Saturday, July 7, 2012

bonaparte's retreat on the today show

A love for animals clearly runs in my family. My mother grew up on a dairy farm and imparted a love for animals and respect for nature on my brother and me. For years we begged for a pet of our own - Steve wanted a cat, I wanted a dog. We went through goldfish, turtles, guinea pigs, chameleons, and love birds until I finally scored a puppy at age 13. Leo the Dachshund was the love of our lives.

As an adult, I couldn't wait to get a dog of my own. Throughout my twenties I lived in an apartment that forbade pets. But once Larry and I bought our house, adopting a pup was the first thing on my agenda. I knew it would be a rescue dog. There are so many homeless dogs in animal shelters and rescue groups throughout the country. Both Gravy and Banjo were adopted through rescue groups - Gravy through Greyt Expectations Greyhound Rescue which pulls retired greyhounds from racetracks and Banjo through Lost Dog which pulls dogs from high-kill shelters. While I can't claim that we 'saved' either dog (the rescue groups did that!), adopting our pups through rescue groups opened up a spot for the organizations to pull another at-risk dog from a shelter and save it from euthanasia. The fact that my dogs may have been next on the list brings me to tears. They are the best thing that ever happened to us.

And it runs in the family. My cousin started a rescue group of her own - with kennels in her own backyard and adoption events in her own front yard. The organization - Bonaparte's Retreat - is named after her beloved poodle mix who followed her on tour - I remember him coming on stage at Wolf Trap and hanging out backstage after the concert! Pups who have been given a second chance at life in Nashville often find themselves living at Emmy's place (the very luckiest ones on her couch!). Her organization started out with 3 or 4 dogs and now houses 29 pups who have been saved from euthanasia, but are looking for their forever homes.

Emmy and Bella - the dog who was the inspiration for the song Big Black Dog:

Recently, The Today Show featured Bonaparte's Retreat. Watch the video here.

The faces of animal rescue: all four pups who came on our beach trip are rescue dogs. Can you believe that Banjo, Wrigley, Gravy, and Bella were once considered unwanted?!
obx 2012
So if you're thinking about adding a pet to your family, please consider a rescue animal - whether it be through an animal shelter or a rescue organization.

Gravy and Banjo thank you from the bottom of their hearts (and their plush doggie beds)!



Mom said...

That's my girl! Don't know how she talked Larry into rescuing not one but 2 dogs (and large ones)--don't think he put up any resistance! Love you! Mom

Corinne said...

Crazy timing, Rachel...I walked by a greyhound rescue event in my new neighborhood today and thought of you:)!