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by Carole Feeny |

Adopter's Name and Rescue Dog's Name

Kathy J


How Has Your Hero Changed Your Life?

He changed my life in the way that I found I CAN handle things that life throws my way. And through this ordeal of meshing our lives together, he gave me the confidence, bravery and strength to face my cancer challenges one day at a time.


Tell Us About The Moment You Knew You Were Meant For Each Other

What a story! I was approved and on waiting lists with Golden Retriever and German Shepherd rescues to add a dog with my then current 9yr old German Shepherd to find the right match for her. Unfortunately due to neurological issues that worsened over months, I had to put her down on Mother’s Day 2020. Well, of course, that was soon after Covid and working from home. I could not handle an empty house and there were no available dogs from the rescues that met my preferences at that time. A dear friend sent me a photo of Legend whom was new at Town & Country Humane Society - he had just gotten there from a shelter in Junction City KS, picked up as a stray with what they assumed were his siblings. He was on the truck to go over to the Council Bluffs shelter but was taken off the truck at Town & Country by mistake and separated from his siblings and the volunteers told me he was just “screaming” when they took him off (which I did not find out until later). He looked like a Flat Coated Retriever which I had always been akin to as to me they were just a black Golden Retriever. I went and met him and after spending some time with him, I adopted him and took him home that day on 5/23/20. Unfortunately, I found out quickly he had severe fear issues and that threw me into turmoil as I had never dealt with such issues in a dog before. I was a committed walker and always had to have a dog at my side. He could not even be walked. He was also lashing out at other dogs and I was never a “one” dog person – loved to have at least 2 but preferred 3! I reached out to my friend that found him, in desperation and also to the rescue whom put me in contact with their professional trainer and a volunteer from the rescue to work with me and Legend. I have always been so involved in gardening, landscaping, crafts and other projects and was used to just adding a dog to the household that did not require much effort on my part and life could go on as usual…..NOT the case with Legend and I was not “wanting” to adjust my life to deal with his issues. I wanted to return him…..and Cari notified the rescue that I preferred to be a “foster” for him until they could find the right family for him. I was then a foster parent. After already working with the trainer and volunteer for some time, they begged me not to give up on him! I was getting somewhat upset with all the time this was taking – and reading books and anything I could to learn more how to help him. Very time consuming on every level. It was a grueling time working with him – everything required thought and special handling so as not to set him back. All my time was taken to try to do the right thing for him. Baby steps only…..and being such an impatient person, this was very tough! But then every little baby step we hurdled was such an accomplishment and so exciting! We had even gotten him to be with one of the trainer’s dogs and things were looking up! I was so very proud of his bravery and doing what he could that I was falling in love with him! The rescue started reaching out to me in August stating I had had him long enough as a foster and that if he wasn’t improving and ready to move on to be adopted (which he was far from!) then I needed to return him. I could NOT do that – I then officially adopted him (again) on August 29, 2020! We were moving along and making improvements slowly but surely. He was gaining confidence, meeting new people, making new friends (people and dogs). Then came the blow in December right before Christmas when I was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Of course my entire life came crashing in. All I could think of was how much it was going to take going through treatment and how long I may even survive. This would not be fair to Legend – he didn’t ask for this after he had already been through so much in his short life. In tears, I notified the trainer and volunteer that he needed to be rehomed as all my time would be needed to try to fight this cancer and try to survive as long as I could. They told me I would NEED HIM – but I said no. After a couple of days, the trainer asked me when I wanted her to post him as available for adoption and the tears really flowed and I held him tighter than I ever had and said he was not going anywhere – I could not send him on his way to start his fears and troubles all over again – he would feel so dejected and I loved him too much! So we were now a team in this together. He has been so much comfort and joy for me I do not know how I would have gotten this far without him. He is such the perfect dog – a very calm and loyal friend! I even did an Embark DNA on him and his is 8.9% German Shepherd – so I got some GSD in there and those qualities stand out! He still has some fear/nervousness in situations and may always have throughout life but knowing how to help him through those times is working wonderfully. He is doing things I NEVER thought he would do a year ago…. I give him so much credit for having faith and trust in me and being such a brave boy! He absolutely adores puppies and has many doggie friends now that he has playdates with and a best buddy Reggie that lives behind us whom I put in a gate between our yards and they have their own doggie park to play and/or just hang out! They will sit at the gate and wait for each other – Reggie gets so excited and barks for Legend to come out but Legend is such a gentleman he will just lay at the gate and wait for Reggie to come out - he does not bark or demand. Lol I would absolutely love to add another dog – a puppy – but in my situation, I do not want to put 2 dogs at risk of needing to be rehomed not knowing what my future is. So the fact that we have Reggie or any of his other doggie friends at our house VERY often and for hours at a time – makes my heart and home feel full! He changed my life in the way that I found I CAN handle things that life throws my way. And through this ordeal of meshing our lives together, he gave me the confidence, bravery and strength to face my cancer challenges one day at a time – baby steps – as I do not plan on leaving him anytime soon – only looking to the future of being here for him throughout his life!


Where Did You Find Your Hero

Town and Country Humane Society - Papillion, NE


Dog's Birthday or Gotcha Day (please email a picture of your hero to:

Bday - 5/27/2018 - Gotcha day - 5/23/2020


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