They say it rains every day in Seattle. In Florida it rains Malinois. When the Miami – Dade called about Gabe, the fosters in Florida were already bursting at the seams. There is no boarding facility in Florida that will accept a dog fresh from a shelter. The facilities are afraid of exposing the boarding dogs to a dog from a shelter that might be carrying kennel cough or have temperament issues. Even most veterinarians refuse to take in shelter dogs.

Besides Heartworm Gabe also had kennel cough, a relatively benign infection that can be easily treated. Even though Maria was already loaded with foster dogs, plus two in quarantine, she agreed to help Gabe. Maria took Gabe in, treated his kennel cough and fell in love. Who couldn’t love this Big Boy? Maria kept Gabe for three and a half weeks and he went from a thin 72 pounds to a solid 84 pounds. Without Maria Gabe wouldn’t have made it. Gabe and I thank you.

On Saturday July 26th ABMC transport brought Gabe from Homestead Florida up to me in Savannah Georgia where I went on and took him home with me in Winchester, Kentucky. I want to thank everyone involved in Tour de Malinois. It was a resounding success. I had two fantastic home visits; we moved Gabe, Rocky and Xio out of Florida. Rocky went on to North Carolina and Xio is on her way to CT. I picked up Romeo in South Carolina and he is on his way to his forever home in Wisconsin tomorrow! Whew! If people hadn’t stepped up these dogs would have been PTS. Thank you everyone. We are making a difference.

Stay tuned for stories from the trip home
Gabe's a Pretty Boy!

I have seen the words high kill shelter. I never really fathomed what it meant. I knew that they put down dogs; I just didn’t realize the degree. Miami – Dade gets over 34,000 dogs and cats a year. They euthanize over 10,000 dogs annually. That’s a lot of dogs, almost thirty dogs a day, put to sleep. This is a story about a dog that beat the odds. Meet Gabe.

Gabe is a big, strapping Belgian Malinois. A beautiful red dog with a massive head and hulking shoulders. Gabe is not just a pretty face either, he has the sweetest disposition, a gentle giant. But Gabe was just a stray, roaming the streets of Miami, ribs poking out. One of the Forgotten. He was taken in to Miami-Dade on June 25th, 2008. He had 5 days to be claimed. No one came for Gabe. Time was not Gabe’s only enemy. Gabe was heartworm positive.

On July 2nd the powers to be sentenced Gabe to euthanasia. He walked down the hall to be put down, trotting happily I imagine, wagging his tail. The staff was preparing him for his final hurrah when he did something. I don’t know if it was the wag of his tail, or his knowing sad eyes, or the way he likes to lay his great big head on your lap, but Gabe reached out to the staff and they responded. The leash was snapped back on and Gabe was taken to another room. Instead of being put to sleep Gabe was neutered and ABMC was called. It was like a call from the Governor. Now the real work begins.