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Today Luke Skywalker [formerly Barrett] celebrates his first adoption anniversary! He came to us a skinny, timid young dog with no training and diagnosed with worms and heartworm. A year later, Luke is confident, playful and extremely intelligent–he loves dogs, cats, children and adults–in short, his great big heart has love for all. He is the most beloved dog in our entire apartment complex, and even inspired a Christmas drive for donations for Homeward Trails this past winter. We are incredibly proud dog parents, and love the way people respond to him.


A special shout out to Robin who helped Luke find his way home, and to everyone at Homeward Trails, thank you for all your support that you provided from his rescue to his treatment, and for all the wonderful work you do to save lives. Here’s a collage of Luke’s photos–on the first day we met him, his first day in his furever home, and what he looks today.

– Tazreena and Anders


daytonI adopted Dayton to be a buddy for my cat Shiloh. Little did I know he would be on of the best things that ever happened to me. Dayton is a clown and lights up the room whenever he is in it, he LOVES to play and give kitty kisses and chats up a storm. I love this boy and am blessed every day having found him Thanks Homeward Trails Rescue and Petfinder!

–  Emily Steenhout



We absolutely love our new addition. She is so so smart! Thank you for all you do!

-Chelcy Walczy


Jasmine and McGuffeyI adopted Jasmine, a sweet little dachshund/spaniel mix puppy last December.  I wanted to give you an update on how she is doing.

In a word – WONDERFUL!

She is the happiest, funniest little dog!   She has settled in so nicely and now seems to fully understand how loved and safe she is.  She has really blossomed!

Jasmy is very popular with all of the children and dogs in the neighborhood and she is a favorite playdate.   She loves being outside, digging holes, playing fetch and stretching out in the sun.  She gets along really well with her older brother, McGuffey – they play and wrestle until they’re exhausted.  She’s a big kisser and loves getting cuddles.

I am absolutely delighted with my precious puppy.  Thank you SO much for helping her find her way to me!

-Stephanie Jones



We adopted Lily in early July 1010. We were looking for a new companion for our 5 year old orange and white tabby, Rusty.  Rusty’s sister had passed away several months before and he was lonely when we were not at home, but quite happy being the center of attention when we were at home.  My husband Ken, as well as Rusty, were not sure about whether Rusty would accept another cat.

With the help of HT volunteers Stephanie Litos and Susan Pizza, we found Lily, a dilute tortie, who had recently been rescued from a shelter. We new nothing of her background, other than her family dropped her at a shelter but would not take the time to fill out the paperwork. We brought Lily home and kept the 2 cats separated for a week.  Rusty did a bit of hissing at the door that first week, but we gradually let them loose in the house the next weekend.  Rusty was not sure he liked this new interloper at first.  But Lily immediately made herself at home, and much to Rusty’s chagrin, decided she preferred his litter box, food bowl, toys, and favorite sleeping spot!  The shelter said Lily was 4 but our vet said she could be as young as 2, and Rusty had a hard time keeping up with her boundless energy and over enthusiastic playing.  But Rusty decided Lily was not all bad, and decided to tolerate her.

Lily & Rusty

Lily & Rusty

Lily at first was a little too eager exploring her new home, including the table tops and counter tops.  But over time, she has settled down into more appropriate behavior and no longer gets on the counters, unless mom is too slow at feeding. Lily squeeks when she wants food, and protests loudly if we go to bed without exercising her with either a wand toy or her favorite, the laser. Lily and Rusty have now become good friends, playing, chasing and bathing each other, and sharing the bed with their parents. And doubtful Ken? Well Lily had him completely wrapped around her little paw after the first week!


In December 2007 one of our tenants moved out and left Barney, a boxer mastiff mix, tied up outside in the cold with no food and water so we took him home with us. We advertised everywhere we could to find someone to adopt him, but he was so hyperactive that no one wanted him. Our older two dogs would not play with him and Barney had lots of behavioral problems. After seeing how well-behaved he was when he had someone to play with at the dog park, we decided that adopting a 4th dog was our solution. In December 2008, we contacted Homeward Trails after picking out a black and tan coonhound puppy on We didn’t know at the time that Badger was in a high-kill shelter in West Virginia with her sister Hayley.

Badger & Barney 2We volunteered to foster both pups so that HT could pull them out of the shelter. A few weeks later a nice family put in an application to adopt Hayley (you can check out Hayley’s happy tale too) and we formally adopted Badger.

Badger and Barney bonded instantly even before Hayley was adopted. They are always together. Badger’s energy and playfulness was such a great match for Barney that his behavioral problems soon dissappeared. He has finally stopped pestering his older two sisters and focuses his time wrestling and tumbling with Badger. They spend hours playing tug, chasing a tennis ball, and exploring the yard together. Their constant antics provide us hours of entertainment. Barney showed his new little sister how to behave on a leash and at the dog park, and shares his favorite sleeping sofa with her.

We’re so greatful to Homeward Trails for bring Badger into our lives. Badger has brought joy, laughter, and lots of love to our family. She was perfect puppy for us and we are so happy that we were able to rescue two deserving dogs from the shelter.

-Tami, College Park, MD


haileyWe had a wonderful chocolate lab, Casey.  Sadly, she passed away, and we were all upset about it.  A few months went by, and we were throwing around the idea of getting a new dog, but no one wanted to “replace her“.  One day in March 2009 my dad was at Starbucks, and he saw that there was an adoption event at Bark.  He went, just to see the dogs, and Hayley caught his eye.  We requested to adopt her.  Luckily, we were chosen to be the family to adopt her.  She is so happy here!  She loves to go on walks, play, go to the dog park, etc. Hayley is such a wonderful addition to our family, and we just love her so much!!! Thanks!

-Danielle and Family, Olney, Maryland


As soon as we bought our house we started looking for a four-legged friend. I found Sampson (formerly Cotton) on Petfinder and instantly was interested. He was handsome, active and loving. At our first meet and greet Sampson was aloof because he was completely loyal to his foster family. In spite of this, we adopted him and he has become my shadow! Sam follows me everywhere and is always at my side.



A few months later we decided to start looking again for a friend for Sam. Ryder (formerly Sarge) was at a high-kill shelter in West Virginia and we decided to foster. Fostering immediately turned into ownership because we fell in love! Scrawny and skinny with matted fur, Ryder wasn’t exactly a sight for sore eyes but now he is healthy and very happy and boy, can he run! He is a beautiful dog and the most loving.



The two boys have become fast brothers and friends and our household is definitely complete…although I always joke with Seth about adding to our “Aussie” pack! 🙂

P.S. Just wanted to add how grateful we are to the volunteers who initially took Ryder in while we were dealing with a major flooding disaster at our home!

-Jennifer (and Seth), Washington, DC


Our Daisy (formerly Miss Muffet) adopted us January 25, 2006. She came to us on a home visit and never left. Although my husband was in favor of the adoption, he wasn’t sure he really wanted a beagle. No one told Daisy that. She walked in, looked around, sniffed a little and promptly peed on my husband’s favorite rug! He burst out laughing and she’s been with us ever since.

DaisyDaisy was incredibly shy and we weren’t sure of her age–our vet guessed her to be 6 or 7. She had been used as a breeder and we later found out that she had actually been shot at (she still had the buckshot in her back). Her foster dad told us she had been put out on the streets and was nearly run over (like her brother) when she was found. So, we were facing several hurtles in getting her used to us.

The biggest thing in our favor was her amazing nature. After all she had been thru, she only every showed love and appreciation. She quickly took over our home (and our hearts) and became our constant companion. She loved car rides and belly scratches and fireplaces and snow and shrimp. She gave love freely and brought warmth into a room every time she entered it. She had the ability to sense emotions and respond to them. If I was sad, she was warm and affectionate. If I was upset or angry, she became a three-ring circus. She never met a hand she couldn’t love. She made us realize that a hand not scratching a dog, was a hand wasted.

As you can tell, I’m speaking in the past tense. Daisy went over the rainbow on Saturday, October 23, 2010 after a valiant struggle with cancer. She only had us for three short years, but we will have her forever in our hearts. Thank you Homeward Trails for bringing me the happiest three years of my life.

God bless you all.

-Claudette White, Bowie, MD

See all posts about: Older Dogs | Shy Dogs | Special Needs


In September, 2008 we adopted Joy as a companion for our aging American Eskimo. She was shy and skittish, but since he was so calm, she soon learned to be more easy going. When we lost him in February, we soon knew we needed to fill the hole in all our lives. Enter Eli, a fun and lovable beagle!

Joy & EliWhen Joy came to us, she didn’t know how to play and was never fond of the dog park. However, Eli has changed all that. Now she frequently starts the tug-o-war and is first into the car for the frequent trips to the park. We can’t thank Homeward Trails enough for bringing these wonderful dogs into our life!

-The Rauscher Family, Gaithersburg, MD

See all posts about: Shy Dogs