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by Carole Feeny |

Adopter Name

Krista Wagner

Rescue Dog’s Name


Where Did You Find Your Dog?

Adopted from Clermont to the Rescue Humane Society

Tell Us About the Moment When You Knew that You Two Were Meant for Each Other.

I have loved dogs my entire life and I started working with them even as a young kid. Now as an adult, I have recently rediscovered what great joy and purpose I get in working with shelter animals. It truly does feed my soul… I began volunteering at the local shelter back in the summer after the passing of my much beloved Weim, Acacia. Because she was 17 and her health had begun to decline, her care was somewhat time consuming – so when she passed, I felt the best way to honor her and to spend my new found time would be to help homeless dogs.

So one Sunday afternoon in August, my 15 year old son and I walked into the shelter, and we were hooked…

The first dog I ever walked at the shelter was Lilac. It was love at first sight. Over the next month she had become my first and last walk of the day and my lunch break companion.

Despite being over-bred by the age of two, dumped after she was deemed no longer useful, fearful and clearly abused, she greeted me with such joy and enthusiasm – and it was SO immensely gratifying. I had recently lost not only my dog but also my mom over an 8 month period and Lilac reminded me of the joy I had forgotten I’d lost. She took great pleasure in rolling in the grass and having me rub her belly and she freely and frequently covered me in kisses… despite it all… despite all of her unfortunate circumstances.

On the days I wasn’t at the shelter, I would think about Lilac. “Would she be there next week?”

I found myself lying in bed at night wracked with worry about both her well-being and the idea of her being adopted by anyone but me. Each time I returned to the shelter I would feel myself instantly melt if she wasn’t in the same kennel, fearing she was gone. I hadn’t planned on getting another dog so soon after Acacia’s passing ( I actually swore to my husband I wouldn’t), and I don’t believe you can replace one dog with another; but I knew that Lilac needed love, I had it to give, and I wanted to give it to her. I wanted to frequently and freely give her kisses and the promise of a loving home and family.

I knew it from the moment I saw her… She had me at “Hello”.

On September 26, 2015 at the end of a long day of volunteering, I went back and got Lilac and walked her out the doors of the shelter for the last time. She was going home.

I love the way Lilac stands on two legs when watching the squirrels out the front door; I love how her little “bat ears” perk up when I talk to her and how soft the fur is behind those ears; I love how she gets peanut butter all over her face when I let her lick the spoon and how she curls up in my lap to get as close to me as possible… But perhaps… most of all… I love watching her sleep peacefully in the understanding that she’s finally home.

How Has Your Hero Changed Your Life?

Until very recently when I started volunteering at the shelter, I had never been exposed to the majority of the bully breeds. All of what I knew came from the media, and none of it was good. I had no idea what wonderful, smart, funny and deeply loyal dogs they were.

Lilac has been a wonderful addition to our family and I hope that she can be an ambassador of sorts in helping to change the perception of dogs like her and shelter dogs in general. She has truly renewed a passion in me and has inspired me to advocate for both bullies and all shelter dogs who patiently wait for their forever homes. In most cases, they are good dogs paying for the sins of their bad owners.

In a perfect world there would be no kill shelters. In a perfect world, bully breeds would not be discriminated against and their owners would not be held to different standards. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need shelters because every dog would have a home. Until then – Lilac reminds me every day of why I spend so much time doing what I do.

I am oh so lucky she chose me.

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