As animal lovers, we love and cherish ALL our pets. But certain dogs (and cats) change us – they get under our skin, running through our veins and hearts, and our spirits are forever bound. Heart dogs enter our lives in unexpected and wonderful ways. Our time together is often brief, but the collective impact of our love is mighty and great. They shape our lives and lead us to places we never could have imagined. Sometimes they don’t make it very far and we must continue on alone. But they live on in our hearts and we see the world differently, more vividly and clearly because of the bond we shared. Corbin was Jen’s heart dog.
Corbin had already been adopted and returned twice when Jenn and Adam brought him home as a foster dog. Prior to Corbin, Jenn knew very little about Pit bulls other than what was portrayed in the media, and admits she was hesitant. But he quickly won her over with his charm and snuggles and two months after bringing him home, they officially adopted him.
Corbin wasn’t always an easy dog. He had some ongoing health issues and a month after adoption, showed some signs of being overly protective and slightly aggressive. Jenn immediately hired a trainer who worked with them in their home providing the tools and guidance they needed to help Corbin reach his true potential as a well-mannered dog. Corbin later went on to pass Canine Good Citizen test. Jenn documented their journey together through her blog.
Sadly, Corbin passed unexpectedly in June 2015 just over six years after he arrived. Their time together was all too brief, but through their bond, they opened hearts and changed public perception of Pit bulls and rescue dogs in general. Additionally, they also fostered and re-homed over forty other dogs – many of them pit and pit mixes.
One of the dogs they rescued and saved together is Diamond. Jenn discovered Diamond by accident on a Facebook post. She was an abandoned, senior Pit mix on the euthanasia list at a New York City shelter. Although she wasn’t looking for another foster dog, there was something in Diamond’s eyes that pushed her into action. She contacted The Mr. Moe Project, an organization that fights to save senior dogs in shelters nationwide. After speaking with Chris Hughs, the co-founder, the wheels were in motion and Diamond was transferred directly to a veterinarian for emergency medical care.
Diamond was in rough shape. She was suffering from malnutrition, mange, kennel cough as well as ear and eye infections. But in spite of her fragile condition, Diamond immediately wrapped her paws lovingly around Jenn’s waist and she knew she was making the right decision.
Once Diamond was strong enough to leave the hospital, Jenn brought her home as a foster dog through The Mr. Moe Project. They soon realized that in addition to allergies and a host of other medical issues, she was also deaf. A few months later, she underwent surgery to remove four mammary masses. Although Diamond wasn’t initially fond of Corbin, he remained at her side during her recovery. After she healed, their relationship changed from fear to love.
After Corbin passed away, Jenn and Adam decided Diamond would stay with them forever. To see her blossom from a beaten-down, throw-away dog to a trusting, loving family member has been truly inspiring, Jenn says. “I have learned something from every dog who has passed through my life and Diamond has taught me about the need and importance of senior dog rescue.”
In addition to Diamond, Jenn and Adam share their home with another rescued pit named Amelia as well as two other Mr. Moe Project foster dogs, Emily and Eddie. I know Corbin would be so proud!
Diamond is part of The Specials, an award-winning blog series focusing on special needs pet adoption. Senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like Pits and black cats. If not for the courage and compassion of their adopters, many of these animals might have been euthanized in shelters or died alone and hungry on the streets. You can read more special needs adoption posts here.