Happy Tales from the Trails

I lost two cats within 7 months in 2008-2009. My remaining cat, Brox, and I, were having a tough time coping. After losing two so close together, and spending a small fortune on vet bills, I was going to wait a while to adopt another cat. But Brox was lonely, depressed, and anxious. He started over grooming his belly, licking himself bald. I half-heartedly started browsing Homeward Trails’ petfinder page. Then BAM! There she was. Skunk: a fluffy beautiful little black and white sweetheart. I was 99% sure after seeing her picture that she belonged with us, and after reading her description, I was 100% sure.

PenelopeA few days later, I met her for the first time when she came home. She made herself at home almost immediately. Much to my surprise, Brox was scared of her at first (he weighs 19 pounds, she weighed about 8 pounds at the time). But within a few days, they became fast friends. I renamed her Penelope–a Skunk by another name is just as sweet.

A little more than a year later, I am so grateful to have her in my life. Her sweetness and motherly nature helped both Brox and me get over our losses. She and Brox play together, eat together, groom each other, and sleep together. He’s a completely different cat now–calm, happy, playful, and no more over-grooming.

Pen loves to play. Her current favorite is the turbo scratcher, but she loves the laser pointer and straws, too. She often sits on a towel in the kitchen while I’m making dinner, just keeping me company. And even though she keeps her fur beautiful, she loves to be brushed. She is amazingly soft, and petting her is a joy. I am completely in love with her. She is the most delightful cat!

-Louann (& Brox), Arlington, VA


Walter came to us as a foster when a Homeward Trails plea for help went out and we agreed to foster a kitty-friendly dog. We went to pick him up and Walter was standing apart from the other dogs, terribly overweight and a bit sad looking. He had been adopted previously, but his owner didn’t understand that beagles must follow their noses and he kept wandering off, so she gave him back to Homeward Trails. She also named him Nutmeg, a name to which he flat out refused to answer.

WalterHe sauntered into our house, sniffed the cats and hopped up on the sofa, where he has been ever since. Unless he is out sniffing around in the park.

We tried several adoption events, but Walter did his very effective impression of a dead dog and while potential adopters liked that he was not high energy, they did want a dog who actually moved. Of course, the second we got home, he would dance wildly around and we always breathed a sigh of relief that he came back to our house. Of course we adopted him and promptly changed his name to Walter, which he helped us select by answering to it and ignoring all other suggestions.

We now live in Pittsburgh, where we have a huge park nearby where he hunts for deer and rabbits. Hunting meaning he sniffs and barks his head off for as many hours as I will let him. He has amassed a fan club due to the inordinate amount of noise he makes and his hilarious antics. He will refuse to leave the park and will just lie down and do his dead dog impression or roll on his back while kicking his legs in the air. I have to carry him out or we both just sit and stare stubbornly at one another. People used to stop and ask if I needed help or a ride, but now they roll down their windows and shout “Hey Walter!”

This stubborn, smelly little guy has brought more happiness to our lives than can be imagined. He insists on being the center of the universe and we’re more than happy to give him that role.

-Teri, Pittsburgh, PA


When I was looking for a dog, I really was not quite sure if I would be ready or not to get another dog, since I had to put my dog to sleep five months prior. But one Friday afternoon, I pulled up your website and I saw this sad looking puppy asking for a foster so this dog could heal in a home rather than a High Kill Shelter. Tyler had two dog bites on him that had gone down to the bone of his hips and shoulders and he was so thin and frail looking it just broke my HEART. I knew right then, that I HAD to have him.

TylerI filled out the adoption papers that evening and emailed the volunteer listed on the site, which was Kim Webster. She wrote me back that evening and told me that he was in WV and believed he was in foster care there, but would let me know. A couple days later, she told me that the foster lady might want to keep him due to his sweet disposition, but then a couple days later she called me and told me he was ready. HT came to my home to check things out and spoke with us, let us know when he would be here. I was so excited, I showed my family his pictures (the bad ones) and my Mom was stunned to why I wanted a dog that looked so badly, I told her that was more reason for me to get him.

thumb_Tyler_OldSo…from WV to Hagerstown to Arlington he traveled by van, and we picked him up at 2:30 that day. Kim Webster was great with us, there were so many dogs coming in that day, it was a mad house, but there standing very quietly and oh so SKINNY was my little guy Tyler! He just walked around on his little leash quietly not really knowing what was going on.

We drove him home and he nuzzled up to me and slept the way home. Our adjustment was really easy with him- he never once gave us any kind of problem, he’s been a true joy, one of the sweetest dogs we’ve had and almost close to PERFECT! Now my Mom (known as Grandma) to Tyler thinks he’s the most BEAUTIFUL dog she’s ever seen, she tells us all the time “YOU PICKED A GOOD ONE” ha! Which ! makes me smile. I beleived in this little guy from the get go! :o) HT is an amazing rescue and all the people who donate their time and efforts for these animals are AMAZING!

-Teresa, Woodbridge, VA

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