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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

and then there were two!

                                                         

Please say hello to our new girl, and Ella's new sister...
Amelia!  
Full name, Amelia Mae :)




Amelia is a 6-year-old rescue from Texas!
As with most everything in the house, there is a story about how she came to be ours...

It all started several months ago when I found myself on petfinder.com.  I don't often look there as I find the site to be a bit frustrating to navigate, but on this night I typed in my location, the breed (mix), age, gender,etc. that I was interested in and several pages later I came across this photo of "Amelia."



 There was just something about her sweet face that stopped me in my tracks and had me coming back to her page for days to look at her.  On petfinder.com it said that she was located in Connecticut.  That sounded optimum as we've never adopted a dog without meeting them first and since we would be bringing a new dog into Ella's life it was very important to us that Ella meet and be happy with the situation and the dog.  Ella is now 10 years old, and is very social and loves other dogs, but I wanted it to be a good match for her too.  We've been looking off and on for four years, or so, at local shelters for a sister for Ella, but have never found "the one."

After finding Amelia on-line I waited a good week before showing her to Dan.  I knew he would say "lets go get her!," and I wanted to think about and be sure this was something we should do.  On one hand we have perfect Ella (anyone who knows her will tell you how perfect she is; it's not just me saying it ;) and why would we want to rock the boat with an unknown situation?  But on the other hand we have both wanted to have another dog, and two at one time (which we have never had before) and Ella has such a wonderful life that we felt a pull to give that life to another shelter/rescue dog needing a home.

When I finally showed Dan the photo of Amelia, he did indeed say "lets go get her!" and he also said...  "I think Amelia was my grandmother's middle name."  Really??  After he went to bed  I looked it up and sure enough his grandmother's middle name was Amelia.  While, that might be a sweet coincidence, what I haven't told you is that his grandmother's first name was Ella!    (Ella, the dog, or Ellazene, which is her full name, was named after a great aunt of mine, but "Ella" also happened to be Dan's maternal grandmother's name.)  That we might have Ella and Amelia gave me chills.
I took this as a sign.

The next night I'm thinking I really needed another sign that this is the right thing to do.  Ever since we moved to New Hampshire and started looking for a sister for Ella I have always joked with Dan that I would probably have to go back to Texas to get our next dog.  Our first dog, Kelsey, was from Texas, Ella is from Texas and, I'm from Texas!!  So one night I'm looking at Amelia's profile on petfinder.com and I click on the link to the rescue organization where she comes from and I read her bio on their site.  And, I'll be damned.....
Amelia is from Texas !!
This one made me cry... laugh and cry.
Sign number two. 

I then start thinking I'm making too much of all these signs and maybe they are just coincidences. The next day we take a drive to the White Mountains in New Hampshire to see the fall foliage.  Along the drive up I'm wishing that the universe would give me another sign if this was meant to be.  We stop several times that day at parks in different parts of the state to let Ella out.  We encountered three dogs at the parks and they were all miniature collies (which are correctly known as Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties, but to me have always been miniature collies;)   We get into the car after the last park and I say to Dan "Don't you think it's strange that the only dogs we've seen and come in contact with all day have been collies?!"  I then put my head in my hands and start to cry.  Dan is concerned and asks me what's wrong-  I tell him that on Amelia's bio they were guessing that she might be part lab and part ...
collie!
We then start to laugh!
Sign number three.

That night I sat out on the terrace and looked up at the star-filled sky and ask for another sign.  I immediately saw two shooting stars, one right after the other.  While I've seen shooting stars before they don't generally fly out of the sky when I look up asking for a sign and I've never seen two in a row like that.  I decided that, too, was a sign from the universe;)
Sign number four.

Several more days go by with me asking, yet again, for another sign.  (I'm a bit pragmatic and can be skeptical and very literal at times; and I ask a lot of questions in life;)
At this point I have yet to even send off an inquiring email about Amelia- still just trying to figure out if we should go down this road.  So, I drive down our hill to a local garden shop to pick up a large mum for the front door.  I'm driving along and pass a shop that has a marquee sign board and I see this...

Apparently the universe was sick and tired of me asking for more signs and decided that if the woman wants a sign, well, we'll give her a damn sign!!!!
Sign number five..... literally a sign! :)

Thee next day I sent off an inquiry email about Amelia!  I mean, one can only dismiss the signs from the universe for so long without the universe bopping you on your head ;)  Turns out she wasn't in Connecticut after all, but was still at the rescue in Texas.  She has had a difficult life.  
When she was brought to the Brazoria County Shelter two years ago in south Texas she had a huge swollen growth under her chest.  She was skin and bones as you can see in the photo below (her eyes are so sad in this photo it breaks my heart.)  You could not only see her ribs, but her hip bones as well.  A very kind Animal Control Officer (A.C.O.) named Tammy was trying to coax Amelia (then unnamed) to eat by offering her own sandwiches to the dog.  The rescue organization that took her in was coming to the shelter to pick up another dog to take in and the A.C.O. asked if they would take a look at Amelia.  The rescue was worried that the growth was cancerous, but it turned out to be a large abscess that they were able to treat with medication. She was so sick when they first saw her that she probably would not have made it through one more day if the A.C.O. had not advocated for her and if the rescue organization had not agreed to take her.  Bless them all.



I then filled out an adoption form and made contact with their wonderful National Adoption Coordinator, Melody, who is a volunteer for the rescue group.  I asked many, many.... many questions about Amelia to which Melody would find the answers and email/text/call me with a reply.
The rescue organization Smiling Dog Farms that took Amelia in started small- two partners, Ricky and Jay, rescuing a dog here and there. They were (as Dan and I are also) drawn to the dogs that were the least likely to be adopted. Various rescue groups then started sending them their "unadoptable" dogs because they knew that Smiling Dog Farms was an absolute no-kill shelter and that the dogs would be able to live out their lives in safety and peace.  As they evolved into a sanctuary to house dogs that had no other place to go they also came in contact with other dogs that turned out to be adoptable, like Amelia, and would take those dogs in also.  They have approximately 300 animals at the farm, and Amelia was one of the lucky 14 or so pets that got to live at their house.  I was told that she spent most of her day in a crate and had turn-out time during the day with other dogs at the house. When Dan and I heard this our hearts cracked and we knew she was to be ours.  She was 6 years old (older dogs are more difficult to adopt out)  and was a black dog (as I've mentioned on the blog previously, black dogs statistically are the last dogs to get adopted from shelters.  This phenomenon even has a name- black dog syndrome.)  She had been at Smiling Dog Farms for two years and I felt at this point in her life, if we didn't adopt her, she would never find a home.  That, and we had fallen in love with her from her photographs, videos and everything we were learning about her.

Throughout the process it became clear that Amelia (who had been named by one of the Smiling Dog Farms founders when the name just came to him- yes, I asked :) was a sweet and gentle girl and had a lot of similarities to Ella. I added the "Mae" to Amelia in honor of my late Aunt Mae who would tell me stories about the dogs in her life and was very dear to me.  Ella is a spunky 10 year old (I can't tell you how often I hear "I would never have guessed she was 10!") but I knew we didn't want a puppy.  I was looking for an older dog (over a year, at least and preferably even older); we have always adopted the older dog- both Ella and our first dog were a year old when we adopted them.  I've been extremely inspired by Claudia of My Little Bungalow blog who I have watched adopt a 10-year-old dog, so I was open to adopting one much older! (Thank you Claudia!)

I was a bit concerned that we wouldn't be meeting Amelia first, but I was trusting all the signs I had received and the process in general.  Melody and the rescue organization were 100% forthcoming with every single little thing about Amelia- her temperament, her health, her overall condition.  
   The rescue organization sent a local volunteer from Massachusetts (it takes a huge village to save just one dog) to our house for an in-house visit.  We passed;)!!

A week and a half later Amelia arrived on the pet transport P.E.T.S. which makes weekly trips through the south to the north to unite shelter/rescue dogs with their forever people.  We were one of five families making pickups that day at their stop in southern Vermont. We were the second to last in line and the first dog came off the 18-wheeler and it was met with "awww" from the people waiting.  Then the second and third dogs came off, both puppies, and more "awww's" ensued.  Then sweet Amelia walked down the plank and the tone of the "awww" went down an octave from a cute, happy "awww" to a feeling-sorry-for "awww."  Poor sweet Amelia, (her tail tucked under, her head down) looked scared and pitiful.  She had demodectic mange on her butt (which I was told about early on.)  It is the non-contagious form of mange on dogs that will clear itself up once a dog's immune system is healthy.  We felt strongly that a little TLC, good food, exercise and lots of kisses would clear it up in no time.   I walked up to her, held her head in my hands and said,
"Amelia, I'm your mama."



That was 3 weeks, and 4 days ago.
To watch her transformation has been overwhelming.  She is a love bug!  She has landed in a whole new world at the age of 6 where she has to learn so many new things:  new environment, a new language, a new set of rules .  Day three after she arrived it snowed.  She loved it!  This photo is her very first taste of a New Hampshire winter!



And she loves walking through the snowy woods- so many new smells.



Amelia and Ella are really starting to bond.  Every day brings another baby-step of bonding.  It has been a joy to watch.  Several people have commented that they look like twins, or like they could be from the same litter!  They are almost the same size except Amelia is about an inch taller and 2-1/2 inches longer!  She adores Ella!
She came to us not knowing her name, not knowing any commands and having never (to our knowledge and due to how baby-butt soft her feet were) been on a walk. She didn't know how to play with dog toys.  She had never seen a stair before and was very fearful of them.  For the first three days we carried her up and down the stairs to the master bedroom (much to our back's and our chiropractor's chagrin ;)
She is now, in only three weeks short time, responding to her name, knows "sit" and is one the verge of getting "stay", "come", and "stop!" She has learned to walk well on a leash (matching red plaid collars were a gift from a friend- thank you Sara!),...



... and up and down the stairs like a pro.
She has learned to chew bones, ...



... and  "puppy pops"- a.k.a. ice cubes which Ella eats after dinner!
The first time she saw Ella eating them Amelia thought Ella was crazy.  I then broke some up and offered them to her and after several days of this she started munching on them too!



 She is learning to not be afraid of the vacuum, or the loud pops that come from the pitch on the logs in the barn room fireplace, and has learned to love the bear "rugs," as we call them (faux bear throws;) in the barn room!
Amelia is under the faux bear rug on the left and Ella is on the right!



sweet Amelia!


 In only two weeks time, the mange on her back has completely gone away as has the mange on her tail!  The mange on her back legs and the one ear is well on it's way to growing back also.  We started her on Omega 3 fish oil two days after her arrival and I think that has made a huge difference- that, and the daily walks, good organic food, and lots of love and attention!  She has been amazing and we all love her so much.   Ella always wags her tail around her and they are just starting to "jaw" in the house when playing with each other!  .

 We can't imagine her not being a part of our family and have loved watching the little bud that she is unfold into a beautiful flower!

I will do another post on some of the challenges we have easily overcome in hopes of encouraging ALL of you to consider adopting instead of shopping and to especially consider an older dog (a year or older!)  I also want to introduce you to the rescue organization that took Amelia in and saved her life.   But for now I will leave you with this photo of our sweet new girl Amelia!
Just look at that face, and the white tips on her paws and the tip of her tail!!
That's a lot of love!




Please, please, please ... adopt, don't shop.





"When you adopt a shelter pet, you save 2 lives.
The one you adopt, and the one that takes its place."

Saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal!


Even if you're looking for a purebred, you can find purebreds at local shelters and there are many rescue organizations across the country which specialize in specific breeds.
Please adopt!
I promise... you will not be sorry.
xxojoan





320 comments:

  1. Great post! We also have an adopted dog that was abandoned previously in Indiana, and it is the best!

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    1. Thank you Michele! So glad to hear you have an rescue dog too!

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  2. What a beautiful story to share at this season. Thank you and a blessed Christmas to you, Dan, and your two fabulous dogs.

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  3. Lovely story! Thank you for sharing. I love my pets with all of my heart too.

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    1. I always says that dogs give "us" heartworms;) They worm their way into our hearts and we are never the same after that!

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  4. I'm so happy to hear your story. We rescued our Lola from a barn 3 years ago, and though she is our first mixed breed, she has been the best dog we've every had. (She is also a Lab mix with a white chest and paws!) We'll never buy from a breeder again-adoption is the only way to go! Congratulations on your new addition-she's precious!

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    1. Lucky, Lucky Lola! Aren't mutts just the best?!

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  5. What a beautiful story! I will definitely adopt next time we "need" a dog and I must always have a dog. We have 2 now or I would be looking for an Amelia to love. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope it prompts others to adopt.

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    1. That is wonderful to hear Lynn! And I agree, one always needs a dog.... or two!!

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  6. Cried my eyes out - lucky Amelila, lucky Ella, lucky you. You and Dan did a wonderful thing, Joan!

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  7. This is the most heart-warming story I think I've ever read. And Smiling Dog Farm...I'm trying to keep it together here. Welcome to your forever family Amelia. You chose a good one :)

    I have only been a reader for a short time, and rarely comment on any blog, but this just begged a word or two. Wishing all of you, a lifetime of warm fur blanket snuggles and walks through the woods. And Merry, Happy Holidays!

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    1. Thank you Michelle, and welcome to the blog! Happy holidays to you too!

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  8. I am coming back as a dog in your house. Merry and Happy to all. Annie

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  9. I'm so happy for all of you. Our sweet boy was in rescue for four years, loved, but a rescue is not a forever home. Not only do older dogs need to be adopted I think it's easier to skip the puppy phase!

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    1. That is such a true statement Nancy "a rescue is not a forever home." It is just a soft place to land until they find their forever home. I feel so sorry for the ones who have been in rescue for years. I totally agree about skipping the puppy phase too;)

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  10. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. How special for you all. We adopted our Baxter over a year ago and immediately started thinking about adding another to the family. It's such a meaningful experience. I'm glad Ella and her new sister are bonding.

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    1. Do it Julia! You, your family and Baxter will love it!

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  11. Oh Joan, I'm so happy for you and your family. Amelia looks so sweet and so closely resembles Ella that they do look like they could have been sisters from birth. Both of our dogs are adopted and they are the sweetest. I always think somehow they know you rescued them and are more appreciative, but that could be my imagination. What a wonderful story, which brought me to tears more than once. What a wonderful Christmas gift!
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. Oh, I don't think it's your imagination Karen! So many people who adopt dogs say the same thing. So happy you have two too!

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  12. What a beautiful, heartwarming tale! Lucky you, Dan, Ella and especially Amelia. Joan, I think you could write a wonderful children's book about this.
    Teresa

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  13. Oh Joan, I read very word of this post with a happy smile on my face! Amelia is adorable, sweet and a lucky girl to be a part of your family!!! And so is Ella to have a new sister!!!! Our daughter has 2 adopted beagles and NOW she and our son-in-law have adopted a little girl!!!!!!!!! We are GRANDPARENTS!!!! They got her the Friday before Mother's day (best Mother's day ever) and the adoption was final last Monday (best Christmas present ever)!!!!!! Thanks for sharing sweet Amelia with us. Give her a kiss from me!!!!! XO, Pinky

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    1. Kiss given Pinky;) Congratulations on your new grandbaby!!

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  14. So happy for ALL of you! Amelia is one lucky dog to have landed in your house. We adopted a boxer from Houston Boxer Rescue four years ago and she is the best. Your story makes me want another dog. Merry Christmas!

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    1. much older sister susanDecember 10, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      We have two boxers! Their names are Vince Young and Roxi. My two aren't recuses but the next ones will be! Ours are almost 9. We hate that. Having two boxers is a hoot! They have added so much love and laughter to our lives! Ours came from Leander, Texas.

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    2. Lisa- Thank you and yay for you adopting a boxer!

      much older sister susan- While Vince and Roxi didn't come from a rescue you DID rescue them. xxo

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  15. I agree with your sentiments, but please make your readers aware that buying a purebred from a responsible breeder is not "shopping". I have raised top show and field champions for over 30 years, and I know to this day where every one of my puppies went. Top breeders diligently vet all their prospective owners, and the AKC has special registration provisions to designate dogs as "non breeding" with requirements to spay if the breeder thinks the dog is not of the absolute top quality to carry on the breed's bloodlines. Because good breeders are so strict, and produce limited pups, it quickly winnows out the "instant gratification" owners who go to the pet store and buy puppy-mill purebreds on a whim.
    I can't tell you how many times I have been accosted and vilified by people who look at my champion purebreds when I am out for a walk, and tell me "I'm part of the problem". That's pure crap.
    People who love dogs should either adopt from a shelter or find a reputable show breeder. Welcome Baby Amelia!

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    1. Thank You! I am a breeder also, but no champions for me, just very well loved family pets. I have had a bit of nastiness from people, but I always respond that I , like you, know exactly where each of my 72 dogs is, and do not breed a litter that I have not pre-sold. Responsible breeding is just as important as responsible pet ownership. I screen my owners very carefully. We are all on the same side, after all- the dogs' side!!

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    2. My current dog is from a breeder who raises show dogs. I couldn't believe the evaluation process I went through as the buyer... I didn't even choose our dog. After the breeder interviewed me about my home environment and family members, and spoke with a reference, he informed me of the dog that would best fit my situation. He was right... she is a lovey and perfect for our family.

      I love shelter stories like this one, and we are considering one to add to our family. But I wanted to support the fact that there are indeed responsible breeders who also care about their dogs and where they will live out their lives.

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    3. I think y'all all said it well. Thank you for stating your case for responsible breeders.

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  16. Love this!! We adopted a golden rescue last year at 5 months old. It was right after we lost our 12 year old dog. I think we rescued each other! We are thinking of getting another too! Marcy

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  17. Joan,
    CONGRATS!! on your new baby. Its a good thing I have my own office here at work becasue the tears are just rolling down my cheeks!! i AM SO HAPPY for all of you, esspecially for Amelia, she is definately glowing with life and love in the pictures!!
    Lisa

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  18. This makes my heart so extremely happy! She looks like my two babies, Moony and Sirius who are also rescues. It is so awesome that a lonely girl found her forever home!

    I knew I loved your home and blog, now I love your heart as well!

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    1. That is so lovely, thank you Samantha. Love your pups names and that they are rescues too!

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  19. joan, I am so happy for all of you! Amelia is precious, absolutely precious. Her eyes tell the story. I've never had a dog but love animals and have always wondered how my life would change if I ever took the chance and added a furry friend to my life. Now I think I have an idea, so thank you so much for sharing. So good to see you back online too.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, she has very expressive eyes! I think you would be blown away by how a pet would change your life, your heart and how many times a day you laugh! I hope you take the plunge. xxo

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  20. Hello from Seattle!!! Your post made me cry. Bless you for adopting Amelia. I see exactly why you fell in love with her; she has won dog lotto.

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    1. Hello Seattle!! Yes, we always say our pups won the lottery, and so did WE!!

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  21. We too have always adopted. Several were rescue dogs. One about twenty years ago was a pekenese. Lots of prolemms with her skin and a poorly bred dog. The puppy mill owner had hundreds, filthy surroundings and not a nice person.The vets incurred large expenses treating for parvo and other illnesses. When it went to court, through a technicality, the owner was given back the dogs. Our do was declared dead by the vet so as not to have to return. We adopted a "dead" dog. Pookie was wonderful and sounds like your Amelia Mae is too. What a wonderful addition to your family!

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    1. Such a sad story that the puppy mill owner was given the dogs back- how did that even happen? Love that your Vet came up with a way for your to keep your Pookie- so smart.

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  22. I forgot to say, Of course Sweet Ella would love Amelia....now I understand yesterday's photo....two food and one water dish.

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  23. This is the most beautiful story. I'm so happy for your family. Tears are streaming down my face. I'm glad you were open to all the signs. What a wonderful holiday gift.

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  24. Oh my! This post made me tear up! She has such a sweet face and is so lucky to have you (and you her, I'm thinking!). We adopted a 10 month old dog from the Humane Society a long time ago and we had her for 16 years. She was the best dog we could ever have hoped for! Now we just have cats but they are all rescues. Thank you for adopting Amelia and giving her a loving home!

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    1. Thank you Jeanette. Love hearing that you adopt too!

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  25. This is the most touching post I have ever read. I have always been afraid of adopting as my son has a rescue that cannot be trusted around people or other dogs. This warms my heart. Our Beau is like Ella. He just turned four but still acts like a pup. He LOVES other dogs and would love a playmate. Lucky, lucky, lucky Amelia....

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    1. Cindy, I think that is a common fear about adoption. Amelia is our third and they have all been wonderful. I have found that most rescue organizations are very upfront about everything they know about a dog. I see if often on rescue sites where there state that a dog can not be around other dogs, children, cats,etc. They want the match to be a good one for both dog and people. That is one of the many things I love about adopting an older dog- you really know and see what you are getting. You can really see the personality of a year old dog or older. Hope you consider adopting a playmate for Beau!! Let me know!

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  26. Oh Joan....this post could not be more timely. I lost my little cocker three years ago and have been wanting another dog for quite a while, but I've been hesitant...reason unknown. I look at pics online, and they always say fenced-in yard, which we don't have. But I never let my dog out without going out with them. Can't be too careful in the country. My vet would give a good reference, I know. I'm so glad you've found another new friend, and I'll keep looking...maybe I need to look for the signs!! I'll consider this post from you as the first one!! Congrats to you and Dan! Bev in Vermont

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    1. Bev, your comment had me tearing up. That this would be your first sign is a gift to me! Thank you.
      Our property is not fully fenced either and I'm like you and until I can train/trust that they stay with us at all times they are always on a leash. Many rescue groups would understand this too, so I hope you keep looking. I am sorry for the loss of your cocker. It takes time to heal, I know. (p.s. Smiling Dog Farms transports to several places in Vermont!! Just a thought!!)

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  27. WELCOME AMELIA!

    I shed a tear when reading "Amelia, I'm your mama."…. How lucky your girls are and I am in total admiration of you and Dan! We have a 10 year old little boy and we have been thinking of adding to the family and your post is such an inspiration.

    Wishing Amelia many tummy rubs and ear scratches!

    From Burlington, Ontario

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment! We hesitated a bit because Ella was 10, but dogs are pack animals and love being around other dogs, and things are going so well! I hope you do indeed add to your family!

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  28. What a happy ending for Amelia! This post made me cry. I think adopting an older dog is brilliant. We lost our family dog 10 years ago and I just couldn't face a puppy. It was too much like replacing a loved family member. Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. There are SO many older dogs needing adopting. I can not sing their praises enough! They are quick to learn ( you CAN teach an old dog new tricks :) and are just so grateful to be in a home and loved! Hope you will consider it!

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  29. Sweet Amelia! I am so happy for all of you! She is just precious!

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  30. This brought tears of joy to my eyes.
    We had to put our 13 year old dog down in July...worst day EVER! I say I can't ever go through that again. But...never say never. As I heal and remember Molly, our Irish Terrier, I know she would want us to eventually have another dog. Retirement is coming soon with a move involved. When we settle in Colorado....who knows?! It just may happen.

    So happy for you and your new pup.
    Happy Holidays!
    Barb from Dover, NH

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    1. Barb, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know how difficult that is, and I know that feeling of not wanting to go through the pain again.
      I give you this poem I found on line.....

      A Dog's Last Will and Testament
      (Author unknown)

      Before humans die, they write their last Will & Testament, and give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I'd ask....

      To a poor and lonely stray I'd give:

      My happy home.
      My bowl, cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
      The lap which I loved so much.
      The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice which spoke my name.
      I'd will to the sad scared shelter dog the place I had in my human's heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

      So when I die please do not say, "I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand." Instead go find an unloved dog; one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to him.

      This is the only thing I can give...the love I left behind.
      xxoj.

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  31. I got to "Amelia, I'm your mama" and the tears started to flow and didn't stop. As someone who worked as a tech at a vet clinic, I thank you so much. We've always had rescues and they are the greatest! Watching them bloom is indeed a blessing.

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  32. Hi Joan! Congrats on Amelia! What a sweetie. I have been following you for a long time and you were one of the first blogs I put on my blogroll when I began my blog a couple of years ago. We moved from McKinney, Texas to Mass. All that time that I followed your progress on your beautiful house, I had no idea that there was going to be a move to Northeast in store for us. We even bought an old house and are restoring it! As if that weren't enough, we adopted a 2nd dog from Texas! We named her Chili in homage to Texas. Our goldendoodle is Chowdah because we bought him in Mass. If you ever have time, this is a link to the post about Chili's adoption. I loved your post and it brought tears to my eyes. You have been a great inspiration to me. http://preppyemptynester.blogspot.com/2014/10/our-big-news.html

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    1. Katie- Thank you! Another ex-pat Texan, love it! First, you are a wonderful, FUNNY writer! Love your blog. (If you're reading this comment go visit Katie's blog- she'll have you laughing in no time.) Love Chili AND Chowdah! Fabulous names and fabulous dogs and fabulous family!

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  33. I am such a loser, I can hardly type I am weeping so hard :) She is so beautiful and so are you. I look at petfinder just about every day ... I have some kind of masochistic streak I guess. I want a different dog every day. Minette would adjust I think .. I have considered an older dog that might have less of a chance at a family wanting it .. as long as it doesn't kill Minette and will be nice to the grandbaby, I am open to it. But I might move. So I keep waiting to be settled and then I am definitely adopting a dog , found on petfinder. Just reading the website, the work those people do, the lengths they go to to save and care for these poor lost dogs and puppies. And the disgust I feel for every single one of those people that just abandoned a puppy or a dog with no thought or care. I hope there is a special hell just for them.
    Kisses to Amelia .. and of course Ella .. 2 sweet girls .. I have to go find a new box of tissues.

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    1. Candice, I think you will easily find an older dog that loves Minette and the grandbaby! I understand about wanting to move and hope you find your perfect soft place to land- you deserve it. xxoj.

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  34. This post has warmed the cockles of my heart and joyful tears welled up in my eyes! I also had to laugh at how many signs you asked for! Wow, I'm glad you finally acted on the hints. Amelia and Ella are precious girls and to know that you have provided the most loving home imaginable is heartwarming to all of us animal lovers! I recently received a newsletter from a favorite site, Care2.com/greenliving/pets about common household items that may stress pets. The no. one item is a vacuum cleaner and I've now come to believe that's why many of our household pets become deaf as they are all very loud. I've found that as I'm getting older and having tinnitus issues, I have to place earmuffs on in order to soften the assault on my ears. It might sound strange, but I think there's merit to it. Here's the link to the short article:
    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/common-household-items-that-stress-out-pets.html

    Congratulations on your new family member and merry holidays!

    P.S. I hope you and Dan stay as warm as your girls!

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    1. I think there is merit to it Susan. Thank you for the link. They are all things we need to think about as pet owners. We are warm and toasty with two girls and the barn room fireplace!

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  35. I love the whole story about Amelia.......so glad that there are still people like you !!! RESPECT
    Hugs for Ella and Amelia ;)
    Stella

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  36. I'm just so happy for you all! I must admit that I had a little bit of a panic attack yesterday when I saw the empty bowls...goodness...why did I go to such a sad place. This is such fabulous news ;-)

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    1. Sorry for the panic attack Shelly, but glad you know it's all good news!

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  37. Congrats on your new lovely girl! Both of my fur boys are rescued. Rudi the red doxie came to us via petfinder ( he had been dumped in the AZ desert) and Franz the black doxie came to us from a neighbor who rescued him from an abusive home. Both boys are just wonderful and we can't imagine life without them.

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    1. Love Doxies! I grew up with miniature dachshunds and still adore them! Happy to hear you have two rescues!

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  38. What a great message for everyone. It looks like you are all having so much fun. One of the best things about having two dogs is watching the interaction between the two of them. We had two rescue dogs at one time and we would have so much fun just watching the two of them playing in the yard together. Enjoy!

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    1. That is the true Rebecca! So many people had told us that and we are just now experiencing the interactions between them- so fun!

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  39. My husband and I have been on the fence about getting another dog. We adopted a great dane who ended up having 2 ACL tears and surgery on both legs. People thought we were nuts to spend $8000 on a dog. But I can't even explain without crying how your pets become such a part of your family and the constant never ending love they give. I am a pretty strong individual that rarely cries, but a dog can do that to me in a heartbeat. Funny thing about signs I have been looking and waiting for them to come to me about adopting another dog and this blog post today was my final sign I needed. So thank you and I will be sure to let you know which fur baby we adopt next! ~Jill~

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    1. Jill, Your comment brought me to tears. I do understand how pets are part of your family and your heart. YES, please do let me know who you adopt! Send lots of photos too!

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  40. Yes, adopt not shop!! Thank you so much for spreading the rewards of rescue dogs! Your stories always leave me wanting more! So many inspiring topics in this post: patience, adoption, exercise, fresh air, healthy food, supplements,love and kindness. Maybe it was Amelia sending the signs :)

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  41. Wonderful story! Amelia is lucky and so are you!

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  42. Welcome Amelia! This made me cry and smile at the same time!! What a gift for all of you! Especially her...did you think there were enough signs? lol!

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    1. Well.... maybe "one" more would have been really nice!!!!!!

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  43. Hello Joan, It is unfathomable how people can mistreat or neglect innocent animals like Amelia, but it was heartening to read how so many people have cooperated to bring about this happy conclusion. I am very happy to read about this newest addition to your home.
    --Jim

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    1. I agree Jim- just unfathomable. Yes, it does indeed take a huge village (aka puppy angels:) to rescue just one dog. So thankful for all of them!

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  44. Love every single thing about this sweet story! Congrats on your new girl! She's a beauty!

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  45. Amelia looks identical to my 13 year old Andy (only he is all black). He was found as a puppy in a dumpster - thank goodness our vet tech walked to work - she heard his screams and rescued him. He has been a total joy in our lives and was welcomed into our family of eight other dogs (all rescues and ages:). We also have a wonderful place called, 'OLD DOG HAVEN' in the area - in fact they just published a book by the same name. We donate often and my sister transports older dogs to new homes. THANK you for putting out the word to adopt! Many dogs kisses from my gang to yours!

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    1. Thank YOU Karen for adopting so many dogs and to your sister also for transporting them to their forever homes! Puppy Kisses back atcha!

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  46. Hey, Joan. Amelia is a doll and I'm so happy to see how well she has fit into your family. I'm very much in favor of adopting a dog, especially an older dog. We've even driven dogs as part of a rescue transport. It's always a good feeling to be part of a dog's journey to a loving family. Again, happy to see your new family member. She will have a wonderful life with you and Dan and Ella. Kathleen

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    1. Kathleen, Bless you for being part of a rescue transport- you are a puppy angel!

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  47. Yay!! Welcome to the family, Amelia! She looks so much like our Ruby, who we also believe is Lab and Border Collie.

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    1. I know you know the joys of rescue Connie! Hope all is well with you and yours!

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  48. What a beautiful story. So happy that dear Amelia has a wonderful family now. Merry Christmas!

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  49. What a wonderful story and even happier ending--lucky pups to have you and lucky you to have found them! Merry Christmas.

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  50. What can I say?? I love, love, love your story of you guys adopting Amelia!! I just wish more people would adopt (rather than shop) for these wonderful, amazing dogs that need loving homes like yours. Many Blessings to you both and here's to a long, happy and healthy life for both Amelia and Ella!!

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    1. Thank you Tina. Sooooo many good dogs needing homes out there- I totally agree that I wish more people would do it.

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  51. Joan - I cried too - happy tears!! I've so enjoyed your posts. Thank you for sharing your life - your beautiful home, your family, your adventures, your recommendations, etc. Of course I had to drive 2 hours north to visit Trader Joe's, IKEA, and Scott's after reading your posts (and loved it)!! You are truly an inspiration and I can tell that you have such a kind heart! We have a small farm located on a dirt road in rural Georgia and people have dropped off so many dogs here over the years. Thankfully we have been able to find homes, and have kept a few, but it is sad and disturbing that a person can do this!
    God Bless You!
    Denise

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    1. It is sad indeed Denise. Thank you for finding homes and keeping the pups that were dumped on your property. Love that you went to Trader Joe's, Ikea and Scott's - ahhhh Scott's- we miss it so!

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  52. Oh my, now I am crying. She is beautiful and I am so happy she is in a wonderful family now. :)

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  53. Well your post made me cry today. I truly believe there is a special place in heaven for people that rescue animals. I have two rescued pit bulls and two rescued cats and they are the joy of my life. I cannot tell you how much happiness they bring to my husband and I each and every day. Christmas came early for you this year. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and enjoy those sweet puppies.

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  54. Bless you and Dan and your "new" family! What a wonderful story.. We must believe on "signs"

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  55. Thank you for your beautiful story. I forwarded it to my son who is a volunteer at the humane society in Fort Myers Florida so that he might share this story as well. Beautiful!

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    1. Thank you for forwarding the blog post and a huge thank you to your son for being a volunteer at the humane society in Ft. Myers! Such a gift that is to the world.

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  56. Sweet post, sweet girls. I love a happy ending! Especially at Christmas...

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  57. Merry Christmas Joan and Dan...with love from Texas. What a very lucky Amelia! We have several rescue pets in our family...I don't have one just yet, but your message is powerful to those who are searching and I couldn't say more about the love they can give. Love this post! God Bless YOU!

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    1. Thank you. They do indeed give SO much love in return!

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  58. This made me cry...sad tears and happy tears. How lucky for Amelia to make her way to you! What a great beginning for her.

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  59. I have been a long-time reader, and always wait for new posts about your beautiful home.

    When I noticed a new post today, I got excited, until I started reading that your post was about welcoming a new precious girl into your family. At this point, I became SUPER excited!

    We just welcomed a new yellow lab named Ria into our home, and our journey has been indescribable.....so when I began reading about your journey with Amelia, I immediately started becoming emotional....for you and your family.....for Ella...for AMELIA!!!!

    While I have always read your blog because of your beautiful home, both exterior and interior...nothing will ever top what lives inside of it!

    I wish you nothing but the absolute best. :)

    Nicole Hamilton
    San Francisco, CA

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    1. Thank you Nicole, that is such a beautiful thing to say. Welcome to Ria (love the name) too!

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  60. Thank you for sharing your beautiful adoption story. I have started my day with happy tears!. I too have two shelter dogs - Aussie term is RSPCA - prevention of cruelty and AWL - animal welfare league, which has a no kill policy. Jilly and Lana give so much joy in return for so little, just a warm bed, lots of cuddles, good food and of course endless love. I am so happy Ella has a beautiful new friend. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella and Amelia. I hope 2015 is a wonderful year. Wendy from Highfields, Australia. PS I just adore your post.

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    1. Thank you! Wendy! I too am always dismayed at how you can put out a little food, a little water and you get SOOOO much in return! Puppy kisses to Jilly and Lana!

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  61. Thank you for giving Amelia a future and wonderful life and for sharing with everyone who reads your blog about adopting shelter or rescue animals! We are rescue animal lovers as well and your story of Amelia reminds me so much of when we adopted our Presley six years ago. He was four at the time (also a black dog, a Brussels Griffon) and we believe a former puppy mill dog. He came with poor teeth, bad ear infections and he also did not know his name, was not potty-trained, had never had toys or treats, or been on a leash, or up and down stairs. He really had very little personality because he hadn't been given a chance to grow and shine. It was amazing and rewarding to watch his transformation into a smart, healthy, happy baby with a wonderful new life where he is so loved. He developed diabetes about three years after we got him and has lost his eyesight now from the onset of diabetic cataracts. He still does amazingly well considering losing his sight later in life and having to have shots twice a day. I can't begin to tell you how many people have questioned why we would not just put him down with his condition - and those are the people that shouldn't have animals to begin with! We believe we were meant to have this baby so that we could care for him and give him the life he deserves and with all your wonderful signs, I believe you and Dan were meant to do the same for Amelia. Congrats on your newest addition! ;)

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    1. Ashlee- YOU are a puppy angel. Presley sounds like a very special and lucky boy. I know you have helped him to shine bright! Sending Presley a puppy hug.

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  62. I just knew it!! Congratulations to the whole family - what a lovely holiday present!

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  63. Dogs are like potato chips- you can't have just one! She is a beauty! Congratulations!

    As a breeder with 9 litters to my credit, I very strongly encourage everyone to think very carefully before you shop OR adopt. Responsible pet ownership is the first and biggest step to making shelters and rescue organizations unnecessary.

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    1. Ha! Love that dogs are like potato chips!!! Yes, that is SO true, people need to think very carefully before they adopt. It is a huge commitment but one that pays HUGE dividends!!

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  64. Awwwww, she has the sweetest little sad eyes I have ever seen. She is VERY blessed to be with you and you are blessed to have such a sweetie.

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    1. Thank you Shelia! Her eyes might look sad, but she is very happy and always wagging that tail!!! :)

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  65. You and Dan are good souls! Your rescue story had tears streaming down my face. I love that you really love your dogs. I am a dog lover too. Amelia is beautiful. Thank you for such a heartwarming post. The best to you and Ameilia, Ella and Dan.
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you Kathy. That is such a sweet comment.

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  66. what a great story!! you made me tear up in happiness!! I'm glad she has a great forever home!!

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  67. I am so happy for all of you...what a sweet story! We adopted our Neena girl a year and a half ago and just love her to pieces...we will always adopt now! You made me cry when you said "I'm your mama"!!

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    1. So happy you found Neena Martina and that Neena found you!!

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  68. My heart is so full of joy and admiration that my cup runneth over! I, too, read your story to my husband and when I got to Amelia, I'm your Mama, I broke down and couldn't continue until I regained my composure! Both of you are evidence that there are still good people in this world, who care about our furry friends, who can't speak for themselves. We are big contributors to rescue organizations and no-kill animal shelters and all of our pets gave been rescues! I will spread the word of your good works and Smiling a Dog Farms to all I know! I am a regular reader and feared your long absence was not a good sign for Sweet Ella. So happy all is well! Wishing you all life's best!

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    1. Thank you for your very sweet comment Donna. And thank YOU for rescuing and contributing to rescue organizations.... it takes a village!

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  69. With that many signs how could you not welcome lady Amelia home. So glad you and Dan believe in something much bigger in life leading you to a new road. The story made me smile as I read it.
    The picture of Amelia and Ella under the bear blankets is so adorable - they've got it all including a roaring fireplace. They are both lucky pups, as are you and Dan for having them.

    Enjoy your new family member - it's going to be a wonderful Christmas indeed.

    Hugs
    Katherine

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  70. Thank you for sharing your wonderful news. Amelia's adoption story has made my heart sing. Our girls, Jilly & Lana are both shelter dogs and have impacted so much on our lives. They bring happiness to us everyday. Dan, Joan, Ella & Amelia, wishing you all a Merry Christmas and hoping 2015 will be a fabulous year. Love your blog. From Wendy, Australia.

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    1. Thank you Wendy! I left a reply for you above ^^^!

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  71. I have never commented on your blog before, but I am so moved. She is a beautiful girl amd I am thrilled for her and your family.

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    1. Thank you for your comment DE! I greatly appreciate it.

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  72. Oh I enjoyed reading this post so much. About 15 months ago I got the urge and started looking at the PetFinder and the local shelter websites. Like you, I took my time and thought long and hard about what we would be doing. We hadn't had a dog in three years at that time and honestly, life is easier without one. But when you wake up missing a puppy it's time! I found our Belle on the shelter website. She was nursing 5 puppies and the first thing I thought was that the puppies would be adopted and she wouldn't. I watched her every day for several weeks until one day they said her puppies were gone and she was ready for adoption. I went that day and brought her straight home. We love her so much! My husband loves her just as much as I do and we feel so blessed to have her. She's about 5 years old which is just perfect. Belle had been in a foster home so she came to us with good manners and such a sweet nature. :)

    I do not believe in buying dogs or cats. To me it is just a travesty that people breed them for sell when there are so many without a home.

    Amelia and Ella are both so lucky to have you. ♥

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    1. Stacey, LOVED your story of sweet Belle! So happy that you found one another too!

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  73. much older sisiter susanDecember 10, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Even though you told me on the phone the story of Amelia, reading it made me cry again! She looks wonderful! We love her! Vince and Roxi want to meet her!! Having two dogs at the same time is wonderful! Love you four!!!

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  74. You are all so lucky to have each other! When our little 18 year old Molly died we decided to look for a rescue dog. We found a great little guy whom we love to pieces.
    My sister lives in Texas and I intend to let her know about Smiling Dog Farms. Thanks so much for this post and I hope you have the happiest of holidays! <3 Maggie

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    1. Thank you so much for spreading the word Maggie! And so happy to hear that you found another love after you lost your Molly.

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  75. I am so touched by your story of sweet Amelia Mae. My Bella is a rescue dog also. They are the best.

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    1. Thank you Victoria! And puppy kisses to Bella!

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  76. I cried all the way through your post, and then when my husband got home, I read it aloud to him and cried again. I didn't realize Ella was a rescue, and when I saw your "3 bowl" mystery post yesterday, I figured you were looking for another dog. I wanted to strongly suggest that you consider a rescue and not purchase a dog, but I thought that was too preachy, or bossy, or presumptuous of me to suggest to someone I don't know well (even if I have wandered through every room of your home - lol!) So, I can't tell you how thrilled I was to read Amelia's story and how grateful I am that you and Dan support rescue. We rescued our 85 pound pit bull almost three years ago. He had been a bait dog, covered in bacon grease, fitted with a muzzle so he couldn't defend himself, and thrown in a fight ring with dogs being "trained" to fight (read that, kill to the death). When he was rescued, he was malnourished, sick, had open bloody wounds, and was covered with scars. By the time we got him, he was healthy, but our vet had to do three root canals on him because his teeth were dead - the xray showed he had been hit in the head at least twice with a blunt force object. He is a wonderful, loving boy and we thank God every day that we have him. About five months ago, we got him a baby sister - a 12 pound terrier mix who had been surrendered at the shelter along with four other dogs. They are smitten with each other and our primary entertainment has become watching the two of them wrestle, play together, and love on each other. People who have never rescued have no idea how grateful rescued animals are - they seem to know they have been blessed and in return, they bless us back. Thank you so much for what you did and I wish you and Dan a "pawsitively" perfect Christmas.

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    1. Cynthia, I ask everyone to consider adoption! I think you and your husband are puppy angels for rescuing your sweet 85 pound horribly abused pit bull. Reading his story I felt physically sick that he was a bait dog. How can people do that? I agree with what others have said that there is an extra horrible place in Hell for them. Ella had a best friend, Pearl, in Dallas who was a pit bull mix and she was the best! I would love to see both your sweet pups! And especially see them playing. If you read this please send me some photos! Thank you for rescuing!

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  77. Congratulations on your newest addition:-) This post made me tear up (on the train too) reading the love you feel for your sweet girl. My neice is named Amelia May:-)

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  78. Oh my goodness, Amelia looks like such a sweetheart and she sure is lucky to have been adopted by your family! Congratulations!
    xo. Leslie
    Segreto Finishes

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    1. Thank you Leslie! Congratulations on your new book!!

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  79. What timing! I was browsing the dogs at our local rescue organization and had written a follow-up to someone fostering a dog and her litter when I saw your new post in my email and clicked over to it. Oh my! I lost it when you said "Amelia, I'm your mama." We lost Maddie, our rescue dog of eleven years, in September. We are just broken-hearted. She was the perfect dog (like Ella!). I miss her presence and want a dog - but I want her! You know how it is. So, I have been looking at rescue sites, but haven't gotten up nerve to go visit in person yet. Not sure if I'm ready. I love your looking for signs. I, too, am asking for guidance on this. I'm hoping that, like Maddie, I will find her through wonderful synchronicity and know our new dog when I see her - and hope I will have signs for confirmation. Thanks for rescuing sweet Amelia. She is so lucky to have you, Dan, and Ella!

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  80. My Ella and I send you congratulations on your new addtion from snowy Vermont!

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  81. Our two our rescues -- one a corgi (which I favor) who was dumped (and she is such a sweet and loving dog -- go figure!) and our other who is one of those "black dogs" who found his way into our fenced back yard, through the doggie door and onto the couch and into our hearts! He's been there ever since. Both give us so much joy! Unless you're showing or breeding, get a rescue --they are the most loving dogs for they are so grateful for what you give them!

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  82. What a sweet sweet story. I too ask for signs, but girl you have me beat by a long shot! LOL Congratulations on your new family addition. What a blessed Christmas you will have, and what a blessed life Amelia will now have.

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  83. God bless you, Dan and Ella for offering your loving home to such a precious little girl!
    Deni in NC

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  84. That is one of the best stories I have ever read on a blog. That part about her coming off the eighteen wheeler put tears in my eyes. I can tell by the pics that Amelia and Ella are happy hounds. You have such a good soul and I can tell they do as well. :)

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  85. I loved this post. As a loving mother of a rescue collie who I just lost, and a foster mother to two geriatric rescue collies, I couldn't agree more with your "adopt, don't shop" motto. It was a post like yours 6 years ago that led me to rescue and to the Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue. They have made my house a home. I hope that your post leads more people to the joys of rescue.

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  86. Ok, now I'm crying. What a beautiful story with a wonderful ending!

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  87. I'm so happy for you. Both of your girls are beauties. There are no words to express how sweet this post was. Sara, Ohio

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  88. You made me cry. Sweet, sweet Amelia. Sweet , sweet story. I love you all.

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  89. You have warmed my heart with this story of love. Bless you all 4!!

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  90. Quite right about the ice. Basic. Felicitations!

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  91. Joan, Congratulations! Amelia is one lucky pup and so are you and your husband to have Amelia in your lives. Rescue dogs always know they are especially loved and give tons of love right back in gratitude. My little puppymill rescue Norwich Terrier, Honey, was with me for two wonderful years. She came to me when she was 4 yrs. old in horrible condition, never socialized with humans, never lived life outside a wire bottomed cage. You get the picture although it is hard to even imagine. She lived until she was 6 years old. She was very ill and I nursed her along the entire time she was with me. Finally, she succumbed to a congenital and life-threatening illness. I know that she appreciated living out her final two short years in a loving home with good food, toys, the best veterinary care, and lots and lots of affection. I reflect on her resiliency almost daily even through she has been gone for one year.

    May you have many healthy and happy years with Amelia. She is a doll and she realizes what you are doing for her. I LOVE the picture of Amelia and Ella on the sofa in their bear skin blankets. ADORABLE! Merry Christmas to you all.

    P.S. To your readers, please do NOT purchase a dog from a website on the Internet. 99% of the time, the breeder is operating a commercial breeding facility also known as a puppymill. If you feel compelled to purchase a dog this way, please research 'puppymills' before making a decision. The ASPCA's website has factual and detailed information on these highly unregulated breeding operations. PLEASE help stop the continued abuse of animals bred for profit in these commercial facilities by adopting a pet from a shelter or other rescue organization. If you need a purebred and can't find it through adoption, please research the breeder, visit their home, talk to other owners that have purchased their dogs. In other words, do the research. It is well worth the effort.

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  92. Welcome to the dearest, kindest home in NH dear Amelia, it was meant to be!!
    Love from Millie, MOTH & a big woof from puppy Lulu xxx

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  93. I am SO HAPPY for all of you! I cried through your entire post! Our last two dogs were also rescues (both Standard Poodles) one from right here in Ma and the other we traveled to Michigan to get! Amelia looks like an absolute angel! I look forward to future posts as your new family member settles in! She is certainly one lucky little girl for you to have found her! Barbara P from Ma

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  94. How I have enjoyed reading the heartwarming story of how Amelia of Texas made her way to her forever home in New Hampshire!

    I can confirm that "adopting instead of shopping" is the way to go.

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  95. Tears are streaming down my face.Sweet Amelia! Thank you for giving this sweet loving dog a forever home with a wonnderful mom, dad and sister!. My rescues have been the best dogs I have ever had. You have all been blessed this Christmas.

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  96. Beautiful story...I'm so happy for all of you! Rescue animals are special creatures that need our love and attention...great post! Blessings! ;)

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  97. This was so amazing. I read every word. And loved it all. Both our cat and dog were adopted and I would never have it any other way. They're both 13 and the most amazing little critters a Mom could ask for. I hope you made even one tiny difference in the world of animals needing a home.

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  98. She's just adorable... she looks like a border collie who is near and dear to my heart.

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  99. So kind hearted of you, to share such a heart warming story at Christmas, they get to cuddle I. The warmth and beauty of your Holiday home.

    Xx
    Blessings

    Dore

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  100. Joan, I am a big believer in signs, too! It was destiny that Amelia was to come live with you, Ella, and Dan! Your heart warming story has touched so many, including myself. All of our pets are rescues. One of them is on my lap right now, along with my laptop, and she's trying to make biscuits as I type. Life is so much better when shared with animals!

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  101. Joan, I love love your blog, I always like visiting your blog, I am also a native Texan born and raised. We moved to Michigan three years ago.
    I love your newest addition to y'alls family, Miss Amelia, is precious and as Miss Ella.Today, as I was reading this I cried my eyes out, this tugged at my heart. Oh my goodness gracious bless there little hearts.
    We have Tank, lab/newfie ten years young, we adopted him at North Park mall in Big D
    at age almost five months old. He is our clown and gentle giant. Tanner, is a yellow lab/golden retriever he was always passed over and stayed two years in shelter and foster parents thank god the rescue went in and rescued him and many more that were to be euthanized.
    Tanner is seven years young, we could not imagine our life without them.
    Our first furry baby Rocky, English lab adopted was left in an apartment he was fourteen when he went over the Rainbow Bridge.
    Your farm, is just beautifullllll, ohhhhhhhh mannnnnn the pics are out of this world.
    Merry Christmas, I would say ya got the bestest gift ever Miss Amelia and Miss Ella.

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  102. What a precious baby. She is so lucky to have such a loving forever home.

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  103. I read every word and cried when you told Amelia you were her Mamma, I'm so happy for you .... I love the pic of the sisters under their blankies. I'm looking forward to future posts.... I wish you all a Merry Christmas 🐾🐶🐾❤️

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  104. Beautiful story, and Christmas is an exceptionally good time to tell it. xx

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  105. What a sweet story and Amelia is one very lucky dog to have found her way into your home and hearts. There is a place for you and Dan in heaven for sure.

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  106. I too always adopted an older dog in need of a home. I don't understand why everyone wants a puppy... thanks for your story, it was beautiful.

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  107. aww so sweet! Congrats! What a lucky dog Amelia is. (and Ella too!) We also rescued our dog. She came up in an RV from Arkansas from a kill shelter. Such an exciting process - meeting the dog for the first time! I would never buy a dog, so many need a home.

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  108. Wow, this is such an amazing story ! Thank uou, its beautiful !

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  109. Congrats on Amelia...what a sweet story. All of our cats are/were rescues...wouldn't have it any other way! And though getting an older cat was a challenge, he was worth it! :) Thanks for the great update! Rosie

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  110. Bless you for adopting Amelia and for continuing to encourage others to adopt a shelter pet. Sweet Amelia reminds me of our beloved Edie who passed away last year at the age of 16. She touched our hearts forever. Some day, we will adopt again! May the four of you have many, many happy years together!

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  111. You are truly a special person and that is a very lucky doggie. Love your blog, been following for a long time. Please post more, I promise I'll read every word.

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  112. Your story and pretty Amelia May just made me so happy. She is perfect for you and you for her.
    BTW, we recently adopted two pure white kittens from the NYC KILL shelter. They, too, are doing just fine.

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  113. Your journal was touching and inspirational. I believe that Ella & Amelia will bring you many more years of joy watching those "shooting stars!"

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  114. This is such a beautiful story Joan! As a dog lover I am beyond happy for baby Amelia and of course her big sister Ella...Have a joyful and happy Holiday

    xo Kelley

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  115. How wonderful! Little Miss Amelia is living the good life now! What a good sister Ella is - I expected on less. Loved the post. Our sweet rescue, Autumn, came to us by P.E.T.S. transport in October 2011 and it was so good to meet her. She came already named Autumn (although she is as white as snow and everyone told us to call her Winter). When we brought her into the yard, she went straight to our sedums "Autumn Joy" and we said, she's definitely Autumn Joy! She's a big sister too as we acquired a yellow lab lady this year as the result of a friend's unexpected litter. The photo of the two snuggled under the fur made me smile as that's a familiar scene around our house. I don't think human bottoms sit on our couch anymore - it's strictly the domain of our darlings! Congratulations to you all.

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  116. You are such an inspiration, Joan! You have a beautiful home and you have a beautiful heart. Amelia was waiting for someone like you and now her prayers have been answered. Such a happy story!

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  117. Oh my thank you. Thank you for the story and thank you for saving her!

    Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

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  118. Tails (sic) of love! And BLACK dogs...make my heart sing on this cold, snowy morning in the North East. I am on my third black dog rescue. The first two were 6 to 8, and Kaylee...the current was 10 when she arrived. She has been here 2 years and aging rapidly now, so I think I'll go back to 6 to 8. Two years is just not long enough.
    I was cracking up with you and your signs! I was just getting ready to say all right, all ready when the actual sign appeared. I was beside myself with laughing.
    All rescues come with challenges, just as all puppies do. And joys...I've had 3 southern dogs experience snow for the first time. Their joy knows no bounds!!!! I am looking forward to hearing Amelia's process.
    May your holidays be blessed.
    Kathy



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  119. Such a wonderful story, Joan! While I tend not to be superstitious, I do believe in signs--I really do. This was meant to be.

    Those eyes... now you have 2 sets to which you cannot say no. :-)

    Angela

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