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Here's an update from Emily who adopted a "crazy", backwards stair walking Lab from Toronto Animal Services South a few years back and turned the dog into a charmer. (Emily was also the person who found Maggie abandoned and dying at a park and brought her into TAS where her life was saved.)

We adopted our girl, Olivia, just over 4 years ago (she was about 3-4 years old at that time) from TAS South and what an adventure it has been! Originally assessed as 'not yet eligible for adoption' (to put it nicely!) on account of her being a totally unsocialized, beyond-hyperactive dog who had to be muzzled around other dogs, Olivia (aka Little Bear) came home as a foster pup though I failed miserably as a foster to this nutty-bar as she and my older canine man fell in love and we just had to have her as part of our family.

Olivia, being the crazy-face Lab that she is, keeps her older brother active and his arthritis at bay with long wrestling sessions and she easily makes friends with any and all children that visit our home - she LOVES LOVES LOVES children and is so incredibly gentle with them, believe it or not! She especially loves it when they drop food on the floor **sigh, that's a Lab, alright** We're happy to also be able to say that my husband and our canine kids are expecting our first 2-legged child in late August and I know that Olivia is going to be even MORE in heaven with a new play-mate and her own full-time food-dropper!

Olivia still has those abandoned-dog traits, to an extent, as she does not leave my side even 4 years later - she is my little shadow and the heartbeat at my feet. She never fails to crack us up into hysterics on account of her endless antics, is the first to the door as the official welcoming committee to all guests and takes her job as vehicle/back-seat ambassador at drive-through windows VERY seriously (the bank drive-through's still confuse her..."where's the FOOD?!?!?!?").

Despite her never-ending high energy, Olivia makes friends with anything that moves - piglets, hens, kittens, stray/feral cats, dogs, children, homeless tennis balls, stray branches etc... She LOVES to swim, go on hikes and chase her favourite, spongy choochie-ball in the park (granted, it took her one whole year to learn to DROP the ball so I could launch it again!).

I have attached just a few of the many crazy pics of this great girl - napping with her best buddy and brother, playing with a 1.5 pound foster kitten, retrieving her choochie-ball from the lake and, of course, keeping vigilant watch over the cakes in the kitchen (notice the serious expression? Food is SERIOUS business for this Lab)! We love her dearly and thank TAS South for accepting this less-than-desirable, riskier dog into their care as well as the original Pound Dogs blog, "One Bark At A Time" for showcasing this crazy love-bug. We can't imagine what our family and days would be like without her and look forward to many more years with our Little Bear.

8 Comments to “Update on Olivia”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Emily (and Fred) for the heart warming story and lovely photos of Olivia's perfect life with Emily and the family! And who wouldn't drool over those wonderful cakes! Nice to hear of people like Emily who rescued abandoned sick Maggie and with the help of TAS and Maggie's new owner were able to give Maggie the wonderful life she has now. And Bravo Emily for rescuing and giving a home to a "difficult" dog! Sounds as if with your teaching she is difficult no more!

  2. Anonymous says:

    God Bless you and your family!! Congratulations on the upcoming arrival. You are an angel!!

  3. Anonymous says:



  4. Anonymous says:

    She is truly a beauty and you and your husband are truly angels...God Bless you and your new little one! Huggs

  5. Joanne says:

    Let us not forget Abby that Emily gave a chance at a real home after a lifetime of neglect........ go Emily.

  6. I love the "forlorn Lab staring at food" pictures.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for making my day! Such a treat to read. And the photos are priceless. Gotta love a yellow labcuum.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Awww what a beauty! Thx to Emily for rescuing my Maggie also. I am her proud guardian and she has changed my life. Also note I have many Maggie pics just like these w food in the foreground and Maggie attentively waiting for it to drop lol. Oh labs.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.