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Miss Ivy - A Petfinder Happy Tail

Photo of Miss Ivy, a dog
Adopted from Mid-South German Shepherd Rescue, Nesbit, MS

Miss Ivy - posted 10/24/2007

From Robin of Wooster, OH

Im sorry that my story is rather long, but I hope you'll agree that it's a true testament to the unselfish dedication and hard work of rescue groups and the very special angels at

The Story of Ivory

In January 2007, my sable German Shepherd "Emma'' was dying. She had been diagnosed 10 months earlier with a degenerative spinal disease that was slowly paralyzing her. I had taken her to a top-notch veterinary clinic in southern Ohio hoping to cling to some chance for treatment . . . there was none. There was no cure and no hope for improvement. After months of agony and struggle, I kissed my girl one last time on a cold day in January.

Although the German Shepherd breed is by far my favorite breed, I had promised myself that I would never get another big dog. In two short years, I had lost my beloved shepherd and my sweet yellow lab to disease and old age. It had been an enormous physical and emotional struggle. I still had two little rambunctious Jack Russell Terriers in my household, but there seemed an eerie emptiness.

By February 2007, I broke my own promise, made the decision to adopt a homeless German Shepherd and without much hesitation, I jumped onto Petfinder and began my search. I did have some requirements, I preferred a female (since Emma was a girl), a pooch who would get along with my two Jack Russells, and I wanted a young dog, preferably white. With Petfinder, this is so easy because you just enter the specifications you want and click ''search''.

Up came sooooo many beautiful homeless shepherds all over the United States. It was heartbreaking to read all of the stories and see the sad faces. I searched a couple of rescues and shelters in Ohio, but didn't find what I was looking for. I filled out adoption applications with three rescue groups knowing that I would eventually come across the special pooch that was waiting for me.

The application process is long and tedious as I knew it would be. Vet checks, personal references, home visits are all standard procedures and all take time to review and process. During this time, I continued to make phone calls and check Petfinder daily. One day my eye caught a very thin, but beautiful white shepherd named "Ivory" who was being cared for by a rescue in Mississippi. Her story was sad and tragic, but there was a strange beauty to her face and I fell in love with her immediately. Ivory was malnourished and heartworm positive and had been rescued from a kill shelter by Mid-South German Shepherd Rescue in Nesbit, Mississippi.

I knew how dangerous heartworm can be and even the treatment can be fatal. Yet, I filled out an adoption application with Mid-South, knowing that my chances for getting Ivory were slim especially since I was several states away and I probably wasn't the first in line for her. Mid-South acknowledged my application and started the process, but I still knew it was a long shot. Yet my heart was drawn to Ivory and I offered up a small prayer that she would survive and get the good forever home that she deserved . . . perhaps mine.

But I continued my search elsewhere, making phone calls, sending e-mails and finally setting up a home visit with Echo Dogs White German Shepherd Rescue. As time passed, I was "approved to adopt" by two rescue groups, but I still hadn't settled on the one pooch that would capture my heart. All this time, I checked Petfinder daily to see the status of Ivory and hoping to hear from Mid-South that I had been approved to adopt. One day, there was an update to Ivory's posting which stated that NO MORE APPLICATIONS were being accepted for her. So many good applicants had applied for her that the rescue had to stop accepting them and there was an “Adoption Pending†placed on Ivory's listing. My heart sank . . . I hadn't heard back that I was approved so I knew I had lost out on my quest for her.

I e-mailed Mid-South Rescue letting them know that I had seen the updated posting and my disappointment. I received a return e-mail rather quickly saying that they had been very busy but the adoption pending for Ivory was for ME! I had been chosen as her new mom, I actually went home and cried. This sweet girl whom I had only met on Petfinder, but had fallen in love with, would be coming home with me!

After her heartworm treatment was successfully finished and she had recovered from her spay surgery, getting her to Ohio was the next hurdle. But thanks to all of the wonderful help from Mid-South Rescue, Ivory was flown by Northwest Airlines from Nesbit, Mississippi to Detroit, Michigan, on March 9, 2007. I drove to Detroit to find a very thin and frightened girl huddled in the back of a cargo crate. She was so exhausted from the flight that she slept in the car almost the entire 4-hour drive back to my house.

Once in my house, Ivory seemed to know she was finally home forever. She quickly fell in love with my Jack Russell Terriers and they, in turn, fell in love with her. She has a big back yard to romp in and she and I go on long walks whenever we can. She has very polite manners, gets compliments on everyone she meets and has matured into a very beautiful and healthy young adult. The sad, thin face is gone forever as you can see from the attached photo . . . she is a total joy!!

My heart will always be in debt to and the wonderful people at Mid-South Rescue. And, by the way, I changed her name to 'Miss Ivy''. The Ivy is short for Ivory, and the Miss is for the kind and generous people of Mississippi who saved her life and helped me to bring her home.

Robin Welty

Wooster, OH

Mid-South German Shepherd Rescue

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