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While associated with MARS for two years, I fostered 1 cat and 22 dogs. Riley was the worst. He was called Tobey back then – a 2-year old Norwegian Elkhound. He was such a naughty boy, who bounced around between caretakers who quickly grew intolerant of his antics. He came to my house because I had a reputation of taking difficult dogs. I had no kids or other pets to distract from the rehabilitation process. Riley had been rejected by no less than 5 residences/facilities before he got to me. He chewed stuff, chased cats, barked, jumped up on people, ran away, got into dog fights, dug holes, pulled on the leash, etc. Add to that his brute strength and uncooperativeness and he was simply unbearable. Within a week, I looked into his eyes and he returned the favor with a gaze that seemed almost human, that I realized that he was going to stay with me forever. It took time, but he became a great dog. He was gentle with people, kids, dogs and cats…he didn’t chew, bark, chase, pull or fight. He did still run out of the yard whenever he had the chance, but would always come home 20 minutes later, huffing and puffing. Riley gave great hugs (by that I mean that he let me hug him) and would have made a terrific support animal if given the job. He would stand still and “brace” to help an older person get out of their chair. The kids in our family adored him and he would let them climb all over him. He was easy to take on a walk or a trip to the lake. He preferred to wade in the water, but didn’t swim. Riley made sure that the critters and the deer knew that he had the area covered. He was also (thankfully) a great mouser. He made a good snuggle buddy, although he was over 70 pounds. And he never failed to greet me at the door with a smile and a wag – hanging on my every word. During the 10 years I was lucky enough to share my life with him, he still made a habit of gazing into my eyes. He died of cancer at age 12 – I miss him every day. Katie T.
Skipper enjoyed his TV which for him was looking out the big window in our living room and watching everything go by our house; and if there was a dog or human passing by he would bark at it. Skipper loved chewing on his bones and dental treats, and whenever he knew he was about to get one his eyes would get all big, which allowed for the whites of his eyes to become visible. Skipper enjoyed getting his exercise like long walks, playing fetch with his green or yellow ball, and chasing squirrels, rabbits or geese. Skipper loved to lick toast and egg crumbs off of plates on Saturday mornings. Skipper liked to observe what went on in the kitchen whenever mom was making salmon or anything with chicken in it, and did so in a polite way. Skipper also loved to sit next to his dad and fall asleep while listening to him play classical guitar. Skipper is missed by all that knew him, may he rest in peace. I hope to see you again, you are the best friend anyone could ask for. Rest in peace..
We said goodbye to our best friend Henry this past Sunday. I know everyone says that their dog is the best, but Henry truly was the best of dogs. He was gentle, and patient, and so so smart. He loved to play tug of war and go for runs and long walks and to sit in the sunshine and watch the world go by. Car rides made him so happy. So did soft serve ice cream and cheese and belly rubs. He hated thunderstorms and cardboard boxes and the sound of crowd noise during sporting events on tv. He’d race around the dog park trying to herd all of the other dogs and would always pick up the pace on our walks if a jogger passed us, because he had to be in the lead. Sometimes he’d get in a fight with the coffee table just because, and it was never really clear who won. Henry loved people, and he stole the heard of every human he met. It was impossible not to be charmed by his big brown eyes. We are so grateful that we found Henry through MARS. His profile is still online from when we adopted him: https://www.midwestanimalrescue.org/animals/detail?AnimalID=947714 . He was 14 and a half when we said goodbye, and we know how lucky we are to have gotten to spend so much time with him. He made every single day that he was in our lives better. Still, we thought we had so much more time. The end came really quickly, and it was hard to watch our playful, alert, and happy dog’s body fail him so suddenly. We are absolutely heartbroken and our home feels empty and wrong without him. There’s not much about the past year that has been good, but we are thankful that we were able to spend literally every one of those days with Henry. We were able to give him extra time to chase squirrels and roll in the grass and play in the fresh snow. We will treasure those extra hours forever. Goodbye, Henry Bear. We love you so much. Joe and Stephanie
He was the sweetest, most gentle dog we've ever had. When we first brought him home, we were advised he did not pass his "cat test" however, I feel that deep down he wanted to be a cat given his love of kitty cat toys. He loved to find his place on one of our boys' beds or curled up on the couch only taking up his one cushion...for a dog of his stature, this was quite impressive! He had the quirkiest head tilt when he'd hear the words, "want to go for a...." or "cookie", loved to come wake us up in the morning with his silly growls, groans and sniffs and had a tendency to scare anyone with his bark albeit he was nothing more than a cupcake in a big German Shepherd body. Then his eyes got milkier, he could no longer hear when we called him and his hips started to sag until his body just finally gave out. Id like to think he persevered because he had life left but being the noble one, we know he persevered only for us. We had to let Jax go on July 9th and it wasn’t at all easy for us but it was what he and his frail body needed. Many kind thanks to MARS and all the folks who find homes for these loving animals. I'm a firm believer that rescues are the best and when the time is right, we plan to make another visit to help give another dog they're forever home. Blessings, Tracy, Steve, Reece and Nick Hawkenson
Buck aka Prince
My four-legged best friend crossed the bridge. He suffered from degenerative myelopathy -- degeneration of the spine. I bring his boxed ashes outside where he used to lay and in the bedroom at night where he laid down to sleep. He was an unusually active dog, living his walks every day and throughout the winter months. He was kinda crazy too. Dennis and I are going to miss him so much after having him for so long. He was 12. We knew it was his time so we made that dreaded decision to let him go. He left this world peacefully. -- *Mary and Dennis Abel*
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