TV Show

America’s Best Tails Contestant: Susan Blatz and Barley

Dog behaviorist Susan Blatz had a very special foster named Barley – little did she know Barley had already made the decision their friendship was much more than a foster. Hear the full, touching story on this week’s “For the Love of Dogs.” As I am sitting on the couch reading the paper, I hear the thump, thump, thump of a wagging tail hitting the floor… Looking over at my dog Barley, I see he is nervously watching our foster dog, who is sleeping on a dog bed in the next room. Barley is my indicator dog, and he is ever alert to any household upset, at least regarding the other dogs. I get up and check, to find my foster dog is surreptitiously shredding the bed he is lying on. Good call Barley, thanks. Four years ago, heading home from Love Field, they saw him; a skinny black dog, in the bad side of town, scrounging what he could out of a turned over garbage can. His plight touched their hearts, and this family did what many do not, they stopped, put him in their car and took him home. These people are my clients. I got the call Monday. They had not been able to find a place for this sweet dog, so I offered to foster him until we could find him a forever home. Barley got along with every dog in my house. He played with the lively dogs, gave a wide berth to the cranky dog, and tip toed around the old dog. He learned the house rules quickly, was eager to please, and was sweet and sensitive. Such an easy dog, no doubt he will be adopted quickly. Everyone who met him, adored him. Almost every Saturday for over a year we went to adoption Meet and Greets, or on social outings. Unfortunately, a black dog does not stand out, amid the group of cute, fluffy, small, or full breed dogs, all looking for their forever homes, as well… Barley became a victim of “Black Dog Syndrome.” Black dogs are slow to get adopted. […]

America’s Best Tails Contestant: Kathryn Lorusso and Nutmeg

Kathryn Lorusso helped nurse Nutmeg back to health after horrifying neglect. When it was time for Nutmeg to be adopted, Kathryn just couldn’t let go – another wonderful case of “foster failure.” This dynamic duo will appear on this week’s “For the Love of Dogs” along with Greyhound Adoption League of Texas representative Stephanie Lanoue. A cold wet nose lands in my outstretched hand and I awake with a smile, as usual, because of Nutmeg. The petite lemon striped tiger greyhound came to live with us as a foster nearly a year ago when I randomly read the story of her plight on Facebook. I was up to my ears in projects and didn’t need another one but the desperation of her circumstances touched me. She was one of eleven greyhounds found in an abandoned dog trailer in a 7-11 parking lot that had been sitting there, untouched and unnoticed, for 40 hours. Skinny as a rail, scared, and with big soulful brown eyes that looked right through me, “Nutty” stole my heart from the moment I saw her. She was a member of a not so illustrious pack that the media immediately called the “Thank Heaven 11” and was estimated to be about two years old. As her new human, I was determined to show her a better world. Little did I know, it was she who would teach me. We went through five months of heartworm treatment, upper respiratory infections and finally, a spaying before she was ready to adopt. There were already three dogs at home (two greys and an elderly standard poodle) and I fully intended to give her up but when the day came to drive her to an interested adoptee, I balked. I am, by nature, a researcher and have my future written down on several legal pads just in case something random happens. I like to think of myself as extraordinarily focused but the paralysis I felt when I thought of giving her up truly surprised me. Apparently, she and I had written a new life story when I wasn’t paying attention. Months […]

America’s Best Tails Contestant: Jeff Kitner, Kirby and Dudley

Jeff Kitner never knew what a best friend a dog could be until rescuing Kirby. Now that Kirby has passed on, Jeff’s love of dogs continues with his new best friend Dudley. Since rescuing Kirby a few years ago, Jeff has also become involved with EARS, a rescue group in the Dallas area. Below is his story about how Kirby changed his life. Jeff and Dudley will appear on this week’s episode of “For the Love of Dogs.” This story was a $1,000 winner in our “America’s Best Tails” contest, with the proceeds benefitting DFW Rescue Me. My sister was allergic to dogs, so I grew up in a household of rabbits and goldfish. My wife suggested a dog to complete the household shortly after we married. I was ambivalent but agreed to look at dog adoption. Miriam saw Kirby’s profile on Petfinder. He was a curious fox-like dog identified, probably incorrectly, as a “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Corgi mix.” His profile said he enjoyed going on walks, snacking on treats, and snuggling – all characteristics which would fit well in our home. We were unfamiliar with EARS but went to visit Kirby at an adoption event. There, Kirby looked sad and depressed in his crate. But when Kirby and I met for the first time, I knew we would be friends for life. We spent a few minutes walking Kirby around and then put him back in his crate. While we casually looked around at other dogs and talked to volunteers, Kirby was openly staring at us, wondering why we were even looking at anyone else! The EARS volunteers told us that Kirby was about three and had been heartworm positive. After we left the event (with Kirby still staring at us, wondering why we were leaving him), we submitted the application. We adopted Kirby in November 2007. Kirby moved in, and it was a perfect match. We were inseparable, going on several walks every day. Whenever I came home from work, he would audibly grunt with excitement. He loved going anywhere in the car and made fast […]

America’s Best Tails Contestant: Diana Phillips and Shilo

Diana Phillips is a volunteer, rescuer and foster mom for DFW Rescue Me in the Dallas area. Below is her story about Shilo. Diana and Shiloh will appear on this week’s episode of “For the Love of Dogs.” This story was a $1,000 winner in our “America’s Best Tails” contest, with the proceeds benefitting DFW Rescue Me.  All my animals have stories…stories of abuse, neglect and abandonment. They now know more love than they have ever known. They are my purpose. But on May 10, 2012 a dog came into my life so sad and so broken that I cried all the way home with her in the car. I am a volunteer and foster for DFW Rescue Me and with their help, I pulled the mama American Bulldog and her 8 babies from the shelter on the day they were all to be euthanized. I will never forget the sadness in her eyes as she sat in the big, cold metal “basket” with her pups, waiting for us to pick them up or to be taken “down the hall.” I vowed that one day she would hold her head back up and love the life she was meant to have. I named her Shilo. Fast-forward 3 months to August…all her beautiful babies are adopted and in loving homes. Shilo is constantly by my side and the bond we have is unbreakable. I have gained her trust and she now has the brightness in her gold eyes that life had taken away. I love her more every day. I take her to be spayed, not knowing what would unfold next for us. The day after her spay she is lethargic and I take her back to the clinic. She is then rushed to the Animal E.R. and emergency surgery is performed as she is bleeding into her abdomen. Once opened it is discovered that she has bled out over half of her blood from a suture that has slipped off. She would not have made it until the morning. She remains in the E.R. for a week but she is […]

America’s Best Tails Contestant: Laura Gorecki, Onyx and Faline

Laura Gorecki witnessed the forming of a very special bond between an orphaned kitten and the mother dog that accepted her as her own. Read her story below and tune in to hear from the family that adopted Onyx and Gilligan on this week’s “For the Love of Dogs.” This story was a $500 winner in our “America’s Best Tails” contest, with the proceeds benefitting Operation Kindness.  My name is Laura Gorecki and I am an avid supporter, donor, volunteer, and foster for Operation Kindness. I wanted to share my story of a little orphaned kitten that was temporarily adopted by a Mother Pomeranian and her puppies. I had the privilege of being a foster parent for this amazing group. When you get to know as many animals as we do at Operation Kindness, you witness a lot of amazing and inspiring stories. This summer, we watched an incredible story unfold in the unlikely bond between a dog and kitten. When Onyx the kitten was just four days old, she was found motherless and alone in an abandoned warehouse. She was taken to Dallas Animal Services and they immediately called Operation Kindness to see if we could help. Operation Kindness immediately responded and brought Onyx to the shelter. Unfortunately, there was not a nursing cat in the shelter and without a cat to nurse the helpless kitten, we didn’t think she would make it. That same day, Faline, a beautiful Pomeranian Mix and brand new mother, was brought to the shelter with her four puppies. As we watched the new mother nurse her puppies, we had an idea. We took a chance that Faline would accept Onyx as her own and let her nurse with the puppies. It worked like a charm. As caring as she was for her puppies, Faline was especially protective of her little kitten. Faline, Onyx, and the puppies were all brought to my house so I could care for them. I had a great time watching Faline as she cared for Onyx as well as her growing puppies, and was very thrilled to witness the […]

America’s Best Tails Contestant: Sylvia Elzafon and Her Work with Shelter Dogs

Sylvia Elzafon is a photographer and dog lover. Her well-known work photographing shelter dogs has been featured many places – including the Huffington Post. Below is her story in her own words. Sylvia will appear on this week’s “For the Love of Dogs” with Lindsay Naccarato and Lindsay’s dog Jefferson. This story was a $250 winner in our “America’s Best Tails” contest, with the proceeds benefitting Dallas Animal Services.  Hello! I’d like to submit my own personal story and experience for consideration in America’s Best Tails – To benefit Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center. Combining my love of photography and animals is truly the ultimate path for me. I started working on my original shelter series (found on my website and Facebook fan page) in 2005, because I saw the need for a message. This message was: “Why are you breeding animals, or buying animals, when so many of these wonderful, beautiful dogs and cats are dying in shelters every day?” People were really beginning to acknowledge the need for education and action in the shelter world. And change. The original series was focused on evoking emotion in people, which it did. The images were dark, heavy, and meant to address a huge problem while showing the audience that these shelters really are sad places for companion animals. Though it does evoke emotion, my current Headshot Series brings attention to these incredible dogs in a different light. Instead of feeling sadness and despair, the overall reaction has been extremely positive. People are laughing – hard. They’re seeing the huge personality of these shelter dogs through the images. I’ve had a couple of friends tell me that, although they’re not “dog people”, the photos make them consider adopting one! In other words, this series is reaching people in a really fun and positive way. Though the dark and heavy images are still very important and effective in their own way, people do better when they feel better. A break from the sadness and guilt never hurt anyone. I love showing the amazing personalities these dogs have when they’re given the […]

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