It was a hot July day and Kelly McDuffie and Danny Hartung couldn't decide which trail to hike. They were in the Blue Ridge Mountains right in the middle of Shenandoah National Park, so they had plenty of options. McDuffie suggested a waterfall hike but Hartung wanted to check out Little Stony Man Loop, considered one of the best hikes in the park. McDuffie agreed so off they went.
A couple of miles in, the scenery was great but McDuffie joked about how hot it was.
"I had said, 'Oh, I wish we had some water to wet our bandanas to cool off,' kind of being sarcastic because I had wanted the waterfall hike," McDuffie said.
Moments later, almost on cue, they heard the unmistakable burbling of water just off the trail. They found a small spring about 15 feet off the trail. And just beyond the spring, Hartung spotted a blackberry bush with some ripe berries waiting for him. He made his way to the berries.
"There's a dog back here!" he said.
They both knew it must be Max. Max is an older Golden Retriever who had been missing since the Fourth of July, 11 days earlier. They had seen missing dog posters at the nearby resort.
"I was thrilled to have found him" Hartung recalled, but "he growled as we both tried to talk to him and get close".
They slowly inched towards him, soothing him and offering him their food. Soon they were petting him and assumed that they would lead him back out, down the trail. But Max wasn't moving and didn't want to get up. He was far too weak.
They realized they were going to need help to get him out and decided to call the park ranger. But they didn't have any cell coverage. With some strategic climbing, they were eventually able to get a connection. The rangers arrived with a stretcher and Max was carried out.
Max's family was contacted and elated at the news. They arrived to meet the rescue team and rush Max to the vet. Luckily, he had no major injuries but he had lost a lot of weight and was very weak. It's hard to say how much longer he would have survived out there, but that doesn't matter now thanks to a few, seemingly random choices two strangers made that day.
Way to go Kelly and Danny!
"Everything just fell into place that day...the stars aligned," McDuffie said.
Loving The Pets That Get Overlooked
It's hard not to notice how cute puppies and kittens are. At any shelter, they are the first to be adopted to forever homes.
But then there's the other end of the scale. Unfortunately, every shelter also has pets whose odds of finding a home is almost zero. They tend to be older, maybe with health problems or maybe an odd scar or a missing eye. It's no doubt crushing for shelter workers to see past the outward appearance and get to know them as loving pets that will likely never again be part of a family.
It's within that context that the story of a woman's recent visit to the Asheville (NC) Humane Society was such a memorable, heartwarming event.
“Leslie walked through our front doors and said, ‘Which two dogs have been here the longest, with the most special needs? I’m here to take them both home with me,’ ” the shelter wrote in a Facebook post
They introduced her to Sam and Brutus. She quietly explained to the two dogs that they would now have a forever home and a family to love them forever.
"There wasn't a dry eye in sight as staff, board members and volunteers gathered to say a bittersweet goodbye to two of our favorite furry friends!" they wrote in their Facebook post.
As she left with Sam and Brutus, both senior dogs with severe issues who had been at the shelter for months, many of the staff walked out with her to say goodbye. It was such a momentous occasion for the Humane Society, that they shot video of the two lucky boys being loaded up for the drive to their new home.
Leslie is a very special woman who knows exactly what she is doing. She estimates that she's adopted 40 to 50 senior dogs. After the recent passing of some of their pets, she mentioned to her daughters that she was thinking about visiting the shelter. One of Leslie's daughters asked her not to; the constant pain of losing pets was just too hard.
"Sweetheart, we gave them the best years of their life. And it leaves room for somebody else who needs us more right now," she explained.
That's a perspective we should all adopt.
Shortly after this visit, Leslie returned to adopt 13-year-old Lily.
New at the Factory
For years, our rivet-on tags have been very popular. And for good reason- they're attractive, silent, easy to read and hold up on active dogs. Until now, we've only had them in medium size, perfect on 5/8" wide collars and even good on 1" collars.
Well now, we're proud to add small and large rivet-on tags. Now, our smaller clients can enjoy the benefits of our rivet-on tag. Large collars now get a rivet-on tag that fits perfectly. Choose one for your collar or choose one of our collars and have us put the whole package together for you.
The Secret Meeting
Someone forgot to close the garage door and this is what they found on their security camera.
Tucker the Golden meets his mom's scrubber. Check out his YouTube channel for more.
Cute Pets from the internets...
Use code 819 when you check out on our website or you may call 1-800-543-TAGS and mention the coupon code; one of our happy, helpful customer service representatives will gladly give you the discount.
Please tell your friends about us by forwarding this email and offer.
Would you like to update your pet name for emails? Please let us know