Alumni Stories

Grateful Dogs Rescue Featured Adoption Story

Lulu’s Inspiring Alumni Story

Yes, love at first sight does exist! I entertained the idea of adopting a dog for quite a while when I stumbled upon Lulu’s profile on the Grateful Dogs Rescue website.

Lulu is a Chihuahua/Toy Fox Terrier Mix and about 6 years old. Judging from Lulu’s photos, I could see that she must have gone through a lot in the past few months. When I met Lulu and her then foster parent at a park in SOMA here in SF, Lulu appeared to be quite cheerful though. She was running off leash, playing with after dogs and enjoying the soft grass. I brought some treats and in exchange she allowed me to hold and pet her. I learned that Lulu does not like to drive in a car. In fact, her anxiety is so high that she would literally try to escape if she had a chance. I wondered if her issue would prevent me from taking my canine friend along for hikes and other outdoor activities in the Bay Area. Given that I never had a dog before, I asked GDR volunteers for advice. I was told that I would have a good chance to help overcome Lulu’s anxiety issue with training, positive reinforcement and lots of love. However, they also made clear to me that some dogs will never enjoy driving in a car. However, I couldn’t stop thinking of sweet little Lulu and therefore, I decided to give us a chance. She adapted to her new surroundings very quickly. However, given that she changed homes three times in the past 12 months and experienced a few desperate weeks in a shelter, I was not surprised that gaining Lulu’s trust took some time.
Lulu is with me almost 5 months now and I do not want to miss her in my life. She is brave and determined to protect me, her Mommy, at all times. She also likes to cuddle and rest in the sun.
*BTW, Lulu is much better riding in a car by now and she has already enjoyed some fun hikes with me in Marin County.  
The GDR team is amazing! Special thanks go to Maria, Colleen and Kim. Please continue your wonderful work.


Last year my Cattle Dog Rocky, my constant companion of 13 years, was slowing down and I knew his time was growing short. I started checking rescue sites to see if I could find another Cattle Dog or Cattle Dog Mix to help heal my aching heart. I needed a dog that would be good with cats since, in addition to Rocky and Princess Puppy, I also had Princess Kitty. Your volunteer suggested that I meet Amber.  I really wanted another male, but Amber looked so sweet that we arranged a meeting. Needless to say, I adopted her the same day I met her.

Amber is so sweet and mellow and never leaves my side. She was found wandering the streets and was turned in to the San Francisco Shelter. She is so well trained and has such a lovely disposition; you couldn’t ask for a better dog. Everyone that sees her mentions how good looking she is and asks what breed she is. She does look like she could have Pit in her, but a DNA test says she is predominately Chinese Shar-Pei Mix crossed with American Bulldog. Also, Lhasa Apso, Black and Tan Coonhound, Boxer, White Swiss Shepherd and Miniature Poodle!

I lost Rocky in May. With the help of my vet, he went to sleep on his bed on the backyard deck which he loved. Even now as I’m writing this it makes me very sad. I thought I was fine with my other three pets, but in June I contacted GDR to ask if you had a male Cattle Dog, and was told about a puppy in Bakersfield that needed a home.

The rescue network is AMAZING!!!!!! Smokie had a very bad accident when he was 3 months old, when his owner ran over his right hind leg. They couldn’t afford vet care so it mended by itself, but it is about ½ inch shorter than his other legs. His owners were going to take him to a high-kill shelter, but a rescue worker who knew the family sent out an SOS for help. During the 3-stage transport process the poor baby somehow got his foot caught in the tailgate of the truck while being transferred and started screaming; they had to give him medication to calm him down for the rest of the trip. I’m the lucky person that got to foster Smokie for GDR. When he arrived here he was terrified, and it took him quite a while to warm up to us.  During the 2 months that I fostered Smokie before adopting him, he was examined by a vet and had X-rays taken of his bad leg.  We decided that, since he wasn’t in pain, it didn’t need to be amputated as previously thought.

Smokie is an absolute love. He, Amber, and Princess Puppy are always near me. When I’m sitting on the couch he is on the floor with his head on my feet, with Amber either on the floor next to him or with me on the couch and Princess Puppy on the other couch. She let Smokie know right away that she is the alpha in the house. I have a feeling that Smokie was left outside to fend for himself and was only given love when he was fed. He was very head shy at first but he’s fine now and only gets nervous with new people; we’re working on that. Rocky was a kisser but Amber is not. Smokie takes after Rocky, and my face gets washed daily with puppy kisses. He also is constantly grooming Amber like wild cats.

Thanks to Grateful Dogs Rescue for the two wonderful additions to my family.  Thanks also for all the vet visits you so graciously took care of to get Smokie up to code. Life is so much better when you have four legged friends!