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Happy Tail: Rescue dog gives her adopter a new ‘leash’ on life



Read Kasey’s adoption story in her mom’s own words.

Stephanie Levinson of Studio City, Calif., had hit a wall in her life. Her teaching career had been her focus for 10 years, but when she arrived home tired after a long day, she had little energy left to do more than play on her computer or watch television into the wee hours. 

“I had little self-esteem (as I am a plus-size girl) and had lost interest in doing much,” she says.  Loneliness and depression assailed her.

Someone suggested she get a dog.  She knew she needed to do something, so she took the advice, moved to a dog-friendly apartment, and began looking for a canine companion.

“One night on T.V., I saw a show where the cast members had to go to Pet Orphans to volunteer,” she says.  Pet Orphans of Southern California is a private, nonprofit rescue group with a shelter in Van Nuys.

tephanie logged onto, which features home pages and pet
lists for over 13,000 animal welfare organizations. She clicked on the
Pet Orphans’ pet list and began looking at the adoptable dogs listed
there. She spotted some dachshund/beagle mixes and went to meet them. 
“I was nervous and hesitant, as this would be my first dog,” she says.
“I adopted this adorable reddish one and named her Kasey.”

A year has passed, and Kasey has changed Stephanie’s life.  “I take her
to the dog park a lot and meet other people.  I use Kasey to help me
lose weight and get in shape. She likes to walk, and I can’t make an
excuse when I see her brown eyes.  I have lost 20 lbs. lately just from
lots of walking with Kasey.  I also take her to agility classes and am
more physical than ever.”

Stephanie’s car sports an apt bumper sticker: Who rescued Who? 

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