saddened at losing Misty, but then I think of my scrappy little girl and how appropriate it is that she left this earth on her terms, almost to say “No you are not putting me to sleep at 3:30, I’m going when I want.” And she did.

She will always be in my heart.


If you adopted a Muttville dog, we would love to feature you in an upcoming ‘Success Story’. Please contact 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'.

Our Unique Winston

Our Unique Winston

One of our most recognizable senior rescues, Winston! Thank you mom Tricia for sharing his story.

Oh, Winston. You are: hungry, happy, waggy, ridiculous, hungry, sweet, grumpy, hilarious, hungry, adorable, cute, impatient, hungry, endearing, charming, resilient, hungry, spunky, excitable, friendly, hungry and, without a doubt, unique.

When I first saw Winston on Muttville’s website in June of 2011, I was immediately smitten. I had never seen a dog quite like him before. Or since.

I still get a little sad when I think about his kennel card from the shelter he was at before coming to Muttville. STRAY HOLD ONLY – NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ADOPTION. Yeah, he’s old. Yeah, he’s got two teeth. Yeah, he’s got some health issues. Yeah, he seems pretty pathetic at first glance. I’m just so grateful that Muttville saw past all of that. It’s now two years later and he’s more excitable and spunky than either of my other two Chihuahuas, both of whom are considerably younger.

Winston is so unique in both appearance and personality. He’s been compared to a lemur, a sugar glider, a sloth, a badger. He does not, however, resemble an American Water Spaniel, which is what came up in his DNA test. I’m pretty sure Winston would sink like a stone if submerged in water.

I met my boyfriend after Winston entered my life. He has never been a big animal person and definitely not a Chihuahua aficionado. Winston has changed all that. He recently mentioned that he can’t believe that Winston was in foster care for four whole months prior to me adopting him. “I can’t believe that people weren’t lining up to adopt a dog like him.” I can’t believe it either. I was the lucky one.

I know that it is not uncommon for people to be quite incredulous at the idea of adopting a senior dog, especially one like Winston. They are put off at the idea of becoming attached to something that, most likely, won’t be around for a terribly long time. I’m of the opinion that it’s a very selfish way to look at it. Is the prospect of being upset at the passing of a pet more important than giving that pet a good life? Your feelings are more important than saving an animal’s life? Really!? I don’t think so. I’ve been through it before and I know what it’s like. I know that when it’s Winston’s time to go, the pain will be nearly unbearable. But it will be bearable. Just bearable enough to offer a home to another senior dog that got dealt a bad hand in life.

And yes, Winston is always hungry.


If you adopted a Muttville dog, we would love to feature you in an upcoming ‘Success Story’. Please contact 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'.

Bubba

Bubba

Thank you to Mama Lynette who passed on this very sweet note from Bubba, formerly Hoss. Bubba also crafted his own collage to share with us to show how much his life has changed for the better now that he has a forever home. Thank you Lynette and Bubba!!

Bubba says….

’I’m happy in my forever home. My mom says I’m the newest Giants fan and we are waiting of opening day. Mom says I’m blind as a bat but she loves me even more for being unique and the glasses in this pic are just to fun! I sleep by moms bed every night. I have a dog walker named Corbin I love! Mom says I saved her and then she saved me right back.

PS. I still love belly rubs!’


If you adopted a Muttville dog, we would love to feature you in an upcoming ‘Success Story’. Please contact 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'.

Shadi: Rescued in Iran, Shadi finds a new mom & new wheels in San Francisco!

Shadi: Rescued in Iran, Shadi finds a new mom & new wheels in San Francisco!

Here is the story of a dog named Shadi, who traveled halfway around the world, starting in Iran, to find her forever home – and forever friends.

Let’s start her story from the beginning. From the words of Farah, the U.S. Representative for Vafa Animal Shelter, a group that rescues dogs in Iran. She describes Shadi’s rescue from her street life in Iran:

“It was winter, 3 years ago, when Vafa was notified of a tripod dog found in the middle of snow in Kordaan, nursing a litter of puppies. Our volunteers went and picked her up and brought her to the shelter. After a little TLC, they all started to feel better – the shelter vet spayed Shadi and later her puppies were also spayed/neutered. The puppies all found new homes, but Shadi did not, likely because she is a tripod. No one wanted her … until a kind lady named Maryam, who had adopted a tripod named Golpar asked for Shadi. We had her micro-chipped and were in the midst of getting her documents/travel set up when Maryam lost her battle with cancer. Shadi ended up staying in Hashtgerd.

“I found kind sponsors who offered to pay for the travel expenses for Shadi and another dog, so I sent them both to a rescue group in rural Virginia. After several months, Shadi was still waiting for a home. I thought about Shadi going to California and joining Muttville. I contacted Patty [Stanton, Muttville board member and volunteer], and the rest is history!”

Watch Vafa’s video about Shadi.

When Shadi arrived at Muttville, Sherri and many volunteers fell in love with her. In Sherri’s words:

“The first time I looked into Shadi’s big brown eyes, I knew her journey to us was just the new beginning she needed. And that she would trust us to find her the right home, a home where she didn’t need to worry any longer, a home full of love.”

Muttville volunteer and animal massage therapist Shelah Barr joined the team to help with Shadi’s physical issues:

“I first met Ms. Shadi after getting a combination of calls, texts, and emails from different people involved with Muttville asking if I could help this beautiful and wonderful dog that had just arrived.

“It’s obvious when you see Shadi that she has several deformities that affect her ability to get around. But it’s just as obvious that she’s learned to adapt and does pretty well for herself. The issue for me wasn’t whether massage could help her, because while it could relieve some symptoms of the dysfunction, it can’t change the circumstances that cause it. In addition, she’s an older gal now and I could see that she tires quickly, and that’s only going to increase the older she gets. The most sensible solution was to put her in a self-propelled wheeled cart. This would relieve the burden of her having to use her rear limbs, while giving her freedom she never had before.

“I contacted the staff at Eddie’s Wheels since they’ve made several carts for other clients. They worked very closely with us in getting the proper measurements, and have even re-worked the cart to make it even more comfortable for her to use. If it weren’t for the talented staff at Eddie’s Wheels, the generosity of Jaye Shissel, and the support of the loving Muttville staff and volunteers, Shadi might not be rolling in happiness the way she is today!”

From Jaye Shissel, the generous advocate who donated the funds for Shadi’s wheels:

“Shadi means ‘happy’ I’m told, and that is our girl: a lovely, brave lady, come halfway across the world with her BFF to teach us 2-legged’s how it’s done. Lovely Shadi did not like her picture taken when measured for her cart. I saw this and deleted all such pics from my phone. Like Shadi, I try to live in the moment and try to meet creatures where they are. This is why I cannot hear the sad stories – they sear my soul, and haunt me forever. I trust in other brave rescues to do that hard work that I cannot do.”

From Muttville foster parents, Charlotte and George, who cared for Shadi for 2 months:

“My husband and I had been thinking of fostering for Muttville after one of our dogs died. As luck would have it, Shadi arrived at Muttville the very day we were ready. She needed a foster home pronto that had easy access to a yard, a patch of grass and not many stairs. We had all that and more….

“After meeting Shadi, George and I both knew that we also had the time, energy and desire to provide the stability, attention and love that this dear sweet dog deserved. We were hooked on Shadi within 5 minutes of meeting her. Shadi, with her gentle, trusting soul and contented, happy disposition touched us both as she has touched so many people around the world.

“Shadi was easygoing and a joy to have around. She was never demanding and was very accommodating of our two old, infirm dogs. Shadi had a real appreciation of every little thing that we did for her and thanked us profusely with her frequent tail wags. She loved being brushed and scratched. We could never resist her unbridled display of enthusiasm, so onward we’d brush…she was a clever girl as well as a sweet one.

“Shadi had a big impact on us. We feel that she gave us a lot more than we gave her. She taught us so many lessons about how to live. Some, but certainly not all, of the lessons we learned from this smart, funny, loving and eternally optimistic girl are:

1. A pleasant personality and positive outlook can take one far in life. It took Shadi halfway around the world.

2. You can have a disability and not feel disabled. Shadi never knew her back legs weren’t quite right because she didn’t have a mirror and no one ever told her. She could pretty much do what her buddies were doing only it took her a little longer. Since she didn’t wear a watch (she couldn’t tell time) she didn’t really care how long it took.

3. A philosophy of ‘Nice is Nice’ is a good way to live. To Shadi, all animals and people were potential friends so it made sense to be nice to them all. Shadi excelled at eliciting smiles from everyone who was around her. The name ‘Shadi’ means ‘Happiness’ and Shadi brought that as a gift wherever she went.

4. Sometimes you think you’re helping someone and it turns out that they’re really helping you. We feel so lucky and so honored to have played a small role in Shadi’s incredible life and to have been a way station for her on her long journey to her forever home.”

…And, finally, from Shadi’s forever mom, Liz!

“Because of my sweet little lovebug Maggie, I really like the idea of older dogs. She was so well behaved, mellowed out and set in her sparkly ways that I decided to rescue another senior dog. When I saw Shadi’s face I fell in love. I’ve always been interested in tripods because they are so adaptive and capable. Shadi is all that; well behaved, mellowed out, beautiful and capable. The more I get to know her the more her world class personality comes out. I see that there was something special about her that made an international team of caring individuals fly her half way around the world.

“I feel so lucky to get this special dog. She is ideal in so many ways. I love the way she perks up and wags her tail the first thing in the morning. It makes my workday mornings so much more entertaining and effortless. When we come home in the evenings she frantically scrambles off our couch and herds me into dropping everything and petting her. We look forward to getting her rebalanced wheels from Muttville. I have a feeling that she will love to travel on hikes when she gets her gear and we anticipate much excitement during her reunion with ‘Team Shadi’.”

Shadi’s amazing journey is beautifully summed up by Jaye: “[Team Shadi] have all so beautifully demonstrated that it indeed takes a village, and that miracles can and do happen every day. If we work for the greatest good for all creatures, we can raise the bar on love and care of creatures worldwide.”

Muttville hopes to bring you more stories like Shadi’s. We can only do so with support from people like you. How can you help?
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'.

Sophie

Sophie

Many thanks to Joan for sharing her beautiful Muttville success story, “Sophie”:

I had always wanted a small senior dog.

I lurked on the Muttville fb page and “liked” all the pups and read a zillion bios…but thought I was always too busy, traveling or working too much to actually adopt.

Then my dear friend, Phillip, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my life came into sharp focus.

What was important to me? How did I want my life to be lived? What was I waiting for?

So on Aug 19th 2011 I filled out the application online and on Aug 28th I brought my girl, then 13 yr old Sophie home to stay.

I was nervous, never having had a dog of my own before. I was a cat lady. Could I deal with a dog?!

I remember writing an email to a friend worrying about if I had done the right thing.. she assured me that " it’s never a mistake to bring more love into your life".

She was totally right. I love this little old dog so much (and I think my 15 yr old cat, Fred has a crush on her too). She has brought me so much joy over the past year and half. She is always up for adventure and fun. We regularly go camping with my vintage trailer group and she recently won a spot in Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter calendar contest and is now “Miss August” in their 2013 calendar!!

I think Muttville is just wonderful and am so thankful for all they do and especially for introducing me to Sophs!!

I’m now a dog lady too!


If you adopted a Muttville dog, we would love to feature you in an upcoming ‘Success Story’. Please contact 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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