Why Rescue?

Blonde Beauty Tassle (now Willow) was found hanging around a campground on the Rosebud Reservation.

Willow met her rescuer in a rather unique way.

A woman noticed this blond beauty during a summer stay at a campground on the Rosebud Reservation. The woman typically visited the reservation during the summer months and sold snow cones there. As the season changed,and with the color of the leaves changing and the air becoming chilly, she would leave.

Willow was hanging around the campground, looking for stray crumbs. No one claimed her, so the “Snow Cone Lady” began feeding her and keeping an eye out for her to keep her from harm. Once the end of the summer approached, Willow’s rescuer did not want to just leave her to an unknown fate.

Willow was already very skittish and fearful, but the woman managed to wrestle Willow into her van. Willow was brought to Sherry, our Program Partner, with Borders without Boundaries Rescue (BWBR), just south of the reservation. Soon after, Willow received a health checkup and her vaccinations, and then was treated for worms and fleas by the veterinarian. Of course, she was also placed on a healthy diet. BWBR does not typically spay/neuter dogs immediately after taking in the animal. Instead, they are given time to settle in. This provides time for them to get comfortable with the people and places around them. This was particularly important with Willow, since she was fostered for six months before being adopted.

Willow smiling Willow's cute happy dog smile is what first got Mary's attention.

Renamed and Rehomed!

When Willow was fostered, she was originally named Tassle. Once she was more comfortable and considered ready to be adopted, BWBR added her profile to PetFinder.com. This is where Mary and Drew first became captivated by her.

Mary described her and her husband’s initial interest saying, “My husband and I had been on the hunt for the right dog for a very long time — making frequent trips to the Humane Society, following several shelters and rescues on Facebook, and reading about dogs available for adoption on PetFinder.com. It was ultimately on PetFinder that I happened upon Willow (then named Tassle).”

Mary continued to illustrate how their new addition was presented on the webpage: “Her cute happy dog ‘smile’ first got my attention, but it was the words "calm" and "tidy" in the description that kept it. Those two attributes had not been anything we'd found in any of the dogs we'd met. A desire to have a pet that was calm and tidy was the very reason I had always been more of a cat lover than a dog lover. When we met the dog, her temperament exceeded any expectations we had, and we knew right away that she would make a great addition to our family.”

Willow with ball Willow enjoys running in her new back yard with a squeaky ball in her mouth.

Once Willow came home with Mary and Drew, the transition was very smooth. Her favorite place in the house is: “Wherever we are. She is never more than a few steps away... She enjoys running in our big back yard with a squeaky ball in her mouth. She likes to go for walks, particularly in places where she runs into other dogs and is always excited to see other people with dogs.”

A Day with Willow

Mary connected with Sherry at BWBR: “Everything is still going very well with Willow — that is with the exception of her shredding her bed apart the other day and her new discovery of the cat's litter box. She doesn't seem to mind going into her crate at all and does so with very little coaxing. We have started experimenting with having her sleep in the kennel without latching the door and periodically leaving her out of the kennel for short amounts of time, like when we run a very quick errand.

Willow with Nellie Willow and Nellie get along well and she totally lets Nellie (the cat) call all the shots!

It seems to be going well. Everyone, I mean everyone, comments on how well behaved she is, and it has required virtually no training. Willow and Nellie get along well, but she totally lets the cat call all the shots. I worked from home today and witnessed a pretty hilarious exchange between the two of them. Willow was curled up in the corner of her bed, and the cat crawled into the other corner. I thought for a moment they would snuggle up with one another, but instead Willow, who had plenty of room, got out of there right away and just let the cat take over the entire bed.”

Why Rescue?

Mary and Drew are not unfamiliar with rescued animals. “Our cat came from the Humane Society,” Mary said. She further explained what advice she would give to others considering adopting a rescue: “My advice for people considering adoption is don't make a hasty decision; you should make sure the animal is the right fit for your family. Just like if it were a child, adoption should be for life. It seems people often see a cute animal and adopt before considering whether they are a good match for the family's home and lifestyle. Those animals end up back in the shelter and won't understand why.”

She continued, “I encourage people to adopt whenever I can. With a seemingly infinite number of unwanted and homeless animals, I can think of very few compelling reasons to purchase a pet from a store or from a breeder. When you adopt animals, you are bettering their life just as much as they are bettering yours. It's a great feeling.”

Our Mission: Serving immediate needs. Supporting long-term solutions.
Our Vision: Strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.

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