Caring for our Dogs

Titan's Love Letter

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We adopted Titan about 3 weeks ago and we love him so much. He is bringing us so much joy, he is still puppy like but very well behaved. Titan is enjoying his cat brothers. When we go for walks everyone comments on how handsome he is and he prances with pride!

He loves everyone and does not have a mean bone in his body. He loves to go in the car and especially loves the dog park where he has made many friends. His favorite thing to do is bury bones in the back yard. Thank you so much for bringing Titan into our lives.



We are enjoying him so much. He was not to happy about wearing the jersey but we showed him who is boss.

We are so grateful you found him at the pound and we found you and AARF.

Thank you so much,
The Westings

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Hey Sharon,
Wanted to share a video of Archer (formerly Plato) and Max (formerly Ike), both from AARF, 2 years and 1 year ago respectively. Click here for Video.

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Hi Sharon,

Sorry it took so long! We've just been having so much fun with Simpson (we now call him "Bradford"). We were so excited to add a dog to our family and even more excited to find the perfect one like Bradford. He's so playful and always has a goofy smile on his face with his spotted tongue hanging on the side of his mouth.

Everyone he meets, person or animal, becomes an instant friend! His most prized things in life are dog parks, car rides, and his stuffed hedgehog. We couldn't be happier with our new best friend!!

Thank you, AARF, so much for introducing him to us!

Casey and Lauren

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Percy who is now known as Shockoe is doing great! He's about 70 lbs now, the vet thinks he probably has about 10 more lbs to grow.

He just graduated from beginner puppy obedience class and is an AKC STARR puppy. He's still has some puppy obedience and behavior stuff to work on (still loves to jump up), but can sit and stay, shake, lay down, spin and can come when called.

He goes to the dog park about once a week, and to doggie day care about once a week as well. He LOVES other dogs and people. He still has loads of energy but we're figuring out how to wear him out. He's going to take doggie intermediate obedience class starting in Feb. I've attached some pictures including our Christmas card picture which features Shockoe!

He's a great addition to our family!


A happy ending for our cats!!!


Dear AARF:

Just wanted to give you a quick update on Roo (now Sundance). She is a naughty and delightful addition to our household. We are enjoying Sundance very much and even our old resident dog, Buxton, is learning to coexist peacefully with her.

Thought you might be interested to hear that Sundance's DNA test results just came in. She had one Beagle/Chow mix parent and one Border Collie/Bull Terrier mix parent. Also in the mix, at less than 10% each, are: English Setter, Pharaoh Hound, St. Bernard, Doberman and Black & Tan Coonhound.

Please pass our great thanks on to Sundance's foster mom Joyce. The work and dedication Joyce put in to the early days of Sundance's life have surely paid off for us. Sundance is a friendly, well-socialized pup. Fostering is hard work, but we are so grateful people like Joyce are around to give pups like Sundance a chance. Many, many thanks!

Tasha and family

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Hello AARF!

We adopted Bailey (aka Fancy) a little over a year ago and she's doing wonderfully! She was a bundle of white fluff when we got her and now she's come into her adult coat (see first two pix). We lost our big girls to old age (last pic), so we'll probably see you again! Thanks for all the wonderful things you do.

James and Denise

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Hello Sharon

Mozzie (aka curly sue) is doing fantastic. Thanks! She is very healthy and very playful! She is also loving and obedient. She is still teething and cant wait til that is finished, She loves the outdoors and camping, absolutely loves the water! Here are some pics for you, You can post it as a successful adoption, or as an update for aarfva! Thanks again for letting me adopt her, she is AWSOME!!!!!

Landon and Anna
P.S. winston loves his little sister!

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Hello to everyone at AARF!

February 20, 2011 marked the one-year anniversary of when we adopted Bella and I thought I would send some pictures and write to you with some updates on her. Bella is doing wonderfully! She has fit into our home and lives seamlessly and it is as if we have always had her with us. In the time since we adopted her, her personality has really started to shine. While she is still very quiet and as sweet as she could be, she's also been much more outgoing than when we first met her. She has befriended several of the neighborhood children, who absolutely love her and will come to the house just to visit Bella. She loves going on walks and has visited Stony Point Fashion Park several times. She also visited the beach and the mountains over the summer, but her absolute favorite thing to do is curl up on the couch between her mom and dad and go to sleep!

We are ever so grateful to you for allowing us the opportunity to have Bella in our lives.

Brooke & Jimmy

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Just wanted to say HI !

Berk (now known as Gibbs) has had a great first month with us. He now is up to 30 pounds. He does a great job retrieving anything we throw to him. He loves the yard and runs outside all the time. He now likes to climb up on the outside table and chairs so he can watch the whole yard from a higher point.

He has been so much fun.

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Happy New Year to everyone at AARF!

Just wanted to let you know that Aspen is doing great. We having success with limiting his destruction - cayenne pepper works great. He seems to have less separation anxiety. We can even leave him out of the crate for short outings. He loves the snow. He will sit there all day and let you throw snowballs to him. And for some reason, he just loves to go outside and lie in the snow. He and Sparky are friendly rivals. His spirit and joy are infectious. He still thinks everyone loves him and wants to pet/play with him. About 65 lbs. all grown up.

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Well, it's Jan 1 2011 and it's time for an Allie update.

We adopted Allie back in May 2010 after being introduced to her at Petsmart on Broad Street and just love her. She is such a sweet dog and after a few months of getting to know each other, our cat, Louis Vutton (also adopted),has finally adopted Allie too. Louis and Allie play together (mostly Allie chasing Louis around the house and in the back yard). They also have a favorite chair where they nap together. Allie has just experienced her first snowfall and can't get enough of playing in it. As the pictures show she is definitely living a far different life from what she would have if AARF did not help Allie find us! Come to think of it, so are we!!

Thank you AARF!


Thanks for helping us find us our sweet Lexi. This is her on our summer vacation to Lake Gaston. She and her cousin, Ollie, went swimming with us. She's a great swimmer and loved sleeping with Ollie in the afternoons.





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Roo hit a growth spurt this past month and now suddenly isn't so clumsy anymore! His ears still look a bit out of proportion, but his frame seems to fit his long legs better.

I'd say he's had a pretty good life with us! He just got back from a long 4th of July weekend in the NC Mountains with my family and friends (and lots of other doggies to run around the mountain with).

Earlier in June, we took him to the beach for the first time. I've never seen a dog so happy as he was jumping through the surf and over the waves.

He still has some puppy characteristics to grow out of - he's a chewer and a digger, occasionally - but we have been very fortunate to have Roo boy in our lives and we love him very much. Everyone that he meets seems to fall in love with him too.

Attached is a picture with Roo at the beach and also one of him on the patio of a local restaurant (he likes going out to eat with us at dog-friendly places!)

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Hello, Sharon!

Roxie is great! She has 5 people here who love her. She is very sweet and gets along well with the cats. It took a couple months for them to get used to each other, but now they do very well. Roxie loves sitting on the couch, and there is nothing more exciting for her than to go for a walk. Roxie is very much a squirrel watcher. It is funny to watch her walk around the block because sometimes she walks sideways so she can watch the squirrels in the yards we pass. We also gave Roxie a bath the other day, and she was really good about it. Roxie is very lovey and stays with someone all day. She especially loves my dad who plays ball with her and takes her to get the paper in the morning. Roxie is the best dog! She is sitting here right next to me as I write this.

I am attaching a couple pics of her. In the last one, you can see her sitting on the couch. Thank you so much!

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Thought you would like to get an update on Allie.

1: She LOVES the beach.
2: She is still deciding if she likes the water or not, still hasn't made up her mind. She is not totally opposed to it though. 3: She enjoys long walks and especially running around in big circles when we let her loose on the UofR soccer field or in her grandparents back yard.
4: She especially loves fetching anything....for hours on end.
5: Does not really care for the high heat and humidity though....just like us!
6: Loves to play with other dogs, any size or breed is fine. Her BFF is Lilly, another Aarf dog from a couple of years ago (boston terrier).
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Hi there!

Just wanted to give you an update on Moose. SHE IS WONDERFUL! We love her very much!

I have attached pictures so you can see she has turned out to be a big (75lbs) beautiful girl


dogTaking a break from studying :)
dogGetting her nails clipped.
dogEnjoying the sun in Evan's backyard -- and yes, she needs sunscreen on her white and hairless parts!

Dear Lucy.....

Just wanted to drop you a quick line and let you know that Gracie is doing well. She is the best and most loving dog I have ever had. She recently spent a week with my son, his wife, and two dogs at the beach while I was attending a meeting at Yale University. She had such a blast. I have never seen a dog love, love, love the ocean like she does! She is fearless!

During the time she was with Evan, he took her swimming every day -- sort of a hydrotherapy experiment for her leg. Amazingly, it seemed to help a lot. I will be returning to Yale for two weeks this summer and she will stay with them again. He is going to work on the swimming with her some more.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of her. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!


Hello Karen!

I just wanted to let you know that Teddy is doing great! He’s is totally finished with all of his medical/inoculations and had his teeth cleaned a couple of weeks ago. The vet thinks he is in very good condition thank goodness.

The big news is I found a meet-up group with 65 families – the Beagles of Richmond – and took him to his first meeting yesterday. He loved it and I have attached a picture of him with a few of his fellow members – he has on the red harness.

Teddy is still trying to train my husband - but hopefully Bill will come around and see the light :^) In the meantime, Teddy and I are having a great time and I’m hoping to get him on my sit-upon kayak when the river warms up if I can get a life jacket to fit him (he has already lost 4 pounds on a combination of Nutro Lite food and treat rationing. The vet wants him to lose 4 more so he’ll weigh 27 which is still heavy for a Beagle.)

Thank you so much for all your help and support for this little fellow in finding a home. I feel very lucky to have him and I think he feels the same.

Please share this with your sister Sharon. I’ll bring him by Pet Smart in the near future so you can see him.

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Good afternoon!

I had adopted Louie back in January 2008. I know that at the time he was near and dear to some of the volunteers and I was horrible in not sending pictures like I should have. Attached are some recent ones. Oldest is from when he helped put up the Christmas tree last December.

Hope all is well for the organization. Louie has truly been a blessing in our household.

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I just wanted to send you a very late thank you for matching us up with Dusty over 10 years ago. She is such a great dog - so gentle and loving and obedient. She is a great friend to our children and our other dog.

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Hello, Aarf!

I just wanted to send you a quick update on "Dora" or her new name, Ella Marie. I do a little bit of modeling and the other day, I found out we had a new model in the making! Ella jumped in on my photoshoot and completely stole the show. I thought you guys would like to see some of the photos.

She is so good to me and like I said in my last letter, I just couldn't live without her. She makes me happy to come home and happy to wake up every day to her "kisses." Thank you guys once again for making a little part of my heart complete that was missing :)

bonnie leigh

Dear AARF,

These are pictures of the most loved dog in the world!!!! I named her Leigh Leigh after my daughter, who moved away after finishing school. Leigh Leigh has filled that void, and EVERY day I am thankful. I wanted to thank you, for putting us together, I had seen her on the web, met her at "Paw in the Park" (at that time her name was Bonnie), and had her in my arms in June...that almost 4 years ago.!!

Leigh Leigh's Mom (Lynn)

p.s. My biological mom is right here below me.

Hi Sharon:

Emily doing great!!!! Actually her new name is Dory - like the fish in "Finding Nemo"....we bought a camper and are getting her familiar with it so that she can travel with us when we go away. She's a bit hyper but I think she is going crazy not being able to go out as often due to weather - she is definitely a fair weather dog. She likes playing in snow but not pooping in snow. That is the only major "housebreaking" issues we've had. She is crated during the day and does fine. She is absolutely wonderful to take out. We have taken her to many places and she just sits and watches everything....she rides great in the car - we have bought 2 car seats for her (one for my car and one for my husbands car). She a bit cat aggressive but we are working on that - I believe she wants to play not hurt but the cats don't see it the same way!!! LOL She sleeps under the covers in bed with us every night and she's become best friends with our female beagle Jodi. You should see them play - Jodi was alway very reserved but now she is acting like a's very cute to watch. Dory has an amazing wardrobe - Santa was very good to her this year!!!!

We took her to the vet as a trip to get her used to it. We were taking the beagles and brought her along. She did okay. We've also taken her for baths and nail clippings at the groomer and she does okay too. She is a bit nervous of the nail clipping part.

We are trying to get her used to walking on lead - right now she pulls terribly but we bought a harness and take her out every day (except in the snow storms and really cold weather).

She's has been a wonderful addition to our family - she definitely has livened things up a lot in our house!!!! LOL

P.S. her first Disney World trip is planned for the first week in December (camping at Fort Wilderness) and we are starting to camp here in Virginia around the end of April beginning of May. I'll take lots of pics and be sure to send them!!!

Thanks a bunch and please keep in touch!!!

The Terry's (including Skim, Andy, Pikachu, Scooby, Jodi and Dory)

paris paris


Thought I would give y'all an update on Sadie! She is completely done with all her puppy shots, which I am so glad so she can finally go places with me! She is a little over 4 months now, and just over 3lbs. She is so tiny! She does not know she is tiny, she tries to take on my mom and brothers bigger dogs. She loves playing with big dogs, and chasing cats. She doesn't seem to know what to do with dogs the same size as her... she truly believes she is a big dog, and wants to be an outdoor dog. She is the best watchdog. You cannot even try to sneak into our house without her hearing you and barking! I love my new alarm system. She is doing very well with house training. While she does have a few accidents it's mainly when it's raining or snowing. She is definitely a cute little ball of energy, and is doing very well. She has lots of toys, and can destroy a bone! She has lots of cute little outfits, and my fiance jokes that she is starting to catch up to me on the amount of hair products she has. =)

Thanks so much for my little fur baby. I added some pictures of her.

p.s. My biological mom is right here below me.

paris paris


I just wanted to send you a picture of the new Paris. She is an incredibly wonderful dog, and we are very happy to have her. She has turned out to be great addition to our family. I'm also sending a picture I had of Christopher. I wish he could find a home.

Take care.

dora dora

Three weeks ago I adopted Dora from you all. Since then, my life has been completely changed for the better :) Her new name is Ella and she truly is getting treated like a little princess. She is my first pet and I now know I could never go back to being without her. It is so great to come home to a little creature that just can't wait to see me and cuddle up with me!

She is doing great with her housebreaking and has only had ONE accident since I have had her. She was skittish around men at first but now is extremely friendly and loving to everyone once I give her the "okay" - she is very protective of me if I act hesitant towards someone. She's a great little guard dog ;)

Ella has a little boyfriend named Rocky ( my roomie's dog) that she loves to play with and I think she even misses him a little when he goes to daycare during the day!

She really is the perfect companion! She goes to work with me and rides in my lap in the car, my purse when we're out and on my shoulder around the house! Every night she curls up under the blanket beside me and dozes off when I read my book and then I carry her upstairs and put her in the bed with me. She's spoiled, but she deserves it ;)

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your time and care of Ella. She brightens my day every day and fills a big place in my heart! Thank you for everything that you do and for giving me the opportunity to bring Ella into my home.



rudy rudy

Dear Foster Family,

I wanted to send you a letter telling you about my first year with my forever family. It has been almost a year since I arrived at my new home. My new family loves me very much and I have a sweetheart named Porkchop. I love her; we play together every day, I wash her face and ears and sometimes we curl up together on the couch.

I joined my family on January 25, 2009; can you believe it’s been a year already? I fit in right away. I am fully house trained and am very well behaved. When I need to go out, I ring the bell my family put on the door. My mommy tells me that I am very handsome and smart, too. When I want someone’s attention I make grumbling sounds…sometimes I make them at Porkchop when she tries to take my toys from me.

Shortly after arriving at my new home, my mommy took Porkchop and me to Petco to have Valentine’s Day pictures made…this was my very first outing. Since then I have become quite the big man, I weigh about 100 pounds, I will find out for sure in a couple of weeks when I go to the vet for my checkup. I experienced my first snow shortly after arriving here. I did not like the snow very much and I am afraid of the rain. My daddy has to take me out under a golf umbrella so I will go outside when it is raining. I am very spoiled, but more than that, I am loved very much. Once in a while I will climb in the bed with my mommy and daddy during the night. I try not to do this too often because I take up most of the bed. I am still afraid of loud noises, but I am better than I used to be. I am very playful and my mom says I have quite a personality. I like to play catch and fetch. If no one is playing with me I trot up and down the hall to get their attention, so they will come and play. I am learning to become more affectionate, I love to curl up with my mommy or daddy…still not sure about giving kisses, but I give them once in a while to make my mommy happy. I am such a big boy; my mommy lets the recliner out sometimes, so I have enough room to stretch out.

I experienced my first Christmas this year. I must have been a very good boy because Santa brought me lots of goodies. I got a large rawhide bone, some tennis balls, a rope bone and a new stuffed duck I call Quackers. I also got to play in my first “Big” snow this year. I wasn’t sure about it, like the first snow I experienced, but Porkchop started to play with me and I decided it wasn’t so bad. I was still a little hesitant, but we had a good time.

I can’t wait to see what the upcoming year holds. Thank you for being my foster family and bringing me home to be with my forever family. I am very happy and am loved so very much. Tell Charger I said hello.

roxie roxie

Roxie is the sweetest dog. She really loves playing ball like you said. She is very friendly with people once they come into the house. My nephews who are 6 and 3 came one day and she was great with them. She licked them and let them pet her and play with her. There is someone that stays with my grandmother some nights and Roxie LOVES her. She acts like it is a long lost friend jumping up and turning over. She loves to have her tummy rubbed too.

We are still working on getting the cats and Roxie to get along. Roxie has mostly stayed upstairs and the cats downstairs. We have introduced them at times so they are supervised. The male cat, Loki, will stare for a while and hiss and then run away. Roxie will usually just look at the cats but she has not been very close to them. I took Roxie to the vet on Tuesday, the 22nd. She saw another dog in the waiting area and they sniffed each other in the face. However, then suddenly Roxie acted like she might bite the other dog. That made me a little concerned. The vet said that it may take a while for the cats and dogs to get adjusted to each other. I just do not want Roxie to bite the cats so for now they have supervised visits with each other.

We have a crate for Roxie that we have put her in if we need to be gone for a few hours. She has been really good about that. She sometimes goes in there on her own for a nap. We have also noticed that she is great about following directions like sit and stay, etc. She is a fabulous dog and we love her! Thank you so much for bringing her that Friday in the snow. I'm attaching some pics of her.

Thanks again,

Petey Petey

Shelley and Rick-

Happy New Year to you all as well! Petey is doing great! He has been the perfect addition to our crew. :) He and Roy are getting along great they love romping in the back yard and being lazy on the couch! Petey is just a pleasant and loving little guy!

We will have to stop by PetSmart one Saturday!

Hope all is well!

dolly dolly dolly dolly


I adopted a ChihuahuaX named "Dolly" a few months ago. I want to thank you for allowing us to add her to our family. Things are going well and we are really enjoying her. Her and our 60lb LabX get along well. She moved right in and took over the LabX's bedding, toys, and crate. So, she definitely holds her own. We are still working on socialization as she still is skidish outside the home. She will be 6 months Jan. 1 and gets spayed in a week. Currently she's about 7 lbs and she's lost her puppy fur. When we first got her she was fluffy except a dark strip of fur down her back. That strip has filled out and replaced the puppy fur. It was speculated that she may be part Terrier, but as I research Chihuahua's we wonder if she is part a long haired Chi as she looks exactly like the long haired Chi's in books. Either way, we still love her! I thought I would send some pics that you could share w/ the foster family. Oh and we renamed her Macy. :)

Hope your enjoying the snow as much as we are. Have a great holiday!

Dawn Dean


Princess Bea is one happy girl. She has bonded well with her doggie buddy, Vincent, as well as with us. She has adapted very well to the routine of being in DC during the week and Richmond on the weekends. Both dogs seem to know when Friday is approaching and get very excited when they see us packing the car for the trip.

Genni and Tom






Hi Sandy,

She is doing great! We finally got a clean bill of health from the vet last week. No more mange, no more parasites. We are so pleased. Her personality is also really blossoming. She no longer runs from loud noises or paper and is a very very happy dog. Her tail wags constantly and she is very "helpful" always under our feet and trying to be involved in everything that we do. We had a party at the beginning of November with about 50 people - toddlers, teenagers and adults. She did great. She and the toddler player quite happily - she was very gentle and didn't seem to be bothered by the shrieks and sudden movements. She has also played happily with two little boys in the neighborhood - she must have been around small children at some point before we got her. A recent photo is attached of her and Lexi - they still get along very well. As you can see she is doing her best to grow into those enormous feet and is now bigger than Lexi. As of yesterday she weighed 60lbs - she has been gaining about a pound a week which the vet is very happy with. We have her on a good quality large breed puppy food for controlled growth plus added fish oil and other vitamins and minerals for her skin and she is gorgeous. If all continues to go well with her health we will try an obedience class after the holidays. We love her and don't know how we would manage without her. Thanks for checking in on us.





Hi, just wanted to send you the pictures we took with our crew. Nina is in the middle and we adopted her in July and she is wonderful and has acclimated VERY well. After some more research we have discovered she is a Viszla dog, and quite a good hunter! Our entire crew are rescue dogs and the best!

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas.

Melanie B Barnes



juno juno

Update 11/2009

Debbie & Janet,

I thought I would give you an update on Harley (aka Juno). She will be a year old in 2 weeks, but she is still very much the puppy! She loves to play with her toys, go to doggie day care and sleep in our bed. She's been such a joy to have and we thank you for letting her become a part of our family! She is so excited that Christmas is coming and she will get to go see Santa Claus to get her picture taken. Attached you will find a recent picture of her playing with one of her favorite toys.

Marcie, Bill & Cora Bonesteel

(Janet & Debbie:

We have had Harley (aka Juno) for 2.5 months now and thought you would like to know how she is doing. She has doubled in size and weight since joining our family, but she still isn’t as big as her siblings. She is very playful and full of energy! We named her Harley because she runs full throttle and wide open when she is awake.

She is on her second bed and third teddy bear! We haven’t found much that she doesn’t destroy fairly quickly during the teething time. We are definitely keeping the toy company in business, but we love seeing how happy she is when a new toy arrives!

We can’t thank you enough for letting our home be her furever home! I have attached a picture so you can see how she is growing.

Marcie, Bill, Cora & Harley)

tiki tiki tiki tiki

Hi Ashley!

I thought that maybe you and Janet would like to know that Tiki is doing very well and is such a joy to us! She and Sully are the best of friends and she even gets along well with my cats...most of the time. ; ) I've attached a few pictures.

Hope you are both well,

Jodie Yerly



Hello! I hope this email finds you well. I promised to send you periodic updates on George (he was Benjamin Button when you had him). He turned 10 months old this weekend (Oct, 2009) and is a sweet, well-behaved, somewhat huge dog (75 pounds so far!). He and Sophie are getting along very well.

Thanks again for allowing me to bring him into my world. I've attached a photo I took this morning while he was with me in the yard.



Dewey is wonderful. He is finally starting to settle down a little bit :) He's excitable on a daily basis and doesn't know his own strength. He thinks everyone who comes to the house, comes to see him and only him but we are working on it. He now has a brother whose name is Clay. We adopted Clay from the spca and they are so in love! They play in our yard this crazy racing game (usually starts by one chewing on the neck of the other one) and then the race is one - they go crazy running in circles for hours only to stop and pee :) It's fun to watch and eliminates my needing to walk them outside!




betty betty

Betty lovin life and being a great dog now!!!! Wow! Lucky Betty! She goes hiking!!








Update 11/07/2009

Wonderful love letter for Millie and Margaret

Give a senior dog a chance - they have so much love. November is Adopt-a-Senior Month




nina nina
Nina and her siblings Nina resting in her favorite chair

Wanted to send some pictures of Nina to show you that she has fit right in with everyone and they are all getting along. Hope to make it by the stand in the next couple of weeks to donate some food.

We are so happy Nina is apart of our family she is a perfect fit.

darcy darcy darcy darcy

Hi ladies. My mom and I just wanted to give you an update on how Darcy is doing and send you some pictures. She is doing great. She and mom have been inseparable. Darcy is very shy and is very untrusting of people she does not know, but she is making great strides. Today she even chased squirrels in the yard by herself.

She got a bubble bath tonight and though she didn't like the bath much, she loved the towel drying and brushing afterward. Mom says she is the perfect snuggle puppy in bed and has the cutest snore.

Maggie and Dexter got new outfits tonight, so Darcy got one too. Thanks so much for this! My Mom and Darcy are very happy!

Magnolia (Sadie's puppy)
mag mag mag mag

Hi there!

Just wanted to say thanks to you guys and give you an update on Magnolia! She will be 15 weeks old this weekend and she is having a blast! She loves walking by the river, playing with her 8 month old friend, Dia, at the dog park across the street, coming to work with me, learning new tricks and pretty soon she will start puppy school!

We love her and she has been such a great puppy so far! She has never met a stranger and gives kisses to everyone she meets!

Thanks for all that you do for the puppies!

Sarah and Rick

hazelhazel hazel

Hi guys! This is long overdue, but I wanted to let you know that Hazel, now named Ruby, is our beloved girl. Attached are a few pictures. My new husband, Jamie, and I love her so, so much. She is our little girl, along with my 14 year old cat I got from F.L.A.G. 14 years ago. I would like to know if you have any contact info on her siblings. I’ve always loved boxers, but I swear this "Boxador" cross is wonderful. I’d love to hear from the other adoptors of that litter and swap stories and/or photos and maybe even meet up. Would you be so kind as to pass my email address on to any that you know?

Thanks for what you do, Pam Stancil

Hello from Delilah & Hannah Sullivan

hannah hannah Happy Summer to our AARF pals!!
Best pals sleep ear to ear We’re always singing your praises WOOF!!!

We decided to visit our local PetsMart store on a Saturday morning looking to adopt a new puppy. We had been thinking about it for a while now and the time seemed right. Tramp (aka Scrappy Doo), as we call him now, was lying in the back of a crate while four other rambunctious puppies begged for attention. He paid us no attention and could seem to care less about anything or anyone around. We knew we wanted him that moment! His foster Mom explained that he had been a stray recently saved from a kill shelter. They had told her that he was not trainable, feral and would not be able to find adjust to a home. She felt differently and spent time working with him.

We are glad she did. It has taken some time for Tramp to trust us and sometimes he still holds his judgment. Tramp has now become one spoiled doggy and a great best friend. He is a wonderful guard dog and lets us know if anyone is walking within 100 feet of our home. He loves road trips, long walks, our daughter and his Wooby (a stuffed bear dressed in a bunny costume). Doesn’t he just look like the happiest little man alive... and they said he wouldn’t love or trust.

travis travis


I finally have some pictures of Travis for you. He’s doing well. I signed him up for obedience classes at Petsmart and he just graduated from the intermediate class today. He’s very smart and well behaved. Two pictures should be attached. Hope you are well.


maya maya


Here are a few recent photos of M&M (Maya and Magnolia) so that you can see how the girls are getting along. Maya continues to be a high energy pup but loves to be cuddled and scratched as well. Thanks to you for giving her a good start.




amber amber



My name is Jessica Greene. My husband and I adopted a beagle puppy named Amber in March. I just wanted to give a quick update and let you all know that she is doing so well and we absolutely love her! She quickly attached to our 3 year old Beagle, Elmer, and they are best friends. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and for giving so many amazing dogs another shot at a happy life! I have attached some pictures so you can see how she has grown!


napa napa napa

I am so excited! He is so cute! Thank you so much for sending me the pictures!

The pictures below are when he was 4 months old. Please share them with Janet and the rest of AARF.

Thank you, again.

Love, Tyler


Dear Sandy and family ’pack’ :

I can’t believe it! It’s only been 6 months since I found my forever home. And I’m LUVVIN’ it!

I am the perfect match for the resident dog in my new home (see our cute pics enclosed) and I’m so good everybody loves me. Being adorable cute doesn’t hurt either. And my new pack leader can get sympathy for me with one word when people ask about me! All he has to do to get a big ’aaawwww’ is say Katrina!

But the Katrina storm is in my past and my confidence is up. I have settled in wel. Now I have a nice house and a ’people couch’ or bed to sleep on. And I get the best dog food, snack biscuits every morning, plenty of play time racing atround the back yard after my playmate and chasing squirrels! I’m walking on air!

I was the star of my obedience class and everyone remarked how attentive I am and how well I responded to the ’clicks and treats’ !

And guess what, Sandy ! When you and your human daughter came to see me in April ... I was so happy I screamed ! I went wild and made weird noises I was so happy !

And you know down inside my little Boxer/pittbull heart, that I will never forget you. I will always know somehow that you took care of me for an entire year until the right person came along to adopt me. It’s really beautiful when things just work out right..


And someday when I cross the Rainbow Bridge (it’s near heaven’s door) for as long as it takes for you to arrive. That’s because you were my real adopter and caretaker first. You loved me enough to keep me safe for as long as it took to find my permanent home. And I will love you forever for that.

Love, Lydia

(adopted October 2008 by Doug Henninger)


I just wanted to give you a Danny update! He went to his first cook out at grandma’s house last night. He loved it of course. He is so so so sweet with the babies. My 6 month old niece is facinated with his chair and is red collar and he hung out wherever she was all night. He also met some of our volunteer girls the other afternoon. Their principal invited Danny and me to speak at their pride assembly. I still can’t stop calling him Danny, lol. I am not sure we will end up changing his name. He also is really gaining feeling back. I think part of the issue was nerve damage. I came up with a very creative diaper for him and involved shaving his rear to make clean up more sanitary for him and the clippers tickled him. He was wiggling all over the place and he can definately wag his tail. It is pretty common for nerve damage to come back with feeling all at once. The areas feel like they are being stung by bees for a couple days and then all of a sudden you have total feeling again. Anyway, it is early here and I am rambling. I just wanted you to know he is loved and that he also loves dirty laundry. I used to run around in the morning pick it up and leave it in front of the basement door to go downstairs, now it ends up ALL over the dining room. :) Oh well. :)

Maggie Stafford


Dear Aarf:

About a year ago, I saw this strange Corgi/ Terrier mix of some sort at Petsmart on Broad Street. I was instantly enamored and asked how I could take him home that day! I already had a Pomeranian, cat and bird at home, so I took Mercury home to foster him to see how he reacted with the other animals. Well, the first day I brought him home, he ran in circles in the backyard with Layla, our Pomeranian and I knew he was the newest member of our family! Little did I know though that the gods were also adding another new member to our family! Its been a year now, since we adopted Mercury, whom we have renamed Hercules and our son is now 6 months old! Hercules is his dog now and is so good with him. They sleep together, play together and Hercules helps clean the food off of his hands all under the watchful eye of our Pomeranian! Attached is a photo of Hercules and our son. We are so happy to have him as part of our family.

Thanks Aarf!



Janet and Cindy,

Here are two of your great AARF pups! It is very hard to get a picture of them together, so the best I could do was a picture as we are headed out for a walk.

Fergus and Frank (aka Moe) get along great. Fergus took a shine to Frank immediately. They play together all the time - wrestling ,chasing each other around the yard, etc. I thought Fergus would be jealous for at least a week, but he has demonstrated once again what a great dog he really is.

Frank is doing really well. He was very easy to crate train. He walks well on the leash, does not get into too much in the house (though he loves shoes) and loves yard work. He is very sweet.

They are terrific!



Hi Kathi,

Just wanted to give you an update on one of your foster pups. Briggs (aka Linus) will be 1 year old this week. He also graduated from Obedience school today. He was fondly referred to as the "class clown" but passed his test with flying colors. I have attached a picture of him. He has grown into a beautiful dog.

I hope his brother and sister are doing well (Charlie & Lucy). Please pass on any updates.

We are all looking forward to the warmer weather so we can start going back to Stony Point with Briggs

and his dog brother Sam.

Hope all is well with you - take care,

Kris Griffin


Rick, Shelley, and AARF,

Just wanted to send an update on Dega (short for Talladega, formerly Monty). We adopted him in September of 2008, when he was about 40 pounds. He is just about a year old now and creeping up to 60 lbs. The only problem is he still thinks he can sit in your lap! He is a wonderful dog, has good manners, plays well with other dogs, and loves loves loves to chase tennis balls and frisbees. He stays fit by running with us and roaming around the Bandy field park a few times a week. All in all, we think he is pretty happy, but we know we are extremely happy with him!

Warmest Regards,
Jordan and Beth Lyn

Moose is doing great!

Winsor with his brother, Rudy (a former AARF dog) and his foster dad, Rick

Buck at his new home

Pearl in her new home.

Teddy Bear and his sister, Lexi


Hi Sandy.

Here are a few pictures of Rudy (the one in black) with Porkchop. Feel free to share the pictures with others at AARF - I am sure they would like to see how much he has grown. I will send you more later. He is such a good boy.


Hello to all of you at AARF.

Just wanted to give an update on Andi.

My wife and I adopted him in March of 2007 after seeing him on the AARF website and pestering Cindy to death to make sure we could get him. We visited him at a stand at PetSmart on Broad and he came home the day after we bought our new home. Everyone was wonderful to deal with and the adoption process was smooth and easy. He was slightly hardheaded and difficult to housetrain but once he got the hang of it he has never looked back. He has been such a joy to us and everyone that we have come in contact with, and has one of the sweetest dispositions of any animal we have ever come across.

We adopted a sister for him from the Richmond SPCA after hearing about her story. She was a 6 month old black lab/ whippet mix that had been brought in with a broken leg and lacerations from a car accident and nobody wanted her. He fell in love at first sight and they are inseparable since and spend most of their time relaxing on the couch and looking for food and or trouble. They both have just turned two with Andi in January and Sweetie in March. We just wanted everyone to know how great AARF is on helping these animals find forever homes and wanted to update all with AARF and Cindy his foster mommy on how he is doing.

Thanks again
Jason and Victoria


Hi Debbie,

Thank you so much for Tanna. She is absolutely adorable & a great fit for the family. Attached is a picture of my son with her. With the warm weather lately, they have been running & playing in the back yard! She also will play fetch for hours. She is very good at it!!! Anyhow, thank you again. Please pass this on to her foster mom!






Hi Debbie,

Just wanted to email you to say thank you again for giving us Abby (Dora)! It was exactly one year ago today that you brought her to our house, so we are celebrating today like a birthday for her. She is enjoying a raw hide at the moment. We are getting ready for a big car ride to visit family members for the holidays so that is a special treat for her too. We hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are truly thankful for Abby and for AARF for rescuing her!

Thanks again,

Serra and Clayton De Arment




Dear AARF:

I recently adopted Bruce (now called Fitz - middle in picture), who was fostered by Ashley Nollen of AARF. I cannot put into words how much I appreciate the work she put into fostering this wonderful dog. I am so grateful she rescued him from the King William shelter. I fostered a lot of kittens while I lived in NJ. I know how much effort and love goes into being a foster parent. So I appreciate in a very special way Ashley’s care of Bruce/Fitz. His transition into our household has been seamless. I’ve had dogs before - and had two when Bruce/Fitz came to join us - so I know it generally takes quite a bit of time for everyone to get acclimated to each other. It feels like a miracle occurred in my house, with how peacefully everything has gone. It feels to all of us, and I believe to Bruce (aka Fitz), like he’s come home. Bruce/Fitz has gotten my very shy rescued Beagle, Daisy, to play with him every day for the past four days. They play tug, chase, wrestle. She has not done this with any of the many visiting dogs we’ve had here (we watch many of our friends’ dogs regularly). She trusts him, and she has fun with him. It’s beautiful to watch. My other dog, Shelby, a very large Rottie/Dobie rescue, accepted him into the household completely within 48 hours of his arrival. Ashley knows the details about what happened. The point is that I can’t thank AARF and Ashley enough for the excellent work done for the animals you help. I know it sometimes seems like a thankless, endless task - but you all need to know what a wonderful gift you’ve given me, and my dogs (and cats!). Keep up the great work. Thank you all for your dedication and time.

Mary Robinson

Louisa, VA


Dear AARF, Rick, and Shelley:

It has been almost a full year since we adopted Tori from the AARF and we wanted to send you an update and a thank you note for saving her! She has become an asset to our family and a best friend to our toddler! They are contantly playing catch or tag and cuddling up on the floor together to watch movies. We attached a picture of her - its one of the few we have of her sitting down instead of blurs of her playing!! Tori is a blessing, to all of us, and words can never express how thankful we are that you made it possible for her to be in our lives. The past year has been nothing but wonderful with her!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!

Sincerest Regards,

Tiffany, Jimmy, & Matthew


Hello Shelly and Rick,

I wanted to thank you again for saving Louis (aka Spooky) for us. I can not begin to tell you what a great addition he has been to our family.

We had the whole family over for Thanksgiving (including our 5, 4 and 2 year old grandchildren) and he was the hit of the day. The picture below (and attached) is a photo of Louis running in the backyard chasing balls with the little grandchildren - they absolutely loved him (and he loved them).

We took Louis to Midlothian Animal Clinic last Tuesday and they found him to be in perfect health. The vet reviewed his AARF records and they recommended two more inoculations. We also now have the medications to continue him on Heartguard and flea and tick control. We also had them inject an AKC identity chip, per your suggestion.

Just an FYI - I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Midlothian Animal did not charge for Louis check up when they saw his AARF adoption papers.


Hi Shelley and Rick,

I was surfing the AARF website and saw Dexter’s Adopted status still listed and thought you might like to know how he’s doing.

It turns out that he has a mild form of Epilepsy and takes Phenobarbital twice daily for it. The vet can’t tell us why, just that some beagles have it.

He has done really well with the electric fence and has run of the yard (3/4 acre) pretty much 24/7, but does sleep in my room at night.

He also has taken up squirrel hunting and has caught several that I know of. EEWW! He does still enjoy vegetables and I slip him some when making a salad.

One of his funniest habits is to raid the firewood pile and drag logs around front. He also snatches peices of cut wood when my husband is working in the shed.

We have found very few toys that he doesn’t destroy. He is a large dog in a medium sized body.

He is also the sweetheart of the street and several of our neighbors really love him. He stands in the front yard and barks until they come to visit him.

Hope all is well with you. Thanks for fostering Dexter.

Kathy Theado


Just wanted you to know I was thinking about you. Meeko has settled in nicely and even did (pretty good) when the trick or treaters came around last night. Terry took him on a car ride to go pick up his son so Meeko missed most of the action. The one really cute thing was when Terry was getting ready to leave with Meeko in the back of his car, this group of kids was coming up to the door and I heard one of them say "Look! There’s a mummy in the back of the car!" I told them it was not a mummy, it was a doggie.They were REALLY impressed when they found that out!

Attached are some pics of Meeko being....well, Meeko. He does seem to like being on his back more than anything! I can’t believe how lucky we got with getting such a sweet dog!! I don’t know if all white Huskies are like him or not, but this one is a SAINT!!! He hasn’t met a stranger yet. Everyone who sees him is scared until about 2 seconds later when he licks them and then shows his belly. I LOVE THIS DOG!!!! He spends half his day with Terry (working from home) and half his day with me (I’ve been on medical leave for the past 6 weeks). I’m almost wishing I didn’t have to go back to work!! I’m going to miss him some kinda fierce!!

Thank you again for allowing us the opportunity to have him in our house!!He is the BEST dog EVER!!! And he "sings" a whole lot better than my other dogs did when the sirens come by.....the other two couldn’t carry a tune :)


Shockey (formerly Socks)

Dear AARF,

Eric and I adopted Socks (now known as Shockey) last October. Shockey is the perfect companion for us - he is protective and snuggly! He loves children, which is evident when our nieces and nephews visit. His favorite is our 20 month old niece Elizabeth. She calls him "Hockey" and thinks he rules the world! He, in turn, is very careful around her and protects her against our cats!

Shockey is amazing! We adore him so much, and can’t imagine life without him. We are very thankful to Jeff and Ginny for training him in all the right ways! Shockey sleeps with us and has his own couch in our den! Shockey is the best dog in the whole world and we love him more than words can say.

Eric and Sarah Froden

PS - the attached picture is Shockey with our young niece Elizabeth.



Just wanted to let you see how happy Brandon is with us! It’s been a year since we adopted him from AARF. He was very shy and didn’t like my husband really but he tooked to me and my two girls. He’s now very loving to my husband (Jim) and licks on both of us in the mornings when the alarm goes off. He very friendly and loves to meet new people and animals. He loves to play and we recently bought him Thumper (stuffed rabbit) to play with since he chewed up the last one. Thanks for all the hard work that AARF does.

Sue, Jim, Danielle, & Rachael Buck

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