Happy Tail: A Dachshund gets a second chance

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When Barbara Adkins heads out to her car, there’s always a little someone raring to go with her: her Dachshund, Maddie. The dog has her own pet car seat just for such rides.

Maddie wasn’t always so lucky; she was a dog whose future was uncertain. She had been abandoned and was living at Pender County Animal Shelter in Burgaw, NC. At 4 years old, her odds of being adopted weren’t as great as they would have been were she a puppy. People often overlook older dogs, putting them in the category of less-adoptable.

Maddie wonders if it's time for a car ride.

Maddie’s expression and wagging tail seem to say, “I’d like to go for a ride.”

But then Barbara entered her life. “When I saw her on Petfinder, I immediately fell in love with her,” the Whiteville, NC, woman says. She called the shelter to make sure the dog was still available and, upon learning she was, made the one-hour drive to meet her. A staff member introduced them, and Maddie went straight to Barbara. It seemed to be love at first sight for both of them.

Barbara laughs over the dog’s funny little habits, for example, “Maddie has a toy box, and she takes her toys out, one at a time, and lines them up so she can see them while she’s sitting on the couch with me,” Barbara says.

Maddie is now showered with love, and she returns that love in full measure. “This was my first time adopting a shelter animal,” Barbara says. “I would say that this experience has completely changed my mind about the stigma some people may have about them. They are the most loyal, loving pets on this earth.”

Her words affirm what other adopters know: shelter dogs make wonderful pets.