For the Love of Dogs

February 21, 2015 5ive for Women

For many people, dogs are family members. Whether small, large, old, or young, these dogs are like children—holding a special place in our hearts. Fortunately, many loving homes exist in our area with people willing to adopt dogs and get them to their forever homes.

Three dogs hold the hearts of Brittany Bergeman and her fiancé, Matt Murphy, of Eau Claire. Diesel and Dante are miniature pinschers, and Dre is a Doberman. Both Dante and Dre were adopted from unpleasant situations. “I love adopting dogs in need because I feel they deserve their happily-ever-after with a loving family who will take care of them. It lets them know that not all humans are bad,” explains Brittany. “To see a dog come from a bad situation and to bring them into your home and give them the love and care they deserve is a wonderful thing to witness.”

Diesel was the first. Brittany describes,Diesel Dante and Dre
I never had a dog as a child and always dreamed about having one. We got Diesel in August 2009—he was eight weeks old at the time—and it was the best decision we ever made … I really think of all three of my dogs as my children because I bathe them, feed them, clean up after them, and take care of them when they are sick. In return, our dogs give us unconditional love, happiness, joy, and even sadness when they get hurt.

Another couple dedicated to the well being of dogs is Travis and Amy Quella, the owners of Bob’s House for Dogs. “My husband and I always wanted to help dogs in some way, and the unexpected death of one of our rescue dogs prompted us to start planning an independent facility that fostered dogs for area shelters and rescues,” tells Amy. Transition can be difficult for advanced-aged dogs and dogs experiencing stress in a typical shelter. Bob’s House for Dogs helps these special dogs transition to a home-like environment. “We are also able to provide medical care that is sometimes not an option for a dog living in an animal shelter,” adds Amy.

In a typical year, the organization averages over 100 dog adoptions. In addition, they provide hospice care for senior dogs to feel loved during their last few months of life. “This number of dogs varies each year, and it allows us to help them pass with dignity and knowing love rather than dying alone in a shelter,” states Amy. As with Brittany, Amy believes that dogs hold a special place in our hearts, “Dogs are important companions for people because of their unconditional love and stress relief.”

Brittany agrees, explaining how her dogs can change her entire mood, “You could have a horrible day, but as soon as you walk through those doors, you almost forget that bad day because you are surrounded by happiness and excitement. It rubs off on you and you then become happy to see them.” There’s also comic relief. “Dante is a food thief and is very smart about it. We have to warn others that if they are going to sit in the living room, they have to guard their food. He has been known to steal entire pieces of pizza and lasagna.”

While all of her dogs are in a loving home now, Brittany recalls Dre’s particularly sad history, “He is originally from Texas and was found as a stray walking the streets. He had open wounds, bite marks, missing hair, was skinny, and his teeth were in awful shape.” He also had heartworms and will be on medication to combat that for the rest of his life. Eventually, Dre was moved to Midwest Animal Rescue in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

Fortunately for Dre, Brittany and Matt discovered and adopted him. After Dre was home, they saw him wag his tail for the first time, play with his first toys, and become more affectionate. “I can’t imagine coming from his circumstances, meeting many different people, and then finally coming into a loving home. It is completely incredible,” Brittany says in awe.

And, those incredible journeys are one of the reasons that Bob’s House for Dogs exists. “Fortunately, the community has been extremely supportive both financially and with hands-on assistance. Our volunteer program is thriving and allows us to visit 19 elderly care facilities each month. The dogs at Bob’s House for Dogs have great medical care, are considered well-socialized, and senior dogs make the best pets,” tells Amy.

Brittany recommends that everyone ponder the pros and cons when deciding to get a dog, “Dogs need a lot of attention. Before getting one, everyone should think about if they truly have time for a dog and if they will be home enough to train the dog.” She adds, “My hope is that Dre’s story or other dog stories can inspire people—that’s what makes the difference in the life of a dog. It is my dream to one day open a foster home or rescue organization to help dogs like Dre and Dante.”

Bob’s House for Dogs is a dream come true for Travis and Amy Quella—for many reasons. They are “matchmakers” for special dogs who need to find their forever homes with special people prepared to adopt a furry family member. Amy sums it up well, “We are able to have potential adopters visit in a home-like setting, and this allows us to help in the matching process with families. Our residents are so grateful for a second chance at love.”

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