Giving Thanks, Year 2

December 2015

Last year, we asked you to click click click to make a pup’s dream come true.  This year, we’re just asking you to share.

We’re very excited to introduce you to Bud and Diamond.  These wonderful dogs have been looking for homes for well over a year.  We made friends with the folks at Alley Cat Rescue, who told us all about them.  We’re hoping to make things a little easier for them.

peanut butter & cheese is proud to sponsor the adoption fees for Bud and Diamond.  Check out this guest blog.  Share their stories.  Share their pictures.  Let’s help these two find a furever home– they’ve been waiting for a long, long time.


Alley Cat Rescue is a nonprofit and no-kill rescue organization, located in Mt. Rainier, MD. As the organization name would suggest, our main focus is on cats, but over the years Alley Cat Rescue has also helped many dogs to find homes as well. The staff at Alley Cat Rescue are lovers of all animals, and when we see a dog in need we just have to step in. As a cat rescue, we do not get in a lot of foot traffic in search of dogs, so we have two dogs at our facility that we have really struggled to find homes for. Bud and Diamond are fantastic dogs that just need someone to give them a chance! So this week Kari is letting us share their stories with all of you, in hopes that this post will help them to find their forever homes or a temporary foster home that will get these two out of kennels while we continue to search for a forever family for Bud and Diamond. Kari has also generously sponsored Bud and Diamond’s adoptions, so there will be no fee to adopt either of them.

– – – –


Diamond is an American Staffordshire terrier and Pointer mix. She is about 2 years old and weighs about 60 pounds. Diamond has been at Alley Cat Rescue’s facility for over a year and a half. Actually, as I write this post, today is day 556 that Diamond has been at our facility. She is sweet, loving, and energetic. She does well with other dogs and children of all ages. She is a true nanny dog and loves to interact with children. However, she does not do well with cats.

We have been working on basic commands with her and she knows sit, paw, roll over, and lay down. She is currently working on learning to stay and leash training. She can be very active when she is outside, but as soon as she gets indoors she becomes a couch potato. Diamond was found outside of the animal hospital Alley Cat Rescue partners with when she was about 6 months old. She wandered up to their door one day and Alley Cat Rescue agreed to help her find a home. We suspect that she may have been abandoned at the animal hospital by a former owner who hoped the animal hospital would make sure Diamond was safe. It has now been a year and a half since Diamond arrived at our doors and we are desperate to find her a loving family.


– – –


Bud is a lab mix. He is about 5 years old and weighs almost 100 pounds. Bud has been at the Alley Cat Rescue facility for 397 days today. He is extremely loyal, loving, and playful. He is a very people oriented dog, and he doesn’t care for other dogs or cats; he would rather have his people all to himself! Once he gets to know a person he will follow them anywhere and try to be as close to them as he possibly can. Bud is the perfect name for this sweet boy, because he really just wants to be everyone’s best friend! He can also be protective of his new human friends, so we think it would be a good idea if his new human family exposes him to as many people as they can, as often as they can once they bring him home.


Bud loves to have a toy with him and he will carry a toy in his mouth as long as you let him, he loves to bring them on his walks! He gets so attached to his toys, that he can be toy aggressive. So we think it would be best if he went to a home with older children. We have been working on his toy aggression and he has improved some, but we would encourage any adopter to continue working with him. Bud is fantastic with training! With a little time, you could teach him any trick your heart desires. We have worked with him on sit, stay, lay down, roll over, and he is learning to play dead. He does well on a leash with a no-pull harness, but he can become startled by loud buses or large groups of people approaching him while on his walks.  When this happens he just needs to be reminded that he is safe and changing the direction you are walking with him often helps.

Alley Cat Rescue pulled Bud from a high kill county shelter early last November where he was set to be euthanized the same day that he arrived. An Alley Cat Rescue staff member was at the shelter pulling cats off of death row and saw Bud and just had to intervene. She recognized that Bud was terrified of the shelter environment and deserved a chance; so she packed up Bud along with 5 cats into her car and got them to Alley Cat Rescue where they would all be given an endless amount of time to find their forever families.

                                                                  – – –

Both Bud and Diamond are spayed/neutered, up-to-date on all vaccines, and micro-chipped. And thanks to Kari’s generosity their adoption fees have been sponsored! There will be no fee to adopt Bud or Diamond. Check out Bud and Diamond’s profiles on Petfinder for more information on these two dogs or any of the other animals available for adoption from Alley Cat Rescue .

Bud and Diamond are really great dogs; we have just not been able to bring in people who are looking for dogs to our facility. We are happy to care for Bud and Diamond until they find their forever families, but they have been here for far too long and we want a better life for them. Please consider adopting or fostering Bud or Diamond. If you are not local to the DC/Maryland/Virginia area, that’s okay! We are willing to transport Bud and Diamond anywhere it takes to find them their forever families! We would also be happy to set them up with a foster caretaker and cover all food and medical expenses while they are under foster care. If you are not able to adopt or foster, please consider sharing their stories for us and help them find the forever families they have been waiting for. Help us make this holiday season their best ever!

Selfie, Part 2

Last post, MJ and Zozo introduced you to some of their pals. When we put out a call to furriends about sending along selfies, a few gals sent us short biographies, too.

We’re excited to share their pictures and stories with you! Enjoy!!




Hello! My name is Hunny but mom and dad call me badger. I am a 2 1/2 year old boxer mix. I enjoy mischief, long walks in the woods and snuggling with my mom. I also enjoy shoes on occasion but apparently that is frowned upon in this establishment. A year ago, mom and dad rescued me and I have been the happiest pupper fluff ever since. They give me lots of toys and a super comfy bed to sleep in. They sometimes make me do things like sit and lay but I look at them with my puppy eyes which pretty much gets me out of trouble. But they super love me more than anything. If you meet me on the street, I will wiggle my butt right up to you and give Hunny hugs.. Everyone needs a little love!


My name is Beatrice. My mom and dad call me “Beatrice the Brave”. I’m from North Carolina. I was abused once — it made me scared of people because I thought they would hurt me. I was afraid of other dogs — in fact, I didn’t know how to be a dog, like wag my tail or play with toys. I used to shut down emotionally, whenever I got scared. But a shelter volunteer posted me on Facebook, and that’s how my new mommy and daddy in DC found me. They decided to save me and give me a good home… a few weeks later I was transported up I-95 via the Freedom Ride. My new parents picked me up in the middle of a parking lot at 2:30am. I wouldn’t leave my crate for a few months — they set up paper next to my crate so I could go to the bathroom. After talking with the vet and doggie behaviorist, they started me on medicine to help take the edge off my fear reaction. And they would come and sit near me, and talk to me, every day. They showed me what a toy is. They slowly taught me that a human hand can pet and not hurt. They started to put a leash on me and gently guide me a little further every day towards the back door to the yard. But they did the best thing in the world for me…. they adopted my sister, Stella, to help me. She showed me how to be a dog. I’m still getting better, but I am brave now — I’m going for walks, and I like to be kissed and cuddled with. I play with toys, and I paw at visitors when I want attention. I’m a brave girl.




My name is Stella. My mom and dad usually yell my name. I’m from Georgia. I am “Simple Stella” to some people — I have a big heart and a little brain. But I love EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. That is why my mommy and daddy adopted me — because they needed a confident, happy-go-lucky girl like me to be an “ambassador” to my scared sister, Beatrice. A shelter volunteer posted me on Facebook, like my sister. And my mom and dad saw me that way — they called the shelter and said they needed a “happy” girl to help their dog. The shelter staff said “Stella’s your girl.” Up I came on the Freedom Ride — I am such a happy girl that I bounded off the van and ran over to my new mommy and daddy, showering them in kisses. It took awhile for my sister Beatrice to like me — whenever I would bring her a toy, she would try to bite at me to keep away. But I never take “No” for an answer! Every time she would nip at me, I would pick up the toy and put it closer to her. Closer. Closer. Until finally, after a few weeks, she started to smell the toy… and then finally pick up the toy. Now, one year later, she plays tug o’ war with me and our toys! So I did something right! I’m a happy girl…. My favorite thing to do is to be upside down. I love it. I also love talking to myself LOUDLY. And I’m fairly convinced that demons live in my butt. I like to look at myself in the mirror, eat things I’m not supposed to, and lay in the sunshine outside. Most of the time my parents are yelling my name because I’m ignoring them and am being naughty. But I’m a happy girl. Just simple. I want to meet you and cover you in kisses!!






My name is Annie. My foster mom and dad call me “Little Orphan Annie”. They get a little sad when they talk about me. A few years ago, when I was a puppy, I had no home but the street. I was sick and hungry, and very cold. One day I saw a nice man walking near me. I immediately knew he would help me, so I followed him all the way to his home. He and his wife took me in; they made me warm, got me medicine and gave me good food. I got better and healthier. They let me hang out with their friends and other dogs — I loved everyone and just wanted to play. Then they found a nice home for me on a lake — they met the family and everything seemed great. I loved my new family — especially the little girl. We were best friends. Except, some problems started happening that I didn’t really understand. The mom and dad slept in separate rooms. My family stopped taking me places, so I was only ever at the house. They wouldn’t take me for walks to meet other people and doggies. They would have parties and would stick me a crate so I didn’t meet anyone. I started to get scared of other people. And scared of other dogs. One day they decided they didn’t want me anymore, and called my foster mom and dad to take me back or I would be killed. I’m so glad my foster mom and dad immediately took me back! I didn’t want to die. I just wanted a family. I admit, when I first saw my foster mom and dad again, I was scared — it had been a long time and I hadn’t been around other people much for 1 1/2 years. But they were patient with me, and went very slowly (over several weeks) to introduce me to their two dogs. I so wanted to meet them, but my foster sister Beatrice was afraid of me and my foster sister Stella was a little TOO excited for me to be around yet. Then one day I escaped my gated room and foster mom found me playing with my foster sisters — I had a GREAT time! Especially with Stella — she and I are best friends. “Two peas in a pod” — that’s what they call us. We run around and jump on the beds and play with toys. At night, I curl up in a ball next to my foster parents’ heads and fall asleep. I love my foster parents. I just want to please them and make them proud of me. I am very smart and listen to what I am told. I am still learning how to meet new people and new dogs, but I’m doing VERY well, considering what I went through at the other home. I guess not everyone should have a dog. I hope that someday I find a real forever home with a family that will love me, and keep me socialized and active and trained. I just want to please! But for now, I’m happy with my foster family who love me so very much. I’m such a good little girl.

Kari note: if you know someone who can provide a safe, active and loving home for Miss Annie, send me a message and I’ll put you in contact with her foster mom!

Kari’s second note, October 2013: a most wonderful thing has happened.  Annie’s foster parents have failed, and they’ve officially adopted her.  HOORAY!!

“He needs someone else.”– this is a long one…

June 2013

Our house feels like a circus. Some days, the furbabies stick to their corners and behave in a perfectly civilized manner. Other days, fur and slobber flies, furniture is rearranged and a playful bark and grumble soundtrack underscores our lives. It’s on those occasions when James and I look at each other, sigh, and break out the bully sticks for time out. Recently, we’ve had a lot of coming-and-going, so routines have been interrupted and no one is particularly on his or her best-est behavior.

But it’s home, and we wouldn’t trade the noise, chaos and drool for anything. They’re good dogs. They look out for us, they protect the fortress of home, and they certainly keep us entertained. We’re lucky to have them. When we’re late getting home from work or we over-schedule ourselves and end up spending less time with the dogs than we’d like, when a week goes by since they’ve been for a walk on-leash because we’re feeling too lazy to adventure beyond the yard, I tell myself it’s ok– they certainly don’t care– and I’m not failing them. Things could have been much worse for them.

A little over two years ago, we brought MJ home. I’ve written about her marking me at the shelter. She was one of 8 puppies dropped off from a litter. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) kept four and sent the rest over to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Two puppies from the Arlington location were snatched up right away. The other two, MJ and Freckles, had some health issues that needed to be addressed. We ended up with MJ, and Freckles found a home, too.

MJ settled into the house, announcing her arrival as princess, alpha and snuggle-bug. She didn’t get as big as we expected, but her strength more than made up for her more-compact stature.

Freckles grew into a 75 lb. goofball. Unfortunately, Freckles was kept outside for the first two years of his life. If he was mistreated further, I don’t know and I honestly don’t want to know. I can’t handle that.  He was surrendered back to the AWLA, which is the best thing anyone could have done for him.

We began following Frankie’s story shortly after the 2012 winter holidays. He’s great with people. Kids? No problem. He’ll sit on your lap or sleep at your feet. This is a pup who needs to be a family dog. For months Freckles looked for a furever home. Late this spring, we sighed in relief when someone came forward and finally adopted Freckles, now Frankie.

A couple of weeks later, he was back at the shelter. I found out about his return to AWLA through Peace, Love & Fostering’s blog. I reached out to the blogger, asking her questions about Frankie. What’s going on? How come he’s back? What’s The Problem?

Maybe we can foster him…

That’s a huge step for us. We felt particularly pulled toward Frankie’s journey since he was right there, round and silly, beside our baby girl when we took her home. I know we could never have handled two puppies, but my head starts down the “but what if…” path. The least we could do is welcome him into our home while he waits for the right person or family. Could I really, truly welcome a new furbaby into my life and give him up when the time came? Would I become a foster-failure?

We were put in contact with a member of AWLA’s staff, who answered our questions. Great with people. Settles well. Basic manners: check. His Big Issue is that he doesn’t always play appropriately with other dogs. He’s not aggressive, he’s just … rude. We scheduled a date to bring MJ and Zozo by to play. If that worked, we’d try an overnight. If that went off without a hitch, Frankie would come hang out with us for a while.

I had visions of the siblings meeting and running towards each other, crashing together with love and sniffs and kisses as they remember the other from their early days. Everything was soft-focus and pastel-ly in this dream.

That’s not how it happened. MJ couldn’t care less about the dog on the other side of the fence. We brought them together in a play yard, and things got a little heated. Frankie tried to play, MJ told him to back the hell up. We did a lap of the yard to let everyone settle. We tried again. Same outcome.

It wasn’t going to work for them.

Out of curiosity, we ran the same drill with Zozo, with absolutely no issue. Zozo was calm enough to let Frankie do what he needed to do to assert his dominance and begin playing.

We agreed with the shelter staff. It wasn’t the right fit. Someone else is out there for him, and he just needs to be a little more patient.

I got a little weepy on the way home from the shelter, shedding tears of frustration and disappointment and heartbreak. I didn’t need to be a hero, but I thought that maybe we could help. We tried. That’s all we could do.

Except I write this blog and, as of June 20, 2013, Frankie still needs a home. He’s wonderful. He’s charming and silly and snuggly. Peace, Love & Fostering has several excellent posts about Frankie and his winning pupsonality. He deserves a great home with a seasoned dog owner who will praise his successes and give him a safe place to learn to work on his impulses. Most likely, he needs to be The Only Dog unless your dog is a pup who just “gets him”.

If you, or anyone you know, is looking for a lap-sitting, adventure-loving sidekick, please contact AWLA and schedule time to meet Frankie.  You won’t regret it.

and now, I humbly descend from my soapbox.


NOTE: The photographs featured in this blog post were taken by Dirty Paw Photography for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA). The photos are featured on Frankie’s adoption page on th AWLA website.