IMG_4248This article will be the first in a series of articles about adopted ARF animals who have had a significant impact on their adopters. I think it’s safe to say that ALL ARF animals fit this bill, but there are a special few who have gone above and beyond what anyone could have ever expected. Some animals have helped to drastically change the lives of their humans for the better simply by being by their side day after day, and others have done so with a single, heroic act. The article below is about one of those heroic acts and “the power of dog.”


On a blazing hot Summer day I received a text from a good Samaritan about a dog that she feared had been abandoned. It was stiflingly hot out, and had been for days. So I loaded up with jugs of water, kibble, and one of my resident dogs (to help assess the dog-to-dog temperament of the dog we were heading out to see) and we headed straight out.

We pulled up to an abandoned 3-sided car port full of garbage. Out popped this young dog, tail wagging and smiling as she approached. My resident dog sniffed her and then went on to check out this poor dog’s surroundings. No water in sight, so I filled a bucket and the pup drank half of it right there and then. I named her “Azul” on the spot because of her bright and gorgeous blue eyes.Meeya

While in foster care, Azul learned how live indoors, eat food out of a dish, and most of all how to be loved. She remained cautious when meeting new people, and so when her future adoptive family of 5 came to meet her for the first time, Azul belly crawled over to each family member, one by one. Many people would be put off by this, and perhaps want to consider a different dog to adopt, but the Foreman family knew that THIS dog was the one that was meant to be their 6th family member. “There was just something that drew me to her,” says adoptive mom Elizabeth. In fact, the Foreman family had originally applied to adopt a different dog, but upon seeing Azul’s pic, “I told my son to cancel (the other application.)” And as it turned out, it was a good thing they did! Elizabeth’s daughter was also smitten, and named her “Nova” before they had even met.

The Foreman’s daughter had stayed home from school as a medication she had just started was causing her to feel a bit ill. She was home from school and fortunately her older brother was also home that day.

Elysia & Nova2

Our girl Nova kept whining and scratching at my son and he just figured she needed to go out and pee. When he would go to let her out, she wouldn’t go out the door. So he went back to whatever he was doing. She did this another three times. The third time, she went right up to my daughters door. My Son realized then that something was wrong. He said if Nova hadn’t led him to her room he just would have assumed she was sleeping and never would have thought to check in on her.

Elizabeth’s daughter was in the hospital for three full days. Her reaction was extremely serious.

While my daughter was in the hospital, Nova was so miserable it was sad to watch. I had to let her sleep with one of my daughters shirts….she was just beside herself without her here, and it seemed she knew that she was sick and not just out with one of her friends. It was a long three days believe me.

Elysia & Nova

Miss Nova has not let my daughter out of her sight since she got home from the hospital. She bumps into her doorknob to get into her room and she’ll keep bumping the door until my daughter lets her in.

We are living with a true hero under our own roof.

That unknown “something” that drew the Foreman family to apply for their future heroic family member was no longer a mystery.

It was just something about her, and now I know why we have her, and why in some way she did find us….we have not only adopted a beautiful spirit, we have realized we’ve also adopted a living breathing guardian angel. Thank you A.R.F.! XO

Kara Dannenhold is the First Response Team Leader and the Education Project Development Coordinator for ARF Ontario which is 100% volunteer. Kara's love for animals is only matched by her love for her niece and four nephews.
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