Reader Rescue Stories: Cali, Toby and Abby

We’re celebrating Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month by starting off October with two rescue stories about three dogs. Each were abandoned, but all three were meant for better, more loving homes with humans that truly appreciated them. We hope you enjoy reading their stories as much as we did.

If you’re the pet parent of a rescued dog, we want to share your story, too. You just might inspire someone else to save a life! For information about submitting your rescue tale, click here.

The Road to Cali
By Ted Burner

Cali is a mixed-breed dog I rescued from a shelter. She had been picked up by animal control along the side of a highway where she appeared to have been dumped by her previous owners.

I visited her at the shelter with my daughter and our dog, Tess. She immediately wagged her tail when we met, and came right to us, as if she knew instinctively that we were prepared to offer her a safe, loving home.

Something that drew me to Cali was the fact that she looks like Benji, an animal actor I loved as a kid. We adopted her within an hour of meeting her, and she willingly drove home with us. She sat on my daughters lap looking out the window the whole way home.

She loves people, cats and our other dog. We even took her to visit my mother, who is battling cancer. Cali jumped on the couch with her and laid her head on my mothers arm. She is so well behaved and relaxed in her forever home.

Every Dog Deserves a Chance to be Loved
By Melanie Dark

My German Shepherd (who came to live with me as a puppy a few months after the death of my youngest son, and the beginning of a divorce), was getting really sick and I thought I might find him a pal in his final days.

I found Toby (on the left) in a Free to good home ad on Craigslist. The lady, who had adopted him from the Butler County Humane Society (he was turned in as a stray puppy found on the road), had to leave the state for her job, and was having trouble finding a pet-friendly home. Toby kissed me as soon as he met me, which his then-owner found strange.

For about the first six months, Toby hated being in the car, but finally accepted it and now looks forward to car rides. Hes very sweet, but doesnt like crowds of humans.

Abby (on the right) was found roaming in Lawrence County, Pa. She was roughly 1-and-a-half years old, and was shipped to the humane society there. She was not a breed that could make you feel threatened like these dog breeds.

The lady who had found her was concerned because Abby was so wild that there was talk of euthanizing her if the humane society couldn’t properly test her. I took one look at those big amber eyes and fell in love. I knew that I had to take the chance.

Lawrence County is a two-hour drive one way, and I made the trip three times before she could come home (not happily), with us.

She soon accepted me, and doesnt torment Toby nearly as much now as she did two years ago. Abby doesnt like new things (much like my rescue pony), but were hoping to be able to work on that in the near future.

I still miss my German Shepherd, but I am awfully glad to have these two furkids sharing my life!

Read a related rescue story here.

Reader Rescue Story: Dusty and Shelby

After their home was broken into, the Maule family realized they needed the kind of peace of mind that you can only get from a rescue dog, or rather two dogs, in this case. After searching for the perfect pair, they came across Dusty and Shelby, and rescued them. We hope you enjoy reading their story as much as we did.

If you’re the pet parent of a rescued dog, we want to share your story, too. You just might inspire someone else to save a life! For information about submitting your rescue tale, click here.

How We Got Our Guardian Angels

By John Dickinson

In December 2010, our residence was broken into. We had no dogs at the time because my parents were not ready for another dog since the passing of our Great Dane in January 2009. The next month, my parents decided to go to the animal shelter and look at some dogs to join our family and help us keep an eye on the property.

We saw many dogs before we came across a Golden Retriever and a long-haired, black-and-brown dog that captured our attention. We got to meet them and see how well they did together. That day, Shelby the Golden Retriever and Dusty the Lab-Chow Chow mix, came to live with us and be part of our pack.

The shelter said Shelby was three and Dusty was six, but we think they switched the ages around. Shelby turned out to be an excellent play-pal and barking dog. Dusty was timid of everything at first, especially vehicles and new people. She finally started to come around and joined Shelby in barking at the trash truck.

About one year after we adopted them, Dusty had a litter of puppies, which surprised us all. She had three,but none of them ever showed any kind of hostility. The two that lived grew up to be strong, healthy puppies, and it killed me when we had to rehome them.

While Dusty was nursing the puppies, we noticed a baseball-sized tumor on one of her mammary glands. We had it removed when we got her spayed, and thought nothing more of it.

However, we believe Dusty had a stroke in July. We took her to the vet and had them give her a steroid shot. We took her home and shaved her, so she would be a little bit cooler. Unfortunately our efforts were in vain. Three days later, Dusty had passed away.

I may have only known Dusty for a little more than two years, but she was one of the best dogs I had. Shelby is still alive and going strong, but she is graying more and more each day. Its like she knows her best friend is gone.

All I can say for Dusty is at least she died knowing she was loved, instead of in a cage because she wasnt wanted, or on the streets. She lived a good life and I cannot wait until we meet again.

10 Dog Breeds That Could Raise Your Homeowners Insurance Rates

Your dog is your best friend, and a member of your family. But in the eyes of insurance companies, hes also a potential liability. Most people think their dog would never hurt anyone but if he did, you could be held liable. In fact, ABC News reports that U.S. insurance companies paid out $489 million in 2012 on dog-bite claims alone.

What does this mean for you as a dog parent? Unfortunately, it means that your homeowners insurance company is very interested your dog.

Insurance companies keep a list of dog breeds that they believe are likely to be involved in a costly incident. If your dogs breed makes the list, you might have to pay higher premiums on your policy. Depending on the insurance company, you might even be denied coverage altogether.

Top 10 Dangerous Dogs

While many cities and states are repealing dangerous dog laws based on breed (also known as breed-specific legislation) due to a lack of evidence to support them, the insurance industry tends to assess dog breeds by their strength and temperament, which they feel are indicative of potentially high-cost insurance claims.

Here are the top 10 dog breeds most likely to be singled out in homeowners insurance policies:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Pit Bull
  • Presa Canario
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

What Should Dog Owners Do?

Since most dog owners know that, as i Love Dogs reports, a dog’s owner, environment and training have been proven to have a greater influence on his behavior than whatever breed he happens to be, the insurance industrys approach to assessing homeowners with dogs can be very frustrating.

Many dogs of the above-listed breeds live their whole lives without biting anyone and many dogs that do bite are of breeds that are not on the list. As such, many pet parents are upset to learn that insurance companies single out their dog simply because of its breed. Paying higher insurance premiums for what seems like an unfounded reason is no fun, either.

So if you own one of these dogs, what should you do? Here’s what the American Kennel Club recommends:

  • Contact your dog’s national breed club and ask them to recommend an insurance company.
  • Build a wireless dog fence and try to keep your dog inside that zone.
  • Show that your dog has completed an obedience training program.
  • Shop around talk to more than one insurance agent before you buy.

You might also want to consider an umbrella policy. If an issue arises for which you are found liable, an umbrella policy will provide you with more protection than a regular homeowners policy.

If you’re already the proud owner of one these breeds, remember that premiums can be dramatically different from one company to another. Ask around, and get quotes from several insurance agents to find the policy thats right for you and your dog.


Disclosure: This is a post written by David Levitt on behalf of BuyPetInsurance. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily indicative of the opinions or positions of BuyPetInsurance or i Love Dogs.