Happy Tales from the Trails

My boyfriend and I attended a Homeward Trails adoption fair in Arlington in October of 2006 and adopted a then one-year-old domestic short-hair named Dusti.

When I first saw her meowing and purring in the cage I knew she was meant to come home with us  — but we joke that she adopted us, and not the other way around!


She waits at the door meowing every day when we get home from work and goes to bed with us every night.   I refer to her as our “fuzzy child” since she never leaves our sides.

She loves to cuddle in front of the television or chase her toys around.  She is the light of our lives and always makes us smile.

-Lauren Kiefer
We decided to look for a new dog about a year after our beloved 14 year old lab Madison died. We had several neighbors who successfully adopted wonderful dogs through Homeward Trails. We decided to do the same thing and give a rescue dog a forever home with us. We were looking for an adult dog that was house-trained and was already through most of the puppy stage. We worked with the fosters at Homeward Trails who helped us to figure out the best dog for our family. They suggested Red as the perfect dog for us.
Red BuddyWe feel so fortunate to have Red in our family. Our kids wanted to name him Buddy, but we didn’t want to take away his identity so we decided to combine the names. Red Buddy is a wonderful companion with a sweet demeanor. He is playful and active, but not hyperactive. He tries so very hard to please us and his tail never stops wagging. Red Buddy has learned to sit, lie down and shake paws – and he looks so proud of himself when he follows these commands. He is a fast learner and we can’t wait to teach him more. He joins us on our morning walks and interacts with our human family and friends and their dogs. He loves playing and snuggling with stuffed toys and his favorite game is racetrack in our basement. We couldn’t ask for a better companion and friend for our family. Thank you Homeward Trails!



This is my story about Diamond Girl, a dog who had such a pitiful existence she had given up on life. She had spent her entire life tied to a tree and now found herself in a shelter nursing puppies with no certain future ahead of her. I read about her on PetFinder and found I was unable to get her plight out of my head. I decided to try to help her by fostering her and then find her a forever home.

When I picked her up the first day she was basically catatonic – she wouldn’t even eat a hotdog! She wasn’t afraid, she just didn’t care. She had never spent time indoors and had no idea how to be a dog. Hardwood floors scared her, she didn’t know what chewies were for, ignored affection and growled at my mellow submissive lab. She had no interest in  being around us or in anything that was going on around her. The ony time you saw her tail was on walks and even then it was tucked up under her belly. The outlook was not good and I was worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew.

Despite all of that, we continued to force our affection and attention on her. On the third day I saw the most amazing thing – she was in the yard running around with her tail up.At the end of that day we found her sneaking a nibble on a chewy and by the fourth day I caught her rolling on her back doing the happy dog wiggle. A trainer came out and gave us some simple tips and the aggresive behavior stopped. She even let me work her into a cuddle for the first time. Then, one week after she came to me she finally smiled! A big goofy toothless grin that told me she would be would be okay after all.

A few applications came in for her and then an adoption fell through. When it did, I was so relieved! I finally realized that her forever home was really with us. So we adopted her and she became Heidi, or Chunky as we often call her.

The miserable dog that came in to our lives four months ago has blossomed int the happiest dog ever. She is the living, breathing picture of happy. Ahe smiles and wags her tail constantly and she repays attention with a full blast of joy. She and my lab are BFFs and she has finally learned how to be a dog – a sweet, wonderful, happy dog. She makes me laugh out loud every day and it is impossible to be around her and not feel the glow.

Thanks for letting me share this. I love this goofy dog. We were supposed to be rescuing her, but I can’t put into works how much she has brought into our lives.


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