10 Moments for Austin Dogs That Make Us Thankful

We knew we wanted to do a special post for today and we wanted to make sure it was meaningful. We wanted to do something different. Something that captured the essence of why we feel so lucky to live in Austin, TX. Something that shows those magical moments where we, the animal welfare community, get it right.

Drawing inspiration from the folks over at BuzzFeed, we present you with our ten favorite moments for Austin dogs that happened this year, right here in our own community…

  1. The moment when adopted Hard Luck Hound, Valentine (shown in the top photo with her family) decided to pay it forward and share the love with an orphaned foster puppy.

    Valentine arrived at the shelter bearing myriad physical scars and long-untreated injuries that told the story of the life she’d led. But they didn’t tell the full story of who she was; a beautiful soul with the resilience and heart that defines so many of the dogs in the Hard Luck Hounds program. When her adopters took in a litter of orphaned puppies as fosters from the city shelter, Valentine, who’d lost her own litter prior to arriving at AAC, took this little guy under her wing…or paw. Thank you HLH and Valentine for this moment, and so many others.

  2. The moment when these two seniors, Sister & Rusty, who’d come into Austin Humane Society together, were adopted together too.

    It is heartbreaking to see senior dogs end up in the shelter. They often have a tougher time finding homes, even individually. So seeing these two get to stay together is a wonderful moment that makes us thankful to the adopters and the shelter who made it happen.

  3. The moment when Emancipet changed this dog’s life for the better. Just like they do for so many others.

    Posted on their Facebook wall:

    “A little story about Emancipet…This little girl loves her dog Hoodie, and has taught her many tricks. She made her a bed on the porch lined with hay for when it is cold. Then Emancipet came to Rockne, Texas and Hoodie got spayed. The grown-ups let Hoodie stay inside until her stitches healed. Hoodie was SUCH a good girl inside, she is now an inside/outside dog. The little girl’s mom was so impressed she signed her and Hoodie up for 4H K9 Cadet Club. Emancipet, the gift that keeps on giving…Thanks guys, from the bottom of my country heart…You really are changing the lives and minds of animals and people in this area.”

  4. The moment when Austin Animal Center got this post-adoption update on a dog named Sugar.

    These photos show Sugar when she came into the shelter with a severe case of mange, and Sugar now. Not only is she healthy and beautiful, she is clearly also happy and loved. Mange is absolutely treatable and we are thankful to the adopters, fosters, shelters, and rescues who see it and other challenges as reason for compassion instead of reason to turn away.

  5. The moment Austin Pets Alive! took a chance and saved Cafe, and then realized he was an incognito chihuahua.

    Cafe is technically not a chihuahua. He is the smiling cocoa colored pittie mix in the above photo. He came to the shelter terrified, trembling on the floor of his kennel, and was the only one of three dogs who came in together to make it out. Cafe has made amazing progress in the care of APA! and we love to see him romping with his chi chi friends!

  6. The moment Love-A-Bull stepped up and helped a long-stay dog in need, and then tried to promise us he wouldn’t eat all of our Thanksgiving dinner.

    Love-A-Bull is good at stepping up, whether it’s to be the voice for bully breeds or to take homeless adopt-a-bulls into their own program, saving their lives and helping them find their people. This particular dog for whom they stepped up happens to have a special place in our hearts. Benny, formerly named Buddy and the longest-stay dog at the city shelter, is a truly wonderful boy and we are thankful that he’s now in Love-A-Bull’s care…although we’re familiar with his love of food and kinda think he’ll eat as much turkey and sweet potatoes as he’s allowed to!

  7. The moment Midtown Groom & Board took a matted shelter dog and made him the cutest, most obviously adoptable guy at the shelter…and then followed up by donating grooms to 19 hoarding case dogs.

    When Austin says it takes the entire community to create a No-Kill city, we mean it. Midtown regularly donates free grooms to help local shelter dogs spiff up and find their homes. This type of support and compassion from local small businesses is an invaluable strength for our city.

  8. The moment Paris & Ivan, two shelter alums who almost didn’t make it, went on a Friday night date.

    Paris is a graduate of APA!’s behavior program circa over a year ago and Ivan was a Hard Luck Hound whose time at the shelter was running out. Paris’ adoptive mom turned dedicated shelter volunteer, Laurie, opened her home to foster Ivan and magical moments soon followed.

  9. The moment when Jog-A-Dog mascot, Andre, FINALLY got adopted.

    It was a homecoming celebrated throughout social media and by the plethora of Andre fans this uber long-stay guy had developed during his shelter stint. This tennis ball loving, toy decimating dog was supported and loved during his stay by quite a few of us, but it was the Jog-A-Doggers who got him out and running on the regular.

  10. The moment we knew Canine Good Citizen wasn’t just a test our own mascot, Cupcake, was going to pass but something she was actually becoming.

    We love you Cupcake. And we love the progress and possibilities you embody. The goal is never to “teach to the test” or to just master a bunch of skills. The goal is to create happy, well-adjusted dogs ready to thrive and be loved in homes. To see our girl hitting the milestones that really matter, to watch other dogs in our program travel that same path, and to begin seeing the light at the end of the tunnel where we can expand our program’s reach in earnest, is one of the things we are most thankful for this year.

Thank you, Austin, for your many amazing canine and human residents and for wonderful moments they’ve come together to make possible this year. We can’t wait to see what next year brings…

Talk about this post or, really, anything dog-related