I was impressed with the new iPhone commercials today featuring homeless animals and Petfinder. The ads brought back some memories and I thought I would share Buster's story and some fun pictures.
Immediately after settling on new home in 2005, I located the love of my life on Petfinder — a beautiful shelter dog named "Damon." Damon was located, ironically, at a shelter where I used to live in upstate NY. After a lengthy screening process, I drove six hours to meet brothers Damon and Dinty. It was so hard to break them up, but the shelter would only allow me to adopt one of them. After I selected Damon, I drove to Utica, New York so Damon could soak up lots of attention from my entire family, including all three of my grandmothers.
At that time, Damon was re-named "Buster Brown," for his "All-American" looks (and attitude). When I returned back to Philadelphia, Buster quickly tried to become friends with my cat, Babe. I had had Babe for nearly 19 years — and she was used to being an "only child." After some time, Babe reciprocated his affection (after a swat and eye injury). Much later, they would become best of friends, family members and daily companions until Babe would pass away in mid-2009.
Today, Buster weighs in at more than 75 lbs. He enjoys trips to the dog park – including the amazing dog park in South Philadelphia at 11th and Reed, coordinated by SPADO (South Philadelphia Association of Dog Owners). Past times include hopping over chairs, jumping through hula hoops and crawling on his belly. He can shake hands, roll over, play "dead," sit down, lie down — although unfortunately he won't do anything of those things if he wants to say hello to someone new walking into the house, as he is very friendly. His favorite snack is peanut butter — and he loves to play with other dogs, especially smalll dogs. (He still thinks he is a small dog!)
Below is a special letter that his foster mother gave me during the adoption. We still send communications back and forth once a year. As you read about Dinty, you will be happy to know he was not only adopted, but he was adopted by a women's hockey team! He gets love and affection from more owners than he knows what to do with! Lucky him! I understand with all that attention, they keep him on his toes and he certainly stays active.
Damon and Dinty were born at the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society on June 10, 2005. They were part of a litter of five females and two males. The mother was living at the shelter for several weeks prior to their birth. The volunteers treated her so well; walking her, giving her lots of protein (boiled eggs, cottage cheese) A special kennel was also set up for her outside for mom and her pups away from the other animals in the shelter. To protect the health of the special pups they were divided into three groups and put into foster care with volunteers experienced with Bully Breeds. This was done at five weeks of age, as soon as they could eat from a bowl.
Damon and Dinty have fun in a home with three other dogs and two cats. Another Mastiff mixed puppy was there for four weeks with them. They have had exposure to a senior Golden, a female Amstaff and an Amstaff male mix. All blended well together.
Damon is an 8-week old male puppy. He is a very handsome boy with a sweet, gentle disposition. He is currently living in foster care with his brother, Dinty, and several resident dogs and cats. He is being crate trained as well.
Breed: American Staffordshire Terrier Mix
Color: Brindle with White Marking on Face
Find your own shelter dog (or cat) at www.petfinder.com. (There are new Petfinder applications being featured in commercials for iPhones — use your iPhone to get connected to your companion animal!)