Why We Walk

We walk so that every animal can feel the love and warmth of a family.

We are those people who have dogs.  Our house has a dog bed in every corner and there are always chew toys, stuffies and partially eaten tennis balls scattered about the floor.  Our home is loud, filled with barks and the ever-amusing growls of 2 chihuahuas wrestling.  Our pups play hard and love even harder.

All three of our dogs are rescues.

We adopted our senior puppy, Maurice many years ago through a private adoption from a local who knew they could no longer take care of him in the way he needed. He was a happy dog who had a great life and just needed a new family to love him.  He took it all in stride and today at 15, is flourishing.  It is happy story with no trauma and lots of love.  Unfortunately, this is not the story most adopted dogs have.

Two years ago, we adopted rescued, our spunky chihuahua/minpin mix, Desmond (formally Ricardo), through the GTHS.  He came to us through the Chi-Chi Transport Program all the way from New Mexico.  He was scared and malnourished. For the first week, he slept across our necks like a scarf and woke at every tiny sound.  He was reactive to anything big and loud and couldn’t get enough to eat.  He was timid and aggressive all at once and it was obvious to us that he had been alone or neglected for some time.  It took a lot of patience and a ton of love to get him to calm down and settle into family life.  Today he is a crazy active little guy who loves to give hugs, chase dragonflies and dig for worms. It has been an amazing journey to watch him grow and learn that love and affection are normal.

After having Desi for a just under a year, we spotted Linus (formally Horton) on the GTHS website.  Linus was tiny, scared and super skinny.  Once we saw this little guy in person there was no way we were putting him back.  As approved Adopters, we brought him home that day. He was less than four pounds; his fur was rough and patchy and you could count his ribs.  How this tiny creature made it even a day alone on the streets is a mystery.  For the first week, he wore a sweater made out of a wool sock and made no noise at all.  He was timid and would only eat hand fed on our lap.  He gained a pound in the first month.  A few months later after we brought Linus home we learned that he was famous in his home town.  He was found abandoned in a school yard nearly dead and was recued by a class and taken to the local Shelter.  With an abandoned animal, you never really know what they have been through and your imagination usually runs wild.  Learning a little of Linus’ story was lovely and heartbreaking at the same time.  We got a glimpse of his struggles, our tiny man had been through so much.  Everyday Linus gets better.  The small ‘purse’ dog we thought we had has turned into a tiny chewing, playing monster who loves to wrestle, fetch and walk.  Just over a year later, our super shy chichi now greets guests at the door with a wiggle bum and feet stomp, he races through the house dragging a toy and he loves to race Desmond around the yard.

Without shelters like the GTHS, Desmond and Linus may not have survived. The reality is that every day animals are abandoned or neglected through know fault of their own.  Events like the Friends for Life Walkathon help raise the funds the GTHS needs to give these animals a second chance and the love and care they deserve.  We walk so that every animal can know love.

Stay informed on GTHS events, initiatives and programs. Learn how the GTHS team is serving the pets and people of the South Georgian Bay Area. Read heart-warming Happy Tails about GTHS Alumni. See a lot of really cute pictures of dogs and cats!