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Doggie Door Leads To New Home For Connor And Maximus

A doggie door gave Connor (left) and Maximus (right) the opportunity for a new home.

A doggie door gave Connor (left) and Maximus (right) the opportunity for a new home.

Life has changed dramatically over the past five months for Brooke and Ryner Grubmueller.  Before September 2012, the couple, who have been married for 10 years, had never owned a pet.  First they talked about it, but came to the conclusion they weren’t ready for the responsibility and later the home they rented would not allow pets, so life carried on for a decade without a furry buddy in their household.

Last year Brooke and Ryner bought a home of their own.  It included a small doggie door neatly installed by the previous owners.  Facing the doggie door every day brought the subject of adopting a pet back into their lives.  The couple felt they were ready to be pet parents, so Brooke began searching online.  Her research led her to the Heaven Can Wait website.

Brooke said she had been looking for a dog for about 6 months when little Connor’s picture appeared on the HCWS website.  Connor, a Chihuahua-mix, was rescued after he was found running loose down a busy street.

Brooke said she was immediately attracted to Connor because he met the requirements she had for adopting a dog:

Connor was the right size to fit through the doggie door and she liked his name.  Actually Brooke knew exactly what she wanted in a dog’s temperament, so she was impressed when she read the profile about Connor’s personality.  It said he was slightly shy, didn’t chew on household items and he was perfect for the person who Did Not like to hike.

Connor's easygoing personality won over is guardians, who had never before owned a pet.

Connor’s easygoing personality won over his guardians, who had never before owned a pet.

Soon Connor was home with Brooke and Ryner living up to all their expectations.  And after one incident of separation anxiety and carpeting that was pulled apart, the family settled into a happy routine.

Then Brooke’s sister had a baby and began bringing the infant for visits at the Grubmueller house.  The newcomer took Connor by surprise and he wasn’t pleased.  At times Connor would jump on Brooke’s lap and push the baby away or he would pick up the diaper bag with his teeth and drag it the door.

“My husband and I want to have kids of our own some day, so I knew I had to break Connor of being jealous,” said Brooke.

Next Maximus was added to the family.  His owners like the idea of adopting a mature dog.

Next Maximus was added to the family. His owners like the idea of adopting a mature dog.

The family decided the best way to help Connor was to adopt a second dog.  Brooke went back to the HCWS website and found Maximus, a 7-8 year-old Pomeranian.   The couple did not hesitate to adopt and older dog.  In fact Max’s mature nature helped him get along with Connor.

The two have become best buddies, playing tug of war with their favorite rubber chickens and dashing around the house.  Connor has become less jealous and more independent since Max came into the family and Max has found a friend he can hang out with all day.

Both dogs are very lucky to have a safe and wonderful home with guardians who look out for their best interests and find practical solutions to make each pup confident and well-adjusted.  We wish the Grubmueller family many happy years with their first four-legged companions.

Connor and Max have become great buddies and have a wonderful home thanks to a doggie door.

Connor and Max have become great buddies and have a wonderful home thanks to a doggie door.

If you would like to add a furry friend to your family, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society holds adoptions each weekend.  Cats are adopted at Petsmart at 7050 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy each Thursday afternoon through Sunday and dogs are adopted at Bone Appetit on W. Tropicana and Ft. Apache on Saturdays.  You can see the pets ready for new homes at: www.hcws.org.  Heaven Can Wait has placed 8,000 homeless pets into loving homes since 2000.  You can help us rescue more pets and support our many community programs Here.

Woman’s Dedication Wins Trust Of Special Needs Dog

Thor was given a second chance even as a special needs pup.

Thor was given a second chance even as a special needs pup.

By Amber Mahrou

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, love is in the air—especially for Sandra Holton and her loving, devoted companion, Thor. Although the two are inseparable now, their relationship was not always so heartwarming.  In fact, the story of Sandra and Thor is one of perseverance and uncommon dedication, and proves that love, while not always easy, is always worth the challenge.

It was more than a year ago when Sandra was introduced to Thor. Her roommate Joey, who is the proud pet parent of a Heaven Can Wait boxer, met Thor at an adoption event. Joey thought Sandra and Thor would be a great match, and when she saw how cute he was online, Sandra decided to meet the dog. Thor was well-mannered and just as handsome as his pictures suggested.  He seemed to know his commands well, so it was settled; he was going home with Sandra, joining her roommate Joey and their other boxer, Tye.

Of course, there is always a period of adjustment when you bring a new dog into your home, and when that dog happens to be a 100lb boxer who’s still almost a puppy, well, that does complicate matters, even if you don’t happen to be a petite woman like Sandra. Thor also had a few bad habits when Sandra took him in; he was a chewer who would demolish anything he could get his jaws around.  He’s such a big boy it meant that anything from countertops to all but the highest bookshelves was fair game.

But the biggest challenge with Thor had nothing to do with his love of chewing un-chaperoned objects around the house. Sandra’s biggest challenge with Thor was communicating with him.

Thor received training to help his owner communicate with him.

Thor received training to help his owner communicate with him.

You see, Thor is deaf.  Sandra knew he was deaf when she adopted him, but she wasn’t quite prepared for some of the more surprising challenges that came along. The first shock was Thor’s aggression. Having no way to communicate with him as you would a hearing dog, Sandra had a hard time convincing Thor that he was not her equal in the pecking order, and as a result his pushiness could be downright scary. He would jump on her, and at his size, one jump was enough to knock her down. He would mouth her hard enough to leave bruises and try to intimidate her into giving him treats by barking and growling. Concerned and not knowing how to get through to Thor, Sandra found herself putting him in his crate and appeasing him with treats for her own safety.

At times like this, Sandra wondered what she had gotten herself into. Had she made the right choice in adopting Thor? She read everything she could find about deaf dogs, and some of the things she read were disturbing. She read that deaf dogs could be aggressive, like Thor was, and that at one point deaf dogs were put down as a matter of course because it was thought that they could not be trained. But Thor was not always aggressive, and when Sandra saw how sweet and lovable he could be when he was not acting up, she knew there had to be a way.  Ultimately Sandra’s research led her to Deaf Dog Training.

Thor during his training session with Sandra.

Thor during his training session with Sandra.

Her internet search brought her to the website of “Sit Means Sit,” a large, well-known dog training organization with locations around the country. She gave them a call and was directed to David Heck, a local trainer who could help her with Thor. David at first came to do lessons in Sandra’s home, and his method employed the use of an electronic collar—on a very low setting, of course.

This is what allows Sandra to get Thor’s attention, since he can’t hear verbal commands. Using hand signals, David and Sandra were able to finally begin communicating with Thor and he turned out to be a much better student than they could have ever anticipated. In fact, it wasn’t long before Thor was able to join in Sit Means Sit group classes and he’s now not only is he participating in advanced classes which are essentially agility courses, he is also a better student than most of the other dogs in the class—and all of them can hear!

Sandra and even the trainer David are amazed with Thor’s progress. Once a destructive, pushy, disobedient dog, Thor is now confident and calm and learning more every day. He lives to please Sandra and will do anything she asks of him, from running up a narrow set of playground steps just to come to her to jumping onto a three foot tall cylinder at her command. The two of them are now so in sync that Sandra can communicate with Thor with just her eyes; he’s learned to read her expressions and her lips, and can understand some of her spoken commands now just by watching her. Thor is a happy, well-adjusted dog, and he’s learning so fast that Sandra and David are having a hard time trying to come up with a new challenge for him—it seems like he’s conquered them all!

Thor resting peacefully in his new "forever" home.

Thor resting peacefully in his new “forever” home.

There were certainly times when Sandra wondered whether she could handle Thor, but these days she says, “He’s so worth it.” Sandra is really glad she stuck it out with him, because he’s her pride and joy, and she doesn’t think he’d be in such a good place if she hadn’t held onto him. Her bond with Thor is so close and their communication is so natural, she even forgets he’s deaf sometimes. Thanks to Sandra’s dedication and unwillingness to give up on her companion, this is one love story that will last a lifetime.

Thor was rescued by Heaven Can Wait along with his two brothers.  Each was enrolled into our Pups on Parole program where they received the first steps of their rehabilitation and training.  All three dogs now have new adopted homes.  We congratulate Sandra on her persistence with a special needs dog.

Heaven Can Wait dog adoptions are held every Saturday at the Bone Appetit store on W. Tropicana and Ft. Apache.  You can see all of the available dogs ready for adoption on our website: http://ww.hcws.org

Thor and Tye hanging out together.

Thor and Tye hanging out together.

Lucky Dog

A real life hero tried to feed and help Georgie after he was abandoned, but neighbors threw rocks at the little dog.

By Carol Lisowski

I find it so hard to understand how people can move away and just abandon their pets to fend for themselves.  When man domesticated animals, we became their caretakers.  Most animals don’t know how to survive on their own.  They look to us humans to give them food and water, take care of their needs and give them shelter.

A mixed poodle breed who became known for a while by his rescuers as Georgie had to do just that when his family moved away and left him behind.  Georgie had to be scared and confused wondering where his family was and why he had been left alone.  A nice lady by the name of Sylvia who managed an apartment complex spotted him and started putting out food and water. 

Unfortunately, some of the neighbors didn’t want a stray dog hanging around the area. They threw out his food and water, hurled stones and yelled at him to chase the little dog away.  But Georgie had nowhere to go.

Over 3-4 months, Sylvia continued to spot the little skittish dog who grew more matted and dirty by the day.  She tried several times to catch him, but he had lost his trust in humans. How he kept from getting hit by a car and where he slept each day or night, only Georgie knows.  Unable to catch him on her own, Sylvia e-mailed Heaven Can Wait and within 30 minutes, one of the dog program coordinators was out to help with the rescue.  She put down the trap with some meat in it, and Sylvia and the coordinator combed the neighborhood looking for Georgie, but he was nowhere to be found.  They came back disappointed, only to be delighted when there sat Georgie in the cage.  On his own, he found his way in and this was the beginning of a new life for the abandoned young puppy.

Georgie, exploring his new home.

It didn’t take long for Georgie to find a new home.  Diane Jones, who had moved here from New York, was looking on-line for a partner in crime for her mini Schnauzer, Marcell.  Marcell’s last buddy had passed away earlier this year, and it was just too quiet in the house.  Sylvia was able to meet Diane when she visited the Petsmart adoptions to meet her new puppy.  With all that he’s been through this last year, Georgie, who now goes by Chanceux, which means ”lucky” in French, is settling into his new home and becoming very attached to Diane and Marcell.  Although he exhibits some signs of separation anxiety, Diane says he is doing well and passed his health physical with only a minor knee socket problem, which is nothing to worry about until he gets older.

When Diane took her dogs to the groomer recently, Marcell came out with another cute little dog, and she was wondering where Chanceux was.  The groomer told her this precious little cutie was her dog.  She didn’t even recognize him!  What a makeover for an abandoned pup.

Chanceux (Georgie) was so transformed after he was groomed, his new owner didn’t recognize him.

Diane only believes in adopting and rescuing, and Chanceux finally has found a home where he will be loved and cared for, probably for the first time in his short life.  If you want to turn another dog up for adoption into a lucky dog, please visit the HCWS website to see who is waiting for you.

Chanceux is a very lucky little dog.

Dog adoptions are held each Saturday inside Petsmart at 7050 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy off I-215 and S. Rainbow.  Learn how you can help a homeless cat or dog until they find their forever home – Click Here.

Bobbins In Paradise

Max doesn’t have to sit in a laundry basket anymore, thanks to a community sewing group that is making pet beds from leftover fabric.

By Carol Lisowski

Do you love animals?  Do you love to sew or quilt?  Do you believe in recycling?  If you answered yes to these questions, you might be interested in joining a small group of creative seamstresses that make cat and dog beds out of scrap material.  These women take leftover pieces of fabric, which would normally be thrown out and make comfy, soft beds where pets can snooze. 

Not only is the outside made of scrap material, but the filling is made of approximately half-inch wide strips of excess cloth.  The beds are not overly filled and are just right for cats to knead into their perfect resting spot.  Dogs love them because they can maneuver the filling around to where it makes the best place to grab a quick nap or sleep through the night.

The idea was launched at the Bobbins in Paradise sewing group through the Clark County Paradise Community Center.  A sewing enthusiast, who is also a volunteer at the Heaven Can Wait Adoption Center, brought a bed she made and she put it in the center of a dog enclosure.  One of the dogs immediately walked all the way around it to check it out, and then claimed it for himself by plunking himself down.   

The beds are such a success that HCWS made them available for purchase at a nominal fee through our Spay and Neuter Clinic (546 N. Eastern Ave. #175) and at our monthly Warehouse Sales (6360 Annie Oakley).

“It’s so nice to have our scraps go to a good cause,” said Kathy Adkins from Bobbins in Paradise.

If this sounds like something you would like to do, the Paradise Community Center is located at 4775 S. McLeod in Las Vegas.  Bobbins in Paradise is open to all level of sewers or quilters, and you do not need to live in the Paradise area to join their group.  If you share a love of sewing or quilting, this could be a fun place for you to pursue your sewing interests.

Meet Max and all of the cats and dogs waiting for new homes at the Heaven Can Wait Adoption Center each weekend.  Cats can be adopted Thursday – Sunday and dogs are available Saturday at 7050 Arroyo Crossing Parkway inside Petsmart.  You can preview our adorable cats at: http://www.hcws.org/adoptions/cat-adoptions.

YOUR SUPPORT TO HCWS IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Take Your Dog To Work Day: One Dog’s Story From The Office

It’s up to Holly to keep her co-workers cheerful and productive at work. Since her adoption, Holly has joined the thousands of pet owners who “Take Your Dog To Work.”

Take Your Dog To Work Day was created by Pet Sitters International to celebrate companion dogs and encourage adoption.  To commenorate the event, a pup named Holly who was rescued by Heaven Can Wait, shares her story from the office.  Holly was adopted by Allan and Amber Mahrou and accompanies Amber to work every day.  Meet your next co-worker every Saturday at the HCWS Adoption Center.

Written by Amber Mahrou (dictated by Holly)

Hello, my name is Holly! Or at least I think my name is Holly. I also answer to Puppy, Treat, Go Outside and Dinner, because I am pretty sure I’m wanted whenever any of those things are said. I know you can probably tell by my picture, but I am a bona fide professional! I take my owner Amber to work and keep her and the other employees on task. Yes, I am without a doubt the supervisor-type, always checking up on everyone to make sure they are working hard and occasionally breaking up the tedium with a quick game of fetch with my favorite office squeaky toy. I’m not usually one to brag, but I am probably the best manager they have ever had!

I may be a professional now, but I admit, I used to be a little rough around the edges, stealing food off of counters with my brother Buddy and tearing up innocent little stuffed animals for fun. But those days are behind me now; I served hard time in the Pups on Parole program, where I was given another chance with a new family. It was at my first adoption event that I met Allan and Amber. They gave me a belly rub even after one of the volunteers read them my “rap sheet” and warned them about my previous life of crime, so already they were pretty OK in my book. Still, it was bittersweet going home with them… they seemed very nice, but I had to say goodbye to my brother and former partner in crime, Buddy.

Holly and her brother Buddy.

I’ve always been a pretty tough cookie, so I didn’t stay sad about that for very long. By the time I had gotten used to the rules in my new home, I had made it very clear to my new family that I was much smarter than your average pup. Some of my demonstrations were received less enthusiastically than others—for example, I don’t think they appreciated me learning how to open doors, because not long after that I started finding every door locked—but they did seem to appreciate how quickly I learned all of the new words and commands they taught me. They were so impressed they enrolled me in a Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) class, which I passed with flying colors!

It was not long after I received my shiny new certificate that a position for a dog opened up at Amber’s workplace. She works at an energy efficiency consulting company, so I thought my chances were pretty good. After all, I conserve my energy pretty much all day; I’m something of an expert on the matter! That plus my new CGC credentials made me feel pretty confident as I put my resume together (with a little help from Amber). I could hardly believe my luck when they called me in for an interview, so imagine my excitement when they hired me on the spot!

Holly looked smart and professional for her interview.

Now I am a regular installment here at the office. And I don’t just make the place look good either—although I certainly do that—in addition to keeping all of the employees in check; I also welcome everyone who comes through the door. Strangers are usually pretty surprised to see me walking up to the door, because I am so quiet that seeing me is the only way you would know I am here. I am proud to say I have impeccable manners, so it’s the good kind of surprise. The only time I find I need to make a little noise is when one of the employees doesn’t understand what I am trying to tell them. When this happens, I just approach Amber, who doubles as my personal translator, and squeak my squeaky toy until she pays attention. It may take a try or two, but Amber always understands what I’m trying to tell someone, and she gets the message across for me. For example, me putting my paw in my water bowl and running up to someone and gesturing at them with my nose means, “Holly says she wants you to get her some water.” I’m surprised more people don’t speak my language, honestly!

Holly has trained her co-workers to understand a tap on her bowl means she needs a refill of water.

So that’s the story of how a fluffy, lovable ex-con got a job at an energy efficiency consulting company. Sure, the days are a little long, but at the end of a long shift I am still happy to go home, kick up my paws, and conserve a little more energy. It’s a tough job, but what can I say, I’m a professional.

Shhh! Holly relaxes after a full day at work.  Meet your next co-worker at HCWS Pet Adoptions.

June Is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month

Matt had a family of his own and really wants a new one to love him. He will purr all day if you brush his hair.

June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month!  Heaven Can Wait Animal Society has “tons” of deserving cats of all ages waiting for someone to love them and give them a permanent home.  You can meet them Thursday afternoon through Sunday inside Petsmart off I-215 and S. Rainbow in the Arroyo Crossing Center or online at: www.hcws.org.

Here are few for you to meet:

Roxy is very outgoing. This girl will spend her days talking and talking to her new guardian.

Astro is a bug hunting fool. This boy will fill a home with lots of action and fun.

Emma is having a tough time adjusting to being without a family. This loyal kitty will be very happy to cuddle with her new ‘person’ all night long.

A ‘Foxy’ Family Member

Foxy’s new family had never owned a pet.

Written by Ron Peltier

“We are so lucky to have Foxy as our family member,” explains Michelle Tsu, who adopted Foxy from Heaven Can Wait a few months back. “In fact, we (Michelle, her husband and daughter) benefit more from him than he benefits from us,” she says.  She understands from her recent experience with Foxy what research demonstrates again and again—owning a dog can improve your life–literally. Dog owners typically exercise more (via walking the dog), have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and report being happier among other benefits. Adopting a dog can save your life.

But Michelle and her family had never owned a dog before, so she was a little nervous. Michelle decided that having a new family member to experience with her daughter was worth the chance. However being dedicated to finding permanent homes for its dogs, HCWS does not like to take chances. Foxy is a graduate of the “Pups on Parole” program, (all of HCWS dogs graduate from the program before being adopted) and as such he was well trained. Indeed, Michelle says “The best part I like about Foxy is he understands our demands and follows the house rules very well. He is so smart that you can’t resist loving him.”

One of things about Foxy that endears him to Michelle and her family is his personality. Like many companion animals, Michelle says that Foxy can sense her moods. Foxy even seemed to sense that he was about to be adopted as Michelle talked with the volunteers. Foxy is also a chicken. Michelle says that “Foxy is so chicken that his own shadow frightens him.” So maybe Foxy is not the best guard dog, but still he is an important member of the family.

Having worked with HCWS to adopt Foxy, Michelle and her family could not be happier both with the process and Foxy. She says, “I wanted to thank the Heaven Can Wait volunteers for encouraging me to have a great pet like Foxy.” Michelle recommends adopting an adult dog from HCWS because “they are trained already.” It is nice to take a dog home who already understands the commands ‘sit’ and ‘stay,’ but not having to house-train your new champion is much better. To see if you’d like to take a dog home, please browse through our dogs up for adoption http://hcws.org/adoptions/dog-adoptions

Dogs rescued by Heaven Can Wait go through our Pups on Parole program where they learn basic commands, leash walking and other skills to help them live in a family environment.

Heaven Can Wait Animal Society has lots of great cats and dogs that are ready to be adopted into new homes.  Cat adoptions are held from Thursday afternoon through Sunday and dogs are adopted Saturdays at Petsmart in the Arroyo Crossing Center off I-215 and S. Rainbow.