How to Change the Life of a Dog In Need

cocker kisses

How to change the life of a dog from mouse clicks to wedding bells.

How many of us have said these words: “Never again will I allow myself to get this close to a dog.” Never again entered my life four years ago and his name is Dexter. I now know I could never not love this way again.

My Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, rescued me from myself. He’s my “never again,” the one who came after my first dog passed away. Zoe is a beautiful little Cocker Spaniel who was pulled from a shelter the day, mere hours, before she was scheduled to be euthanized. What do these two have in common? On June 28, 2013, the two will take part in the “Wigglebutt Wedding” fundraiser.

So why all the pomp and circumstance and what good could a “dog wedding” possibly do? Plenty! In three years, I’ve managed to raise approximately $14,000 for Cocker Spaniels in need, along with some help from friends, followers, fellow dog lovers, and rescue folks. I can’t stop there, and along with the bride’s mom, the fundraising continues.

I was contacted by renowned pet fashion designer, Anthony Rubio, who will design the gown and tuxedo for the bride and groom, respectively. Rubio has been on Today, CNN, and NBC, and in USA Today, to name a few. To think that Zoe was scheduled to be euthanized and will now wear the fine fashion of Anthony Rubio is a fairytale come true.

Anthony Rubio

All sponsors and attendees will donate to Life’s Little Paws, a 501(c)3 rescue group that saves dogs from Maine to Georgia. Ideally, every Cocker Spaniel mom and dad and anyone who has ever had a dog touch their hearts are invited to donate and make a difference. Dexter is so smitten by his Rescue fiancée, he wants everyone to celebrate and help save other dogs’ lives!

My first Cocker Spaniel was a puppy mill rescue and in raising her with an array of health problems, our bond only grew stronger. I felt as if she “knew” we took her from a horrible life and gave her the love she deserved. She is eternally missed and I carry her message of love with me in my writing, fundraising, and raising awareness for dogs seeking their forever homes.

The “bride’s” mom, Val Sorensen, rescued many Cocker Spaniels from a variety of situations and each will take part in the wedding. For folks who are unable to attend and want to help in some way, donations are encouraged and welcomed.

Life’s Little Paws (LLP) is an all volunteer Cocker Spaniel rescue group. LLP is dedicated to saving the lives, ensuring the best health possible through vetting and holistic means, and the re-homing of cocker spaniels. They are a group of volunteers that have formed a reliable transport team and loving foster homes from Ohio to Maine to Georgia.Wigglebutt Wedding

Through this process, I realize that planning a dog “wedding” as a fun fundraiser might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a viable means to bring people together in the name of helping dogs find forever homes and fundraise to make that happen.

“A walk through the kennels, and one realizes these dogs are barking for their lives,” says Terry Humerickhouse of Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue, summarizing why he has fostered over 150 dogs in his lifetime. I never forgot those words. For those of us who do not have the emotional fortitude to foster or rescue a dog, there are many ways to pitch in and help.

Shelters and rescue groups are forever in need of donations and food. Some of us do not have the budget or funds to give away, especially in these tough economic times. Sara Henderson and Susan Hollar founded BOGO Bowl, which launched in June of 2012. For every bag of BOGO Bowl dog food purchased, they ship the equivalent of the same food to a nonprofit shelter of the buyer’s choice.

I sponsor a dog every month for $10 bucks, the equivalent of two packs of soda or a trip to Starbucks—and I give it a dog rescue group in need. Folks who foster a dog need all the help they can get, so I know $10 a month makes a difference. I hear about the vet bills, the supplies needed, and the simple but necessary items it takes to keep a dog going until he or she finds a forever home.

Did you know that many rescues and shelters earn money when people shop? By shopping and finding out if your favorite rescue is involved in a “give back,” everyone wins. You shop, and the store gives a percentage of sales back to the rescue group. One caveat: You need to click through the actual website link for the rescue group to get the credit.

BlogPaws be the changeFinally, one of my favorite “giving back” places on Earth, BlogPaws, has inspired a movement. Be the Change for Pets is a movement created by the passionate BlogPaws community. It represents the collective actions of members of the online pet community determined to make a difference in the lives of pets. If you want to help a pet and have no idea where to start, join the Be the Change for Pets movement with BlogPaws and we can show you how, share ideas, and be inspired together.

The life of a dog can be changed. All it takes is the first step. Will you join me?

Fidose of Reality is proud to help in celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Pet ‘Net with Petside and encourages all dog lovers to spread the adoption word!



  1. Great article! Very well written! Raising awareness (and funds) for rescue has been a passion of mine for the past 9 years! Even if you can only donate $5.00, it all adds up as EVERY dollar goes to help the dogs in need. Plus, rescues are always in need of donations of time…help with transports, home visits, grooming the dogs that come in.

  2. Woof! Woof! Golden Thanks for sharing. Yes lots of pets are in need and we hope for them to find their forever loving home. We’ve been active in the shelter here.
    We are looking forward on the June wedding. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  3. What a wonderful article. It will be my pleasure to design the couple’s wedding attire. I hope to see many of your readers and our Face book fans in attendance at the wedding showing their support.
    I can not urge enough that people adopt the needy pups and cats at the shelters instead of pet stores and that if they are unable to adopt at the very least contribute a little something to their local shelter especially at the Holiday Season. Everyone should pay a visit to a shelter to see for themselves the love in these little guy’s eyes and feel the love they want to share. Carol thank you for writing such a lovely article. Happy Holidays to all.

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