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It's been a year since Teddi/Bella came to live with us, so I thought I would send an update. I wanted to send videos of Bella swimming - she's become quite proficient - but haven't had the dog, the camera, and the water all in the same place at the same time.
She loves the back yard and will hang out where my veggie garden used to be. She likes to lie down in the tall, leafy weeds that grow there now. Sometimes I think she waits until we call her so she can come running to us. It's very cute.
|She and Ember are best friends. Ember is a black Lab we adopted from GEB in October. She's the baby of our third GEB puppy, Loren, who is in their breeding program. They charge around the backyard chasing, tumbling, and dodging. Ember can out-maneuver Bella, but on the straightaway Bella is just as fast.
Bella had a lot of problems with the stairs when she first got to us, particularly outside, but now she runs on them.
She loves to go in the car, even if she stays inside. Even after I took her to the vet on Wednesday and the groomer on Thursday.
She's still timid of men, but the other night when we were out for our walk, a really big guy went past on his power walk and Bella actually veered toward him, rather than hiding behind me! I call it a breakthrough!
We recently celebrated Bella's first Gotcha Day and Ember's first birthday with Frosty Paws. Bella wasn't quite sure this was a good thing, but eventually came around.
She is a sweet, good girl and we love her. She's very happy here!
~ Kim Steele & family
To be honest, Chelsea came to us a little like an unwanted pregnancy. We weren't ready for her, but love her anyway. My husband and I had just lost our beloved, first Leo, Bubba (Cherrywood's E-Male), a month before we got the call from Ann Duyster with LeoRescue about Chelsea. We had been through the heartbreaking process of osteosarcoma, were still grieving, and we told Ann we were not up to taking a dog just yet. A week or so went by and another call came from Ann saying there was no one else in the area willing to take Chelsea. So, I agreed to foster Chelsea until a permanent home was found.
|Chelsea was rescued from an animal shelter when she was about 9 months old. She had been hit by a car and three months later was dumped at the shelter in the middle of the night. Her right hip had been crushed in the accident, had not been treated and was necrotic. Her left hip was displaced but usable. Under the loving care of Judy Johnston, she was rescued, had surgery, physical therapy and was placed in a home in Virginia. That placement did not work, so we agreed to go pick her up.
Chelsea turned out to be a scrawny, limping, small-boned Leo with a sharp face, much like a large Border Collie wearing a Leo costume.
She was very unsteady on her back feet. And her personality was very exuberant and extremely demanding of attention. Ann warned me that she was a "turbo-Leo."
Chelsea also came with the rescue baggage. She startles very easily and is fearful of strangers or even objects out of place in the yard. She barks a lot. Our first experiment at leaving her alone in the yard for an hour while we went out to eat, left us with both the front and back doors badly chewed.
After about a month with Chelsea I began to realize that her hips were not getting better from her operation in Ohio, and might actually be getting worse. Her bad leg hung like a broken tree branch when she was standing still and felt like a wet noodle when you picked it up.
With the blessing of Leo Rescue I took Chelsea to a specialist who told me that because Chelsea was still a puppy, she was forming calcium deposits at her injury site. She would need another hip operation. In the meantime Ann Duyster was trying valiantly to find Chelsea a permanent home but there were no takers. The timing was not good either, just after Hurricane Katrina when there were many pets needing homes.
LeoRescue kindly agreed to pay for a second hip operation and we committed to see her through the weeks of recovery. After that, of course, we were hooked and wanted to keep her. She now walks on four legs and is much more mobile. The surgeon is campaigning to give her a total hip replacement on the other hip in order to "give her one good leg." I am inclined not to do that right now because she shows no pain and has adapted really well. She can run like the wind chasing our cows as long as she doesn't have to turn a corner.
The hardest challenge I've faced with Chelsea is finding an outlet for her turbo-charged personality. We have a wonderful dog park just down the street, but I 've had to quit taking her because she over-does it and comes home limping. I take her to water therapy once or twice a week, which has been a great help, but is expensive. Sadly, I think Chelsea would have been a terrific agility dog, with her high-energy personality and small, quick body.
Chelsea has been both a pleasure and a challenge to take care of. She is so sensitive, loving and eager to please. I keep telling Ann that she will be a wonderful dog when she grows up! But then you know, she's a Leo puppy!
|Bentley, now age 2 1/2, was regrettably surrendered to LeoRescue because his Massachusetts family's young son became allergic to dogs. Lucky for us, though! We had recently lost our Great Pyrenees and had filled out an adoption application for LeoRescue.
We were delighted to foster/adopt the wonderful Bentley!
Bentley now lives with a brother, our wonderful Bernese Mountain dog named Tanner. The two of them are almost the same age, and get along beautifully. Although, it seems, Tanner thinks Bentley's insane for going in our pool!
Bentley is loving his new home, especially the swimming pool. He swims with our children, plays with his new Berner brother, and gets lots of love. He also enjoys attending the outdoor summer concerts in the park with his the family.
We're thrilled to have him!
~Patti and Gary
Leo didn't have the best start in life. He was
born in a puppy mill somewhere up north.
Sadly, he was taken from his mother before he
had turned just 8 weeks old. Then he was put on a truck and sent all the way to Florida. When he arrived, he was put up for
sale in a pet shop. After 3 weeks he was
bought by a family, who loved him and
cared for him. But they just couldn't keep him.
That's when Leo entered the lives and
hearts of Ann and Emile Duyster. After
having lost both their beautiful Leo girls last year,
their house was way too quiet and empty for way too
long. But when Leo arrived in July of 2009, all
of that changed! There's Leo hair on the
floors once again. There is a wonderful, furry
dog keeping careful watch when someone is cooking. And they are once again enjoying the soft and tender kisses
and wookie sounds that Leonbergers are so talented at giving.
The Duysters are very happy to have him and Leo is finally in his forever home.
And they now refer to him as: Lucky Leo!
This page is dedicated to some of our adopted Leos as they begin their new life in a forever home. Please check back frequently for updates.