Downeast Dog News

Happy Tails

By Susan Spisak | Oct 01, 2019
Photo by: Sabrina Beggs

Dog-lovers appreciate wonderful rescue and happily-ever-after stories. The dedicated animal shelters, humane societies, and rescue groups across the state have them in abundance. But not all are quick adoptions - some of the best take longer. In honor of the American Humane Association Adopt-a-Dog Month®, here are a few of those.

Stevanie Roy, Director of Operations at Augusta’s Kennebec Valley Humane Society (KVHS), said that senior pair Jack and Diane are a terrific example of waiting until the best pet parent came forward. They came to KVHS in August of 2018 – they’d been left in a cemetery with their leashes tied together. Laid-back Jack and toy-enthusiast Diane were healthy and seemed to have been well-cared for. KVHS staff tried to find their owners to no avail.

During their stay at KVHS, 7-year-old Diane proved to be the boss of their applesauce. She kept Jack grounded, decided their adventures, and was loyal to a fault. On the other hand, 10-year-old Jack let her have all his toys, watched for her when she went outdoors, and was happy for her return.

The staff joked about them being the “old married couple” and when they thought of ways to garner adoption attention for the duo, they chose to marry these soulmates this past February in the decorated education center at KVHS. Both dogs were stylishly attired and as Diane paraded down the aisle to meet Jack at the altar, his excitement took over and he met her halfway. After the ceremony, they celebrated with pizza - and the canine couple made off with pepperoni slices.

Their honeymoon days at KVHS seemed almost perfect…but while they had each other and the affection from staff, they lacked a human to call their own. Then the gods smiled on them. A gentleman reached out to KVHS and Old Dogs, New Digs as the nonprofits worked in tandem to find a home for these seniors. Turns out the dogs were an excellent fit. So, after ten-months at KVHS, these dogs got their “ever-after” this past June. Their dad reported that he’s spoiling them with homemade meals, treats, and toys (Diane likely has the lion’s share).

Tall Tails Beagle Rescue out of Freeport has a story that was 700 days in the making. The handsome Beagle mix named Toby came under the nonprofit’s wing in late 2017. He had past abuse history that made him shy and uncomfortable when meeting new people. This directly affected how potential adopters reacted to him.

A Tall Tail volunteer named Kathy fell for him immediately. Unfortunately, she had a pack of her own Beagles, so timing for an adoption wasn’t on Toby’s side. Instead, Kathy visited him at Tall Tails each week, sponsoring him by providing medical care, food, and donating in his name every month.

After Kathy and her partner lost one of their pack members, they decided to open their hearts to Toby. After a slow intro to their resident dogs, it was evident they were meant for each other. A Tall Tails rep said, “Toby really hit the jackpot, he couldn’t have found himself in a better situation, and we are all over the moon for this happy ending.”

In 2017 Heather Leander saw an online ad for Midcoast Humane’s Adoption Day. This New Hampshire resident drove to the Brunswick shelter where staffers said they had the “perfect dog” for her. Turns out it was a 5-year-old Golden, Lab, Pitt mix that had been relinquished by his new owner - he felt he was aggressive. “He’s the most mellow dog,” Heather said of the dog that had been with the nonprofit for almost nine months.

It was just getting him in the right home, and he fits her family to a T, 9-year-old daughter Maia and boyfriend, Army Sgt. Justin Kenney. Now named Sox, aka Soxxy, he has proven to be her saving grace. The “most amazing dog ever” has been trained as a full-service animal to address her CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) and detect her hypoglycemia. And he’s her emotional support dog, “He has gotten me through the darkest couple of years.”

As a therapy dog, Sox has shared his gentleness and powers of Zen with autistic children, veterans in area centers, and with the terminally ill at Boston Children's Hospital. He’s also remarkable with the family’s newly rescued Terrier-Pitt mix, Khleo (nicknamed “Wiggles” cause her body does just that when excited), who was adopted and returned three times to Midcoast Humane. She’s found her forever home, especially because Sox has decided she’s his bestie. “Her attachment to Sox makes my heart want to burst,” said Heather.

Jennifer Wilson took her 10-year-old son, Brady, to Midcoast Humane to just “pet the puppies.” Secretly, she wanted to adopt one at their March 2019 Puppy Palooza. It was love at first sight when they met an 8-week-old pup who they named Finley. She was tempted to adopt his sis but thought, “My husband will kill me.” They took the Hound mix home, told her husband Michael about the sibling, and he asked, “Why didn’t you get her, too?” She went back for Paisley.

“It felt like she’s supposed to be with us,” she laughed and added Paisley’s her yard digger. “She loves digging a hole.” The pretty girl is the alpha, even dominating their senior Puggle, Baxter. But Paisley has more than boss in her personality – she has a dramatic side. “I can totally see her being like an emotional teen.”

Finley appreciates gnawing on their drywall. Jennifer spends a small fortune buying bones to occupy him. He’s hilariously flighty, has not a care in the world, and has been known to fall off the couch when sleeping. Jennifer acknowledged they’re like toddler twins, laughingly she said she was “duped” thinking they’d be small dogs, but the family can’t imagine not having them in their lives.

While these Mississippi pups didn’t take long to get adopted once in Maine, they almost didn’t make it at all. The run was in danger of being cancelled because Midcoast’s Sprinter Van was on the fritz. Thanks in large part to the “Adventures of Columbo Super Pup” Facebook page run by that rescued dog’s mom, Andrea Shaw, his fans and Midcoast supporters – including Jennifer - raised monies to fix it, rescuing his litter and 70 other dogs on that southern run.

Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County in Thomaston has a great forever-after story in the making. Event Coordinator Kasey Bielecki says the 18-month-old dark brindle Mastiff mix named Pandora has been with them for over 230 days. Pandora was relinquished by her owner because she had separation anxiety. “She was back in the isolation kennels for a while because she needed to learn that people are good,” said Kasey. She’s made the turn, and they’re hoping to find a match. “She just needs the right person to understand her.”

Pandora’s doesn’t show well in a kennel environment, but once she’s on a walk with a volunteer or in the Community Room her personality shines. She’s gentle and kind, knows basic commands, likes car rides, and baths. She’s ok with some dogs but no felines and would do best in a home without children. Visit