All of our pets were “found” or “free”. When my daughter graduated from high school, we asked her what she wanted for a graduation gift. She said all she wanted was a dog. The previous year our black lab, Pete had died at the ripe old age of 17. We had had the dogs before we had the kids and she missed him.

So…we looked in a local paper and found a “free” golden retriever in a nearby suburb. When we got there, we found a year old puppy who was kept on a porch year round. She was scared of the male homeowner and even the kids didn’t shed a tear. Only the mother seemed to care. This wasn’t a low income neighborhood, but it was definitely some substandard humanity in the way she was treated. I couldn’t leave her there.

As “free” dogs often are, when we go her home we took her to the vet and found out she was heartworm positive. After two rounds of treatment and the required quiet inside environment, she became a full time indoor dog.

She’s ten now and that scared puppy that startled at everything and barked at trucks is now the queen of our greenbelt, joyfully chasing bunnies in our backyard and a faithful companion for my husband as he works in his home office. We love our Indy-named after the Indy 500 because it was running the day we got her.

— Ellen from Carrollton, TX