Monthly Archives: July 2012

Summertime…and the Living is Easy

Cooper and Oscar have enjoyed this hot Southern summer weather we’ve experienced so far this year.  They know that there is always refuge from the heat when they’ve had enough, in the form of a yummy frozen treat, cold kitchen tile or a magical water-dispensing device.

I couldn’t help but sing Sam Cooke’s classic to myself the other day as I watched the boys enjoy the sunshine.  The second verse seemed especially fitting for our young Coop.

One of these mornings
ou’re gonna rise up singing

Then you’ll spread your wings
nd take to the sky

But until that morning
here is nothing can harm you

With daddy & mommy (and Oscar!)
standing by…

If you think Cooper would look great doing the backyard backstroke in your grass, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.


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The Lap Dog

Cooper is the very definition of a lap dog.  He loves to snuggle more than anything in the entire universe.  If there is a lap available, he is in it – even when it means interrupting helping momma read her book in the “no dogs” chair.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t think I can fully convey in words just how snuggly Cooper is.   He loves his people so much – he wants nothing more in the world than to be right where you are, at all times.  Call him a shadow, magnet-dog, or “clingy” if you want to, but I find his undying love and devotion endearing.  It’s a good thing for Cooper that he has a fit little 40-pound frame – it makes him perfectly lap sized.    

In addition to his propensity for snuggling, Cooper is truly a “lap dog” because he’s actually been lapped…twice!  Two foster dogs have come and gone through Foster House since Cooper joined us in January – unexpected foster puppy Roxie and repeat guest Molly Tamale

Seriously, what gives?  No really, interweb, I’m asking, does anyone have any idea how it’s possible that Cooper is still with us?  Because I don’t get it!  He. Is. AWESOME!  I mean, who doesn’t want a perfectly proportioned furry snuggle partner to share your chair/bed/couch/personal space with?

Believe me, I am not complaining.  I will take my sweet Cooper-snuggles while I can get ’em, and enjoy every moment of it!  I’m just trying to share the wealth a little…

If you’ve got the perfect lap for Cooper to curl up in furever, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.



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If you’re one of our observant Facebook followers, you’ve noticed a new photo and a tease of an “exciting project” that our little Foster Family is involved in.  I’m ready to spill the beans, but first I’d like to introduce you all to Nashville PITTIE.

Nashville PITTIE stand for “Pit Bull Initiative to Transform Image and Educate.” Says founder Jana Mendes, “The goal of Nashville PITTIE is to restore the Pit bull’s positive image by: dispelling myths surrounding the breeds called ‘Pit bulls’ through education, promoting responsible ownership, and promoting spay/neuter programs and the importance thereof. Nashville PITTIE strives to bring to light the true character of the Pit Bull and the invaluable contributions they make as family pets and service companions, as they have for generations.”

 Jana and her team of dedicated volunteers take part in various local events throughout the year, to get pit bulls into the public eye in a positive way.  They put on a Pit Bull Awareness Day each fall, and organize walks through town during established high-profile events and festivals.  They set up information booths at local events such as the Nashville Earth Day Festival, Nashville Pride Fest, and the Celebrate Healthy Pets fair.  They’ve even marched in the annual Nashville Christmas Parade.

Foster Dad and I, along with the pups of course, have the tremendous honor of being part of their latest endeavor, a super-duper-awesome project called Impression-a-Bull.  Nashville PITTIE has partnered with local photographer extraordinaire Amiee Stubbs, to photograph Nashville pit bull owners for a project to help to change the negative stigma attached to “pit bulls,” and at the same time raise funds for spay/neuter programs in Nashville.

On Saturday, August 4th, the Impression-a-Bull project will be on display at the UltraViolet Gallery, during downtown Nashville’s monthly First Saturday Art Crawl.  Oh, did I mention that admission is free?  If you’re in town that night, you’re not going to want to miss it.  If you need some more convincing, here’s a sneak preview…and there’s bound to be even more beautiful brindle furs on display!

The Impression-a-Bull display will be featured during Nashville’s First Saturday Art Crawl on Saturday, August 4th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at the UltraViolet Gallery in the Arcade.



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A Bunch of Random

Let’s skip over all the I-know-we-haven’t-posted-in-awhile-we’ve-been-so-busy-but-we’re-still-here stuff, and just jump right in, shall we? 

Update: Operation Freedom Dogs

After 21 days at the emergency shelter, all 200+ rescued animals – including dogs, cats, turtles, chickens, geese, fish, a goat & a donkey – have been placed with rescue partners in loving foster homes.  All of them will continue on their road to physical and mental rehabilitation, and hopefully will be available for adoption soon.  A list of Animal Rescue Corps’ placement partners can be found here:

Agape Animal Rescue (Nashville, TN)
Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue (Thompsons Station, TN)
Central Kentucky Regional Humane Society (Lancaster, KY)
Northwoods Humane Society (Haywood, WI)
Country K9 Rescue (Lebanon, TN)
Nashville Cat Rescue (Nashville, TN)
New Leash on Life (Lebanon, TN)
Noah’s Ark Society (Nashville, TN)

The number of people who came together to make this rescue possible is truly amazing – of course the staff of ARC, countless volunteers who gave their time and energy for three weeks, local restaurants who provided lunch each day, veterinarians who volunteered their services, local community members who donated supplies, photographers who spent hours at the shelter capturing touching images, the media for covering the story and bringing attention to the operation, and of course the rescue organizations who stepped up as placement partners and the foster families who will see these animals through to adoption.  It’s been an overwhelming, emotional experience, and I am truly humbled to have been a part of it.  It’s been a privilege working with each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Auction for the Dogs

On the heels of Operation Freedom Dogs, Brentwood Jewelry & Gifts (Nashville, TN) donated this bee-you-tee-full ring to Animal Rescue Corps.  The ring, modeled here by animal lover Mrs. Tennessee 2012 Bethany Sharp, is now up for auction on Ebay (link below).  ARC will donate a portion of the proceeds to Agape Animal Rescue and other placement partners with Operation Freedom.  Bidding is open through Saturday, July 28th.

The stunning lady’s 18k White Gold Polynesian Black Cultured Pearl (pictured above) and diamond ring is set with a 14.0 mm mostly Round Black “Peackock” colored Black Pearl. The cross over shank is bead set with a total of fifty round brilliant cut diamonds, approximate total diamond weight 1.00 carats, graded S11 clarity and G in color.; the ring weighs 11.80 grams. The appraised value is $6,800.00.

Room for One More?

Agape has taken just one more pup from Operation Freedom into their foster program.  Because how can anyone resist that face?  Meet Prince!

Is he a doll face or what?   I know I said this about every single dog at the emergency shelter at one point or another, but Prince is seriously one of my favorites.  So happy to have him in the Agape family!

Recap: Glitter & Glam

Nope, nevermind…I’ve got too many awesome pictures to share, G&G 2012 deserves its own post.  Here’s a preview:


My sister got a new kitten.  His name is Preekaroo (I don’t know, you’ll have to ask her). 

I mean, I am not a cat person, but come ON…no one can deny that kittens are damn cute.


Still adorable, still adoptable. Still waiting on his Furever Family to find him.  Is it you?

If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.



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A Little Elbow Grease

The boys’ collars were getting a little scuffed up and dingy.

Since they’re getting photographed for a very special project tonight (more on that later), their dirty duds simply would not do.  So momma took to the kitchen sink armed with dish soap and elbow grease, and the results were impressive:

In case you couldn’t tell, the right side is pre-scrub and the left is post-scrub.  The difference is much more apparent on Cooper’s collar in the pictures, but trust when I say that Oscar’s orange argyle looks totally bright and fresh in person.

In the past I’ve tossed fabric collars in the top rack of the dishwasher, or in the laundry to clean them.  I’m glad I opted to go with the hand-scrub method this time around, because the blue on Cooper’s bled a bit.  Keep that in mind if you’re washing a new collar for the first time, be careful you don’t toss it in with a load of whites!

Cooper loves his shiny clean Adopt Me collar, but he’s longing for a Furever collar of his very own.  If you’d like to be the ones to pick it out and love him forever and ever, please fill out an adoption application with Agape Animal Rescue.



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Agape’s Freedom Dogs

Over the weekend, Agape Animal Rescue volunteers and foster parents loaded up over a dozen of the Freedom Dogs for the next leg of their journey on the way to Furever…their foster homes!  Foster Dad and I had the honor of meeting most of these dogs over the weekend,  and I can tell you they are all absolute loves.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am forever amazed by the resilience of dogs and their capacity to forgive us and trust again even after being neglected for their entire lives.  Amazing…just amazing.

So now, without further ado, I am proud and honored to introduce you to the newest members of the Agape Family; The Freedom Dogs!



Angel has the pleasure of bunking with former Foster House tenant, Kate!  This will be Kate’s second stint at rehabilitating a damaged dog.  Her former foster brother, Sweetheart Jake, has been adopted into a wonderful home and is doing awesome.  Angel is a lucky girl!

Jerry Lewis










Hmm, am I forgetting something?  I feel like I’m forgetting something….oh that’s right, puppies!!!!!!

Liberty & Justice

These fourteen dogs were the first to leave the emergency shelter.  They’re a combination of dogs from Operation Freedom Dogs and Operation Freedom Part 2.  At this point, every one of them still needs medical attention of some kind – there’s any combination of heartworms, mange and malnutrition among them, and they all need their no-babies surgeries.  There are also varying degrees of mental rehabilitation that will need to be done before they’ll be officially ready for adoption, though some seem more “ready” than others.  So if you see one that strikes your fancy, hang in there – and keep an eye on the Agape Adoptable Dogs page of their website, and the Agape Facebook page for updates and more pictures.  In the meantime, if you are interested in sponsoring one of these sweet souls, in any dollar amount, you can do so by clicking here.

Humongous THANK YOU’s go to Amiee Stubbs for these beautiful photos, Agape Animal Rescue for accepting these dolls into their wonderful foster program, and of course Animal Rescue Corps for never turning their backs on an animal in need.  Welcome to the Agape family, Freedom Dogs! 

I know I’ve  been doing a lot of non-Cooper related posts lately, but he’s still on the market!  If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.



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Operation Freedom…part 2??

Last week I wrote about a hoarding bust that took place on July 3rd about an hour outside of Nashville, dubbed Operation Freedom Dogs.  Over 100 dogs were liberated from disgusting conditions and taken to an emergency shelter near Foster House.

Foster Dad and I spent the weekend volunteering with them, feeding the dogs their special diet, lugging crates around and cleaning up their business. While a handful of the pups seem thrilled to be sprung from their hell on earth and ready to start their new life, the majority of them are terrified. Most of them cowered in the back of their crates when we opened the doors. They were all covered in bloated ticks. Some wouldn’t eat. One is so pregnant she’s about to pop.  One is blind. It was exhausting, dirty, heartbreaking work, but we felt good knowing that those dogs would never have to suffer again.  For the rest of their lives, they’d be safe, fed clean food & water every day, and get medical attention they need.

But then, just days later, Animal Rescue Corps got an emergency call from the White County sheriff’s department, asking for help in responding to yet another animal cruelty situation, at a property that had been operating as an “animal sanctuary.”

Most of the animals are underweight, suffering from external parasites, and have untreated wounds. Their living conditions were hazardous to their physical, social, and emotional well being and no animals had access to clean water or sufficient food.


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And so 24 chickens, 12 rabbits, 12 dogs, 7 cats, 6 ducks, 3 turtles, a goose, a goat, a donkey and even some goldfish joined the Freedom Dogs at the emergency shelter…Operation Freedom Part 2.

I haven’t been able to get back to the emergency shelter since the new crew has come in.  Honestly, it’s taken me several days to get this post together, because I just haven’t wanted to sit down and write it.  It’s hard sometimes to be optimistic about the rescue work you’re doing when you see so much neglect in such a short period of time. It’s hard to think about how many more animals are in similar situations right now, suffering – because no one but their abusers know they exist.

But then I hear that one of the volunteers has already adopted all of the goldfish, and that all of the cats have been taken in by a local cat rescue group.  Most of the dogs are eating now, and Agape Animal Rescue is going to take a dozen of them into our adoption program.  I see that Goat and Donkey have been reunited, and in the words of The Turtles, are so happy to-ge-theeeeeeeeer!



So Foster Dad and I will buck up, strap on our hard soled shoes and ARC volunteer t-shirts and head back to the emergency shelter this weekend.  We’ll either be scooping poop, cleaning dog cages, or maybe get our first lesson in chicken wrangling.  Whatever they need.  For the animals.

If you live in the Nashville area and would like to help, the emergency shelter is in desperate need of supplies and volunteers:

We are in continual need of volunteers at our emergency shelter (at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds) over the course of the next week or two. While we have a strong need for individuals with previous ARC training and/or emergency rescue experience, we are happy to welcome new volunteers looking to learn the ropes! If you are comfortable around a variety of animals and can give your time on our 9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm shifts, please email with your contact information and any relevant skills/experience so that our volunteer coordinator can contact you if needed.

We are currently in need of the following supplies, which can be delivered to the Vaughn Building at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds: puppy pads, latex-free gloves, dust/surgical masks, paper towels, large KONG dog toys, creamy peanut butter, equine pine/pine shavings, breeder maintenance chicken scratch, goat and donkey feed, duck and geese feed, & rabbit food.

If you don’t live in Nashville but would still like to help, you can donate on Animal Rescue Corps website, or to Agape Animal Rescue.  The twelve dogs we take in are surely going to need some extended medical care and attention – I heard an estimate of about $3000 per dog…yikes!  I don’t know which ones they will be yet, but I can’t wait to introduce them to you.



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Two Cool Cucumbers

Oscar has shown us how he prefers to keep his cool during this crazy heat wave.  Whether he’s chillin’ out in the pool…

…lounging in a mud bath….

…or taking a dip in the local swimming hole…

…Oscar has “keeping cool” down pat.  This past weekend, Cooper showed us his preferred method to beat the heat.  Take a look:

If you’d like to add Cooper to your family, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.



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Operation Freedom Dogs

My first thought: *sigh* here we go again…

On July 3rd, Animal Rescue Corps was on the scene again in Middle Tennessee carrying out a large-scale rescue effort.  Over 100 medium to large size dogs were reported living in deplorable conditions in Lebanon, about an hour east of Nashville.  Just like they did in February’s Operation Sweethearts, ARC responded to the reports and found unimaginable conditions. As temperatures reached record highs across Tennessee and much of the country, these dogs lived their days crowded together in pens with no shelter from the elements. Water bowls were found dry, their food crawling with insects. 

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From a statement by ARC,

Animal Rescue Corps only recently learned of these dogs and the conditions they were forced to exist in for two decades… rusty decrepit cages with nothing for shelter but sharp metal boxes and rusted out barrels, dangerous terrain littered with nails, dangerous objects and the bones of dogs that did not survive these harsh conditions.

The good news?  Every last dog was surrendered and removed from the property.

On the Fourth of July, as Americans from coast to coast celebrated their Independence, these dogs were getting their first taste of Freedom. Just like the Sweethearts this past winter, they will all be vetted, groomed, temperament tested and placed with rescue organizations to get them ready for adoption into loving homes.  But before that can happen, some will need intensive medical attention for broken bones, untreated injuries, and (I would guess) heartworms.  The worst is over for these sweet babies, but they still have a long way to go.

**UPDATE** I just found out that the Freedom Dogs will be honored at this Sunday night’s awesome Agape fundraiser, Glitter & Glam!  Also, Animal Rescue Corps President, Scotlund Haisley, will be there as a guest speaker and runway model!  Like you needed another reason to go…

To find out more about how you can help the Freedom Dogs, watch for updates on the Animal Rescue Corps website.



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Our First Foster – One Year Later

The first dog we fostered through Agape Animal Rescue was Tucker.  But before Tucker, there was Barney.

Last year, Foster Dad and I were starting to kick around the idea of fostering dogs.  Oscar had been with us for a year by that time, and we were head over heels for this dog.  We always knew we were “dog people,” but turns out – we were full on “crazy dog people.” We talked about Oscar constantly. We plastered our Facebook pages with his picture.  We celebrated his birthday.  We always knew we’d want to be a two-dog house eventually, and we figured if having one dog was this awesome, than having two would be twice as awesome, right??

Photo by Barney’s Furever Family

We weren’t in a hurry though.  We knew that when the time came that we would rescue again,  because for us the most important thing about adding another furry member to our family was helping a dog in need.  With that in mind, we started talking about fostering.  Casually, nothing serious.

Photo by Barney’s Furever Family

Barney wandered into our lives a year ago this week.  Now, we see stray dogs in our area of town all the time. All. The. Time. But when I saw Barney running down the side of the road that early morning, there was something about him that I couldn’t ignore.  I just had to pull over and see what was up.  I had no idea if he’d be interested in me at all, or if he’d bolt.  I hadn’t planned on chasing a dog through South Nashville streets all morning, so I told myself if he didn’t come to me easily, I’d assume he was on his way home.

After I pulled a stop and got out of the car, I turned to face him, crouched down and said cheerfully, “Hey buddy!”  He stopped dead in his tracks, and only considered me for a moment before bolting straight towards me and climbing into my lap, tail wagging a mile a minute.  Well, it was settled.  He was coming with me.

Photo by Barney’s Furever Family

I called Foster Dad on the way home to tell him what I had gotten us into, and he was totally on board.  “Well, you couldn’t just leave him there! Bring him home!”  We did our due diligence….checked for a microchip (nope), looked on Craigslist, Petfinder, etc for lost dogs matching his description (nothing), and papered the entire area with FOUND DOG fliers to see if we would get any hits (not one).  However, when we posted him on the local Facebook page and asked our neighbors if anyone recognized him, we piqued the interest of Ted & Amanda. 

The recognized him, alright.  They recognized him as they newest member of their family.  They had been thinking about getting another dog as a playmate for their yellow lab, Bella.  When they saw Barney’s picture, it was insta-love.   One week after Barney entered our lives, he was off to live with his new family.

Photo by Barney’s Furever Family

Barney may not have been an “official” foster dog.  He wasn’t affiliated with a rescue organization, he wasn’t pulled out of a shelter, neutered, or vetted.  None the less – he was our foster dog.  Our first one.  We found him, sheltered him from the elements, and gave him food and water.  We bathed him and trimmed the matted hair from under his ears and belly.  We invited him into our home and loved him. And when the time came, we said goodbye. We’re counting him, and we’re adding him to the “Success Stories” column.  He really should have been there from the beginning. 

Happy Adoptiversary, Barney! 
And just like we say to all our foster dogs…we love you forever, and we’ll never forget you!



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