If you would like to truly make a difference in the life of a dog or cat, choose to adopt or foster one of our older rescues. The good thing is that you know how big the dog will be, how it behaves, and if it is healthy. Even if there are some medical problems, many of them are easily remedied or worked with. Teddi was at our farm for five years. We found her with six puppies, which were readily adopted. Teddi had heart worms for which she was treated. As she lived with us, we laughed at her eccentricities--for keeping her cottage so neat, we called her "Grandma." We always hoped there was a permanent home for this older brown dog --who was loving and gentle, and at the same time--cautious. When Teddi got cancer, we treated her and soon she met Joe Barker (see story below). Joe and his family have literally given their lives over to saving animals. They wanted to "help" one of our oldest residents, and we prayed that this would provide an answer for Teddi. Please read Joe's story:
In November of 2008 I went to Little Victories in Barboursville, WV. I ask them which dog had been there the longest or was the oldest. Teddi turned out to be that dog on both counts. I said that is the dog I want.
The staff was very happy as they had been attempting to adopt Teddi out for some time. I have to admit this made me feel good. However at that particular time my only goal was to foster Teddi and not adopt her. I took Teddi home to bond with my beautiful black labs. No one in the family was impressed with Teddi's looks or personality...at least initially.
Teddi had her own way of doing things and was very selective with her affection. However after a couple of weeks she started to warm up to me ...but no one else.
Around Christmas 2008 a Huntington family decided to adopt Teddi. Naturally I was very happy because Teddi would be getting the great home she so richly deserved. I had met the family and was absolutely thrilled that they wanted Teddi. However after a couple of days they called and said things just weren't working out. I immediately made the drive to Huntington to get Teddi back. I wasn't upset but wondered what I could do to make Teddi more adoptable.
During the Winter of '08-'09 and spring of '09 my wife (Leslie) and I worked with Teddi constantly.We reassured her with love, went on long walks with her and took her for many, many car rides. Of course since she was completely house trained and sleeping indoors we were able to strengthen the bond we were developing in an even quicker manner.
Finally in may of '09 the realization hit us: we no longer wanted Teddi to be adopted; we wanted to keep her. I informed Sue Brown (head of Little Victories) and she approved our request. Once the proper paperwork had been signed and delivered Teddi was all ours. By this time the rest of the family had fallen in love with Teddi and she seemed to feel the same way.
Keeping Teddi was one of the best and most rewarding decisions I ever made. Yes we were able to "rescue" and provide a fulfilling life for her, but she has given us so much more. She is always so happy to see and be with us. I have fostered a lot of dogs but I have never had one more devoted than Teddi. When I first got her I would look into her brown eyes and see fear and distrust- now when I look I see love, loyalty and thankfulness. In a way I am sad that so many people looked at Teddi considered her age and then rejected her...but then again it gave me the wonderful opportunity to find Teddi, get to know and love her. For that I am thankful.
Joe Barker said something wonderful to me one day about Teddi. He said he wanted to thank Little Victories for keeping a spark alive in her until he could come along and find her. We are thrilled for Teddi and so humbled by a family like the Barker family who see beyond an old dog and look straight into her heart.