Videographer and animal lover Dävid La Rosa joined us recently for our Tails of the Trail hike with Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control. The result was this charming video that tells the story of us hiking with over 30 shelter dogs that morning.
Amy Eskind and Micah Schulman from The Nashville Banner paid us a visit during our hike with Metro Animal Care and Control and gave us some great coverage.
One of the first things I said when I saw the precious pooch named Minnie Pearl was, “HowDEE!”
Minnie looked so forlorn lying in her pen, what with her misshapen, cropped ears. This girl, I thought, deserves something more akin to country music star treatment! I gently coaxed her out of her pen at Metro Animal Care and Control and took her for a walk outside. Minnie Pearl — so sweet and gentle — just wanted to cuddle; she wouldn’t even leave my side. As I returned Ms. Pearl back to her pen, adoption hours had just begun. At that moment, I resigned myself to finding Minnie a loving home.
Minutes later, I met a lovely woman and her two young daughters who had come to the shelter to look at Grandpa, a much older bulldog/pit bull mix. She already had two younger, rowdier dogs at home and wanted an older, mellower dog to join them. As luck would have it, I had taken Grandpa out for a walk minutes earlier. Not the mellow dog at all, Grandpa was a rather feisty fella which behaved younger than his years. I told her of my experience with Grandpa, thinking all along that Minnie — not Grandpa — was the dog she perhaps ought to be considering. I explained to her that although Minnie was only a couple of years old, she was very gentle and loving… perhaps just the dog to help temper the rambunctious behavior of the woman’s other two.
When the family passed by the pen a second time, Minnie seemed to look longingly at the family with sadness in her eyes — or, just maybe, the perceived sadness was my own pity for the precious canine. At that point I introduced the family to Minnie, hoping that the metal barrier between them would soon be but a memory.
I finished my shift and headed for the front lobby, where I was thrilled to see the family filling out the form to officially meet and greet Minnie. I struggled to contain my excitement and let them know I hoped they would find Minnie to be the one. At soul level, I was extremely hopeful this was Minnie’s lucky day — the day she’d find a home with a loving family. Could my words of encouragement actually save a canine life today, or would they return home empty handed? Could my simple actions possibly serve as catalyst for a loving relationship between a doomed shelter pup and searching family? Would this be a random act of kindness with results?
A couple of days later, Metro Animal Control posted a beautiful picture of Minnie Pearl going home with her new family. The joy I felt at that moment was indescribable! Because of the small amount of time taken to understand a family’s needs, I had actually saved Minnie! And if I can do it, anyone can!
Minnie Pearl now goes by the name of Ruby. A recent video sent by her new family shows Ruby frolicking in the snow with her two new four-legged siblings. It doesn’t get better than that for a true dog lover! I encourage everyone who loves animals to take the time to volunteer at a local animal shelter or dog rescue operation and see how satisfying the experience can be… especially when you know you are instrumental in creating a new and lasting relationship between man and man’s best friend.
Bless your new loving family, canine and human alike!
Forever homes a bit easier for a dozen dogs thanks to unique Christmas gift – Update! All dogs adopted!
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Update! All dogs adopted!
A dozen shelter dogs in Nashville are closer to finding forever homes thanks to a family Christmas gift. Instead of the typical gift card or mall trinket, Tails of the Trail pack leader Emily Raudabaugh chose to sponsor the adoption fees for a dozen shelter dogs at Metropolitan Nashville Animal Care & Control (MACC) as her gift to her family this year.
“These homeless dogs stole my heart after volunteering at Metro with Tails of the Trail and they need forever homes.”
Any of these pups can be matched to a forever family and the usual adoption fees will be waived thanks to Emily.
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Bernice Karnett, a physician and volunteer staff member with Tails of the Trail, shares her recent post-hike experience with Baxter (a.k.a. Joey), a dog hidden in the back corners…
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On December 12, 2015, Tails of the Trail hosted a shelter dog hike at Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control (MACC). After helping to bring out several dogs to partner up with their companion hikers from Belmont University, I went to the back room and saw this sad boy in his pen. I knew I just had to take him outside. It was a beautiful sunny day and when I showed him to Lisa Thomas, co-founder of TOTT, I told her he had no name on his kennel. It’s probable he was a recent street pickup. We decided to call him “Joey.” He was sweet, affectionate and oh-so docile. He had a lot of scrapes, especially on his face, no doubt from being a stray and was bone thin, but still he wagged his tail in friendship, all the while shivering in fear.
That day after I left the shelter I couldn’t stop thinking about Joey. I knew then that I would return the following weekend to MACC and volunteer to walk the pups; I just had to see him again.
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Upon my arrival I made a bee line to his cage. My heart melted as soon as I saw him. Not only was he wagging his tail in excitement–I think he remembered me–but his whole body was in full action. This time the tag on his kennel had a name, Baxter.
So out Baxter and I went into the play yard where we spent a wonderful time cuddling and enjoying the fresh air. I couldn’t help but bring him a special treat, a piece of baked chicken. After all, he needed a little meat on his skin and bones. My initial thoughts were that he would quickly devour the meal and my hand, but I was so wrong. He very slowly and gently ate each morsel with such delight!
Now I confirmed in my heart that I had to help sweet Baxter any way possible. I was on a mission to save this wonderful pup!
As luck would have it, when I entered the waiting room of MACC, there were several people inside and I started talking to and introducing them to Baxter. I described this wonderful sweet boy and everyone became excited to meet him. In fact, one couple had specifically come to MACC to look for a cat but they ultimately decided to spend some time with Baxter, my sweet dog, in the socializing room.
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I spent the rest of the weekend thinking about Baxter. Was he lonely and waiting for my return visit? Was it possible that someone would fall in love with him just as I had done? I could only hope so.
Upon returning to work on Monday I immediately logged onto the MACC website to check the status of adoptable dogs. To my amazement, there was no Baxter listed. As I started to cry, my nurse walked into the room. I told her the story of Baxter, while tears ran down my face. They were tears of JOY! Baxter had found a forever home just in time to celebrate the holidays and I was forever grateful. For me and Baxter, this was truly the best Christmas present ever!
I believe everyone should spend their free time loving an orphaned pup. And who knows what miracles may happen. I feel like my few hours with Baxter helped calm him, helped him feel loved, and hopefully made him a better fit for his forever family!
‘tis the Season!
Heather Dowdy features Tails of the Trail™ in the December 2015 / January 2016 holiday issue of Nashville Paw magazine. The article includes paw-tography by our own Reiner Venegas.
Nashville Paw has been supporting animal rescue and welfare since 2006.
See the online version of the article here.
Find where to pick up a print issue in Middle Tennessee here.