Washington, DC Finalist #1 )
Once upon a time, there was a crippled hound dog left abandoned on the side of a country road, in Georgia, with five puppies in tow. “Momma dog” had an injured right front leg that had no paw (likely was caught in a trap) and couldn’t bear weight. Her left front leg had severe tendon/ligament damage, which made it extremely difficult to walk. Fortunately, our heroes at K9 Lifesavers rescued her and the babies. She was seen by a Vet who determined her right leg should be amputated. The left leg was in bad shape too, but the Vet chose not to perform surgery, fearing it would render her “legless” in the front. In addition, she was heart worm positive, and had ring worms and mites.
“Lollie” (named after a Lollipop shape on her head) was adopted to a family with 4 other male dogs, who quickly took her in, and helped her gain confidence. Lollie began water therapy to help strengthen her only (but damaged) front leg. She was fitted for a brace that she wears to help support herself. Her owners are trying to get a prosthesis/whole body cast with a leg made to help relieve the weight she bears on her left side. Though she struggles to walk, and has heart worm, Lollie is a true fighter, a warrior princess. She is an amazing little girl who despite being crippled, raised 5 puppies in the wild, on her own, and fights every challenge like a champ. She has truly won the hearts of her doggy bros, and her owners who will do anything to help her thrive.
Lollie has taught everyone resilience, determination, survivor ship and how to carry on when things aren’t necessarily perfect. She has provided her entire family with unconditional love, and has exemplified an amazing “never give up” spirit. Though she may only have one front leg, she never gets down. Rather she provides endless licks, unconditional love, and a motivational spirit that makes everyone want to try their best. Lollie literally wears her heart on her sleeve (as evidenced by the black hear marking on her rear leg.) Her human parents, and her furry bros always say, “Lollie RESCUED us!”
Washington, DC Finalist #2 )
When I went to the Fairfax County Animal shelter, I went to see another dog I have been following for a few weeks. My husband is a disabled Veteran with a service dog and we were thinking she could use a friend. I walked by Kyro at least 10 times, but each time he would watch me and wag his half tail faster. He was the only dog that didn’t bark. The shelter, knowing our situation at home having a service dog, gave me a thousand reasons why I didn’t want him. He had a terrible past which made him unpredictable, had skin problems, tons of allergies, and overall health was poor. He came home with us anyways.
Kyro changed my life in many ways. He is the happiest dog despite being rescued from a potential dog fighting ring. He loves every dog and human (especially tiny humans) he meets. Seeing his love for life I started training him to become a therapy dog. I was looking for a way to give back for the life change we got from my husband’s service dog coming into our lives. Kyro become a certified AKC Therapy Dog with K9 Caring Angel’s Therapy dogs. He has over four hundred hours as a therapy dog since March 2017. Kyro has taught me how to forgive, to enjoy life in the moment, not to discriminate, and to love even the simple things. He has also helped teach me to slow down and roll around in the grass.
Washington,DC Finalist #3 )
Cubacca is our first dog. He was younger than we wanted, but turned out to be the perfect dog for us. He had been given up by his previous family because he had gotten too big (80 pounds), but we wanted a big dog. He has the best happy-go-lucky personality, and loves everything, even going to the vet! He’s a very unique looking dog with a great easygoing personality. He makes us very proud by being a volunteer canine blood donor with the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank. He loves everybody he meets. He’s such a happy dog and he shares that happiness with us. He’s changed our life by making us realize how much we love dogs, and by helping teach us a lot of about dog behavior.
Washington, DC Finalists #4)
I had adopted my dog from a shelter on my 20th birthday and he and I had 15.5 years together. He was the most amazing dog through my marriage, raising three kids, several moves, and a divorce. When I lost Charlie – I knew I would adopt again. But I was cautious about bringing a dog into the house that I didn’t know. I have three boys and 1 has autism and he is nervous around animals. Dragon Paws was awesome about making sure we found our perfect fit in Lilly. She loves the boys and me. We climb mountains, and play, and she thinks movie nights are the best night, snuggled up on the couch. We are so lucky to have won the lottery twice with the perfect dog.
Nominated Rescue Organization : Dragon Paws Rescue
Washington, DC Finalists #5)
We spent a lot of time trying to make Trotter something he wasn’t. If I had only looked through my photos of Trotter sooner, I would have realized that Trotter was always normal. Trotter has different needs, but he is a normal dog.
Trotter loves to wrestle with his sister, eat breakfast with Dad, go on car rides, go swimming, visit the beach, snuggle, and even go to therapy. He celebrates his birthday, dresses up for holidays, and even enjoys a good nap after stealing your spot on the sofa. Trotter even runs (rolls) to greet us at the door when we come home from work. Trotter is special, and has a grounding effect on our everyday lives. Because of Trotter we are more patient. He makes us take time out of our day to enjoy simple things, like playing fetch, when we have plenty of household chores calling for our attention. We can’t help but smile and laugh at Trotter’s antics.
I literally can’t have a bad day with this guy around. As a police officer, I see people at their worst. An entire community of animal lovers have rallied around Trotter, and sent us words of encouragement during his journey. None of us knew that he was really doing the encouraging. Trotter is a constant reminder that, despite the bad things that happen in our lives, there is more good stuff that happens. I think everyone needs that reminder, and I am thankful that Trotter is here to remind me of that.
Trotter’s life was fated. He was supposed to end up with us so he can show the world how to live carefree. Trotter was just an underdog from West Virginia. We took a chance on him, thinking we could make him better, but in the end, Trotter made us better. He is an inspiration to many, and a true testament to how we should all live our lives. #wearetrotterstrong