Houston Finalist #1 )
Cindy loves to give kisses and play. She has taught me that we are more than our history. She is amazing in her own way, but to really understand her story you first need to know Moti’s.
My life has 3 parts–before, with, and after Moti. Before her I was alone, unhappy without realizing it.
There were no dogs in my pictures and there were no dogs in my heart. I cared about money, power, and prestige and I had big dreams. I was going to be a successful CEO, and I was slaving away towards that goal.
Moti changed all that when she waltzed into my life. She had been abandoned, so I took her to a shelter where they told me she would be put down unless I found her a home myself. I tried, but Moti had her own plans. In the short period of time that she stayed with me between getting fixed and finding an owner she worked her way from my yard, into my house, onto the carpet and couch, and into my bed and my heart. It didn’t matter that before her I had been raised to believe that dogs were dirty and diseased. It didn’t matter that I thought she would destroy my house. The 1 st night she slept inside I was sure I would wake up to chaos, but she stayed where I had left her, sleeping like an angel. When the time came to give her up I couldn’t do it. The only thing Moti ever destroyed were the walls around my heart, showing me a path I didn’t even know I had and changing my life.
Now, after Moti, Cindy has helped me keep my heart open, continuing Moti’s legacy. In her past she was a breeder for dog fighters, but that has never defined her, never stopped her from loving. Through all the hard times in my life, Cindy has been one of the ones there to remind me that there is always hope. All she ever knew before was a life of aggression and abandonment. She was left tied up during Hurricane Ike with her 9 puppies, not even old enough to open their eyes. All of them had parvo, and, miraculously, all survived. Cindy was a determined, patient, and loving mom the whole time, not giving up and taking care of her family. Even though she was raised to fight with other dogs it wasn’t a part of her nature. Eventually she started to wag her tail when she would see other dogs at Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary. Then she learned how to play, and she has never looked back. She refuses to fight now that she has found something better. She has taught me to never give up and that there is always hope, that we can overcoming even the darkest of times with a little love….and lots of puppy kisses.
Houston Finalist #2 )
I met my hero in September 2018 while visiting CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection). We didn’t plan to leave, hands and heart full, at very first try, but that’s how great stories go. To see him was to love him. The moment he met us, he immediately chose us. Licking our shoes and waging his tail like we had met before, then chasing his own tail one minute later, we knew we were his forever parents.
His name is Phoenix Hope-Jones, like the Greek mythological bird who comes back from the ashes (plus our family surname). At his young two months, he was already familiar with suffering after being separated from his litter, and being abandoned at the rescue. None of this was enough to change his personality and ability to love us, and everyone he meets! He changed us for the better, and has brought so much happiness to our everyday lives. Phoenix is included in pretty much everything we do, since we can’t consider him something different than a son. The biggest lesson he has taught me is to trust and love without boundaries. He is the best at trusting humans and animals. We can’t walk down the street without saying hi to all humans and pets he meets, no matter sizes or looks. It is just so fulfilling. I can keep going like this with 1000 other stories to exemplify his loving character, all from less than one year since he rescued our little family.
Houston Finalist #3 )
Before I can tell you how Adele rescued me, let me share a little story. In early July 2018, the rescue that I work with found the sister of my heart dog, ChaCha. I fostered Donatella without hesitation and made plans to adopt her! Life was wonderful! However, on July 27, ChaCha suddenly passed away in my arms. My heart was gone with her. I knew Donatella would help me get through this. Tragically, on August 13th, Donatella didn’t wake up from her teeth cleaning. My world was shattered. That was it. It was too much for me. I lost two dogs, just weeks apart. I said no more dogs. I can’t take losing another one.
Later that same day, the rescue asked if I could foster a little girl named Adele. She had come from a hoarding situation that I helped the rescue with. We got 20 dogs from a lady (who later had 242 more dogs seized). We knew that Adele had an issue with her rear leg, but now she had a broken front leg from malnourishment. Both issues were on the left side leaving her unable to walk. The rescue didn’t have experience with this, so they asked if I could help. I had nursed my special needs girl ChaCha through 8 leg surgeries. I had everything needed to take care of Adele. I just didn’t know if I could share my love with another dog. But I agreed to take her.
She came to me that night even though I was still grieving the loss of ChaCha, and now Donatella. I told myself she just needs a place to stay till her legs heal from the surgeries. She’ll be gone in a few months. Adele bonded to me immediately. She finally had someone that gave her attention and she loved it. Adele went through both surgeries, first her font leg, then her back leg. The healing process was long, requiring special care from me. She had 16 weeks of confinement, walking only on a short leash for potty breaks. She absolutely hated being crated. Knowing she lived in a tiny filthy crate with no human contact, l felt sorry for her. I would hold her for as long as she liked. I’d show her some love but not “real love” I told myself. She didn’t care real or not. She knew that love was love and she wanted as much as she could get. Slowly over the 8 months this little dog worked her way into my heart. She showed me it’s ok to show “real love” to another dog. I know each and every time I held her and cried over the loss of my 2 girls she was helping me heal. I truly feel we were put together so that I could help heal her physically and she could help heal me emotionally.