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Happy Tails: Abby finds a home!

Updated: Aug 11, 2019


So the story of Abby, our 2nd foster at Barbells For Bullies HQ, is an emotional one. We went to Dekalb Animal Shelter to find our next foster after we got some alone time with our own two bullies after we got Kermit adopted. We looked around, and found a bunch that we liked. But ultimately, our pack had to come to a consensus.

The first one was Dusty: a rambunctious 2 year old pittie mix, with a beautiful brindle coat. He was at the shelter since just before Christmas. He had been in isolation, because another dog attacked him, which only added to his "Aww" factor - the fact that he had to spend all day in a crate not much bigger than his body. You wouldn't know it though. He was full of life, and loved meeting out pups. Candidate #1.

Then we introduced our pack to Goober - a big and bold American Bulldog mix. He, however, was too alpha for our pack, and immediately tried to dominate our male, Slater. Nope, not going to work, especially since he was 80lbs and still intact. If he wanted to go, not much would stop him.

Then we met Abby - at the time she was named Asta. She had been at the shelter the longest - since Thanksgiving! She was a stray picked up locally, obviously had a litter or two, and a little on the heavy side. She got along great with our dogs. Our alpha and female Moxy, who is usually indifferent to other dogs, took a shine to her. They were licking each other's faces, and she was grooming the both of them. Her mama instincts stuck with her.

And that's all we needed to see. She was getting sprung. We filled out the paperwork, did the home visit, and July 4th weekend, Abby declared her independence from the shelter.

She wasn't out of the woods yet though, she was heartworm positive. But you wouldn't know it. She had some pep in her step, and was immensely grateful to be out of the shelter.


She fell in immediately with our own little pack, without incident. We were leery, as we always are, about introducing a new dog to the house. Some can be possessive, others food aggressive, but not Ms. Flabby Abby (she had some weight to lose). She was great with our dogs, and played just rough enough for Slater to be happy, but was totally fine snuggling on the couch with her new brother and sister.


She was honestly an inch from being a foster failure. A cute loving pup with a squirrely tongue, she trimmed down to a svelte 35lbs or so, and had a lustrous coat to match her delightful disposition. I still to this day for the life of me can't understand how she spent 8 months in the shelter. She was and is such an amazing pup.

My point is this: anybody who wants to make a difference, you can.

All you need to do is try. Go down to your local shelter.

Ask to see their "urgent dogs," the ones that everyone seemed to pass up. The ones that have been there for months and months. Foster them. Adopt one. You can save a life.

Even just show up every week and take them for a walk.

They, like Abby, will repay your kindness in spades.

And they will teach you something we can all learn from: It doesn't matter what happened to you yesterday, it's behind you.

Be present, and be happy for today.

And Abby, she was happy.

Despite her being on doxycycline for a month to kill the female heartworms, and despite her needing to get injections, she was happy.

She snuggled with Moxy. She ran with Slater, and she forgot about the 8 long months she spent in a loud, crowded shelter.

And for her patience, she was rewarded. She spent 8 months in a shelter, she spent nearly 2 with us before she got adopted - thanks to the wonderful people at Doggie Harmony.

A wonderful family in New England adopted her, and below is a blurb from her new mama.

"Abby arrived in Maine on September 10th after a long journey north from Atlanta. I keep telling folks that it's like the Underground Railroad the way they manage to rescue unwanted pets from the south and then transport them north. But it couldn't happen without the care and devotion and endless hours of all the wonderful volunteers along the way. Abby came to us via Alpha Dog Rescue out of Lebanon, Maine. They listed Abby on Petfinder.com after a wonderful young couple based in Atlanta pulled her from the local county Animal Services shelter because she had been there the longest (since last Thanksgiving). Alex and Lindsay fostered her until my husband and I applied to adopt her. They made sure she got treated for heartworms (she had tested positive) plus they were super helpful in letting us know all about her personality and how she would get along with our first 'fur kid', an 18-pound Chihuahua mix rescue. We are learning all about pit mixes and how to make them ambassadors for the breed. Abby gives the best kisses and is just a mush. She plays hard, just like our Tate does, but never hurts Tate. We are so happy to have her in our life!"

Check out Abby with her new family below. If you are thinking about fostering, stop thinking. Go to the shelter or rescue near you and meet some pups. They will love you forever.

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