Adoptions are exciting. Each dog and cat that passes through ARFâ€™s door is lovingly prepared to find their forever home. When someone adopts one of those animals, it makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. But after we tweet the adoption and post their photograph on the website, what then?
Fortunately, the stories donâ€™t end there â€“ they are just beginning! If youâ€™ve ever wondered what happens once a dog or cat goes home, youâ€™ll enjoy these tales of ARF alumni starting their new lives, adjusting to new routines, new names, and sometimes new siblings. As for the families, while discovering the personality quirks and preferences of a new pet can be comical or poignant, one thing is certain: itâ€™s always special.
“When I first saw Gracie (right), I instantly fell in love with her cute, fuzzy face, but had no idea what a gem she would be! She’s still a bit shy, but she rules the house and neighborhood! Her big brother thinks she’s the best present we ever gave him. They love the same games, especially tearing up stuffed animals, roughhousing, and tag. She is always close by, demanding very little attention, but always ready for cuddles and tummy rubs. Her tail is thumping every morning, so I know she’s happy. I’m so glad she’s mine. She’s the perfect dog for me!”
Scout’s (formerly Gidget at ARF) new guardian can’t believe someone ever let her go. “Whoever lost this little girl or tossed her out lost a sweetheart!” she exclaims. The pretty orange tabby loves to follow her human around the house like a dog, watch birds and squirrels through the office window, and spend her nights sleeping with-and sometimes on-her guardian. In fact, on her first night at home, Scout escaped from her own room in the middle of the night to sneak into bed for a snuggle. “I love her so much! We are very happy together here.”
When the Chester family’s beloved cat passed away, they decided that the best way to heal their hearts and honor their kitty’s memory was to open their home to a deserving shelter cat. Within minutes of meeting Ming Ming, the entire family was smitten with her friendly charms. And the honeymoon isn’t over! Her guardian beams with pride as she reports back on how the cutie pie is settling in: “Within one week she had the dogs in check, the kids learning how to play with her, and my husband and I in love.”
“Our darling little Ariel now has taken over our entire home...and we couldn't be more delighted!” say her ecstatic new guardians. Once surrendered to a high volume public shelter and rescued by ARF, the stunning long-haired kitty adapted quickly to her final destination: her new family’s household where she’s now living with them in perfect harmony. “The hardest part is not being able to quit our jobs and play with her all day! She has quickly made herself the mistress of our hearts.”
Things are shipshape in Admiral's new home! After the once-shy pup settled in with his new family, he set to work getting his AKC Canine Good Citizen certification and training to become a therapy dog. "We often talk about how special it was when we were first introduced to Admiral," says adopter Kristin. "We could not have asked for anything better!"
Skyler, a pretty, playful kitty, had high hopes of being adopted by a family who’d share his interests: toys, playtime, snuggles, naps. Now, Skyler is flying high! The adorable aeronaut is quite busy with the responsibilities of his new home - catching up on his favorite TV show (scoping out what’s going on from his backyard window), greeting his family with a nose bumps, and “assisting” them in the home office (napping in chairs and lounging on the desk). His most special playmate is his family’s grandson, whose favorite game is dragging a toy behind him as Skyler pounces and gives chase. This cuddly cat’s new life is nothing but smooth sailing!
Tad, (now Koda), a Newfoundland/Shepherd mix, has proven to be the perfect playmate for his new human brothers and sisters. "He is a great dog and we couldn't be happier with him," his new mom tells us. A true gentle giant, Koda's sweet, happy-go-lucky personality - and love of attention! - makes him a superb fit for dress-up and other playtime favorites with the family.
Intelligent eyes, sweet face and master of cool tricks, Juggler's new family knew she belonged center-ring. Now named Poppins - both for Mary Poppins and for her habit of popping her head up when anyone enters the room - her enthusiasm and superstar smarts has shown her family that she’s perfect in every way. She's even made her modeling debut, winning “Pet of the Month” at Lucky Supermarkets. The only word to describe Poppins’ new life is obvious: supercalifragiâ€¦well, you know the rest!
Kosi Mom Amanda fills us in on Kosi's easy breezy life: “Kosi is SO SMART! And a real comedian! Since I brought her into my life we have had many adventures, and every day I love her more. She learned to sit and lay down in ONE day! What a GEM! Life is good for Miss Kosi. She likes to interact with new dogs, splash and play in water holes, and practice her walking on and off leash. She is destined for doggy greatness!” Watch Kosi’s video and smile all day!
LaRussa A Perfect 10!
LaRussa, a sweet 2 year-old kitty with a soulful gaze, certainly has a reason to stop and smell the flowers. LaRussa has blossomed since finding her forever family, and they tell us having her in their life has been a home run. Her people trekked 425 miles to ARF looking for their perfect companion, and when they fell in love with a black and white kitty with a few extra toes she was “outta here”! Now LaRussa is basking in the glow of love from her new people. “She always has to be in the same room with us,” Mom Christina reports, “It’s so cute.”
Scout sent a dispatch from his new headquarters. He has successfully infiltrated a new family an up to his tail in adventures every day. No more undercover work for him. Horses, cats, and his new dog partner Chessie B make up his new intelligence team, and his latest pursuits include swimming, kayaking, camping trips, and lots of rides in the truck, where he can stealthily check out his new surroundings. But he has not given up espionage altogether - he comes out of retirement every time there's a ball that's been reported missing in his yard!
A small, sleek, black and white purring machine was searching for her favorite feather toy when she heard a tapping on her window. Always ready for a new game, Lexus zoomed over to check out the wiggling fingers and funny cooing noises. She was confident that her cute-as-a-button kitten face and bouncy personality would be hard for anyone to resist, but she upped the cute show when spying her new family. It was just a matter of making sure that she could convince her new mom and dad to say "yes, we are ready". And she did.
Now Lexus Maomao spends her days inspiring her mom to write while still having enough fun to occasionally create a typo by bounding across the keyboard.
Adorable little Monarch didn’t just flutter her wings; she flew straight into the hearts of her new family. No longer a wandering butterfly, she is now Missy Lynn, the family love bug! Giving warm cuddles and wiggly tail wags, Missy has charmed her way into lots of walks, indoor play sessions and even sleeping in bed with her ‘big sister’. It seems Missy brings lots of joy everywhere she goes and is loved ‘to pieces’. While she may not have had direction before coming to ARF, this pretty pup has found a forever home filled with lots of butterfly kisses!
Stephie and Deut
Blue and white Deut was a snuggly cuddle bug that could have wriggled his way into anyoneâ€™s heart, but his mama, Stephie, wasnâ€™t ready to come out of her cocoon so quickly. Deut was hoping they would be adopted together, though, because he wasnâ€™t ready to leave her behind. Sometimes a kitty just wants his mommy!
Fortunately these lucky bugs flew away home with adopter Vanessa, who was willing to be patient with the creamy lynx-point beauty. A honeyed voice, a little sweet talk, and it wasnâ€™t long before Stephie blossomed into her old affectionate self, buzzing around Vanessa for head rubs. As for Deut, heâ€™d been flitting about the house since the beginning! Now all three of them are as snug asâ€¦well, you-know-whats in a rug!
Almond, a very royal cat, went nuts over his new home! It didn't take long before he captured his kingdom and dubbed himself 'King of the Castle'. This large-and-in-charge loveable feline quickly laid down new laws of the land by declaring his own throne, securing his own balcony (from which to hold court), and procuring his own toys (enough to fill a moat!). His new royal subject has become a most loyal servant by devoting hours of laser pointer playtime for his Highness. Once in a shelter, now in a castle of his own, this regal cat surely is living 'Happily Ever After'.
Mango picked the cream of the crop for her forever home! Mango now enjoys the sweet life with her new mom. Together they go on long walks, runs and doggie events around the Bay. Always up for something new, Mango decided to enter the KOFY dog casting call. Now this pretty pup is a full-fledged TV star with a commercial spot all her own! We can't wait to see what Mango will do next! One thing is for sure, this outgoing fur-star's life is ripe with adventure.
Ahoy! Chucky has battened down the hatches and found his forever matey! Chucky, a pug mix, came to ARF with a painful, glossy eye. With a visit to ARF's clinic, it was determined that he had glaucoma and was blind in his bothersome eye. Chucky had his eye removed and thus, the 'Legend of Chucky the Pug Pirate' began. Undaunted by losing his eye, this little four-legged swashbuckler set sail on his adventure to find his forever treasure.
Chucky wasn't at sea long. One visit from Natalie and he knew he'd struck gold. Chucky now spends all his time on dry land - enjoying ARF agility classes with new 'Puggle brother', London, eating gourmet meals lovingly prepared by his new mom, Natalie, and taking lots of walks on the beach with all his new mates. With a 'Yo-Ho', Chucky sure is leading a great Pug Pirate life!
Axel and Aviana
What is cuter than a fuzzy, purring kittenâ€¦ why two kittens of course! In spring and summer, litters abound. With so many to choose from, Axel and Aviana were two lucky siblings adopted together at ARF. These grey and white bundles of fun captured the hearts of Steven and Lisa while taking their time to find the perfect match for their energetic family. Little did they know that they would be bringing home two cuties instead of one!
Both fuzz balls have very different personalities and keep each other occupied all day long. After a full day of flips, jumps and games of tag, curling up together for long naps, nestling in with the children is the best way to end the day. Axel is a love bug and attention seeker, and Aviana thinks everything is her toy.
Big star power in a little package, Lil Kim, a sweet brown eyed pup, was rescued by ARF from a Central Valley shelter. This scruffy terrier mix had plenty of fans, but danced her way into Carol’s heart when she came to ARF looking for a new furry family member.
Lil Kim has a new alias. Lola a.k.a. Sock Monkey, amazes her new guardian every day with super smart talents. She loves her new cat friends and is becoming less curious about the chickens in the yard. “Crate training was a breeze” says Carol, “potty trained in three days, using the doggy door in two, it’s like she has been here forever.”Â Sounds like Lola will have many standing ovations for all her performances.
She's always got her cute-face on, and it's no act! ARF rescued Vaudevillian, a fluffy blend of Shar Pei and cattle dog, from a Central Valley shelter. The curious, imaginative pup was looking to become leading lady in her own forever family when the Page family "entered stage right."
Now called Simba for her resemblance to that famous animated lion cub, the darling dog quickly became the Page family's one and only star. A natural ham, playful and full of energy, this spunky little character also impressed the family by learning her lines with ease. Thanks to the training she received while at ARF, Simba knows when it's time to go out, earning a standing ovation from her new family! This lucky lion knows where she sleeps tonight!
Despite his wintry name and frosty coat, Polarbear was really only as cool as a cucumber. With his mellow personality, the fluffy white feline had become a staff and volunteer favorite. Polarbear had plenty of time to melt hearts with his deep sea-green gaze: facing a number of challenges, the loving cat spent an ice age waiting for just the right family to come adopt him. At eight years old, Polarbear was heading into senior territory. But that was just the tip of the iceberg for this fellow â€“ Polarbear also required insulin shots to manage his diabetes.
Now he’s king of the world! Polarbear’s glacial patience made him perfect for the Holdaway family. The love of their young son for this gentle lapcat was evident before they even left ARF, where the boy was overheard telling Polarbear, “I’ll take care of you.” As it turns out, the adoration was mutual: Polarbear follows his new friend around the house and sleeps on his bed.
When the Myers family came to ARF to adopt a dog, they faced a most unusual challenge: the kids weren’t too keen on the idea. Dogs made both children, ages seven and eight, extremely nervous. The family was willing to take things slow, however, in order for their children to experience the joys of canine companionship.
At ARF the family met Linguine. A gentle young Cocker Spaniel, Linguine’s calm manner and snuggly personality presented the perfect balm to soothe the kids’ worry. With patience, sensitivity, and a few tips from ARF, the Myers worked on introducing Linguine (now Lucy) to the children. In just a few days, they were past their apprehension and thrilled to have a new dog. “Seeing that our son was getting comfortable, we brought Lucy close to him and let her lick him on the cheek,” says Mrs. Myers. “He was instantly in love!”
Spanky the Christmas Frog had better look out. Though they have been buddies since last winter, adopted ARF feline Liza Minelli has her eye on a new little catnip mouse named Punchy, and Spanky’s days may be numbered. Liza’s adoptive mom, Norma Jean, writes that the plump brown and white tabby also “loses her mind” over her fishing-pole feather wand.
“When I read her personality profile, it said she was a ‘Party Animal,’ writes Norma Jean, “but I still wanted to check her out.” After learning the title simply meant Liza was a sociable kitty, Norma Jean took the plunge and brought the friendly feline into her home. She loves that Liza isn’t shy about greeting visitors. “Sometimes she just plops over as if to say, “Rub my belly!”
Now named Sophie, this confident cat isn’t phased by anything â€“ Norma Jean can even vacuum right past her! And though she may be fickle in her choice of stuffed buddies, there’s no question Sophie is the perfect match for Norma Jean. “I love her so much. I feel very fortunate to have found her.”
Where do you go to adopt a Chihuahua? That depends on how big a baseball fan you are! When the Heal family came across the historic video of Tony La Russa rescuing Evie the cat at an Oakland A’s game, they knew ARF was the place they wanted to adopt their next dog.
At ARF, the Heals found Ole Gaucho, a spirited one-year-old with the heart and soul of a mighty adventurer tucked into his little white body. He fit right into their family with his goofy, energetic nature. Quite popular with the kids, Ole Gaucho doles out many kisses in exchange for loving pets.
“Thank you so much for rescuing and taking care of him!” writes the Heal family. “He is a little angel without wings.”
When the Ackers family came to ARF looking for a new cat, there were so many to choose from! They stopped at the front desk to ask the receptionist which cat really needed a home. She directed them to one of her favorite felines, spunky Guacamole. As it turns out, the tiny Tortoiseshell had already caught their eye.
Guacamoleâ€™s defining feature was actually her lack of oneâ€¦ a leg. She had arrived at ARF with an injured leg, possibly the result of a car accident, since her claws were also frayed as though from digging into the pavement. The ARF clinic had to amputate the ultimately useless limb.
Naturally, the thing that drew the Ackers (and everyone else) to the fearless feline didnâ€™t phase Guacamole a bit! Now named Scarlett, she runs around the house frolicking with her housemate, Flower, encouraging her to be more active.
Pantaloons brought new life into the Marrero house when he was adopted last year. The couple and their dog, Mollie, were still mourning the loss of another canine companion when they brought home the energetic Australian Shepherd mix. Four-year-old Pantaloons brought the spring back into Mollie’s step, herding away dogs who might bug his older sister during visits to Point Isabel.
Now called Yahtzee, this active pup definitely caught a lucky roll of the dice! He gets lots of exercise, lots of love, and has plenty of warm places around the house to lounge. A ball-chasing dynamo who enjoys “splash parties” in the park creek, Yahtzee is maintaining tip-top shape for all the fun and games with his favorite health-nut snacks of raw carrots and slightly-steamed broccoli.
His new mom raves about his intelligence: “He learned his new name in two days, and was able to be off-leash at the park after only two weeks!” She also appreciates his guardian instincts, alerting the family to unusual activity outside the house. “I can safely say Pantaloons is exactly what we were looking for in a dog. Thank you for rescuing him, and thank you for all the work you do!”
Matilda (aka Waltzing Matilda) was just skin and bones when Susan G. adopted her last year. The snub-nosed orange tabby was one of many Persian-type cats taken in by ARF from a situation of overcrowding and neglect in early 2010. The entire group was dirty, matted, and thin. Matilda also suffered an upper respiratory infection.
Matildaâ€™s personality, though, was evident in her wide, soulful eyes and inquisitive mews. Outgoing despite her ordeal, Matildaâ€™s true potential shone through her shaved coat and skinny body for Susan to see.
It took several months, but finally Matilda returned to the happy, beautiful Exotic Shorthair she was meant to be. She loves everyone she meets, and gets along with the other animals. These days, Matilda goes everywhere Susan does, tagging along with her and the familyâ€™s two dogs.
Not every cat would willingly pad into a family as big and boisterous as the Kroeber’s, but Friedrich struck them right away as just such an intrepid fellow. The grey and white feline seemed to possess the confident and easygoing air they felt he would need to accommodate an energetic 7-year-old boy, two young girls, lots of playdates, and two guinea pigs.
The Kroebers followed ARF’s recommendation to confine Friedrich to one room until he could acclimate himself to the lively householdâ€¦at first. “We soon realized he was not shy at all, and rather wanted to explore the whole house as soon as possible!” says mom Sabine. Once free to roam, Friedrich began systematically combing room after room for his favorite hiding and sleeping places.
Next, Friedrich began making his voice heard, meowing to the Kroebers when he wanted more food, attention, or play time. Finally he communicated his fondness for chasing tissue paper balls! “He chases after it just like a dog,” says Sabine. “We still have to teach him to bring it back, though!”
Dalkey Hill â€śIâ€™m very happy with my new family,â€ť reports Dalkey Hill, who was adopted from ARF in August. â€śThey just love me to pieces.â€ť The little white Havanese mixâ€™s adopters helped him write an update on his new home. While at ARF, Dalkey Hill had received an enthusiastic grooming, and his hair has grown back in while he adjusted to his new home. â€śIâ€™ve also gained quite a bit of weight since then,â€ť he writes. â€śThey give me lots of treats when I behave.â€ť
Dalkey Hill enjoys the dog park, lounging around the house, laps, belly rubs, and playing with his auntie Roxie, an eleven-year-old Papillon who is also an adoptee. He was excited to spend Labor Day at the beach. Though uncertain about the cold water on his feet, he loved the feel of the sand and took a long nap
â€śI'm looking forward to getting back to ARF for my manners classes,â€ť writes Dalkey Hill, who now goes by the name of Herbie â€śthe love bugâ€ť Vargas. â€śThank you for taking such good care of me while I was waiting for my new family!â€ť
Blanco and Fuego
Blanco and Fuego came to ARF with their mother and three siblings. When they became available for adoption, the spunky youngsters caught the attention of ARF All StarÂ® teen volunteer Nick A. One might wonder how anyone could choose between five adorable, creamy Siamese-mix kits, but each had their own personality to recommend them. â€śBlanco is cautious and thoughtful but very affectionate,â€ť says Nickâ€™s mom, Clarice. â€śFuego is our knucklehead, fearless and playfulâ€”but a lapcat.â€ť
The kittens love their new home, and explore every nook and cranny. The family is working to teach confident Fuego (now Dragon) to â€śrespect his brotherâ€™s space.â€ť Though he was the smaller of the two, he loves to eat his brotherâ€™s food. Perhaps heâ€™s trying to catch up to Blanco (renamed Wyn)!
The brothers are much adored by the family, who misses them when theyâ€™re away for work and school. â€śThey seem to miss us also, and give us warm greetings when we come home,â€ť says Clarice. â€śThey have become a very precious part of our family.â€ť
Before Toaster was adopted, his new pet parent, Vicki D. didnâ€™t realize how empty her apartment was. â€śNow that heâ€™s here, heâ€™s a delight! Iâ€™m very happy.â€ť Toaster must be pretty glad too: he never leaves Vickiâ€™s side! He goes to doggie daycare five days a week, and gets plenty of exercise; Vicki takes him on long walks since they live in a third floor apartment.
Toaster has learned commands for â€śsit,â€ť â€śstay,â€ť â€śdown.â€ť Vicki reports heâ€™s very easy to bathe and groom, and notes that he seems to really enjoy being pampered. Now called Charlie, the black and white wire-haired terrier mix â€śis so much fun and very easy,â€ť says Vicki. â€śHe settled into a routine very quickly and we bonded instantly. Keep doing what youâ€™re doing at ARF! Everyone is focused on the animals and caring for them while they await adoption. I was very impressed every step of the process.â€ť
Simon When Simon and his mama cat, Sasha, came to ARF, Sasha tested positive for FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), but little Simon was too young for his test to be conclusive. He couldnâ€™t stay with Sasha if he didnâ€™t have FIV…but he couldnâ€™t be around other cats in case he did. And nobody could be sure until he was six months old! So off to foster care he went, until his test came back positive.
Simonâ€™s foster mom took good care of him, but without siblings, he missed out on important kitty lessons, like how to play nicely and not bite too hard. Between that, and having to be an indoor cat due to his FIV status, Simon wondered if anyone would adopt him! Fortunately, thereâ€™s someone for every kitty…
Lorena R. came along and fell in love with the spunky orange tabby, who now answers to the name of Chester. Despite a rocky ride home and a potty accident on the bed, Lorenaâ€™s heart went out to the sweet boy who was clearly just scared in his unfamiliar new surroundings, and the two are getting along like gangbusters. â€śSince then, heâ€™s done his darnedest to make amends, like curling up to sleep with me on the sofa and making me laugh with his toy-war antics.â€ť Though she still has to figure out how to reset Simonâ€™s 5 a.m. singing birdie alarm clock, Lorena says heâ€™s settling in wonderfully. â€śThank you, ARF employees and volunteers for all your efforts to give him a better life,â€ť she says. â€śI would never have been able to shower him with love and attention today if you hadnâ€™t done the same for him first!â€ť
Simon Says: â€śMy mama cat Sasha is still waiting to find her forever home. Please post her profile on your Facebook page or tweet it to your friends, so she can find a very special friend like I did!â€ť
De La Salle De La Salle (now Sam) was one of 81 lucky dogs and cats adopted from ARF during the Maddieâ€™sÂ® Matchmaker Adoptathon on June 12 & 13, 2010. A sensitive fellow, De La Salle was carefully monitored during his first day home: his new family wanted to make sure the little black and white terrier with the warm brown eyes could withstand the â€śvigorous attentionsâ€ť of their five-year-old son. â€śTheyâ€™ve been getting along like a house on fire!â€ť says Mom. After the pair played all day, both child and pup crawled into bed together. â€śIt was as though [De La Salle] had always been there.â€ť
The Steinmetz-Wong family couldnâ€™t be any happier with their new family member! Provolone (now Buddy) is the perfect playful partner for his human siblings. He plays hard with the kids, but is very gentle at the same time. â€śIâ€™ve never had a cat like him,â€ť says Mrs. Steinmetz-Wong. â€śWe are so in love with him, and very glad we came to ARF.â€ť The family is even thinking about adopting another cat!
â€śHamilton is the perfect addition,â€ť reports the Chalk family. â€śThe love and training [ARF] has shown him made his transition into our home much easier than we could have dreamed.â€ť Both eager to please and an extremely fast learner, Hamilton is learning to â€śstayâ€ť when the family opens a door to enter or exit the house. He has â€śmore toys than he could know what to do with,â€ť and rarely stops wagging his tail. Once challenged by off-leash interaction with other animals, Hamilton has nonchalantly encountered both other dogs and neighborhood cats, much to the Chalkâ€™s delight. â€śWe are so lucky to have a new member of the family!â€ť
Septimus Heap Adopted in February, Septimus Heap is doing great in his new home. â€śIâ€™m amazed at how intelligent he is,â€ť his adopter Jason says. He and Septimus Heap (now named Kane) are working together on commands, and the pit bull terrier mix is picking things up very fast. Heâ€™s also learned where his sleeping area is, and he heads for it whenever he gets tired. â€śThank you so much for giving me a healthy and happy friend,â€ť Jason says. â€śIâ€™ve told everyone how great my experience with ARF has been, and I look forward to adding another ARF pet to my family!â€ť
A Message from Tule Hello my ARF friends! Sorry for the delay in writing. Iâ€™ve been busy getting used to my new home with Karin and Larry. You may remember, I am a very shy girl. I spend most of my time on the bed hiding in the pillows. My next favorite spot is on the couch. I changed my name to Juliette, to match my petite, delicate beauty and to honor the late Romeo, who lived here before me. Then thereâ€™s Emiliana. She and I are still trying to become friends. Sheâ€™s a silver tip two-year-old female with LOTS of energy. Last night I tolerated her lying next to me on the couch - she was flopping her tail on me! But she purrs really loud. I love salmon, and occasionally get a few scraps from dinner. I am healthy and well. Thank you all for taking good care of me until I found my new home.
One of the things that attracted Steve and Cindy to Inchworm was the sweet, friendly personality with which she approached other dogs and people. It was important, because when they adopted her, she would have to live with a new brother: Brian, a Bichon Frise. Of course the two get along great together! Now Chloe, the little Chihuahua is dearly loved, and the family is thrilled to have found her.
Liono Jillian and Chris adopted young Liono from ARF, and recently wrote to tell us how much they enjoy him. The orange kitten, now called Toby, was a little shy when he first got home, but now they report heâ€™s the boss of the house! Jillian writes, â€śHe has the funniest meow, and he loves to talk! Heâ€™s also a purr machine, and such a lover. We just wanted to say thank you!â€ť