RAD Dog Rescues: Sailor and Maree


We recently received the story of Sailor, a dog who is so deeply loyal to his humans and was given a second chance after finding himself in unfortunate circumstances that left him homeless in the shelter....read below to see how Sailor came into Maree's life:  Sailor is the epitome of a dog who became a shelter animal due to circumstance.


" I've fostered hundreds of dogs and cats over the last 14 years. The majority of the dogs I fostered were rescues from the south, which were then transported and adopted out through @petrescueny. For many years, an angel of a woman named Joanie would drive a van full of dogs from high kill shelters in South Carolina to New York just about every other weekend. She was a truck driver with a big heart, and an incredible love of dogs. Joanie made the painstaking decision to have gastric bypass surgery, and died during recovery. She was only in her mid-forties. Joanie's big heart extended beyond dogs. She had opened up her home to a homeless veteran named Bobby, and his canine companion, Sailor. When she passed, Bobby and Sailor were going to be homeless again. Bobby stayed in Joanie's trailer with Sailor for weeks after she died, with no electricity, despite the blistering summer heat. He knew that once Joanie's trailer went into foreclosure, he would be homeless again. He was heartbroken, but decided Sailor would be better off with someone who could afford to care for him. I met another transporter half way to pick Sailor up and drive him to the shelter in NY. She told me that Bobby and Sailor both cried hysterically when they parted ways. Sailor cried in his sleep when we stayed in a hotel that first night. I called the shelter to check up on him two days later, and they said he was depressed, curled up the corner of his run, refusing to eat. I decided to foster him.

Sailor never had an accident, if you told him to "stay," he would stay put for hours. He knew every command. I had never kept a foster before, but Sailor was just too good to be true. To this day, he is my best friend, and living proof that "perfect" dogs exist in rescue. I wouldn't trade him for the world!

Email us your RAD Rescue stories highlighting how you gave redemption to an adoptable dog to be featured on our social channels.  We love more than anything to share the love of the rescue community and advocates with the people who work so hard to defend voiceless animals.  Thanks Maree and Sailor!



You may have seen Denver on our page before, and probably would assume a dog this beautiful would be snatched up quickly, but poor Denver is currently coming up on 1.5 years of being without his forever family.  Denver came from South Carolina as a puppy in October of 2015.  With the help of the network who pulled him from SC, Passion 4 Paws, we have been able to trace his background and begin to better understand why Denver is in the current situation hes in.  Denver is the epitome of the type of dog we rally for: a discriminated breed who is animal reactive and needs an understanding and patient owner.  Though Denver has been adopted before, he hasn’t found the right family to help him heal from the psychological scars he bears from his time before Passion 4 Paws.

Throughout his entire life, Denver has been supported by the same foster family, who has literally split their home in two in order to accommodate Denver being with them.  They keep Denver on one side of their house so that their family dogs and cats won’t scare him or make him feel uncomfortable, and for that everyone has been so grateful.  Passion 4 Paws found out that Denver had been attacked by other dogs in his foster in SC, and is reactive toward other dogs due to this fear.  He was adopted to someone living in a city apartment and the noise and commotion was too much for him, causing him to be returned.  He was also adopted to a family when he was still a puppy, and was quickly returned when Denver accidentally was too playful with their small child.  He suffered a few other unfortunate events during his puppyhood in SC and we believe that the emotional and physical scars left behind are lasting and will need to be accommodated.  This isn’t to say that Denver isn’t an amazing dog!  He loves his people, is snuggly and sweet, and is most at home out in nature.  We have taken him a few day trips out into secluded woods where we knew he wouldn’t be exposed to anything that would scare him, and he thrived. Not only does Denver love to explore, he is an avid swimmer and loves to launch himself into the lake for toys. 

Denver really had a rough start to life, and is lucky that he has been in a foster who is so dedicated to keeping him out of the shelter. He has been a victim of circumstance and we know that he will really flourish with the right family to help him overcome his fears and feel settled and at peace.  We know that he has incredible potential and would love to be with an active family who would be just as happy as he is to run and play.  Denver deserves redemption and we hope you can help us share his story in order to find the perfect place for him to live out the rest of his years.  He really is a Green Mountain Boy and would thrive the best in a home with no other pets, and older children who can handle a bouncy energetic dog.  For more info on Denver fill out an adoption application at www.passion4paws.org and contact the RAD Girls Club at radgirlsvt@gmail.com

Mudd and Wyeth: Dog Gear for a Cause

About Mudd and Wyeth:

"My wife Mary, our daughter Alexandra, and myself live on South Hero, an emerald island of Lake Champlain in northern Vermont with our four loveable, goofy, drooling dogs. Mary wanted to create a treat that we could share with our dogs. Week after week I used my skills as a classically trained chef to fiddle about in my kitchen developing countless scrumptious and delicious energy bar recipes.

Each week, we taste-tested the latest concoctions, carefully selecting ingredients that were delicious and healthy for both people and canines. The dogs happily lined up for the testing, too - it's fair to say our canines were satisfied customers! As the bars improved - yep, there were some real lemons!- and became more and more tasty, the YaffBar was born.

Our energy bars are just the beginning. We have created product lines that build on that beloved shared connection between dog owners and their dogs. Check out our Spot the Dog reflective, protective safety accessories - they've been keeping dogs and their owners safe for 15 years. Be sure to look at our apparel line that you'll just love to wear every day, and our dog toys that your pup will just love to play with every day! We're more than a little obsessed with our dogs' safety and happiness, and we know you share that commitment.

What really matters to us at Mudd+Wyeth is the ability to share and connect with our dogs, family, and friends. We celebrate the strong bond that begins with a puppy, an adopted dog, or maybe the family dog that has been around for a while. Who can stop from Yaffing Out Loud when a dog chases his own tail or looks at you with big droopy eyes just begging for one small morsel of your YaffBar!What really matters to us at Spot the Dog is the ability to share and connect with our dogs, family, and friends. We celebrate the strong bond that begins with a puppy, an adopted dog, or maybe the family dog that has been around for a while. 

We created Spot the Dog reflective wear and our incredible energy bars because we love dogs and we love people. What better way to enjoy life than to share the best things that there are available - we’ve been protecting and feeding people and their pups for 15 years. We're more than a little obsessed with our dogs' safety and happiness, and we know you share that commitment.

We go all the way back to 1992 when Spot the Dog was first created. M+W was launched in 2011 to create a broader brand and launch our YaffBars under one umbrella.



In 2016 our home burned down and we lost four pets to the fire. Various people wanted to donate to us but we wanted to do something different and find a way to remember them. We worked with Brigitte Ritchie from Golden Huggs Rescue and created a legacy fund. We quickly raised money and used some of those funds to rescue a litter of 8(I think) puppies. One of those puppies, Dr.Dré, came home with us and is now a part of our post fire family


The Bond;

Unconditional love



Now that’s loaded as there are so many variables. The best way is to follow your heart and work with a group that can identify and help you find a dog or puppy with a personality and type that will fit your family or individual status. It is so important to have the ability to take care of the animal


What’s next:

In 2017 we are going back to our Spot the Dog roots and letting M+W take a rest as we expand our current line of protective, reflective wear. We will continue to promote our beloved YaffBars as they are such a great and innovative energy bar to share with your pup, or not!<

RAD Girl Rescues: Rudder and Tuggboat


Rudder (FKA Shadow) and Tuggboat, or “Tugger” as we know him (FKA Ducky) are both rescues through New England Lab Rescue.  NELR brings labs from high-kill shelters in the south to New England for adoption.  Rudder is a Black Lab mix and is about 2.5 years old, we think.  Tugg is a pure-bred English Yellow Lab, formerly papered by the AKC, and is 1.5 years old.  Both were on kill-lists in their respective shelters on the day they were pulled by NELR.  Rudder has been with us since March of 2015, and Tugg since September of 2015.

We got Rudder first.  After too many years of being dog-less, we were finally able to move to a house that allowed dogs.  We started searching locally and nationally, specifically for lab-mixes.  We came close to adopting another black lab, but some concerns about aggression with other dogs (we knew we wanted a pair- or more…) led to us backing off.  That dog has since been adopted.   While they resumed the search, their NELR adoption coordinator emailed pictures of Rudder, then about year old.   Jenn knew immediately.  She told Norm, without question, that he was the one.  Norm wasn’t so sure.  Rudder kind of seemed, well, boring.  Little personality.  It turns out, he was dead wrong. 

To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Rudder had been a stray.  No one knew his background, but his foster family said he seemed like a nice guy, super food motivated, and a “counter surfer.”

On a cold day in March of 2015, Norm and Jenn drove to Kittery, Maine, to pick up Rudder.  They had never met him, and were just going on faith, confidence in their dog skills, and Jenn’s absolute resolve that he was “the one.”  They waited a long time for the van to roll into the parking area, and could hear barks from inside.  When the driver got out of the van, she immediately said “Who is here for Rudder?  He needs to pee, BAD.”  Rudder was the first one out of the van.  On the leash, a quick pee, and he settled in to meet his new family.  He was a happy, affectionate, well-mannered little guy.  Any doubts Jenn and Norm had about Rudder’s fit in the new family dissolved as soon as Rudder jumped in the back seat of the truck and promptly put his head on Norm’s shoulder as they made the trek home.   It was love at first sight, for Norm and Rudder in particular, who share a deep bond to this day. 

From day one, Rudder was their constant companion.  Rudder would go to business meetings and social events with them.  He took to boats and the water immediately, and was a happy adventurer for walks on the Lake Champlain Ice, trips to Maine to run on the rocks, a try at Dock Diving, swimming afternoons with furry friends, and the occasional trip to the dog park.  He learned quickly, as he still does, and was and is easy to have around, all the time. 

Around August of last year, just about a year ago, Norm and Jenn started thinking about adding another pup to the pack.  Rudder had adjusted so well and they had more time and energy and love to share.  Rudder, for his part, was adjusting so well, but had lingering and intense separation anxiety.   Jenn and Norm thought that maybe having a buddy with him might ease the anxiety and make home life even easier.  Jenn had her heart set on a blockhead yellow lab.   Devoted and loyal to NELR (in fact both were volunteering with NELR on fundraising and outreach) they reached out to the folks there and asked them to keep their eyes out for one.  Jenn and Norm figured it would be months or longer before they found one.   Not long after, they received an email from their friends at NELR.  They had found a pure bred yellow block head.  He was 8 months old, surrendered to the shelter by his owner, and was on the kill list.  NELR pulled him immediately and emailed Jenn and Norm.  He never made it onto their adoption list. 

Again, Jenn just knew.  They debated about whether to adopt Tugg, whether it was good timing, could they handle two, how would Rudder handle it? But in the end, both knew that Tugg was coming home with them.

On Labor Day weekend last year, Jenn, Norm, and this time Rudder too, drove the truck down to Kittery to pick up Tugboat.  Unlike with Rudder, both were quietly having doubts and reservations, but swallowed their concerns and followed their hearts.  Tugg made the trip up from the south in a van full of puppies, many his age, but he was absolutely a giant compared to them.  Big, strong, lean, and powerful.  He jumped out of the crate he was sharing with two other little puppies, and promptly peed on Jenn’s feet.  He was a big goof, easily distracted, and strong enough to require a firm hand -or two- on the leash. 

Rudder and Tugg got along from the first moments.  A quick sniff, some wrestling and barking, and then, just like before, both boys loaded into the back seat of the truck and took off for home.  Unlike Rudder, Tugg was alert the entire time.  Watching out the windows, licking Norm and Jenn, trying to engage Rudder who, like any older brother, tried to ignore the annoying big dog and go back to sleep.

Rudder and Tugg, then and now, are within a few pounds of each other, but Tugg towers over Rudder.  He is way bigger, faster, stronger, and much more puppy-like.  They fit the older brother/ younger brother molds to a “t”.

The first night with Tugg was a long one. He wouldn’t settle, was constantly on the move, listening to sounds, climbing on top of Jenn to cuddle, trying to wrestle with Rudder who was summarily annoyed with him.    Much of that hasn’t changed to this day.  Norm and Jenn have learned that it isn’t anxiety.  Tugboat just is full of energy and joy.  He would rather play than sleep, rather chase balls than be inside, and from the minute he wakes up (at 5:30 am) to the time he literally falls asleep sitting up with a ball in his mouth, he is on the go, always looking for someone to play with and a reason to run.

Before Tugg joined them, Rudder had proven himself to be reliable off the leash, eager to chase toys into the ocean or lake and run on the rocks, beach, or in the woods.  Jenn and Norm hoped that Tugg would simply stay with his older brother and follow his lead.  One day on an island in Maine, Tugg got loose from Norm.  Just thinking about it now gives them both anxiety.  Tugg sniffed around the house for a bit, and then just ambled off.  He ignored calls to him and offers of treats.  He wandered through the yard, in the neighbors and then up the hill and through the woods.  Rudder followed.  Norm and Jenn and their collected friends went into crisis mode, mobilizing to find the two adventurers.  A while later, Norm found them jogging down the road, happy as could be, Tugg in the lead and Rudder following with a sheepish “brother, we shouldn’t be doing this” look on his face.  Norm opened the door to the truck and both boys jumped right in as if nothing were happening.

Life with these two is a joy.  Truly, Jenn and Norm can’t imagine life without them.  Sure, they get wound up sometimes.   Rudder gets grumpy when his meals aren’t on time and insists on being right next to one or both Jenn and Norm all the time.  Tugg cannot stop chasing balls is constantly on the go, even in the house, playing, wrestling Rudder, or jumping from couch to cough.  But the joys far outweigh the hassles.   They are two of the smartest, most loyal, most affectionate, loving creatures of any species either Norm or Jenn have had the pleasure to know, let alone share a house, bed, and life with.  They bring constant smiles, have unique and fun loving personalities and are, despite the cliché, very much members of this family.  Life doesn’t always revolve around them here, but it certainly involves them and accounts for them every step of the way.

The idea, the very notion, that both of them were scheduled to be killed; that Rudder spent his early life alone, outside, with no security in food or shelter; that someone could turn a lovebug like Tugg over to a shelter that was bound to put him down, still brings tears to both Norm’s and Jenn’s eyes.  It makes them angry.  It makes them so very appreciative of the two lives they were able to rescue, and who have rescued theirs in return.  It makes them angry.  It makes them (occasionally) consider adopting more, and makes them continue to be devoted to animal welfare groups, particularly New England Lab Rescue and RAD Girls, who have taken in Rudder and Tugg as part of their own pack.

RAD Girl Rescues: RJ

RJ adoption 6.jpg

I wish I knew more about RJ’s past, before me, but unfortunately my knowledge is limited. However, RJ’s story and mine is interesting on its own; and, with all the ways we could have missed each other, I truly believe it was fate that brought us together.


Starting with what I do know:

RJ was rescued by a wonderful organization called Alamo Rescue Friends (ARF). ARF is an all-volunteer group that saves impounded strays from San Antonio by providing them with necessary medical care (including spaying/neutering, all vaccines, etc.), fostering them with families in Texas and then transferring them to their New England shelter partners.


RJ was rescued by ARF in March 2013 and brought up to the Humane Society of Chittenden County, in Burlington, VT, in May of the same year: he was four years old. Referring back to our potential to miss each other, I later found out from ARF volunteers that RJ was supposed to come up north, earlier, and would have been brought to the Humane Society of Greater Nashua (New Hampshire). However, RJ had a mild reaction to one of his vaccines and ARF decided to keep him with his foster mother a little longer. ARF maintains RJ faked his reaction to get extra snuggles from his foster family and knowing him and his smart, cunning ways, I totally believe it!

As for me: four years ago I got a job in Burlington and was looking for a place to live. A woman with whom I went to high school was, at the same time, looking for a roommate to live with her in a house she owned: which I learned about via Facebook. I became her roommate shortly after. When I moved in, I learned she had a dog she had rescued a couple years ago, Russell. Russell was the sweetest dog ever and though I wasn’t necessarily a dog person at that point in time, I loved living with him/being around him.

A year or so later, my roommate decided in addition to Russell she wanted another dog, a small dog. She asked me if I would go with her to the Humane Society with her to look at dogs. Before we went, we looked online briefly and that’s when we saw RJ.


RJ (known as Ranger at the time) was described as eight pounds but in his picture he looked about 80 (I’ve always said RJ just looks like a big dog shrunken down). It wasn’t until I saw him in person that I understood how small he was. It was also not until I saw him in person that I believed in love at first sight. It sounds incredibly cheesy, but I actually had tears in my eyes when they brought him in the room to meet us. I knew from that moment that I was definitely a dog person.


To my delight, my roommate decided to adopt him. It was my idea to change his name from Ranger to RJ (which stands for Russell Jr.) and on the way home from the shelter I held RJ in my arms and continued to hold him as we went to the pet store to buy him toys, bowls, a bed etc. I was so in love with RJ and kind of sad that he wasn’t my dog. However, living with him was great and I would take him for walks, play with him outside, feed him dinner and he would even sleep with me from time-to-time.

Fast forward a couple months and my roommate decided she wanted to move to North Carolina. She also wanted to go on a road trip and check out the state, beforehand. She was going to send her dogs to her parents but I asked if I could watch RJ while she was gone. It was during that time that I got up the nerve to ask her what I had wanted to since May: “can RJ be my dog?”


Now, I don’t want to make it seem like my roommate didn’t care about RJ. I know it was a very difficult decision for her, but with her move, having two dogs was not going to be easy. Also, I think she really understood how much RJ meant to me and how much I loved him so she decided to let me pay her for his adoption fee and the items she’d bought for him and he was officially mine.


I can never thank my former roommate enough for giving RJ to me. RJ brings me joy every single day and teaches me a maternal love for which I never knew I had the capacity. He is one of the smartest, cuddliest, cutest little animals I’ve ever seen. I won’t pretend he’s perfect: RJ clearly had a rough past and has serious trust issues. He is very uncomfortable around men (except my boyfriend, Dante, his dad) and can be a bit barky and aggressive around new people: all of which stems from a place of fear. I wish I knew what happened to RJ in his past to make him this way and I wish I could have adopted him when he was a puppy so he never had to experience it.


Despite his shortcomings, however, RJ is one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. I do not regret for one second adopting him three years ago and I feel so lucky that my roommate was looking for a dog when she was. Alamo Rescue Friends described him as a huge personality in a tiny package and that’s exactly what he is. If you’re looking for a companion animal I highly recommend adopting/rescuing over going to a breeder or a pet shop. And, I hope if you do, you find love at first sight, too.