Success Story Saturday: Wally.

WallyKCBack in the beginning of January we had word from BARC that they had a dog with a leg injury that needed immediate attention, none of the other groups that they had reached out to would take him, and we would be their last resort to help. Well, of course we’d take him! It was Transport Day, so instead of going to our loading location, I made a detour to BARC to pick up Wally so I could take him to one of our partner veterinarians. Wally was a sad, forlorn yellow labrador retriever mix. I held him gently as I carried him outside and then carefully maneuvered him into the crate in my car. When we arrived at the vet, I kissed his nose and said, “Don’t worry, Wally. You’re going to be okay, I promise.” Wally responded by peeing on me when I picked him up again. He was in pain and scared, so I forgave him.

What we thought was a basic leg injury turned out to be a broken hip. Wally had probably been hit by a car. Poor guy. It was beyond our vet’s capabilities and they recommended he see a specialist. We had a very frustrating time trying to get an appointment with a specialist. No matter who we called, cost was an issue (we couldn’t afford them/they wouldn’t give us a discount) or they wouldn’t be able to see him for over a week. Wally didn’t have the luxury of time. We didn’t know how long he’d been living with the injury. If we waited any longer, his bones would start to knit improperly. We had a good foster home lined up for him already, so we were incredibly annoyed that we couldn’t find someone to work on Wally right away at a reasonable cost. I was pretty upset, because I had promised Wally he was going to be okay. I didn’t want to let him down.

IMG_4180Luckily, we called Dr. Mandola at Richmond Animal Hospital and he said to bring Wally to him right away so he could do whatever possible to help him. When we asked him how much the operation would be he said he’d charge whatever we thought was fair. Since I felt a kinship with Wally, I volunteered to drive him to Richmond to meet his new foster mom, Shelley, and Dr. Mandola. He had an operation that day, and Dr. Mandola said Wally had been brought to him just in time. As we suspected, if we’d waited any longer, it would’ve been next to impossible for him to break the bones again, set them properly, and stitch him up again. Later that day, Shelley brought our FrankenWally home with her, ready for the long road ahead of getting Wally back on his feet again.

Shelley sent us regular updates on Wally’s condition…

Took Wally for his first week check-up today…He cleaned up Wally’s wound area–Wally’s been licking it but I got him a cone of shame–and gave me some antibiotics…His eating is still slow but he does eat. I’m hoping the pain medicine will help his comfort therefore he’ll feel better to eat. Everything else is good. Seems to be slowly getting better. We’re taking it one day at a 1

Wanted to send out an update on Wally. I took him to the vet yesterday and he had a small fever and an infection around the pin in his leg. The vet gave me antibiotics to give him twice a day for a week. I also had to get an antiseptic cleaner to clean the wound twice a day. A few days ago he was a little depressed but that was most likely due to the infection. But in the last 24 hours since starting the antibiotics he’s perked up a little. He’s pretty much on 24/7 crate rest with the exception of going outside. I take him back next Friday and they will decide then if the pin comes out. Vet said pin will come out at 3-4 weeks and they’ll take an x-ray to see how it’s healing. I’ll keep everyone posted on when the pin comes out and what the treatment/therapy is at that time. He’s a great little dog! Very sweet and just loves to stand next to you and have you pet him. It’s a good thing you guys didn’t give up on him, he’s gonna make an awesome addition to someone’s family

photo 2
Good news everyone! Wally got his pin out today and Dr. Mandola said his leg has healed very nicely. He was very pleased with the bone calcification and development around the break. Instructions now are he can resume regular activity. Dr. Mandola said it will most likely take several days for him to get used to walking on it and put full weight on it again, so I’ll make sure he takes it slow…I have to take him back in a week for a follow-up, to get those stitches out and remove the bandage…I was talking to Dr. Mandola about Wally and thanking him for all his work taking such good care of Wally and his willingness to help us. He in turn said, “I’m just happy you guys are saving them,” and hugged me. Really nice to hear and wanted to pass that message along to you guys.

Took Wally for his final check-up today and great news, splint is off, stitches have been removed and he’s good to start using his leg. Dr. Mandola said it’s going to take time for him to use it completely and showed me how to work his knee so he starts using it. It’s Wally’s physical therapy! He said it’s important, because of where the break was and how the leg healed, Wally has to start using it correctly and bending his knee or he won’t walk right. He does put his foot down every few steps so that’s good. Dr. Mandola said the best thing for him would be if he could go swimming but that’s not really an option now. For the most part he’s done. They closed his records and gave me copies of his info.

I can’t tell you how happy we are that Wally is better now, how grateful we are to Dr. Mandola for doing such good work and for having a good heart, how much we appreciate and value Shelley for taking such good care of him for the last few months, and for everybody who donates to our program so we can help dogs in bad shape get on the road to wellness. Wally is coming to join us at The Caroline Sessions on Sunday. I sometimes poke fun of my rescue friends who tear up at transport day or whenever we talk about the dogs we save and stories like this one. However, I can assure you that when I see Wally again this Sunday I’m going to cry happy tears for him when I hug him again and kiss his sweet nose. Here’s a short film I made about Wally. Enjoy.

Success Story Saturday: Archer (né Rusty)


We recently received this message about Rusty, an RPM dog who was adopted last month:

Hi. Just wanted to give you a quick update on Rusty. (we renamed him Archer–“Archie.”) He’s acclimating well! Thor (the Husky) finally decided to make friends with [Archie] after his initial bout of jealousy and the two of them play happily, pulling each other by the ears and scruff. Thor is very gentle with him, he seems to know that Archie needs to gain more weight and muscle. Archie is following me around a lot, he’s very curious about everything. He caught a sinus infection and has been sniffling a bit so we keep him warm and make sure he drinks lots of fluids, but it does not deter him from exploring the house and playing with the dogs. He’s very cuddly and tries to sleep in bed with us every night. Today was the first day he spent in his (humongous) crate and he did fine, no barking (maybe because the other dogs were locked in the room with him). Right now he is enjoying the sun on the couch, I have attached a picture. I love him lots (so does my fiancé) and we feel very lucky we get to be with him. I’ll keep you posted on his progress!

Thank you again for everything you did!

Success Story Saturday (on Sunday): Red.


Red had a big first day in his new home! We started off with a really long walk around the neighborhood. He was very interested in all the smells and other doggies that we saw. We also saw some kids practicing soccer and we had to stop and watch them for a long time. Then they all came over and pet him! He loved it!

After we went home we played with his new toys and worked on getting familiar with his crate. He is very good with relaxing in it when I’m in the room, but gets a little nervous whenever I leave. He has made a big improvement though and even goes in to play with his toys! I know he will think of it as his own room soon.

We took a looooong nap this afternoon, and then he helped me with chores. He is very eager to follow and let you know he’s there to help. We’ve already figured out where its ok to go to the bathroom, and already knows which apartment is ours! His doggie grandparents came to visit and he had a lot of fun showing off.

Red is such a great boy. He has already adjusted so well, just likes to know that you’re nearby. He is still learning though that the dog in the mirror
isn’t real.

Tomorrow we’re visiting his grandparents at their house and his doggie sister. Its going to be an exciting day!

Success Story Saturday – Late Edition: Brooks Brothers Dog.

Last weekend we were in Colorado visiting some of our rescue partners and attending a fundraiser they held to benefit RPM. There wasn’t a lot of down time and I completely forgot about doing a Success Story Saturday post. My apologies. Here it is now. It’s a good one!

Rescue has been a family affair for us. All of our fur babies have been rescues, and our son, Tristan, has volunteered for years with the founders of Rescued Pets Movement. It has become a way of life.

So when Simon and I went to a fundraiser for RPM, we were amongst friends. I looked across the parking lot saw a dog who was so stunning I was simply drawn to him. The voice of my rational side (that would be Simon) kept reminding me that we had six fur babies at home, and that we couldn’t have another one. I told him I knew that, and then took the handsome boy out for a walk.

Brooks Brothers Dog, formerly known as Harris, was rescued from BARC’s death row. He had had his ears chopped off, most likely by a pair of scissors (according to the vet). He was frantic for attention, and for action. This is one active dog.

Simon watched me for the next few weeks, and kept saying, “You’re thinking about him again, aren’t you?” Of course I was! Simon relented, on the stipulation that our girls got along with him. The initial introduction was a hit with one dog, and pretty shaky with the other. Brooks’ wonderful foster parents were there, and were very patient with us as we all got to know each other.

Brooks Brothers Dog now lives with his sisters, Foley Dog and JC Penney Dog, as well as 4 cat brothers (although he is still learning how to treat feline family members with care and respect). He adores Tristan’s rescue baby, Atticus. A very happy, friendly, loving boy. We are so lucky to have him!

Thank you!

Success Story Saturday: Charlie.

Some of you may recognize Charlie from the large photo (pictured in the above gallery) hanging in our office, which was taken by Holly Davis when she fostered Charlie and her siblings, back when Charlie was known to us as Noel. Recently, Charlie’s family got in touch with me via Facebook to let me know how much they appreciate RPM for bringing Charlie into their life.

One month after getting married and one week after moving to Denver Colorado, my new husband and I passed a 4 Paws 4 Life adoption event at Petco and we instantly knew that we’d be leaving with a dog!

Sure enough, within 5 seconds of being at the event I spotted baby Charlie fast asleep in her crate and I knew we’d love her forever. She was so sweet and cuddly, with the most adorable playful side.

About a week after adopting Charlie I was on the Rescued Pets Movement Facebook page and saw that a foster family in Texas had posted a picture of three puppies of all different colors, but one really caught my eye. She had the same black and white fur with little spotted “boots” on her paws and a small white smudge on her nose – just like miss Charlie!

Long story short, we connected with the sweet Texas family and after exchanging many pictures and stories of our sweet girl, we learned some seriously heartbreaking news – at 1.5 weeks old, Charlie and her two siblings were 45 minutes away from euthanasia before they were rescued!

If the sweet foster families in Houston had not stepped up to save these innocent animals, or if RPM was not dedicated to transporting hundreds – now THOUSANDS! – of animals to safe homes, Charlie absolutely would not be here with us today.

I already cannot imagine our life without Charlie. I guess the saying is true… Who rescued who?!

But seriously, you guys do absolutely incredible work. If I could quit my job tomorrow and rescue full-time with you, I would in a heart beat. 🙂

Kristen, Trevor and Charlie

If you’ve adopted a former RPM dog or cat, we’d like to hear how thing are going! Please email with your story, and feel free to include photos or videos. Thank you!

Success Story Saturday: Gipsy.

An update from Gipsy’s new home in Montana:

Gispy is doing great, she’s growing like a weed, and is a healthy 13.5 lbs. She’s one week away from getting her STAR puppy certification. Her confidence levels are up and rules over the cats; Pippin has gotten used to her, and she’s constantly cuddling up next to him or crawling all over him…We were just playing outside so I took a few photos and I thought you might like to see them. It’s been snowing fairly heavily here and she’s loving the snow, when it’s warm enough to play [outside]. Hope all is well!


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