Happy Tails Adoption Stories
Rustie is a fantastic dog and has helped me through these last few months ofloneliness Even as I write this he snores happily as he sleeps. He loves to be outdoors and play with other dogs. We go on walks every day and he never leaves my side. He has gained a bit of weight since becoming a part of my life but he is a happy healthy pooch! He won't play with any toys except for these plush $1 squeaky bones that I found at WalMart. He has a collection of five and loves to spend his time running up and down the halls with the toys in his mouth. He enjoys playing tug-of-war and runs up to any dog he sees when we are out. He is still a bit perplexed with cats, but sniffs them and wags his tell once his curiosity takes a hold. He likes to chase birds and rabbits and bounds like an antelope when he pursues them. No animals have been harmed. I think he just likes the chase. I am thankful to have Rustie in my life and cannot picture what is would be like to live my life without him.
This is our dog Brooke who we brought home on September 29, 2005. She has been a wonderful addition to our family and loves her sister, Brandy. She loves to launch off rocks or docks into the water to catch her dingy. In the picture, she is relaxing after playing fetch with her dingy at Headwater's State Park. We are so lucky to have her in our family and thank Heart of the Valley for taking care of her until we could bring her home!
I adopted Haywire, now Fitzhugh, in April 2011. It was the best decision I have ever made! I am a graduate student at MSU, and having Fitzhugh at home after a long day in the lab is a great stress reliever. He is quite the character- he loves to 'talk' to everyone who walks in the door, is quite the cuddler, is VERY opinionated about when it is time to eat, and (unfortunately) doesn't hesitate to chew something to pieces to let me know I am not spending enough time with him. Fitzhugh was even a good nursemaid when I had surgery a year ago! He is constantly making me laugh, and I can't imagine how he ended up at the shelter for so long. Almost everybody who comes in contact with him leaves with a smile on their face. I never thought that I could love a cat this much!
We adopted Lily in July of 2010 from Heart of the Valley and thought we would share a few pictures with you........
She loves to ride in the boat,loves dog rides in the car (especially to go get coffee), she loves her Dad (Corey), she loves sharing weekend Lattes with her mom (Michele), lovesher brother and sister (Bella and Cowboy ), but most of all she LOVES herding.........I started taking her to Nancy Creels sheeping herding classes this Spring and she's turned out to be a superstar.
We love her to pieces and we are so glad she's part of our family !!
My name is Penny and I am a Welsh Corgi. My first family had to give me up earlier this year. I enjoyed living with them on the ranch, but I understand when things get tough and you have to make hard decisions. My first family cried when they left. I cried a little, too. But the staff greeted me with a lot of loving hugs. Little did I know that a real adventure was ahead for me.
y new adoptive parents were greeted by Terry and Laura Cunningham. They were given a complete tour of the HOV shelter and they saw ALL of the dogs and ALL of the cats that live here. But, when they saw me they were surprised. I went out and looked up at them and thought that they might work out for me. But, we both needed to think about it for a day. But, the next day, the phone call was made and I was chosen to go live in Bozeman at a home that is located on one acre. However, I don’t really care about the yard; I want to stay by the side of my new parents. I stick close to them.
I like to go off leash on county trails with new friends that my mom introduced me to. I especially like a big black lab, North, who likes to run in the fields and play. Even though my legs are short, I can run like the wind! He can’t catch me. I surprised my new parents with tricks that I learned on the ranch. I can jump up and stand on a 4 wheeler; I can play ball; I can dance on my back legs. I may have more tricks to show them when the time comes.
I like to lie on the couch and I let my head hang over the cushion. Yes, they let me lie on the couch and they take a lot of pictures of me. I also like to lie near the back door. I want to make sure that they include me in all family outings because I love looking out the car window. Yep, I am very happy here with my new parents. They love me and I love them. Well, it is time for another trip; I have to go now.
"Beatrice" aka "Beatrix" & "Chloe" aka "Violet"
We adopted Beatrice (was Beatrix) from the Heart of the Valley Shelter back in April. When we first met Beatrice, she wasn't feeling very well and she seemed very stressed inside the shelter, on our getting to know you walk...she was very well behaved but not very "into" us. But something about her told us that she was the one. Once we got her to the vet, we found out that her sick feeling was just food allergies and she doesn't have to take her tummy pills anymore now! She felt better right away and is now the most loving, cuddly, expressive and patient dog ever! I bring her to work with me every day and she just eats up all the attention she gets (I own a store that sees lots and lots of kids every day). Her job is the be the store greeter, and she does her job well! All the customers look for Beatrice when they come shopping! She was even in a short lived TV commercial!
Her favorite activity is playing ball! I mean, she LIVES for playing fetch! Good thing my husband has an excellent arm! She loves her big backyard to play in, but seems to love being on the couch just as much. Beatrice goes with us everywhere. She goes to work in the morning and comes home to play, we only make dinner plans at outdoor dog friendly restaurants (the Garage is her favorite), and she even attended our wedding!
We know that Beatrice was raised with a "brother" (Diesel) who is still up for adoption at the HOV, which breaks our hearts. We were so surprised at just how well trained Beatrice was before we adopted her. She knows WAY beyond the basics. She knows to stay on the sidewalk, and doesn't require a leash at all in our quiet edge of town neighborhood, she clings close to her people's sides! She doesn't chase other dogs, she is perfect with cats, and just seems to know basic English. Training her on new rules is easy as can be! She is great with kids (she has tolerated 5 toddlers petting her at one time...which I admit I hovered over at first out of concern, but she just ate it up!) We are guessing that Diesel is also very well trained, and would make such a wonderful addition to anyone's family. These dogs were raised together according to their files, so if he is anywhere near as well behaved as Beatrice, he would make a perfect companion.
We adopted Chloe (was Violet) from the HOV in March of 2008, within weeks of buying our first home. Chloe was 3 years old when we adopted her and she licked us incessantly when we first met her. She also made some hysterical escape attempts from the "getting to know you room" (she really thought that window on the door was an escape portal). We were in love. She doesn't try to escape anymore though. She is such an attention lover. Reading on the computer? Chloe is in your lap. Laying in bed? Chloe is laying on your chest, all stretched out and blissed out from all the petting. Chloe has such a special and unique personality, we just love her so much!
So now we have a massive animal family: Boxy the box turtle (Ian has had her for 27 years), Franklin the rescue box turtle from a Colorado reptile shelter who was found with a broken shell outside in CO (clearly not his natural habitat), Chloe the HOV beauty kitty, Tealc the semi-feral dog attacked farm kitten (who also turned into a total love), Snakey (the recovering weed whacker whacked snake who will be released in late September) and Beatrice, our wonderful doggie who loves all the animals in the house.
Thank you to the HOV for bringing us together with our family :) Our pets bring us so much joy, and we always have someone to talk to!
We love Celine...she's a little "odd" in some ways but a real people-lover, too. She's very happy here. The fence you see in the background goes all the way around our yard, so she is and feels very safe. She loves wandering around the yard and exploring. There's plenty to keep her interested.
It was not love at first sight - for either of us. For two weeks, I unsuccessfullyattempted to connect with this stranger at the end of a Humane Society leash. I'd never seen a dog who didn't love me. She didn't.
We were so very different. Mabel was 23 pounds of skin, bone, and brittle blonde hair. I was 10 times her weight, robust and brunette.
Her tail was constantly between her legs in fear and sadness. I'm a rainbow clad professional clown - really.
Her demeanor was one of fear, distrust, and trepidation. I am generally at ease, loving, and over-trusting.
She was a toxic refugee from a meth house. I don't even use chemicals to clean.
She had been repeatedly turned down by people because of her looks. OK, so here we may have one thing in common after all.
That's when everything changed. I was not going to accept her being judged unacceptable because she didn't look like the petite possible Lhasa Apso cross that had been advertised. This long legged, demure critter deserved to be loved just as she was, as did I, and we were going to make it happen, whatever it took! I think she may have rather stayed with the "cell mate" who attacked her regularly, than to have trusted a human again. From our very first night together, I knew I had to deserve and earn her trust. For decades I'd wanted to see Merle Haggard in concert and I had a ticket for the night I brought Mabel home. She needed me more than I needed Merle, and that was the first of many modifications we've made in order to create the relationship we have.
Physical traumas have been, at times, daunting. At one point, Mabel lost most of her hair. Our local vet was wonderful, but this was a time when even the combined minds of Bozeman's best animal health care providers, paired with the scientific talents of veterinarian hospitals throughout the country couldn't help. In desperation, I contacted a highly gifted animal communicator who put me in touch with Dr. Pitcairn. His secretary responded immediately, because of his respect for the communicator, and the dire and urgent information she told me pass on to him. By the very next morning, we were in Jackson Hole, in the extremely wise and healing hands of a Pitcairn trained vet. Within a few months health, vitality and lots of hair sprang forth.
Emotional traumas have surfaced too. We use them to build an even stronger, more trusting bond, using gentleness, love and compassion - the complete opposite of the tools which were used to beat her down. Sadly, there are still times, after five years together, when Mabel cringes, each time proving that my best efforts cannot erase the terrors of her early life.
Mabel loves to learn and her confidence soars when given new "games" to master. Agility, tricks, canine freestyle dancing, focusing, calming techniques. Local instructors have taught me the techniques which have helped Mabel to blossom. Our relationship has grown in such a truly rich and precious way. Nancy Tanner, Nancy Creel and Linda Holenstein have helped me to become a better dog person and Mabel to become a better person's dog.
Mabel is now a fit 34 pounds, has the softest flaxen hair you've ever petted, and deeply intelligent, communicative eyes. Her health, vitality and emotional well-being have evolved past what anyone who knew her five years ago could have ever imagined.
It is with some sweet pride that I tell you that she just passed the AKC Canine Good Citizenship test. I would encourage all dog owners to take pre-test classes, and the CGC test. When people ask what this "CGC" thing is, I let them know that a dog who wears this title is a confident, calm, composed, cognizant, compassionate being. May we all be so.
Clown photo courtesy of Ed Thomas. Photo of Mabel and Judy courtesy of Laura Schaap.
"Juniper" aka "Belinda Carlisle"
This winter we adopted the best dog in the world (we think so) from HOV. Her name was Belinda Carlisle,but we changed her name to Juniper. Thank you so much for everything you all do at HOV. I just wanted to send some photos and an update on her. She has been the best addition to our family! She is with us everywhere we go and we simply cannot imagineour family without her!
My husband and our children absolutely love her, as do I!
"Arlie"a shy kitten becomes a sweet companion
Arlie joined our family in November 2008 and we are very happy she did. At that time, our household had been made up of 2 “aging” humans and a sweet cat named Patches, whom we had adopted from the shelter in 2007. When we decided to adopt a second cat, we wanted to be sure that the new cat would be friendly to our Patches, who was shy when she first came to our home, but has slowly become a wonderful companion cat.
Finding the right cat seemed like a daunting task. Although I volunteer at the shelter and knew some of the cats well, it was hard to decide on just the right one. The shelter staff provided the help I needed. When Kelly, the feline supervisor, talked to me about Arlie, I thought right away that Patches would like her and that both my husband and I would love her. She was shy and, although she seemed a bit scared of the busy shelter atmosphere, she was very sweet. Could she learn to love our home and be comfortable in it? I think shy cats can become great companions in the right home. Patches did. I was sure Arlie would too, in time.
When Arlie first came home, she hid most of the time. We had set up a room for her so she could be comfortable and safe. She came out to eat and to use the litter box, but she was nervous in her new home. My husband and I wondered how long it would take Arlie to come out of her hiding place. Again the shelter staff had the answer: “Shy cats require more patience and understanding than confident cats. Arlie will come out when she was ready”. I knew from my experience with Patches that it might take as long as a week or more. The key was to let the cat, herself, make the decision when it was safe to come out. Slowly, Arlie would come out to visit us. She loved to be cuddled and to play. It was wonderful to see little Arlie ready to take on her new world. Everyday, Arlie became more confident and curious. Soon she was ready to meet Patches. Arlie’s first few meetings with Patches were a bit rocky, but soon they started to accept each other and are now great housemates. Arlie still has her shy moments, but that is who she is. Every day with every new experience, she develops more confidence. It is amazing to see how far Arlie has come and to watch her become a fantastic family member.
I am so grateful to the people of Heart of the Valley for introducing me to Arlie. They are excellent advocates for all the cats at the shelter. Prospective adopters sometimes overlook the shy cats, but these cats can become great companions if matched with the right home. My husband and I are lucky to have found Arlie. She is a wonderful addition to our family and I can’t imagine our home without our sweet feline companion.
"Penny" aka "Gracie"
Hello everyone, I just wanted to share some pics of Gracie in our new home in Texas, she is doing great and I decided to change her name to Penny (kind of like a new beginning for both of us), she responds to it pretty well. Since we got here we've been to the vet a couple of times for routine stuff and to check out those red eyes...(it looks like she needs surgery in the near future). We also go to the many parks in our area and walk around the neighborhood. She is such a good dog!
Thank you all for taking such good care of her and giving me the opportunity to adopt a wonderful companion!
I remember the day we brought home Toes, my mom picked me up from school and there was Toes wondering what was going on. When we got home we had the area all set up for Toes in the TV room. At first we were wondering how she was going to feel in a new place, but she jumped on the couch and made her self feel at home.
We adopted Toes in October, the day before Halloween and now we have had her for about four months. We made Toes an indoor cat but she still enjoys looking out the window in my bedroom. Toes has found a few places that she calls hers around the house one of those many places would be my pillow at night and when I’m at school Toes likes to lay on the beanbag chair or lay on the back of the couch in front of the pellet stove.
One of the funniest things about Toes is when she goes down stairs because here comes Toes thumping down the 14 steps with here bouncing bag of blubber rocking side to side. When we adopted Toes she was over weight but we are hoping that going up and down the stairs and playing tag with are other cat will help her lose some of it. She’ll have to stop stealing pretzels if she expects to lose weight though!
Toes rules the roost with the dogs in the house and lets them know she should check out their food dishes prior to them getting to chow down. Our other cat, Kippy, is more reluctant to let Toes rule the roost. Toes will sit up and beg for food, and you have to watch her that she doesn’t steal your food.
The story of how John Wayne came to live in Portland has it’s roots, and is eternally indebted to a little terrier mix angel who appeared on my doorstep in Dallas, Texas, around Thanksgiving 1998. My Rottie named Tweedyl had passed away just three months’ prior...and then, amazingly, along came PeeWee. We were the best; inseparable; we did everything, and went everywhere together. He was perfect in every way imaginable. On September 23, 2008 in the course of just a few hours, he was struck down with per-acute autoimmune hemolytic anemia. There was nothing anyone could do. Following his passing, the next three months were the darkest days of my life; my grief could not be underestimated. Then.. my neighbor’s sister and brother-in-law, Rita and Dan Miles came to light. Rita continues this story for a bit:
Rita Miles of Livingston writes: My family home in Garden Home, Oregon, a Portland suburb, is across the street from Jana’s house. I often visit my sister, who still lives there, and met Jana some years ago. We lost our longtime companion dog Tucker in September, so when my husband, Dan, and I began searching for a new dog in November, Jana’s loss was also on our minds.
I noticed John Wayne on one of our first visits to the animal shelter. John Wayne caught my eye because at the time we visited, all the other dogs were barking and he was not. He was standing talking to some people with a very happy grin on his face. I didn’t realize on the first visit that he had had surgery and was missing one leg. I mentioned his happy face and non-barking to Jana via email. She requested we visit him and so Dan and I went over to take him out for a romp and also participate in a cat test. We were happy when he and the “test cat” rubbed noses and went their separate ways. Jana will continue:
Early December I called the folks at Heart of the Valley a couple times inquiring about John Wayne, attracted by his huge smile and glowing eyes in his HOV online photo. His expression awakened my heart from it’s shattered condition. Alas...another Angel entered my life. I “made a deal” with the wonderful people at HOV, begging them to let me “reserve” John Wayne with my check, and promise to drive from Portland to Bozeman as soon as the winter storms provided a break. Two planned trips were postponed by terrible snow and ice storms. On December 26, Rita’s sister, (my neighbor) Alta and I started our journey through snow blizzards, and ice to reach John Wayne.
We arrived at Heart of the Valley on December 29...a beautiful cold but sunny day. En route, I had many very tearful PeeWee flashbacks and all kinds of doubt about adopting a tripawd, a dog I didn’t even know, feelings of not yet ready for another dog..and more. When we met, I was struck by John Wayne’s sweet spirit and smile. We played out in the snow laden field and I was committed to him immediately. It was tough leaving the Heart of the Valley people. I owe them so much for bringing new light into my life.
John Wayne, (who happens to be a great guard dog), has found home. Clearly, his cowboy hat and bandanna collection provide a great entree’ into his fun loving “I’m from Montana” spirit! Right now, he is sleeping, dreaming, maybe about his friends at Heart of the Valley, to whom he owes so much gratitude! Thanks very much to all!
We want to let you know that Trixie is a wonderful pet. After we got through a surgery toremove a plastic bottle cap she ingested during a walk, everything has been smooth sailing. She is playful, loving and smart...and has adjusted to San Francisco city life quite well. She is an excellent frisbee dog as you all predicted. Everyone in our family is grateful we found her - and grateful to you for providing her such loving care in between her families.
"Holly" aka "Holiday
A Heart of the Valley Hero
Holiday (Holly to us) joined our family in July. She quickly became acclimated to our home and to us. In fact, it was love at first sight for all 3 of us. She has been awonderful companion to Verne, in particular, who spends his days at our home...this is just as I hoped it would be when I adopted her. Today, she is not only aloving companion, but a hero in our family. On October 13, 2008, just after 4 am, Holly got up from her bed in our bedroom and began pacing around our bed and nudging me. Iawoke to her anxious movement. I realized quickly that Verne was not in bed, but in the bathroom. Just then, Iheard a loud thump coming from the master bathroom; I rushed, with Holly close at my side, to the bathroom door, pushed it open to find Verne collapsed on the bathroom floor on his back, out cold. I grabbed the phone and dialed 911. The Bozeman FireDepartment and the ambulance crews arrived quickly. They went to work immediately to assess Verne's physical condition. Holly and I sat together watching the intense action. We consoled each other as our best friend was put on a stretcher and taken to the hospital for care. Holly knew, before this event occurred, that something was wrong. Her keen sense of this made it possible for me to swing into quick action to take care of Verne. Holly, our hero, to be sure!! We bless the day we went to Heart of the Valley and adopted her. She is a most wonderful member of the Klingensmith Family.
When I met Ginger one year ago she was scared of the world. She was scared of noises, people, otherdogs, new things, etc. Most of all, she was scared of being a loving, playful animal and unable to connect with humans. Today she’s not only a ‘love bundle’ but reaching out and making a difference in the Bozeman community as an ITA Outreach Therapy Dog. Ginger is helping the kids in the schools work on their reading skills and sharing fun times with the teenagers in the local Youth Home. Eventually we’ll also look forward to adding the hospital and nursing homes to our reach. Ginger is as happy and well adjusted as anyone could dream. Tennis balls, sticks, mountain streams, and hikes are all favoriteparts of life now. Nancy Tanner helped me help Ginger bridge the transition between Heart of the Valley and her new life. The downtown vendors like Barkenhowell's and Country Bookstore also embraced her ventures into the ‘real world’. We want to thank everyone for making the difference. I know there were several volunteers who gave tireless energy to her through the years keeping her up and healthy. Thanks for being a part of our community and facilitating the amazing gift of love between Ginger and me.
Inu is doing fabulously. We love him. He sure is full of love and affection and seems to like nothing better than to sleep in my lap and nuzzle me...My stick-in-the-mud dog "D.O.G." refused to play with Inu at first, but now she can hardly help herself! It is so fun. Inu also gets to play with kitty Cocoa...They play so hard that when they go to sleep at night they just wrap eachother up with their arms and fall asleep. We all enjoy Inu so much. He sleeps with me most of the night, but sometimes with D.O.G. in her bed. Once again, I want to thank all those folks at HOV who saved Inu's life and enriched ours in doing so.
"Sassy" aka "Spoofer"
Hey guys, this is Sassy, formerly known as Spoofer… My adoptive mother said I reminded her of Sassy from Homeward Bound, which I agree. I must say I am very happy in my new place… It’s nice being the only cat in the house and getting all of the attention… I know when it’s night time, that’s my favorite time. When I see mom undoing the bed I run as fast as I can and jump up on the bed and get into my spot and sleep the whole night. Guess where that is…right in between mom and dad underneath the blankets… I have lots of toys – my favorite is a little ball with a bell in it. I kick it all around the house…Well that’s the majority of what I have been up to lately… I love it here in my new home!