Posts Tagged ‘forever home’

Emily and Chester, at home

November 18, 2010

While I’m busy recovering from some back surgery, you have the good fortune of reading posts from some of my favorite doggie bloggers!  Today’s post comes from Yvonne DiVita who blogs regularly at   In an earlier guest post Yvonne introduced us to Chester (   Please make her feel welcome by posting your wonderful comments.  Be back soon! 

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

Recently, we adopted a terrific coon hound from our local shelter. He was placed there by Kindness Ranch, a rescue that takes in research animals. Chester is 7 years old and the kindest, gentlest, sweetest dog I’ve ever met. We fell in love with him the first time we met him.

Shortly after adopting Chester, we contacted Kindness Ranch again to see about adopting a ‘friend’ for Chester. Somehow, knowing he’d been around other dogs his entire life, and that we occasionally have to leave our home-based office for business meetings, it seemed right to make sure he was not alone. Mind you, we have a cat we refer to as The Grumpy Old Lady, but … she wasn’t going to keep Chester company, trust me on that!

Chester and Emily at home

Well, it turned out that there was another hound at Kindness Ranch, a young, female, two-years old, who was Chester’s friend when he lived there. Her name was Emily. She was a Treewalker Hound. The folks at Kindness said they felt Chester and Emily would love being reunited.

And they were so right! We adopted Emily (after a nice visit one day…where she spent more time watching the birds in the trees than paying attention to us; probably because she wasn’t used to extra attention from ‘humans’) and brought her home and the change in Chester has been amazing.

Chester and Emily are perfect for each other. They adjusted to our house easily, although they still can’t figure out the cat. Together, they like to sleep in one dog bed on our landing. Together, we walk them and Emily rushes out front, to make sure nothing ever gets in our way, while Chester lumbers along, more intent on the interesting smells at his feet, than anything else.

Together, these two dogs have made our house a home. They bound to the door to greet us when we return from shopping or a meeting. They seem amazed at the treats we offer for good behavior. Chester, especially, regards treats with suspicious, until he sees Emily begin to devour them. They are learning to play with each other, to run around the back yard with all the abandon of a kid let out of school. At night, they share the dog bed… only occasionally coming into our room, as if to make sure we’re still there.

As the weeks go by, we’re noticing their personalities emerge. Chester, for all his easy-goingness, has learned to give Emily the low growl that says, “This is my bone, go get your own.” For quite some time, he just let her have his bones. Emily, to her credit, sneaks little bits of Chester’s food, from his bowl… always eying us, because she knows she isn’t supposed to take Chester’s food. I guess it’s okay for her to steal food, just not bones!

Neither dog knows how to play ball. They just look at it, and us, when we throw it in the backyard. They are learning to play tug-of-war with chew toys, but only minimally. Mostly, they like their walks and being home with us. And, we like that, too. We are so thrilled with these two dogs – it’s hard to remember life without them. I hope we never have to be without them!

Yvonne DiVita


Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
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Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

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Chester Comes Home

October 4, 2010

I’m delighted to feature a guest post this week written by Yvonne DiVita.  Yvonne’s career interests have focused on marketing to women, social media for business, and publishing.  In 2009, she combined her business background with her passion for animals and co-founded BlogPaws, an online pet community to support pet bloggers and pet lovers.  I had the pleasure of meeting Yvonne in person at the BlogPaws Conference last month in Denver, Colorado.  Yvonne was one of the organizers of this awesome event.  She writes today about the adoption of her newest four-legged family member, 7 year old Chester, a research facility dog, that is until he and Yvonne found one another.  Thank you Yvonne for sharing Chester’s story and showing us how we can “Be the Change”.

Dr. Nancy Kay 

Chester Comes Home by Yvonne DiVita

This week we added a new family member to our little group. He’s a Coon hound mix. Not sure what the mix is but it could be Springer Spaniel. That’s not important. What’s important is that this precious 7 year old boy spent his entire life in a research facility and does not even know how to be a dog!

How sad is that?

We are pushing all that sadness aside and giving Chester all the love he’s missed these last seven years. Granted, the research facility was only studying nutrition – he wasn’t abused, but, he wasn’t loved, either. And, if he was walked, I’m sure it wasn’t for pleasure. He doesn’t know what it’s like to meander along and sniff every leaf, mark every tree, enjoy the sunshine. Even more astonishing was the way he peed the first day we took him out – without lifting his leg. What male dog does that?

Chester was being held at the Longmont Humane Society. Tom and I went in on Sunday just ‘to look.’ Yes, we were in the market for a dog – having lost our precious Carmie (a shepherd/lab mix who was 16 years old) two years ago. However, we’ve been pretty selective because we needed a dog that would get along with our 18 year old cat, the Grumpy Old Lady. She’s pretty popular on our Scratchings and Sniffings blog, and she has told us over and over that if we ever get another dog, she gets final approval. So, we were careful as we visited shelters and interviewed dogs.

Chester was in one of the last kennels we visited, as we walked around the humane society, taking to the many dogs available for adoption. I like to give them some attention, regardless of what breed they are or how old they are. It’s well known around here that I’d adopt all of them, if I could! Anyway, Chester was lying down, very calm, but he lifted his head when we paused outside his kennel, and it seemed as if he was saying, “I’m a good dog. I don’t make a lot of noise. But, I would love to go home with you.” We read his description which told us he was 7 years old and had only lived in the research facility, never in a real home. His description also said he got along with cats, so that was a big plus.

Who could resist that? Seriously, we wanted an adult dog, one that wasn’t going to chase the cat, and here was Chester. We took him for a walk, talked to him, rubbed his gigantic ears, and fell in love. He was very shy, and unsure of us. But, we knew we could win him over. Once back at the front desk, we filled out all the necessary paperwork and they told us the originating shelter would call us.

The originating shelter was a rescue ranch in Wyoming, not far from the Colorado border. They have final say on all their dogs. The ranch rescues animals formerly used in research, and places them in homes, if they can. We talked to Karen, the next day, and she said the shelter had given us a glowing review so she would be happy to bring Chester to us, on Monday. You can imagine our reaction – we jumped for joy!

Chester has been here for three days now. He was terribly disoriented the first day. We gave him space, but made sure he knew he was loved. He paced a whole lot that first day, and seemed to be looking for something. I wonder if he’s looking for the other dogs who were at the research center with him. I was happy that he ate, though. His appetite is good. The only strange thing there is that he isn’t sure what to do with dog treats. Or, maybe the ones we have don’t appeal to him. We’ll see, in time.

Today, he is settling down nicely and acting more like a dog. It’s heartwarming to see him blossom, knowing we care. Oh, yeah, the Grumpy Old Lady says he can stay. He’s quiet, he doesn’t bother her, and she kind of likes sitting in front of the water dish as if she owns it, because Chester won’t go near it with her there. (Carmie did the same thing)

Chester is our boy. He’s found his “forever” home with us. We are so happy! I didn’t realize how much I missed have a dog, until Chester came to stay. Now, we’re thinking of adopting another dog from the ranch that rescued him. One he’s familiar with. One that will keep him company when we’re out running errands or visiting friends. One that will allow the Grumpy Old Lady to maintain her dignity as Queen of the House. Life doesn’t get any better than this, does it?

Yvonne DiVita