Happy Tails

We'd love to hear from you!

Have you adopted a dog from Catahoula Rescue Ontario? We'd love to hear from you and get an update on how your furry friend is doing. E-mail us your story and pictures, and we'll post them here on our Happy Tails page.

Submitted by L, January 2015

Ozzy in the leaves

When I first saw a picture of Ozzy, also known as Mr. Paws, I instantly fell in love. It was his eyes, so gentle and kind. I read up on his profile and saw he was a ‘special needs’ dog, because of severe hip dysplasia. It broke my heart that he was so young, with hips in such a bad condition. At this point many people would have turned away, seeing only the cost of medical bills in the future. Fortunately, I have a back ground in rehabilitation, but humans and dogs aren’t that different, I knew I could help him. Plus I really wanted to meet him!

Ozzy in the water

On our first meeting at Ozzy’s foster mom’s, I was sitting on the ground, and he laid between my legs, I pet his head while Heather and I talked. I was in love! An opportunity came forward and I was lucky enough to foster Ozzy over Christmas 2013. It was a great chance to bond with Ozzy. It did not take long. By the second day together he was following me around the house, everywhere I was, he was, and where he was I wanted to be. We quickly became inseparable. I knew that I would never want to be without him.

Ozzy in the snow

For fun we love to go up to the cottage to go swimming; hiking in the Adirondacks, and sometimes just hang out on the couch. For a dog with bad hips, Ozzy amazes everyone with how well he moves. Sure, there are times when those darn hips give him some trouble, but we walk a little slower for a few days. No matter how bad the hips are feeling, nothing stops him from climbing up on the bed and catching up on his beauty rest. Before you know it, Ozzy is ready to go again and you wouldn’t notice the difference between him and a puppy.

Ozzy on the mountain

People called me crazy for wanting to adopt a dog with known medical conditions. I think I would have been crazy not to. I may have changed Ozzy’s luck and gave him a home, but I think it was always that we are meant to be together. And in the end he changed my world just as much as I changed his.

Ozzy at graduation

Submitted by H & R, September 2014

Finn was found as a stray, hungry, 16 week old pup, wandering the streets all by his lonesome. He was turned into the shelter, and CRO kindly offered to take him into rescue. He came to me to “foster” shortly after. Who were we kidding - it was blatantly obvious that he wasn’t going anywhere.  ;)

A year or so later, and Finn is my best bud. There’s no fuzzy face I’d rather see in the morning, and no belly I’d rather rub at night! We love having outdoor adventures, learning new things, and relaxing together after a long day. I’m not above curling up on the floor for a snuggle and Finn isn’t above falling asleep with his legs up in the air and drooly jowls smooshed against a wall. That's just how we roll.

Adopting a dog isn’t always going to be walk in the park. It’s a process to find the right dog. It’s a learning curve while you work through their quirks (no one’s perfect). It’s heartbreaking (not to mention wallet-breaking) when they're sick or have medical issues. But it in the end, you get out of it what you put into it. I’d like to think I offer Finn what he needs to be a happy, healthy man, and in return, I can confidently say, I get more love and joy than I know what to do with.

This is one pup that will never be looking for another family. He'll never be all alone on the streets again, or wondering why he’s in a shelter. Finn is home, and it wouldn’t be home without him.

Thanks to Rebecca, Karen and CRO.

Submitted by L, C, and T, July 2014

After successfully being chosen by the CRO and Magoo's foster parent, we received our bundle of Catahoula joy in December 2013. Magoo has since changed our lives forever.

We were first interested in adopting a pup to accompany our 6 year old puggle Tia during the day. We felt she needed a spunky companion, and as two very active people we were drawn to the Catahoula breed as we heard they were energetic and full of life! We stumbled upon Magoo's profile on Petfinder and instantly fell in love with his goofy demeanour, beautiful blue and brown eyes, and his spotted coat. Magoo (also nicknamed Magoober and da goop), is the sweetest, friendliest, most playful dog we've ever met. He is loyal - does not leave our side ever (unless he's tearing it up at the dog park of course), loves to play with his sister Tia in the backyard, and is a cuddle bug champion. I'm pretty sure he thinks he's a 5 pound lap dog, because he always finds space on the couch when we invite him up and curls up in a tiny little ball. He also loves to pace the house and make sure everything is in order. Ohh, and don't bother texting around Magoo, he won't let you near your phone because he always finds a way to get your hand on his big head - it's his way of telling us that he'd like to be petted. He especially loves belly rubs at night and every now and then a lick of some vanilla ice cream. We couldn't be luckier to have Magoo in our life. Our favourite part about Magoo is that whenever we leave the house, he will run upstairs to our bedroom window and look for us as we walk down the driveway. So now of course, every time we leave the house for work, we have to stop, wave back at him and blow him a kiss. We're certain our neighbours think we're crazy, but I could not care less, it's our daily routine now. Thank you CRO!!!! We are the luckiest parents in the world.

Submitted by RD, February 2014

Tanya set her eyes on a little puppy named 'Cheer' at Brown County Animal Shelter sometime in early 2013. I spied her through Tanya. She was there quite some time and ended up on the urgent list. We begged Gloria to save her.

6 month old Cheer was busted out of the shelter on Feb 8th and started off her new life with a fabulous foster in Ohio who, very aptly, renamed her 'Bella'. She was only about 20lbs or so then. She is about 60lbs now. She is such a special girl that her US foster almost kept her, but in the end decided to let her go (luckily for us!). So one year ago on Feb 24th Bella made the long journey to Ottawa and to become a Canadian girl. One year ago, we met our 'Bella Boo'.

Bella was our second foster with CRO. She was a rambunctious energetic puppy and SUCH a chewer. But boy did I love her anyway! She was with us for just over two months when we thought we found the perfect family for her. With many tears shed by myself and my daughter, Bella was adopted Friday, May 3rd. Because we couldn't foster fail on only our second foster dog could we?

5 months later on Sept 29 Bella returned to rescue and to us. Things just weren't working out for her. We knew then she needed a special home with other dogs and lots of activity to work her mind and body. But how would we find that for her?

Well, pretty easily as it turns out! On Sunday, Oct 13 we decided to make Bella a permanent part of our family and our first foster fail (exactly one year before our wedding on Thanksgiving Sunday 2014!). We just couldn't let this precious girl go a second time. We knew we could give her a great life and she would have a brother and many foster friends to keep her happy and healthy. Bella is now a permanent CRO dog helping others like her find their confidence and move on to their own 'happy tails'.

Submitted by HW, June 2013

``In life it's not where you go but who you travel with.`` Charles Schultz

The first time we saw Huff's picture we were smitten.

We had been looking to adopt a dog for over a month. We had submitted several applications to adopt dogs from other rescues and had had little luck. We had a warm home waiting for the right dog, and we were starting to get disheartened.

One night before bed, I fell upon a pet finder listing of a beautiful brown spotted dog with golden eyes. At the time we had no idea what a Catahoula Leopard dog was, but we both had a feeling we were about to find out.

The first time we met Huff (then Cindy), she came over to our house for a home visit with Gloria and her foster mom, Tanya. Huff walked into the living room, smelled around, and then hopped onto the couch and made herself at home. It was like she knew she had finally found the right place to be.

Huff moved in a week and a half later, and never looked back. We soon discovered we had a very timid girl on our hands, one who would require lots of love and understanding in order to slowly gain her confidence in the world. Through patience, training, and time, we have watched our amazing little girl blossom from a dog who was scared of the world, into a confident pup who would soon end up travelling the world.

It was not long after we adopted Huff that we decided to move to New Zealand. It was early on that we made a firm decision. If ALL of our little family couldn't make the move, then NONE of our family would make the move. We had promised Huff a forever home, and were not going to back out of our promise.

We left Huff in Canada in late November under the trust of Tanya`s caring love. Through teary kisses, we parted with the same words we always leave her with when we are going away for a weekend, week, or in this case two months away,  “we will always come back". With great courage, trust, and patience, Huff boarded a very long flight, and made it to New Zealand in January. The day we were reunited is still one of our favourite kiwi memories.

Huff has quite simply changed our lives. She is a curious, assertive, funny, and stubborn dog who uses the charm of her beauty. and trade mark "aroo roo roo" howl  to get what she wants.

She has introduced us to our neighbours, and to new neighbourhoods with great trails and parks. She loves to cuddle and sleep between us at night. She has become a keen agility dog and recreational rabbit hunter. She steals weird things like heads of broccoli and pineapples off the cupboard when we are out. She is well known at our local farmers market and gets treats and recognition each week. She is incredibly protective of us both, and gets jealous when we kiss. When we come home, her whole body wiggles in joy.

Adopting Huff was easily one of the best things we have done as a couple. She has slowed our lives down and made us spend more time enjoying our home. She has shown us that when you give patience and understanding, you get trust and unconditional love back. She taught has us to laugh and dance (or at least wiggle your butt) every day.

We count ourselves lucky that people like Gloria and Tanya, and rescues like CRO exist. Without her rescue angels, I fear Huff may not have made it out of the shelter in Kentucky.

And in turn, we would have never have met our furry best friend.

Submitted by CC, May 2013

When we were looking to move, we wanted to take into consideration the atmosphere which would allow us to get a dog. We currently moved to Richmond in March of 2013, and we know have a large yard, a kennel and much more to offer a dog.

My fiancé at the time (Brock) was set on getting a purebred male Lab, because he wanted to take him hunting. I convinced him to adopt, but compromised and said we would look at a male Lab.

We went to Kelly's home and looked at Chubby’s puppies, Kelly and her girls were so inviting, and accommodated us coming to look at the puppies with their busy schedule between dance, dinner and etc. Brock sat on the floor and Fluffy came over and flopped on her back right in his lap so he would give her a belly rub. He was rubbing her belly and she was just staring up at him, while the other male puppies wouldn't even bother with us.

We both knew she was the one, and sure enough I didn’t need to convince Brock to adopt Fluffy, he already had his mind set after she did that.

We couldn’t be any happier with Kallie (a.k.a Fluffy). Although the chewing on us drives us crazy, we just absolutely adore her. She has such a good temperament as well as a great personality. She's truly cheap entertainment - just spending time with Kallie will make you laugh non-stop to the point your stomach muscles hurt.

We truly were blessed with an intelligent and lovable dog. Oh, and did I forget to mention how cute she is.

Since we have had her, our schedule basically revolves around her needs. When we are unable to look after her, we constantly have people offering to watch her lol. Although, she always tends to go to either my parents or Brock’s parents, where she is spoiled rotten and spends time with their dog.

We have been taking her too puppy classes, and she is such a quick learner and so bright that the teacher is constantly using her as an example. (Proud parents right here lol J)

I just wanted to say how happy we are with Miss Kallie. We really appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that you put into the Catahoula Rescue Ontario.

Thanks again for making our family grow by 4 paws.

Submitted by JD, January 2013

Since 2009, I am in love with my dog Banzai. The best dog I've ever had in my entire life. She's following me everywhere. I work with her in landscaping and I do snow removal too with my Banzai!

I wanted to take a minute today to tell you how much I appreciate your services and everything you do for these wonderful dogs. Thank you for operating Catahoula Rescue and putting every bit of your love into it.

My Banzai is living a good life and she's helping me stay positive and happy. I like to go out for walks with her in the forest. She's the perfect dog I always wanted. My everyday partner.

I made a FB Page for Banzai, I did it so you can see how she's doing. I wanted you to be able to follow her in her 1001 adventures.

She's doing good, EVERYONE loves banzai !

Again, Thank you for everything Gloria.

Submitted by H, S, & T and Mr. F, January 2013

When we lost our beloved 14 ½ year old lab Blackstone last September 2011 we knew our lives would not be complete without another furry companion. After some research into local rescue organizations, we stumbled across Catahoula Rescue Ontario; the process of selecting our newest family member began. There were many pups/dogs on Catahoula’s PetFinder site but we managed to narrow our choice down to three puppies. None of them were ready for adoption and one of them had a cat fixation which posed a problem because even though we do not own at cat (he owns us), we do care for a big black feral cat called Mr. Fluffer (18lbs) so this was something to be considered.

As Caesar Millan’s says .. “you don’t get the dog you want, you get the dog you need” and the Catahoula folks being very wise when placing their puppies/dogs knew this and made a suggestion for us to meet another puppy already in foster care while we waited for the other guys to arrive in Ottawa.

We learned that this little fellow, like so many others, was born perhaps in a puppy mill in Kentucky, rescued and fostered by Amanda in Illinois then brought to Canada where he stayed with Duane in Kemptville along with his brother Rocky and sister Dixie. He was then moved to his new foster mom Jenn in Maxville. Dashawn aka Sweets aka Dillon came for a home visit on April 10th. It was love at first sight but I showed restraint, at least for a little while but it was quite clear after the hour long visit that he was the one for us. A meeting with another prospective adopter was scheduled the same day so we had to wait for the decision/evaluation as to which home would be most suitable. News came quickly that we had been chosen, arrangements were made for him to join our family, and on April 18, 2012, Dillon (now Colby-named for Colby Rasmus, centrefielder for the Blue Jays) came to live with us in his forever home. We were ecstatic to have this amazing little fellow in our lives.

Colby was enrolled right away in Dog Obedience Level I at Best Friends Obedience School and we are proud to say he scored the highest in the class with a 91/100. He learned to sit and stay, down and stay, come, heel, finish, give a paw, bow and is still learning new tricks. He is highly motivated, intelligent, obedient, loving and is faster than lightening. Every day brings new adventures and discoveries for all of us including Mr. Fluffer who loves to groom his puppy and Colby enjoys tussling with the cat.

It has been 9 months since he joined our household, he’s settled in nicely and is now very comfortable in his new surroundings. He has been fortunate to also experience cottage life and it was after his first trip that we witnessed something miraculous, the once shy and fearful pup became an adventurer, something unlocked in his brain, he discovered freedom, nature, the lake, running through muddy streams and shorelines and he smiled. We nicknamed him “the swamp rat”. He has learned to swim, to use his nose hunting chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons and frogs. Although he suffers from car sickness he loves his rides on the pontoon boat and looks forward to visiting friends around the lake. Colby learned how to play with our neighbours dogs, some give him boundaries and the younger ones just go full tilt. He is very vocal, loves to talk and almost sings but the funniest sounds we’ve heard are when he’s sleeping, that’s when we experience the Catahoula HOWL! A crazy low baying/howling noise that increases in pitch and amplitude, it makes us laugh every time.

Colby’s bond with me was and is rock solid however the bonding process was a little slower with my husband but he has overcome whatever was holding him back and they are great pals. He loves my 22 year old son, who is a source of excited energy, represents playtime, he will seek him out in the house and knows as soon as his car pulls in the driveway. In the beginning he was fearful of strangers, especially men but women posed no threat and although he remains cautious meeting new males he is no longer fearful. We are very blessed to have this little fellow in our lives.

A huge thank you to the Foster Moms, Amanada and Jenn, Foster Dad Duane for their love and patience giving these pups a safe haven, and last but not least Gloria Baggs, head of Catahoula Rescue Ontario, for her tireless efforts to protect and rescue these wonderful dogs.

Submitted by DF, November 2012

Poor Charlie had a rough start in life. Born to a neglectful home with 2 bladders, 1 kidney, and a life long condition of incontinence, it didn't look promising for this little guy. Many attempts were made, and lots of money was spent, to try and give Charlie a "normal" life, to no avail. After a year of being on the adoptable list, he was deemed unadoptable, as it seemed nobody wanted a "leaky" dog.

One day, while looking for a dog crate on Kijiji, we came across Charlie's old ad. His story broke my heart and being a sucker for Red Heelers (and underdogs), we had to get the full story on this cool little dude. CRO told us he was recently removed from the adoptable list, but we asked if we could give it a shot. CRO thought it best if we fostered to adopt, as his unique medical issues may be more than we could handle. We agreed and Charlie came to us on a Sunday afternoon. 24 hours later, we called CRO to let them know that we are ready to adopt!

We now know that the only reason Charlie wasn't given a fair shake at a good home was because nobody actually took the time to meet him. He is an amazing dog with a ton of love to give, and as a result of our experiences with the adoption process, we are now volunteers with CRO. Charlie has brought an incredible amount of happiness to our family and we often ask ourselves...who saved whom? Thank you Catahoula Rescue Ontario, for giving Charlie (the Wonder Dog) the chance he deserved. As a result, you have changed the lives of two people forever.

Submitted by S, November 2012

Just a bit about my Sweet Nelly. I adopted her in May 2012, and I couldn’t be happier. She has given me so much joy. She’s gentle, cuddly and calm. When she knows she’s going out for a run or a walk or just a play session, she gets very excited but keeps herself under control. It’s so cute to see, she walks slowly around us wiggling her whole body while we get her leash. She is always willing to do whatever we ask of her and she has won the hearts of our whole family.

She gets along absolutely great with my daughter’s dog who  is an elderly (13 yrs.) Lab/Shepherd mix. He stays with us often and she is quite respectful of him and they even play together. She adjusts her play to his slower level, and it’s so fun to watch them just enjoying life. She has made several other doggie friends too, and she loves to run around and play with them in the schoolyard behind our house.

She is amazing and I just can’t imagine life without her. It is so cute to see her just looking at you with her beautiful brown eyes and her tennis ball in her mouth - which she has most of the time.

When I applied to adopt Nelly, the main concern for everyone was that Nelly was going to a safe and loving permanent home where she would be happy and well cared for, for the rest of her life. I really do appreciate that Catahoula Rescue Ontario makes sure that all of their dogs are going to good homes with people who will love them and care for them the way they deserve.

I am so glad and feel so lucky that she is here. Thank you to Catahoula Rescue Ontario for all that you do.

Submitted by ML, October 2012 

My partner and I adopted Helo (Mader) May 28th, 2010. Since that day, he has owned me - it took me a while to realize it, but he is definitely in charge. Most people are quick to say his ownership of me isn't healthy and that I need to be in charge, but to that I offer this story:

The first summer together, I had the bright idea to train him to be my running partner. It was a rough start for the both of us, as he would constantly attempt to rip my arm off at the sight of a cat or squirrel and I am generally reluctant to run. But now after three summers of running together, I am the one who has been well trained. If I dare to spend more than 20 minutes on the couch any given evening and he has not yet been exercised, he makes his way to our front door, takes a good long look at my runners, looks at me to ensure he has my attention, looks back to the door, and barks as loud as he possibly can. Classic Catahoula. If I respond appropriately to his oh-so-obvious request and begin to get into my running gear, he moves into position at the bottom of the stairs ready to give me kisses as I bend to tie my shoes. Really, I should be thanking him, I have never been healthier or happier.

Submitted by KK, October 2012 

I have two beautiful children, ages 6 and 4.  Over the past couple of years I have been asked many times if I was 'all done', was there room for #3?  I was pretty sure the answer to that questions was no, but for some reason I always hesitated.  This past summer, I realized what that reason was... we were missing Oscar.

I have never owned a dog before but for the past year I had been looking, thinking, looking, thinking, filling out applications, thinking some more, looking and so on.  A colleague at work who has experience with many rescue organizations in the Ottawa area pointed me in the direction of Catahoula Rescue Ontario and eventually to Oscar.  The advice and support I received prior to, during, and after adopting Oscar was incredible.  What I realized was, that through the entire process, the primary goal was Oscar's happiness, not  mine or my family's.  That's the way it should be, particularly when you are being trusted with a dog who has been handed over (or worse).  I am thankful that we were the right fit for him because I did fall in love at first site, how could you not?   What I love is that Oscar has three moms besides me, that I can count on to be there for advice (wish I had that for the kids!!).  They are incredible people and I will be forever connected to them.  With Oscar as part of our family, I can safely say 'ALL DONE!'  He is an amazing addition and maybe my favourite out of the three kids ;)!

Submitted by KJ, October 2012

Back in 2008, a friend of mine bought a Leopard Cat. Out of curiosity, I Googled "Leopard Dog", not really expecting to find anything. But there it was - Catahoula Leopard Dog! Which led me to the Catahoula Rescue Ontario web page, where some of the coolest dog faces looked out at me. I really wanted to meet these dogs and see what they were like, so I contacted Gloria and asked her if it would be possible to come out to her place and meet the dogs. That led to my husband Brian and I fostering Jackson on a temporary basis while he recovered from hip surgery he has been scheduled for. The surgery didn't happen, and we were complete foster fails when Gloria told us that if we wanted to adopt Jackson, his planned adopter had given us the option to adopt him first.

Jackson is such a fantastic dog. He has an amazing personality and we both love him so much. Here's our handsome boy...