Rescue Tails


Rescue dogs have always been part of the Black Dog legacy.  Our namesake "Black Dog" was a rescue dog and her story became part of our legacy.  We'd like to hear about your rescue pup and of how they became part of your family. These are your stories.

Have a real life Rescue Tail of adoption? Share your story with us HERE!

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Meet Gilligan, Yogi, Babe Ruth, Liberty, and Oakley

Lisa from New York writes:

“We are a dog family. We've had dogs our whole life, and when I married Mike, thank goodness he was a dog lover, too. We began rescuing dogs around 15 years ago. We have just over 12 acres of land in WNY with a pond heaven for dogs! We tend to hover around 5-6 dogs at once. When one dies, we somehow bring another home! There seems to be a void, and rescues always fill that void. Each of our dogs has their own unique personality. The current clan in order of age is Gilligan, a big dog in a little dog's body. He has the best personality, and his name truly fits him; he's everyone's little buddy! Yogi is the crazy, most energetic one of the pack. Babe Ruth is a black lab who is our swimmer. He is ALWAYS in the Pond, no matter the season. Liberty is our Aussie mix. She keeps everyone in line. Oakley is a terrier mix. She's the baby and the newest member of our crazy family. She completes our clan, who we affectionately call "The Fab Five".”❤️

Meet Dutch

Katie from Pennsylvania writes:

“Dutch is 17 1/2 years young and loves to sleep. He might not be able to hear or see anymore, but he still has a great sense of smell and a huge appetite to go with it! He was rescued from North Carolina, and we adopted him in the suburbs of Philadelphia in 2006. He has been here for it all, including the births of his two (human) siblings. We can't imagine life without him!”❤️

Meet Jett

Cynthia from Maryland writes:

“Sixteen years ago, I had to put my first dog down at the too-soon age of two due to an illness. It was one of the hardest things I had to do. About four years ago, I was scrolling through adoption sites on the internet and laid eyes on a Black Lab. I immediately told my co-worker that I was leaving to meet my new dog, now known as Jett. Jett, along with fourteen other Labs, was surrendered by a breeder due to poor kennel and breeding conditions. It was love at first sight, but I was crushed when I couldn't immediately take him home because he was scheduled to be neutered. So, I did what any good dog mom would do: I visited him every day for ten days until I could bring him home. His first day at home was hard. Jett refused to get out of the car, so I eventually had to call a friend to help me coax him out. He never knew anything but a kennel, so being in a new place was overwhelming for him. Fast forward to the present, and Jett is living his best life. He has the freedom of a big yard, loves walks on the beach, and swims constantly. He has lots of puppy play dates with the neighborhood dogs. Jett goes everywhere I go, and we are truly best buds.”

Meet Rex

Michelle from New York Writes:

Rex came from an Amish puppy mill in Ohio, where he was deemed not sellable. As you can see, he is missing a front leg, and this is how he came into rescue. Rex is the perfect example of how an underdog can become a champion. We know his past had been rocky when we adopted him, and just this year, we had another heart-wrenching diagnosis. Rex is dealing with something called PLE (Protein Losing Enteropathy); while this is a lifelong diagnosis, we have finally gotten him to a good place! He loves short walks, meeting new people, and other dogs! Everyone who meets Rex falls instantly in love with him. His tail never stops wagging, and he is always up for a belly rub! He is the perfect tripawd!

Meet Kevia

Elizabeth from Florida writes:

“Kevia is a foster failure who came to our family from Southern States Rescued Rottweilers (SSRR). A volunteer from SSRR found her in an animal welfare facility, where she was abandoned by her owners. Kevia suffered from a torn cruciate tendon and entropion of her right eye. From the moment we met her, we could tell she was a total sweetheart. We brought her from Georgia to our home in Florida, where she immediately attached herself to our 3-year-old son. They have been inseparable since. They share popsicles, ravioli, cereal – anything and everything you can imagine. We are forever grateful for our rescue and the folks who found her for us."

Meet Indigo aka "Indi"

Margie from New Jersey writes:

“I was not allowed to have a pet growing up. After my divorce, I met a wonderful man named Greg, who had lost his second Golden Retriever two years before we met. We ended up getting married, and soon after, the search for a dog began. I wanted a white dog, but when we searched online, Greg found a dog that “looks like a black Golden Retriever.” It didn’t take me long to fall in love with her photo. “Indi” was rescued from a kill shelter in Arkansas and was transported to us in New Jersey as an 11-week-old puppy. I had finally gotten my first dog – at 62 years old! People stop me all the time to ask what breed she is. I love to respond, “GoldenLabraBoxerHound” (per her DNA testing). She is the sweetest, most gentle dog who loves to swim, chase soccer balls, and get belly rubs. My parents, who are now 90 years old, regret not letting me have pets. They visit us all the time and I truly believe that the joy Indi brings them helps keep them young.” ❤

Meet Snow White

Sharon from Massachusetts writes:

"Snow White (aka Snow) is a Great Pyrenees/Lab/German Shepard mix. We got her from Sweet Paws Rescue. She was found in rural Mississippi with 7 puppies in her belly, hence the name - Snow White. She is deaf and responds to 12 sign commands. She has two different color eyes (blue/brown) and loves to meet people and dogs. Snow has been with us for one year now. She was in foster for four months in Massachusetts and they did amazing work with her, but no one wanted to adopt a deaf dog. We hope to change that perception about deaf dogs. Snow can sit/stay with hand signals and loves to show off her tricks. She loves to sit on the hill first thing in the morning and people/dog watch. She embraces her great Pyrenees traits to the fullest and is suspect of everything and everyone. She is learning to walk on a leash and her house manners have greatly improved. Her deafness most certainly does not slow her down." ❤

Meet Gus, Walt, Roscoe, and Copper

Julie from Arkansas writes (edited for length):

"We live in very rural Arkansas, and over the last 34 years we have rescued numerous dogs that were dumped close to our home. We’ve had as many as seven at our house at one time! Often, we’re able to find homes for them, but if we can’t, we keep them as our own. We are true believers that there’s always room for one more. Currently, we have four rescue dogs: Gus, Walt, Roscoe, and Copper.

Gus is our Yellow Labrador mix who, along with his mother and sister, was abandoned nearby nearly 14 years ago. Unfortunately, his mother suffered extreme neglect and did not survive, and his sister lived with us for a year before vanishing. Over the course of his life, Gus has been poisoned and shot, but miraculously he’s still with us. These days he spends most of his time indoors.

Walt is our Black Labrador mix. I found him on the side of the road, about 9 years ago. He was tiny, dirty, hungry, and scared. He immediately stole my heart. He is the sweetest natured dog I’ve ever known.

Roscoe is our Black Mouth Cur. He showed up in our yard 8 years ago, right before Christmas. He was neutered and housebroken. We tried for weeks to locate his owner without success, so we decided to keep him as our own. He is our hugger. He likes giving hugs and getting them! Unfortunately, last fall he was diagnosed with dementia. Overall, he is doing well, but we have to keep the lights on, so he doesn’t get disoriented.

Finally, Copper is our feisty Beagle mix and the pack newbie. She appeared two years ago this July. She has 2 speeds: 90 mph, nose to the ground, or completely passed out. She really wants to be a house dog, but the urge to run rabbits and deer always wins!

In 38 years of marriage, we have never chosen a dog, they choose us. And we are fine with that.

Meet Jake

Gary from Louisville, KY writes about Jake (content edited for length):

"When Jake turned ten, he was a 50-pound, longhaired Chow-Husky mix (we called him a "chusky") with a beautiful thick coat and turned up tail. He was regal looking with soulful eyes. However, without miracles in his life, Jake would have never reached ten.

Jake was stray, and like most strays, no one knew exactly when he was born, where he came from, or how he ended up running the streets alone. But it was late July 2012, when the residents of Auburn, Alabama first spotted him wandering their neighborhood. It was obvious he was starving and suffering from mange - and that he needed to be rescued - but numerous attempts at catching him were unsuccessful. Then came Jake’s first miracle: He was hit by a car while trying to cross the road, breaking both of his hind legs and leaving him with multiple scratches and lacerations. He was taken to the animal hospital at the University of Auburn Veterinary College. 

In many other cities without a veterinary school, Jake would have been euthanized immediately due to the extent of his injuries, but to his luck, he was taken to one of the premier small animal hospitals in the south. He received a level of care that most dogs could never receive due to the cost. After determining that he was about 4 months old, they proceeded to operate on him. His outcome was hazy: while they knew he would recover; they were unsure of the extent of the damages and knew it would be a month or longer before he could leave the hospital - if he was ever adopted.

Jake’s next miracle was my daughter, Olivia. She was starting her first year of veterinarian school in August 2012. Olivia had grown up with a house full of cats and dogs, but her mom and I begged her to wait at least a semester before rescuing a dog or cat of her own. Ignoring our pleas, in late September, she informed us that she was adopting a dog and naming him Jake. We were less than thrilled - especially me. I felt that with the challenge of veterinary school, this was a responsibility she should not take on.

It took months, but Jake did eventually heal and would only limp when he ran at full gallop. Despite this lingering injury, he still loved to go on walks. When he visited our house during holidays and in the summer, he would often sit in front of me, staring, as if to say, “Dad, I want to go for a walk!” Rain, snow, cold, or excessive heat, he did not care…he wanted to walk. Once Olivia graduated, she moved back home, and Jake became a full-time resident. We loved every minute of it.

Jake had a heart of gold. He was one of the most loving and well-behaved dogs we have ever known. He loved people and all other dogs and cats. In fact, he was dumfounded when a dog growled or was aggressive towards him. With a chow head, a purple tongue and big teeth, Jake could put fear into anyone with merely a growl. However, this "gentle giant" only showed this behavior when he thought we were in danger. He loved his life and us.

On December 29th, 2022, we had to put Jake down due to an aggressive form of cancer. We did not want to see him suffer and knew what we had to do. He and I took one last short walk (he wanted to walk longer, even though he was in obvious pain) before we went on that last car ride. We were crushed as Jake was a major part of our family and because it had happened so fast. Our shock and pain was, and still is, indescribable. 

I will admit we were also angry - especially me. After not wanting my daughter to take him all those years ago, he and I had developed a special bond, which included our “Jake walks" - just him and me, nobody else, not even my two other dogs.

However, I finally realized that Jake’s greatest miracle was the love he gave us and that he was a part of our family in the first place. We were blessed by his presence for ten years. For that we are grateful. ❤"

Meet Zeppelin

Our latest Rescue Tail is about one of our own Black Dog employees, Kayli, and her adorable rescue pup, Zeppelin. Zeppelin’s Mom was found pregnant and abandoned in rural Mississippi and was promptly placed in a foster home where she gave birth to a litter of pit bull, boxer, cattle dog mix pups. Kayli spotted Mom and her pups on the on the Animal Rescue of New England’s website, and decided to adopt Zeppelin – the only black and gray spotted pup amongst her tan colored littermates. In late-August of 2022, Zeppelin and her littermates were driven from Mississippi to Rhode Island where their new “furever” families were waiting to welcome them into their homes. Zeppelin was the last of the littermates to exit the van and Kayli said it was “love at first sight.” Before heading home to their respective new homes, the littermates played together one last time. Kayli remembers that it was “really sweet and I definitely cried.” Now, Zeppelin is one of our cutest(and well-behaved) co-workers at the Black Dog office and has been featured in emails and in our most recent catalog.❤

Meet Casey

Her owner Mitzi from Newington, CT writes:

"Casey is our sweet senior rescue dog. Poor Casey was a victim of pet hoarding. He was found in a home with 130+ pets in Oklahoma in January. He lived in a crate the whole time and when rescued he lacked strength in his legs, and did not know how to walk up stairs. He also had a mass on his side and had sustained a broken jaw and broken teeth at some point… Bissell a pet Foundation provided airplane transport to Casey and many other pets and we adopted him through Dog Star rescue… As I looked on Facebook pages for the rescue, the Tulsa humane society and the pet foundation I saw Casey’s journey to our home, including the vet sad conditions where he used to live.. it’s so amazing how resilient he is. When we met Casey at the adoption event he was frightened by all of the commotion.. but he grabbed my arm with his paw and held on to me.. he wouldn’t let me go.. we knew that he had to come home with us! Casey is doing great.. he had the mass removed.. he’s able to walk wel and he loves playing with his new toys and spending time with our 14 year old Black lab… Casey is an absolute sweetheart and we are so happy to help this lovely senior dog.. he’s my constant companion and loves his older sister, our black lab.❤"

Meet Mabel

Her owner Amy from Hanson, MA writes:

"We unexpectedly lost our dog last March, we were absolutely heartbroken, especially my 15 year old daughter. Our daughter is an introvert by nature and loosing her best friend was devastating. I began to apply to rescues, my husband was apprehensive thinking it was too soon but watching our daughter grieve and becoming more withdrawn, I knew she needed to give her love to a new dog. I was surprised to receive a reply from a shelter about an application i had submitted on a 6 month old mixed puppy. Our application was approved and i was able to convince my husband to agree to a meet and greet. I remember driving there and my husband feeling it was too soon, he said the meet and greet would have to be perfect, this pup would have to be a 10 to consider. We met our girl Mabel at a crowded, hectic doggie day care center and when my daughter crouched down to say hello, Mabel instantly climbed into her lap. The bond was instant, it was love at first sight for us all. We were told we were the first application that had been submitted for Mabel, not one person showed any interest. Mabel has been part of our family for almost a year, she is a gift, so very loved and treasured! We feel like we hit the lottery with this sweet, loving girl! I believe we needed her just as much as she needed us ❤"

Meet Nick

His owner Susan from Middletown, RI writes:

"I lost my beloved shelter black lab, Dropkick Murphy very unexpectedly in November. I was devastated. I wasn’t looking for a dog. I saw a dog on Facebook this past March. He was in a South Carolina shelter. He had been tossed out of a car into a Waffle House parking lot. I kept going back to look at his photo. Over and over. I commented on his picture.The shelter staff reached out to me. Nick was heartworm positive. He was being treated so he couldn’t travel yet. Then came the pandemic. No transport was allowed. During this time, Nick was staying in a wonderful foster home. Then I received a call. A group of pilots that offer to fly rescue animals in their own planes, on their own time could bring Nick to me! Two weeks ago Nick arrived in Rhode Island. He went from literally being tossed away like garbage, to flying in two private planes to a new life"

Meet Cash

His owner Christopher from South Deerfield, MA writes:

“We got Cash in 2018 from a local rescue and he was originally in Georgia. They said he was 1-2 years old when we got him. He is a black lab mix and went through a bit of a journey to get back to fully healthy. He was sadly underweight and had heart worms when we got him. He was about 60 pounds, but is now a healthy 80 pounds and heart worm free! He’s a lovable dork and the beach pictures are from Chappaquiddick last year. It was his first ever beach trip and as you can see, he loved it! He was a beach bum all week. He’s a only dog but wants to say hi to everyone and every dog. And of course, he loves his black dog collar and leash.”

Meet Finley

His owner Kate from Exeter, NH writes:

“Finley was adopted from Last Chance Arkansas. My husband and I saw Finley’s picture on Petfinder and had to have him! I was relatively new to my company and I bribed my coworker with Kit Kat’s to be a reference for me. Although the candy was not needed I promised that I would spoil Finley and now my life revolves around Fin. Over the past four years we have accomplished a lot together and I am incredibly thankful for my best friend. After training for roughly two years Finley passed his exam and is a certified therapy dog! In addition he loves dog diving and long walks on the beach as well as ice cream dates. Finley has been a huge part of our family! He was even if our wedding this past Fall dressed in a custom tuxedo!”

Meet Cooper

His owner Kirsten from Islip, NY writes:

“We had been looking for a dog to help our aging black lab feel a little more motivated to get up as she was hurting from arthritis. While on a work trip I saw his mug picture from a high kill shelter in LA and this group of volunteers needed $50 to spring him and board him for a week. I volunteered to foster him on Monday night and by Wednesday of last Easter week he boarded a rescue road trip truck on his way to NY via New York retriever rescue group. He has been a great addition to our family and the perfect level of energy for our other lab and kids. Cooper originally named Dude had gained about 30 lbs and loves going to doggy daycare to get his rough tumble play and snuggles on couch. He learned how to play with toys and chew bones. ”

Meet Dino

His owner Andria from Succasunna, NY writes:

“Haven't had a dog in 12 years but the time was right. Filled out applications and heard "we'll keep you on file, on the waiting list, etc". Then one evening a few hours after getting that same reply we got a second email saying they just had an intake are you able to take him? Dino was coming to us from 2 previous homes where he had been longing for love and guidance. He was a mess and underweight. Since we we were in quarantine he was to start as a 30 day foster but within 2 hours we knew he was home. He has been a very good boy since arriving 4 weeks ago. ”

Meet Dino

Her owner Lindsey from Portsmouth, VA writes:

“I had been looking for a dog for months, then randomly decided to stop by my local shelter one Monday to look. Harley was the first dog I saw & as soon as I got to meet her 1 on 1 I knew she was the perfect dog for me. Animal control had found her locked in a crate sitting on the side of the road. They believe she was used for breeding & then dumped. When I adopted her 3 years ago she was very timid & didn't really know what life was like outside of a crate. Now she’s 5 years old & exploring the great outdoors! Harley’s favorite activities are swimming, hiking, & camping! We love adventuring around Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee!

Meet Elvis

His owner Kim from Stewartstown, PA writes:

“My husband, Dalton, & I got married in June 2018. We are both teachers in the Baltimore, MD area but live across the state line in PA. We weren't ready to start a human family yet but knew we wanted a dog. We found our boy at Animal Rescue, Inc only 10 minutes away from our house. We originally were looking at another dog, and we didn't even know that Elvis (known as Termite at the rescue) existed. When the dog did not work out for us, they suggested we look at "Termite." They said he was very friendly, loved dogs, got along with cats, liked children, and was their go-to dog for pet shows and other public events. They brought him out, and we immediately fell in love. We've had him for 4 months now, and he has been the best. We named him Elvis, and we love our little family.

Meet Cali

Her owner Samantha from York, ME writes:

“I visited my local shelter a few weeks after i moved into my first apartment as a sophomore in college. I was just going to look and planned to foster short term before i made a long term commitment. Immediately i was drawn to a 10 year old chocolate lab, very overweight and just needed some help. After a lot of thought i decided it wasn’t fair for her to live on the second floor of an apartment and should have the opportunity to live out her years with a family in a home with a yard. A kennel attendant quickly told me about ‘Sally’ who was actually her kennel mate, who i regretfully say i had overlooked, just like every person who had gone to OLHS before me. Sally was 5 1/2, 55lbs, and a black lab mix. When the woman said she had been there for longer than normal for our kill-shelter and her time was running out very quickly, i immediately filled out the paperwork to foster. The shy little girl in her kennel was wiggling her whole body and shaking her tail like no tomorrow when they brought her out to me. I melted with her already sugar sprinkled face. Her name became Cali and a few weeks later i officially adopted her, it definitely wasn’t my plan but it was hers. It’s been almost 4 years since that day and that sugar now covers a good bit of her face. We’ve lived in 5 different homes, had roommates, many dog roommates, even more fosters, and she has two furver brothers now. Cali’s driven 23 hours to and from school countless times, she spent 4 years next to me watching me study, and I’m so happy for her that I’ve graduated and my girl finally gets her very own backyard. She may be almost 10 but happily keeps up with her younger brothers. I’m so lucky the universe brought me my Black Dog when i needed her.”

Meet Cece

Her owner Martina from Shelton, CT writes:

“Ever since I could remember I knew I loved dogs and needed one in my life, however, being 3 years old and living with my parents they sort of had a say in it all and since dealing with me was already plenty, my mom was not ready to take on a dog as well. Flash forward to being 10 years old and refusing to leave my parents native country of Croatia without my beloved Fido that I had met on my grandparents farm (pronounced Feed-oh, he’s European after all), my mom finally caved and I was with my first dog for an amazing 16 years. Experiencing the passing of Fido is by far one of the most difficult experiences of my life to date and after he passed there was such a tremendous space missing in my life that I knew would be difficult to fill. Another skip forward to about 2 years later and I felt ready to start looking for a pup. After having met a few doggies that were up for adoption I was realizing it was going to be very difficult to find that bond that I had with Fido. After almost giving up entirely on my search my sister found a website called and matched with this adorable nugget, Cece. It was instant upon meeting little Cece that she was meant to be with me and just as quickly she was welcomed into my heart and my home and she is the biggest bundle of joy (and speed) you'll ever meet. She loves her bully sticks, chasing each and every leaf floating around the wind outside and cuddles. She is the sweetest little pup with a very big personality and there’s no telling her what to do because her way is the best way…and only way. I can’t wait to see what adventures we have in store and know in a way Fido sent her to me and is watching over us.”

Meet Curley

His owner May from Long Beach, CA writes:

“Curley was a stray in our neighborhood and came to us looking for a home. Although many neighbors wanted to catch him, he chose us because he took a liking to my Dalmatian dog and starting following us on our walks. One day he came in our yard and allowed me to touch him and I was able to take him to a vet and learned he did not have a tag or chip. After a week when no one claimed him, we adopted him when in reality he adopted us. He had been with us for over 10 years and have been a very loyal happy protective dog. We love him a lot. We would like to say we rescued him, but I know he really rescue us and made our family complete. Thank you Curley! You are a blessing.”