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Jesse (formerly known as Bo) has been with us for 2 years now. Gone is the shy, tentative guy we carted home from DC that day. Today we have a confident, happy dog who thinks he’s made it to dog heaven!

JesseHe spends his week days lounging close by while I work from home.

BoOldWeekends he’s with us on outings, family visits and leisurely car rides. His heart is big enough that he’s “adopted” a few neighbors who recently lost their dogs. He tolerates their cuddles and coaches them on how to give doggie massage. He is very social – is wonderful with our grandchildren and accepting of visitors – human or canine.

He has a penchant for snow and mud…loves to run and then roll in what ever is nearby to cool off!

He has full run of the house when we’re not home – and is so joyful when we return. Jesse meets us at the door with a toy in his mouth and two minutes of his unique grumbling.

We can’t thank you enough for rescuing this guy. He’s a beautiful dog – inside and out!

-Claudia & Joe, Centreville, MD

See all posts about: Big Black Dogs


When we adopted Peyton, his name was Boo Boo and he was in a foster home through Homeward Trails. We first met Peyton at an adoption fair set up at a Virginia pet store. He was full of energy and so friendly! Not much has changed since then! Our entire family, including our 13 year old chocolate lab Hershey, all love Peyton!

PeytonHe has since moved with us to Connecticut where he has much more land to run around, play, and socialize with other dogs. Peyton enjoys daily hikes and walks around the lake. He is super fast! Peyton is always very loving. He will cuddle with anyone, and often nudges his way into Hershey’s bed (even though he has 3 separate beds of his own!).

PeytonOldOur family could not have been happier adopting Peyton. We had gotten our dog Hershey through a breeder, and although he has been an amazing dog, Peyton has changed our minds on shelter dogs. Sometimes they have a stigma as all being troubled, shy, or abused. However, as we have learned through Peyton, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I recommend adopting a pet to anyone and everyone — you truly are saving a life and these pets will change your life for the better!

-Laura, Connecticut


When we were looking for a dog, we came across Poncho and he broke my heart with his sad story and picture! Someone had found him wandering on the road in West Virginia – he had been shot in the head! The vets in WVA did what they could, but the infection was so bad they could only put a drain in it. Homeward Trails came in and got him, thinking he was ten years old and I would have thought he was on his way out. We told HT that we wanted to adopt him, but we needed to get another one just in case he wasn’t with us for too long.

Panchothumb_ponchoEcollarWhen we met Poncho at PetMAC, we couldn’t believe that it was the same dog. He was jumping around and appeared to be feeling happier. We got him into the vet ASAP for surgery. They were able to take out most of the shattered bone fragments and a lot of dead tissue, but the bullet is too close to his spine to risk taking it out. Poncho is also only about 6 year old now (after 2 years of living with us). He is the sweetest dog, and everyone (2 legs and 4 legs) loves him. His head is almost always cocked to the right because of the way that his bones were healing while in the shelter. He loves to cuddle, but he also loves to play.

The same day we got Poncho, we also adopted Chloe from HT. They love each other and he watches out over her. Poncho also plays very well with the foster dogs that live with us. His tail is always wagging and he loves to go for walks. We even made friends with the person who adopted Chloe’s brother, Deuce. He comes over for playdates sometimes and he and Poncho play ALLLL night!

We couldn’t have asked for a better dog. Take a chance on an older (in theory) dog- they still have lots of love to give.

-Liz and Ray, Manassas, VA

See all posts about: Special Needs


When I decided it was time to get a dog I spent a lot of time at animal shelters and perusing the internet looking for the perfect rescue for me. About a month or so into my search I came across Fern. Her story tugged at my heart. She had been left outside of a trailer park pregnant with puppies, heartworm positive, and in such poor condition that only one puppy from her litter survived. Her story was very similar to that of the Corgi/Shepard mix that was a member of our family for many years. I knew at once I needed to inquire about this dog. After what felt like a long time, the adoption papers were in the works and I was communicating regularly with her foster family scheduling as many visits as I could to see her.

FernFernSoon everything was finalized and Fern arrived at my home the night before the blizzard of 2010. I had my dog. Fern is now well adjusted, and loves her new home. She shares the house with a 10lb miniature dachshund named Jack who has become her best friend, and she has turned into quite the running partner. She is an absolute love who is just as content to go for a 3 mile run as she is to lay at home on me; she is a 70lb lap dog. She is gentle when she needs to be, but knows the time and place for rough housing. She is a smart, wonderful, loving, mildly neu rotic dog who fits perfectly into my life. Fern has ended up being a fantastic addition to my family. And I thank Sheila, John, and Robin for helping me make her a member of the family.

 -Shannon, Olney, MD

See all posts about: Special Needs


Last summer I remember coming home from work and a strange feeling came over me–I needed a cat. You see, three years ago my cat Whiskers (also adopted) passed away age the age of 11 from cancer. Perhaps that was his way of telling me it was time for me to share my love with another furry friend.

Sushi & SakeSo I started my search on last Thanksgiving with no particular type of cat in mind. I immediately fell in love with four month old brother and sister Siamese/Snowshoe mix kittens who were named Raccoon and Smudgi at the time. I knew immediately that they were the furry friends that I needed and that needed me.

Raccoon and SmudgiSushi and Sake as kittens

I was scheduled to pick them up the weekend before Christmas which was the same time that mother nature decided the DC area was to have its first snow storm. I begged and a friend with a truck took me to pick up my new babies. By Christmas morning, four days later, the kittens and I had bonded. I believe that my sweet Whiskers played a small part in helping me find this perfect pair.

-The Murray Home, Fort Washington, MD


We adopted Ahby, then Meg, as a puppy in September 2008. She is the most lovable dog we have ever known!

AhbyShe greets everyone she meets and isn’t afraid of anything. She will even lay with you when you are sick. Ahby loves playing ball, giving kisses and eating ice cubes.

We are grateful to Homeward Trails for providing us with our best friend.


Arnold, MD

See all posts about: Big Black Dogs


It’s been just over a year since we adopted Nahla and it has been quite an adventure with our happy girl — one that my husband and I wouldn’t trade for anything. Upon adoption, we learned that Nahla had been thrown from a moving vehicle shortly after giving birth to puppies. A good Samaritan found her and nursed her back to health but was unable to keep her as she had many of her own dogs to care for. After bouncing back from injuries related to her car toss — alopecia and mange, just to name a few — we knew our Nahla was a trooper. And, if those health problems weren’t enough, Nahla also tested positive for heartworm.

NahlaFrom the moment we saw Nahla’s picture on Homeward Trail’s website, we knew she was meant to be with our family. We have a seven year-old Husky who she absolutely adores! Nahla has even picked up on some of the classic Husky traits and we often find both dogs standing on the steps “talking” (howling) to us. I feel like Nahla’s rough beginning is an example of how dogs can truly endure some of the worst conditions possible and remain so full of love.

Today, Nahla is doing wonderfully. Like many Pits, she needs to be the center of attention at all times. Nahla thinks that she’s a lap dog and shows no signs of hesitation as she backs her behind into the lap of anyone happening to sit nearby, showering them with wet kisses. Sunbathing in our deck is one of her favorite things. She’ll bask in the sun for hours. Nahla is so loving and affectionate and has become a favorite among the dogs in our extended family. My husband and I can’t picture life without our happy girl.

Thank you, Homeward Trails, for the work you do.

Joanna and Matt
Columbia, MD

See all posts about: Pit Bulls | Special Needs


Bixby is a 1-year-old lab/chow/??? mix. We adopted him in July of 2009, as Kelso, when he was 6 months old. We told Homeward Trails what we wanted in a dog, and they matched us up perfectly and quickly.

BixbyEverything is going great. He is well behaved and has a special relationship with every member of the family, especially with our daughter, age 10. We love him. Thank you, Homeward Trails!

The Liu-Glasheen Family
Alexandria, VA

See all posts about: Big Black Dogs



Make an online donation of 10 Dollars or more through the month of May and we will send you a MY DOG DIGS sticker for your car!

Simply go to to make your donation. Be sure to include in the notes section MY DOG DIGS (and specify which sticker you want).

Stickers will be mailed to the address provided.


beerJoin us Saturday, May 8th between 5-8 pm for a happy hour at Union Pub ( to benefit Jasper  ( and Cheyanne (, who both need surgery after being hit by cars. There will be happy hour drink and food specials and a raffle for great prizes including Orioles tickets, restaurant gift certificates, sailing lessons and much more!