Wednesday, July 15, 2009

And they all lived happily ever after!


It was always a goal of mine to touch the lives of 1 person in my lifetime, but it never occurred to me that I could actually touch the lives of so many, although not human, in need.

Several years ago I stumbled onto the BRAT site and began poking around, viewing dogs and wondering if I should add a 2nd basenji to my menagerie of a female basenji and a male italian greyhound. I clicked on a dog posted in Indiana named Hunter. After only 1 glance at his sweet face I knew he was my forever child. After several months and a move to a new home, I brought him home. I knew then BRAT would always be a part of my life, I just had no idea the magnitude!

Hunter has brought us much joy, heartache, frustration, laughter and love - he's a basenji! I can't imagine our lives without him. After my first basenji, Bruni', and my IG, Chancey, passed away I once again turned to BRAT to fullfill a hole left by their loss in my heart, my home and my family. I had since adopted a non-basenji mix breed, but 2 dogs just wasn't enough. After a phone call and a few weeks of waiting, we brought home yet another basenji baby boy, Twister. He was a very young puppy who was as tiny as he could be. I fell in love all over again!

A few months later, David and I got married and our family was complete...or so I thought. I began slowly taking small volunteering opportunities with BRAT by helping with transports or an overnight stay here and there. We tried fostering once, but it was a literal disaster. I didn't think that would ever happen again. How wrong I was!

About a year and a half ago we bought another home and moved in order to get out of a city and into the country, and to accomodate my new venture of a small luxury boarding hotel for dogs - Pampered Pooch Resort. We, mostly Dave, worked from March to October to complete the build for a Nov. 1st opening. During the build we tried fostering again. It was WONDERFUL! We fostered 2 girls from the South Dakota group and it went swimmingly. They have a GREAT home and we gained a good friend, their adoptive mom. We knew at that point that we had to continue helping all the dogs we could to find a good home. Dave and I knew that by helping these dogs we'd also be helping others complete their families the way BRAT helped us complete ours.
We have, since that day in June 2008, helped many fosters, even groups of fosters, find new homes and get out of unhappy situations. We've helped old dogs, young dogs, girls, boys, and mixes. BUT, we've never done it alone. All the wonderful volunteers of BRAT have made it all possible. They've touched our lives in more ways that I ever thought possible. AND...we've made a lot of wonderful friends we consider "family". Yes, we see some situations with these wayward adoptees that unsettle even the most grounded of us, but we also see the new lives they end up with and the happiness THEY bring others. I believe my goal is fullfilled, but I will continue to strive to help each and every one of our wards find the best home possible so they can touch a life or two as well.



  1. It's great to hear Hunter and Twister's stories. I think I remember seeing photos of Bow with them when she was with you.

  2. Suzanne Sarlls-HartwellJuly 15, 2009 at 7:18 PM

    Yup...I had Sultan at that time as well. She was such a joy to have. She reminded me so much of my female, Bruni'. They even looked similar. She is a real sweetie and I'm so glad she has the perfect forever home!