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Life on the Road is Perfect for Atlas

If you ever wondered if the Heaven Can Wait Dog Coordinators have a hard time saying goodbye to the pups they rescue and rehabilitate – you will want to read this story.  Atlas found the perfect home with a life on the road, but the adoption almost didn’t happen because of the bond he and a coordinator shared.

Atlas is a St. Bernard/Collie mix that was rescued from a trailer park by Tania, an HCWS Dog Coordinator.

Tania said, “I received a call from a woman who found Atlas wandering down the street with a nasty cut on his leg.  He was severely matted and filthy and terrified.  Although the woman attempted to do the right thing, she had him chained to a tree in the middle of the summer with hardly any shade.  Dog food was strewn on the ground and covered in ants and there was only a bit of water in a filthy plastic bowl.”

When Tania took Atlas to the HCWS headquarters he was too afraid to walk inside, so she picked up “all 55 pounds of him” and carried him in.  His tail was tucked between his legs and he refused to look at her.  Tania gently bathed and brushed him and let him rest for the night.

“After a few days of spending time with Atlas, I walked into the room to get him ready for his daily walk and he almost tackled me to the floor.  He was wagging his tail and licking me to death.  Atlas was a completely different dog and so happy to see me!”

“From that day forward Atlas would bounce like a bunny in the yard and run and play with the tennis balls I threw for him.  He never left my side and when it was time to go in, if he ran ahead he would peek around the fence to make sure I was coming,” said Tania.

Finally Atlas was ready to enroll in the Pups on Parole program where he quickly learned his obedience commands and became a model dog.  Tania knew soon he would be ready to find a permanent home and she tried to prepare for the day when she would have to say goodbye forever.

One day Tania received a call from Norma who is a cross country truck driver.  She saw a picture of Atlas online and she desperately wanted to adopt him.  Norma had recently lost her dog who had accompanied her on the road for many years.

At first Tania declined Norma’s adoption because she wouldn’t be able to check in on Atlas if he lived on the road.  But Norma did not give up.  She bombarded Tania with references of family, friends, veterinarians, pet stores and even pet friendly restaurants.

Then Norma came to town to meet Atlas and Tania knew she had to make a decision.  Norma and Atlas had an instant rapport. 

“So I did what was best for Atlas and let him go to his new home knowing that he needed what was best and that Norma could provide it for him.”

Atlas loves his new life as a traveling dog and is spoiled rotten by Norma.  Tania said, “He’s been to more states and landmarks than I have!”

Norma understands the bond between Tania and Atlas and sends pictures and updates from the road.  She even brings Atlas to visit when they pass through town.  “He’s gained weight and is the biggest goofball you will ever meet – he even sits in the front and helps navigate,” bragged Tania.

And recently Atlas became a big brother when Norma adopted another dog named Tyson.

Click Here to see all of the great dogs and cats ready to find “forever” homes.


Atlas and Mom - Norma



15 Responses

  1. What a gorgeous dog!! that is so wonderful
    for the new home with Norma..Horray !!!

  2. I am always afraid to open the HCWS blog, I already have two wonderful rescue dogs and they are big, 60 & 95 lbs. The reason I’m afraid is that I would fall in love with another pooch. Atlas is a perfect example, I would have fallen in love with that face. Love the story and that he has a forever home! Thanks for putting that story on. Great job by all.

  3. It’s lovely to read that Atlas has a loving forever home and enjoying life, well done to all his rescuers and Norma for giving him his forever home.

  4. Norma, you are fantastic and beautiful!!!!!!
    I am french and have also saved many animals(including a horse), and I know the links you can have with him.

  5. Thanks for the great story & photos! You both seem very happy! I love reading the happy endings to rescue stories!

  6. It takes a ton of courage on my part to read anything related to animals as we live in a heartless society. When I open the pages, I take a deep breath that I will end up in tears because there are people out there who do LOVE animals. However, many times I end up in tears due to the cruelty of these beautiful God given creatures.
    Along with my sister; now deceased, we’ve saved at least 6 dogs, they are all gone now.
    I’ve been without a dog for 2 years now & I cry every single day with my desire to help another dog. But, I’ve lost 1/2 of my income, have had to apply for a paultry amount toward food stamps & barely, if at all, make it through to the next month.
    I’ve been searching my soul for answers that will allow me to ‘spoil’ & love yet another dog, but no answers have come.
    My vet bills over time were so outrageous, I went through what little savings I had & now I am paying for it through my own deprivation.
    I will continue praying for all of you out there who can afford adoption, to help so many of these beautiful creatures.
    Thanks to people like Norma, I can smile.

  7. I know just how Tania felt. As a volunteer at the local shelter I have fallen in love with, cared for, and said goodbye to dozens of wonderful dogs. It’s rough, but knowing that they go to good homes is a great comfort.

  8. Wonderful story, beautiful dog and people! Breeders, both backyard and commercial (incl. puppy mills) need to be stopped also. ESPECIALLY THE PUPPY MILLS which are criminally practicing animal torture daily. If it weren’t for profiting breeders the problem would be a fraction of what it is. Thank you for sharing Atlas’s story.

    • I so agree with you and I wish there was something that could be done to ban the breeding. It makes me absolutely SICK seeing these poor babies (dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc.) sitting there in their cages in a shopping mall. And I don’t even want to think about some of the homes they may end up in. I wonder what store owners do to the animals that don’t get sold while they’re still babies? OMG, you got me started again – (smile) – wish I hadn’t read the comment sections. Just so damn sad!
      Greetings from Frankfurt

  9. Sweet story 🙂

  10. A Great Posting,not often we see Happy Endings.Good Luck to al involved.

  11. This brings tears to my eyes… what a beautiful and blessed dog. Happy travels Atlas, and thankyou to both Tania and Norma for having such kind hearts!

  12. Lovely story bought a tear to my eye.

  13. This is the kind of thing that makes it all worthwhile. Both of the ladies are truly blessed to be able to have Atlas in their lives. And he is blessed to have both of them.
    Enjoy your NEW life, Atlas! You deserve it!

  14. This beautiful story of Atlas’ journey brought to mind many we have seen through the process – adoption That day of rehoming . It is so often such a painful moment of sweet-sorrow, bit like the day your kids fly the nest. Most times I coped but every now and then one would just hook me and It hurt – a thank you to both Tania and Norma and to new homes.

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