L.A. Finalist #1 )
In January 2019 there was a dog at East Valley shelter with a massive tumor and Boxer Rescue LA pulled him to see if treatment was an option. Initial feedback was the surgery would be too complicated and the dog was likely not healthy enough to go through with the procedure. I agreed to hospice foster the dog that had now been named Samson meaning sun child or bright sun. A second opinion from a specialist was sought and within days Samson was in surgery to remove the mass. Five months later he loves to go for runs, play with his fur brother Frank and laying in the SUN. He has reminded us that anything is possible and to never give up.
L.A. Finalist #2 )
I rescued my first boxer in 1995 from Boxer Rescue LA & I’ve been rescuing from them ever since. Tonto & Penny were meant for me & are my 3rd & 4th boxers I’ve rescued from BRLA. While I rescued them from kennel life, the truth is they rescued me. I overcame an abusive past & was left with GAD, generalized anxiety disorder & PTSD. I lost my previous boxers when I escaped that terrifying situation. I had no other choice & it broke my heart into pieces losing them that way & while being around my parent’s pets helped, I longed for a pair of my own boxers again. It took a few years, but finally the opportunity came where I could get dogs of my own. I inquired with BRLA to meet this adorable bonded sibling pair. They were sent from Heaven just for me, I know this now. They too had come from a rough past & were the product of a divorce. It was after rescuing them that I realized how much we all needed each other to heal from our pasts. They both have nervous tendancies & anxieties like me. They would flinch whenever I had an object in my hand, or sometimes when I petted them. Tonto is my angel boy, always obeys me, is a big lover and cuddler, & very protective of me. Men can not come near me when I’m out walking him without him giving them a warning growl & standing in front of me to protect me. He makes me feel safer than ever! Penny his littermate sister, is super loving & full of energy, she likes to keep to a schedule, which helps keep me on track, & is the first to sound the alarm if anyone approaches my home. She sounded the alarm growling then running to bark at the door one night when an intruder attempted to get in. While I was shook up from the experience, I was so proud & thankful that she kept me safe. These dogs mean the world to me & have helped me overcome my anxieties. I had them ESA certified because they’ve healed me. I can’t say how blessed I am to have them in my life! They’re like my kids & helped me heal from the scars of my past. I try & provide for them in every way I can, I even put them in private training to help heal their own anxieties. I spoil them as my way of saying thank you for being the best dogs I could ever ask for! Life for me would be so much harder without them. I am so thankfuI I found them! I work from home now, which means I get to see their cute, loving faces all day! Thank you Boxer Rescue LA, you’ve brought so much joy & so many blessings into my life with all the boxers I’ve adopted from your organization!!!
L.A. Finalist #3 )
My rescue dogs have not just impacted my life for the better, but the lives of many. I will attempt to provide a brief summary of the impact they have had on those closest to me. My dad has had over 35 surgeries in the last 30 years. Some of these surgeries include back, neck, elbows, stomach, shoulders, and ankles. Due to the severity and number of surgeries, my dad was forced to retire in his early 40s. As someone who worked his entire life to help support himself and his family, my dad found himself lost, without a purpose. In addition to the depression, he also was in constant pain and struggled to find the desire to face each day. Since entering our lives, Daisy, Darlene, and Diesel give my dad endless love, comfort, and accountability to get up and out each day. My dad has outfitted the back of his truck to take the dogs everywhere with him. I often get pictures of them having lunches out, beach days, relaxing at the park, even a picture of him one time with little Daisy at the nail salon with him. The dogs wake my dad up with love every morning, excited for their daily walks and adventures. When my dad does require surgery, they sense his need for comfort and will stay by his side 24/7, only getting up to eat or be taken out to use the restroom. They truly are his best friends and I am so thankful to know that my dad has them in his life. A few occasions my dad has been at the beach with the dogs when a swimmer has been caught up in a current and sucked out from shore. My dad will then swim out to try to calm them down until a lifeguard makes it out. During that time Darlene is always right by his side, refusing to leave him if he tries to send her back. A close family friend struggles with social anxiety, struggling to move past his discomfort to connect with people and put himself in unfamiliar situations. With the dogs by his side, he is a whole other person, talking to anyone and everyone about how great of dogs they are. He is Daisy’s biggest hype man for her instagram. During the time Darlene and Daisy came into my life I was going through a breakup after being in a relationship for 5 years and struggling with my new change in careers. I was constantly feeling overwhelmed and questioning a lot in my life. The one thing I knew, was that no matter how bad of a day I could be having, the second I got home, I was going to be greeted with so much excitement, love, and joy, and that it was impossible not to smile and feel better.
Nominated Rescue Orginization :Seal Beach Animal Care Center
L.A. Finalist #4)
I was only supposed to foster Gracie for the night in 2015. She was 12 weeks old, Boxer Rescue (who I had volunteered for), asked me if I could pick her up from an owner surrender. We had an old grumpy 8 year old boxer from Boxer Rescue, so I thought it’d be fun to have a puppy for the night. My son was 8 at the time, and knew we were NOT keeping this puppy, just taking care of her until she could go to her real foster home, and then be adopted. She was (and is) absolutely magical. My son had had an anaphylactic reaction two months prior, and was still feeling immense anxiety. The love was immediate. My husband and I talked about it for about two seconds – my son needed Gracie, and she needed him. I could see that Gracie’s personality (unlike our grumpy old guy, who I loved with all of my heart) was perfect for volunteering. She loved EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. I found a non-profit, Love on 4 Paws, that has a variety of locations to visit as a therapy dog. My son and I worked with Gracie – every kid who walked in the door had to do something that was on the “test” so Gracie could become a volunteer. Was she always perfect? NO! She liked to jump sometimes and would get too excited – a problem for the test. We worked so hard, and she passed and became an official volunteer in January of 2018. She is the light of everywhere we go. Our favorite spots are City of Hope, West Los Angeles VA Nursing Home (specifically the Alzheimer/Dementia wards) and a public Special Education High School. She seems to know that every person needs something different from her. At the VA, she sits at the resident’s feet and lets them pet her and talk about the dogs they’ve had. At City of Hope, she can’t kiss (and she LOVES to kiss!), so she climbs up on the couch next to the patient and lies down. At the High School, she gives terrified kids the opportunity to get to know her at their own pace, and plays with the ones who love her kisses and silliness. Because of who she is, she allows me to volunteer and bring joy to people. For my son, she gave him something to focus on, be responsible for, and the simple joy that comes from having a dog love you and lie next to you.When people ask me if Gracie is my therapy dog, I answer honestly – every dog is a therapy dog. When Gracie is out in the world, she is the best ambassador for boxers, as a breed, and a great ambassador for Boxer Rescue, LA. She is the light of our lives, and I am so blessed I get to share her with the world!
L.A. Finalist #5
My rescue hero Freeway ended up at Boxer Rescue LA when at just 4 months old, after he was thrown onto the freeway from a moving car. A motorist saw the incident and pulled over to save him and got him to Boxer Rescue LA. Living with a rescue dog changes your life for the better when you see life through their eyes. Freeway helped many foster dogs over the years navigate their initial transition to a better life. He eased their fears and made them understand hope in the simplest way – he played with them all. Over the years Freeway has helped many dogs that were fearful or aggressive around other dogs become more comfortable. He knew when a dog needed space and could give them appeasing signals to calm them and over time win them over as friends. He ended up playing with them as well. Freeway became one of Boxer Rescue LA’s ambassador dogs and attends events from celebrity photo shoots to school assemblies to share how awesome rescue dogs are. Life with Freeway reinforces my commitment as a volunteer with Boxer Rescue LA to help homeless Boxers become homeless no more. Rescue dogs change you life when you see it through their eyes, to see love, to see forgiveness, to see commitment, to see hope and to always see the opportunity to play. What Freeway and all dogs give us that humans cannot is unconditional love.