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Happy Tail: Opportunity was a click away


An impending move from an apartment in New York to five acres of land in Tennessee was just the motivation Pia Hogue and her fiancé, Ryan Miller, needed to decide to adopt a third dog.

Roo smiles broadly for a lift.

Roo smiles broadly for a lift.

Pia began searching on Petfinder, and after many hours and many late night searches, she noticed the special needs search option. “It dawned on me,” she says, “why not choose an extra special pet for this extra special opportunity? Seventy pages later, I found Roo and my search ended right there.” Roo, a Chihuahua who was about 2, was born with a congenital condition that kept his front limbs from developing normally. He had originally been found beside a road and brought to Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington, Florida.

Pia wrote the rescue what she calls a “drastically long” email about who they were and where they were going to be living. She included information about their other two rescue dogs: a rat terrier and a 75-lb. Catahoula Leopard Dog/Scottish Deerhound mix. Pictures flew across the web.

The next day, she got a phone call from the adoption coordinator at the rescue, who felt this would be the perfect placement for Roo. After the couple’s application was processed and approved, she helped Pia and Ryan by taking Roo into her own home until the couple made their move, and eventually she even delivered him from Florida to Tennessee, an extraordinary service.

Roo naps with a big friend.

Roo naps with a big friend.

“Roo has been nothing short of loving to us,” Pia says, “and a fantastic playmate for our other dogs. He doesn’t have his arms, but those legs work double time in a round of wrestling. I have never seen our dogs smile more in their lives with us.”

Pia says Roo has taught her compassion, although it seems that the couple, in adopting a special needs pet, was already endowed with an abundance of compassion.

He has also inspired her. “I have taken it upon myself, as a salute to Petfinder, to post an adoptable dog on my Facebook page every day in hopes that someone, somewhere, through shares and likes, gets a heart string tugged at and falls in love as much as we did and takes the step to adopt, no matter how far away. It has worked already,” she adds. One adoption is in process. She’s hoping others will be inspired. “It only takes a few seconds to post!” and what a difference it can make to a homeless pet.

More opportunities may await Roo; the couple is now hoping to find the means to buy a wheel cart for him so they can enjoy more outdoor adventures. But for the time being, life for Roo is good.

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