One morning I woke up to find a young dog dumped inside our gate. She was about 5 or 6 months old and in great condition. Except for the bite wounds on her neck! My guess is the person who dumped her had another larger dog that didn’t like her. This created a huge dilemma for me.

I had at the time one dog (Rosa) and four cats living indoors. Rosa is not good with other dogs and would need an awful lot of time adjusting to a new dog under strict supervision… but could I risk a possible fight with four indoor cats? The four cats were still adjusting to each other, one was a recent rescue still adapting after being trapped on our property starving. Also I’m NOT a puppy person. I like older dogs who’ve grown out of chewing and being high energy crazy. However our local rescue vet, Julie, had 30 dogs in her care and I felt guilty dumping another on her.

Her first day with me, no longer crying at the gate all alone she met all the family and loved being carried and cuddled.

Since she had a sweet disposition I decided to try and keep her.

Her first day with me. After getting over her fear she played, ate and then had a long nap.

I named her Goldie and kept her as an outdoor dog, separate from Rosa and the cats. Then I looked to get her a buddy. A few months earlier I had made and put up some posters to try and find homes for a few animals in our rescue vet’s care. I had fallen in love with one the instant I saw his photo. I couldn’t get him out of my mind and I’d secretly renamed him Toby!

No one wanted him. He was unhappy with the other dogs at the rescue home. For some reason several took a dislike to him and would attack him, as if to force him out. He still has the scars today. He often had to be kept separate and alone for his own safety – a truly horrible existence for him. He’s a very affectionate and social boy.

The photo I fell in love with: Sweet Lobi (now Toby) in February 2022 needing a forever home.

So, without even meeting him I asked to adopt him. Julie told me that he’d run away a couple of weeks prior! Then serendipitously the next day he found Julie’s Mom at the supermarket and happily jumped in the car with her. Little did our wondering vagrant stray know that within a few hours he’d be bathed and taken to his forever home.

Toby when he was found at the supermarket. Underweight and with scars and a limp. He was a sad sight!

Now Goldie had a companion. However she came to believe her real name was “Goldie, no!” or simply “No!” for short. Her energy was just too much for me and Toby. She and Toby played together wonderfully without any aggression but he was often left limping. When Julie saved him he had a broken front leg and when her Mom found him again, he had a back leg limp. Something had hit or kicked him (it’s often what happens to stray dogs looking for food around people and shops here in Paraguay). Unfortunately, though he was extremely tolerant of Goldie, his body couldn’t take the ramming tackles she loved. Often I’d find him limping uncomfortably and worried about serious injury to his two fragile legs. At six years of age Toby wasn’t a spring chicken and had lived rough. Goldie had to go, at least for a few months.

Goldie’s handiwork. Only one chair looks like new – because I hid it!

I asked Julie if they could take Goldie for a few months – just while she got out of her exuberant destructive phase. The dogs at Julie’s rescue home have many acres to roam and play. There are no cages. It would be a chance for Goldie to develop social skills and play all day. I was also ready to adopt other dogs like Toby to form an outdoor pack of four. So I’d be temporarily trading one for two more. Julie agreed.

Goldie transformed! Suddenly she was a calm polite dog with people.

Goldie sweet and polite at the rescue home. I’d just seen her running on an adventure with a group of young energetic dogs when she came back to say hello.

She played and socialized well and no longer jumped insanely on people tearing their clothing. Before long she was adopted by a family with two young daughters and a cat. My hopes for her were realised.

Gentle Goldie playing so delicately with her new cat sibling!

She was adored and showered with attention and companionship that I couldn’t give her while she lived outside. Being in my backyard with only a daily walk and romp was too boring for her, she needed more and she absolutely bloomed once she got it.

Goldie with her new family was given the kind of companionship and indoor living she deserved.

Without the stress of Goldie’s high energy and destructive chewing, I was on my way to giving Toby his new ‘outdoor’ pack. That’s how Trixie, Max and Amber came to live with us. I couldn’t imagine my life without them now!

Toby and Trixie today share a great bond and frequently show severe symptoms of contentment. Trixie is far to fragile for the exuberance of the youthful Goldie, but just right for Toby.