Paw Journal

Nolan, Chelsea, Champ, Hulk and @dendogs


I have four dogs.  Three of them are “foster fails” from local rescues.  We had Nolan (our younger lab) for about four years when my husband and I became foster parents.  We have had 13 fosters.  Dogs and kittens.  Chelsea (the Chihuahua mix) came to us as a foster from our local ACPS at just 5 weeks old.  Her mother had stopped nursing the litter.  Chelsea and her sisters needed people to step in.  Of course, we fell in love and made the decision to adopt her ourselves.  A few months later the same shelter was preparing for a Mega Adoption Event and they were, again, needing fosters.  I went to the shelter after work to take in a foster.  They told me to go back and pick anyone.  I thought it would be tough to choose.  It wasn’t.  The second I saw Champ (our older lab) I knew he was coming home with me.  The shelter estimated him to be 11 years old.  We fully intended that he would go to the adoption event but he fit so seamlessly into our family.  Given his age, his health and that he was heartworm positive, we decided that he had found his forever how with us and we adopted him.  We thought our family was complete but we continued to foster.  That is how we came to have Hulk (American Staffordshire).  Hulk was, again, at our local ACPS.  He went into their TAILS (Teaching Animals and Inmates Life Skills) program for eight weeks.  He was taught basic obedience commands while living at a local correctional facility.  At the end of the program, Hulk hadn’t been adopted yet so he was picked up by a rescue group that we work with, Pitsisters.  They emailed me about him along with a picture and I said “when can I get him?”.  Let me tell you, when I walked out of my front door to meet Hulk for the first time, I saw him and his giant head and thought “what did I just get myself into?”.  What I got myself into was the most affectionate, cuddly, squishy faced dog that I have ever owned!  Hulk is unlike any other dog that I have ever owned.  Everyone that meets him loves him.  He makes me smile every day.  He has opened my eyes up to the stereotyping and prejudice “pit bulls” and their owners face.  I look around my house and sometimes think “how did I end up with four dogs?”.  Then I think, “how did I ever live without them?”.  Each one of my dogs are unique.  Each has their own story but they all end the same.  Spoiled, happy, loved, living the life they should have had all along.



Rescue.  Foster.  Adopt.


Amanda DenBleyker

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