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Monday, October 6, 2014

Our Big News

Hello dear friends.  
And now for our BIG news. 

Chowdah has a sista!!

Our sweet little girl was found on the streets in Houston, Texas.  She was travelling with her brother, who has since been adopted by a couple in Connecticut.  They were rescued by the most wonderful organization called Houston Shaggy Dogs.  Kathy Wetmore, the founder of the organization, took the dogs to a groomer and then had them checked out at a vet.  She then placed "Tricia" in a home with the best foster mom in the whole world, Tilani. Kathy has placed over a thousand homeless animals in loving homes since she started the nonprofit organization in 1996.   

This picture was taken the day that she and her bro were picked up and thrown into an overcrowded animal shelter.  They had no idea what kind of dogs they were because their coats were so matted.  Houston Shaggy Dogs came to the rescue.





When I spotted Tricia's photo apres her makeover on Petfinder, I fell in love.  I read her bio which was glowing.  Tilani, her foster mom, said that she was a sweet dog that was very quiet.  She was about 4 years old.  These were the pics that were posted on line. 






I contacted Kathy and she explained that although Tricia was in Houston, she works with a wonderful transport company called Rescue Road Trips.  For an additional charge to the adoption fee, Tricia could be driven from Texas to Connecticut, where I could pick her up there.

This is Greg, who is the heartbeat of the operation.  He leaves from Ohio twice a month and drives down South to pick up the rescues.  He than makes multiple stops to drop the lucky dogs off to their new owners.  He calls those happy days Gotcha Days.



Greg stops along the way to meet the "angels" who volunteer to walk the dogs and give them a hug along the way.

Tricia and Greg

One of the many angels that Tricia met along the way. 



 Another angel taking our girl for a walk.




Now you're probably wondering why I wanted another dog.  I knew that Chowdah loves to play with other dogs.  I felt he was suffering a bit from only child syndrome.  I also knew I wanted to rescue a dog.  We rescued our dog, Gypsy, coincidentally, when we lived outside of Houston.  She had just had pups and evidently the owner decided to keep the pups and put her out on the street.  We had 12 wonderful years with her.  Her foster mom said she was the best dog in the world.  She was right.

Gypsy Rose Lee


When I discovered that Tricia was rescued in Houston, I knew it was meant to be.  So I talked to the Mister about it.  To say that he was less than enthused about the prospect of having another fur baby in the house would be an understatement.  But I talked him into it with the condition that he can buy a boat next summer.  
I didn't tell him that I meant toy boat.  

On Saturday, in the pouring rain, the Mister and I drove an hour to Connecticut to pick up our new addition.  Kathy and Tilani, her foster mom, told me to make sure to bring a sign welcoming Tricia.  I felt a little silly, as a post-menopausal woman, holding a homemade sign welcoming a dog to our family.  But hey - I wanted to make a good impression on Tricia.   I made a couple of signs.  Yes, I am an overachiever.  And no, I am not an artist.

Chowdah helped me make the sign.  

I also made a sign to Tilani, who was a wonderful foster mom.  She kept in touch with me and sent me photos along with sweet stories about our girl.



When I took Tricia in my arms, she licked my hand and slept all the way to her forever home.



I'm sure you are wondering how Chowdah has adapted to having a sister.  You know I don't sugarcoat anything.  The first night I was worried whether it was going to work.  It brought me back to the days when my girls were screaming hormonal teenagers.  Today, I feel that they are working on their rhythm, figuring out each other's boundaries, and hopefully will soon be best buds.

There are many unsung heroes in this story.  I found myself in awe of  Kathy Wetmore, tireless founder of Houston Shaggy Dogs, who takes these dogs to the groomer, vet appointments, and finds foster families while she is a full time realtor.  Greg, from Road Rescue, drives for days and is more excited than anyone that these dogs are finally going to their forever homes.  The loving "angels" that meet the sweet pups along the way give up their time and energy.  And Sweet Tilani, who works as a Veterinary assistant, and lives in an apartment, who devotes her free time to fostering unwanted, last chance dogs.   I asked Tilani what was the best and worst part of being a foster mom.  This was her answer.

The best part by far is watching the transformation from leery matted mess to lively love bug. Hardest part is the obvious, having to give that final hug and put them in the truck. It's a mixed bag of emotions. My part in their life ends, I'm a leg if the journey that's passing the torch but in this case the torch is a living, breathing loving scruff ball that's clawed it's way into your heart. On the flip side, you know what awaits. You know that they're never going to spend another night alone or scared and in my case I know it's a better environment since I live in a tiny space and work so much. Plus with social media, I get to watch them flourish to their full potential with a loving family. 

To me, that says it all.

Thank you, Kathy, Greg, sweet angels, and Tilani for taking care of our newest, precious member of our family. 


Happy Monday!






We have changed Tricia's name to
Chili
to pay homage to her home state.




I do not have a picture of Chowdah and Chili together because we are still respecting each other's boundaries.
Katie Clooney
Katie Clooney

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.

51 comments:

  1. OMG...that is the sweetest, most heartwarming story ever!! I had no idea there are people who would give of their time to transport and love on these guys on the road!! AMAZING. She is precious. Totally understand the "boundary" thing. #2 has a new puppy and she and our Kylee love to play, but they also like their space.

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  2. What a sweet face - I can see why you fell in love! Have fun :-)

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  3. What an adorable addition to your family! Great post with a lot of amazing people. Love Chili's name!

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    1. Thanks Melissa... Chili has actually taken to her name pretty quickly.

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  4. This is so fabulous!! THey will work out their places and soon it will be one big happy family! She is one lucky little lady!! I swear I have done much better having two dogs as they keep each other company when I have to work etc and they learn from eachother too. Good luck xo Karolyn

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  5. This is a heart-warming story, Katie. It is so important to give a loving home to a rescue...we have a retired greyhound ourselves. And you couldn't have chosen a more perfect name for your new love bug :)

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    1. Thanks Julie... Hope you have a great week!

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  6. Best way to start off this week reading a heart warming story of the gift of love. Congratulations to all of you!

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  7. This is so beautiful Katie! Congrats and bless your hearts....Big Time!!!!

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  8. She is adorable...you are both great for doing this...many happy years together.

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  9. I just love this story. It restores your faith in humane nature; so many lovely people out there prepared to help our furry friends. I wish you the best of luck with your two adorable doggies. If I knew you I know we would be instant friends I love your sense of humour.

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    1. Thanks so much Barbara. Have a great week!

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  10. You go girl, wow! Exciting news, best wishes for the coming weeks!

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    1. Thank you Carol! Hope you have a great week!

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  11. While this isn't what I was expecting, love the story! Hope the children learn to get along!

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    1. Me too... every day we make progress.

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  12. Love this story! Especially sweet since I'm a Houstonian. And Chili is a beauty.

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  13. What a sweet and wonderful story! You and the Mister have such generous hearts. I'm sure that Chowdah will be thrilled with his new sister once everyone gets settled in. Perhaps as an older sister, Chili will model some good behavior for her rascally younger brother! You, my friend, are going to be one busy doggie momma!

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  14. Well girl I am going to go to bed tonight saying a prayer for all of you!

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  15. Awe, such a sweet, sweet story and love the name, Chili. Hope Chili and Chowdah bond soon! Happy week!

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  16. What a wonderful story! Miss Chili is such a doll! Have a fun week helping the siblings bond. xoxo

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  17. ok. now you have me in a puddle of mush...with tears comin outa both eyes and my nose!!
    OMG.........how precious. How perfect of ya'll to adopt and how perfect are the rescuers and all involved!
    I am in love with your new family....not to mention, she looks a lot like my sophiejane!!
    Chili & Chowdah!!!!! sniff, sniff!!!!

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  18. What a sweet story! Chili is a lucky girl and I'm sure she will be a wonderful influence on Chowdah.

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  19. What a sweet, beautiful story. Tears are streaming down my face. Good luck & congratulations to all of you. xoxo, Dawn

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  20. Chère Katie, this is very moving! You did the right choice and I am sure your dogs will get along well.
    Bonne journée.

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    1. Merci sweet Caroline. Hope you are doing well!

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  21. You are an angel to give her a forever home! My fingers are crossed that it all goes smoothly.

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  22. ok i'm crying. thanks for sharing this. I've had rescue dogs in the past and they are the BEST! I had never heard of this organization before so thank you thank you for posting this. my boys have wanted a dog forever. one of our twins is allergic to dogs and has asthma but he's going on shots very soon...will ask the doctor what she thinks about getting a pup.

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    1. Nancy - the great thing about adopting a dog that is being fostered is that you will know how they will do with children. And the best part... they're housebroken! Hopefully, you will find a little cutie that is hyperallergenic.

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  23. Wonderful, wonderful story. I believe October is "adopt a shelter dog" month so you couldn't have picked a better time, although I believe any time is a great time to adopt a shelter pet ;) Chili is a very lucky young lady and I'm betting her fur-ever family is going to feel very lucky too! Congrats!

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    1. LadyJ - thanks for your kind words. We are so lucky to have Chili!

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  24. How awesome for you to adopt Cuz ! What a wonderful story, had me tearing up. Hopefully I will make it up that way sometime to see both fur babies !

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    1. would love to see you, cuz. so would my sista.

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  25. Oh. My. Gosh. Well, I teared up. I am a huge fan of rescues and stories like this is exactly why I know there is so much good out there in the world. When we brought our younger rescue home (Conner), our older one (Ella) was not having his mess, but they love each other so much now, best friends. I'm sure Chowdah will warm up and love having a play mate and Chili seems pretty, well, ya know.. chill. I'm sure she will just go with the flow. So happy for you and your new addition!! xoxoxo

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    1. Ramie... that's the best news I've had all day! We're still at that awkward stage where all Chow wants to do is be close to Chili. All Chili wants is to be anywhere but near Chow.

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  26. This post brought tears to my eyes. You are an angel!! I can't wait to read more about the adventures of Chowdah and Chili!

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  27. I just love this story! You have such a big heart to rescue Chili all the way from Houston. Loved reading about all the people that made it happen. A man in my neighborhood drives dogs to Colorado once a month for adoption, they do not have the large number of strays that we have in Houston. Our Stella is from Houston Boxer Rescue and was also found on the streets of Houston. She has brought much joy to our family! Can't wait to hear more about Chowdah and Chili!

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    1. Aw... love Stella's name! I guess Houston is crowded with homeless animals which is so sad. I wonder if Stella and Chili hung out together.

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  28. This is such great news! She couldn't be joining a more loving (and more fun) family. CONGRATS! Tell Mr. Chowdah to behave himself.....there's plenty of love for everyone:) Love the story of how she came to be....wonderfully heart warming:)

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  29. Congratulations to Chili and Chowdah! What a wonderful life they will both enjoy. Love your story about this amazing network of pet lovers and gets me thinking about a brother or sister for our little Bella - who also suffers from only child syndrome. Not to mention her poor parents working to keep her in private school (aka - 3 days a week a doggie day lounge). Hmmmm . . . Best, Juliet

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    1. Juliet... Sounds like Bella has quite the life!! How true - doggie day care is about as expensive as private school. Have a wonderful rest of the week!

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  30. OMG....I am almost in tears with happiness for this lucky, beautiful girl, and for you and Chowdah also. I read (and usually cry when reading) stories about both of these organizations and the wonderful things that they do frequently. I have always found rescues to be so appreciative, and they make the very best pets. So happy that you did this!

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  31. Congratulations Katie. You are one amazing girl. Chowdah and Chili will soon be inseparable. Two of our best dogs were rescues. One my son got while in college. And the other walked in to my work. Miss you, but I have started working with a local charity and now it's a real job. Love, R

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    1. Ruth... I have missed you like crazy!! Drop me a line and let me know what charity you are working for. They are awfully lucky to have you!! Keep in touch.

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  32. I just love a good cry in the morning....you are such a good person. You really went the extra 'miles' on this one! We always have rescued pets and have always been blessed with the perfect ones. I think they choose us. Good things will come to you for your kindness.

    Warmly, Kathleen

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    1. Kathleen... so good to hear from you. I think you are right - they do choose us. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

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  33. Katie, Thank you for saving a life and using rescue! So many wonderful animal lives are lost because people go through breeders. I think that you'll find that two dogs is the perfect number; best of luck!

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  34. Welcome home, Chili! What a wonderful story, Katie, and getting a second pup was truly meant to be. Our four legged girls would not survive without each other so we know Chowda will be loving the companionship of a new friend. Can't wait to see you next week and hear all about her!
    xxoo
    C + C

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  35. You have bowled me over with Chowdah and now Chili! What's next.....!
    I love that they have each other and they have you and Mister to teach them all about sailing through life!
    xo
    pve

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  36. Fabulous Katie!! Love this post and seeing all the angels it took to get Chili to you! You are so funny- love your blog.
    xxoj.

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