The dog, and the photo, that started it all. Barley came from Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue in the Triangle area of North Carolina. He was found as a stray in Smithfield, NC, and NRGRR rescued him from the shelter. It took us about 10 seconds to fall in love with this scared, but loving sweet thing. He was terrified of cars, car rides, and many other things, but over time came out of his shell to become the perfect model for greeting cards. Barley loved his squeaky toys, roaming in the woods, rolling in smelly things, and above all – his food! We miss Barley every day, and hope to bring some of the joy he brought us to the rest of the world.
Jasper is our current in-house model and The King That Rules All Humans. He came from a young family that was not prepared to handle such a mischievous, energetic, overly affectionate and highly manipulative human trainer. He will steal anything from anybody, including the sock right off a baby’s foot. He demands daily tennis ball time, treat-hunting time, home made chewies, and long (but not too long) morning walks with never the same route two days in a row. He is our Little Monster and we love him with everything we have.
Otis was our very first dog as “grown-ups.” He came from Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue, and had been tied to a clothesline for years before being rescued. Otis was patient with us while we learned how to be good humans. Otis went almost everywhere with us – he loved to go canoeing, backpacking, car riding, and trips to Grand Dog Momma Jane and Daddy Dave’s house. He visited 12 state high points and Canada. He was an expert trail runner, muskrat hunter, water lover, poop roller, and squeaky toy destroyer. He helped us pick out our mountain property – declaring it The One by gleefully swimming in the creek in 18 degrees cold.
Silo & Nixx
Silo and Nixx are siblings that were rescued by Johnston County Animal Protection League. Says Mom Sarah: “In several years of our togetherness, their personalities continue to evolve and they always keep me on my toes. Silo, aka “Captain of Chaos”, started out being either 100% troublemaker or 100% sweet and cuddly. Fortunately, his trouble-making days seemed to have decreased but he still manages to remind me of that potential. His sister Nixx has undergone the biggest transformation. For a long time I needed to convince her on a daily basis that I was not the Boogeyman. She has now trained me on how, when and where and she wants her belly rubs and behind the ear scratches – I am almost ready to finally call her a cuddly cat!”
Willow is a terrier hound mix, and she came to us from Cause for Paws. Mom Jeanette says: “She loves to have “zoomies” around the yard, and playing with a select few dog pals who tolerate her love of wrestling and tumbling. With her big ears, she can hear the sound of a banana being peeled in the next room, or the particular clink of a knife on the cutting board. She will race into the kitchen and sit patiently at your feet waiting for a possible morsel to “accidentally” fall on the floor. She has a fondness for licking stinky feet and sweaty ears.”
Bones was hiding in a ditch in Johnston County, NC, where his Momma Dana found him. He had sarcoptic mange and was so skinny that he was named Bones (he also had a brother named Spock), but he was nursed back to health and ate like a king. He quickly became the life of the party – not only did he deliver beers, but his tail was always wagging and he happy whined A LOT, showing just how lucky he felt to be loved and cared for.
Woody was found in Johnston County, NC, running alongside the road. Auntie Dana swooped him up, and then he was adopted by Stephanie and Will. Woody is a Chihuahua – Cocker Spaniel mix but is 100% Chihuahua attitude! He is all about getting his humans to make sure he is always warm enough, very well fed, supplied with plenty of squirrels to chase, and otherwise completely spoiled.
Jack broke into the house, climbing the backyard fence three times and entering through the basement cat door, before his forever family finally said he could stay. He was MUCH smaller then! Once he had a steady source of food, he never looked back. Jack loved everyone, person and animal. He spent many years eating his folks out of house and home before crossing the rainbow bridge last year.
Casey Brown was found wandering in the North Carolina mountains and was rescued by Stephanie and Will. Casey was a connoisseur of fast food wrappers, carcasses, and anything marginally edible. She used her fine hound dog nose to locate the most disgusting substance within a 5 mile range. She was one of the few dogs that Otis liked, and she routinely charmed him out of his chew bones, simply by presenting her fine back side to distract him.
Dumpy was found in Carroll County Virginia, dumped out onto Daddy Wayne’s driveway. Her sweet disposition immediately stole everyone’s heart. She was her Daddy’s constant companion for several years, enjoying life in the mountains and entertaining all her friends, human and dog.
Wilbur & TacoCat
Identical twins? Not quite – Wilbur has swirlies on his sides and Taco has regular stripes.
Mom Kelly says: Wilbur wandered up our driveway one afternoon whining and looking pathetic. Nobody in the neighborhood claimed him, so we let him stick around. He prefers to stay outside unless it’s freezing.
TacoCat was living in a wood pile, probably surviving on toads or something. He was ridiculously loud, and we trapped him and brought him home. He is still very loud, usually right after lights out at night.
Mia, Dawson, & Zoya
Mia was rescued by NRGRR – there’s no Golden there, but she was a shoe-in regardless! Big fluff-balls Dawson and Zoya came through Blue Ridge Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue. Mom Lauren describes them:
- Dawson (L)- all floof no brains. Totally happy. Aka Goober.
- Zoya (R) – total genius, totally in charge, scared of wind.
- Mia – no idea how old, but she’s OLD. Since introducing the two floofies, she’s getting younger, peppier, happier. Nickname: Potato on Corgi legs, Mia Beans
Teller got his name because he was found as a tiny kitten outside a bank. He was starved and dehydrated and very sick. He recovered well in the JCAPL program and has been adopted to his forever home, where he has human and kitty siblings to share the love.
The Kitties of Twin Counties
Donovan, Tori, Little Bit, Pixie, Jeter and the rest were all rescue cats and kittens with the Twin County Humane Society in the mountains of southwest Virginia. In rural areas there is often a much greater supply than demand for rescue animals. So TCHS fosters cats and kittens into good health, then works with rescues in larger cities to transport the kitties to the big city where they are adopted to their new forever homes.
Vegas was found as a starving, lonely puppy in Goldsboro. JCAPL took him in from the county shelter, and his foster mom could not let him go. He loves his squeaky bones and stealing mom’s side of the bed. He likes his cat siblings, but he is afraid of their reactions to him sometimes. His picture here represents one of 3 things- I want to play fetch, I’m happy and I love you, I’m sorry for what I did and I love you.
Hannah came into rescue at 4 months old with a severe luxating patella (knee cap). She had surgery which put pins in her knee. It was “foster fate” and her foster family adopted her. Hannah has many nicknames now which describe her personality perfectly…. Hannah Banana, Sneaky Snake (she crawls on the ground on her belly), Dancing Girl (she did some freestyle dancing classes), Squirrel Hunter (she sits at the base of a tree watching the squirrel she just chased and won’t even come in for dinner), and Chocolate Covered Cherry Eye (she also had Cherry Eye at a young age).
Burton was found as a stray when he got hit by a car and taken to the ER vet with a broken leg. He spent a few months in foster care healing, and destroying Cones of Shame and leg splints. He’s a very active guy, having no idea that he had a broken leg. Burton has a good nose and can pick which cup holds a treat in his interactive toy. While he likes to fetch a tennis ball and run around, he also likes to snuggle up next to his person on the couch and nap. Burton found his forever home once the vet declared his leg healed!
Smurfy & Goofy
Smurfy (L) and Goofy (R) are Poodle/Chinese Crested Powder Puff brothers who came into rescue at 2 years old from a backyard breeder situation. They had not been socialized at all and would not let people near them. They had spent an additional 6 years in a sanctuary when Mom Jennifer brought them into her home to foster them, hoping they could learn to trust people enough to find a home. After much love and time, they both turned into loving trusting dogs that found their forever homes! These guys are proof of what patience and love can do!
Rosie came to JCAPL, along with her TWO litters of kittens, for what was supposed to be a temporary stay, but her owner abandoned them all to the rescue. All of her kittens found homes, and Rosie found the best adopter! Her life is so much better than it was before, and it all worked out for the best. From her new Mom: “Rosie is the queen of the house and she’s livin the life! Sweet girl with the typical calico attitude!”
Clifford was turned into a rural county shelter when he was 8 months old. He had severe luxating patellas and could not use his back legs. The humans weren’t sure if Clifford would even use his back legs after surgery, but he literally hit the ground running after! He was so excited to be able to use his legs. Mom Jennifer got tearful seeing him raise his leg to pee and digging in the dirt for the first time. Clifford went on to love agility classes! He also has a big heart, helping other fosters learn about life, and even alerting his Mom when Dad needed medical help!
Baby Ruth was rescued from a backyard breeder. When she first came home she wasn’t sure about how to use the steps to the house – but she figured out a way within a few days. She would stand on the top of the step and jump straight up into the air to go down one step. She also did this when going in or out of the doorway – jump up in the air, even though there was nothing to jump over! This is how she earned her nickname “Happy to Be Ruthie”. In her last years she struggled with kidney disease, but even until her last year, she would play with her brother Clifford.
Cookie was adopted from a German Shepherd Rescue. She was 4 months old and just over 1 lb. Cookie was delivered to me in a small parakeet cage. Although she was tiny, the German Shepherd in her came out because she has NO fear of anything! She walked across the threshold like she owned the world, and her attitude hasn’t changed in 14 years!