Many dogs that human owners believe are flawed, so-called imperfect dogs are often discarded. Roxie wasn’t perfect enough to be loved. She wasn’t good enough to be wanted. There was no use for her in this world.

At least that’s what the breeder who abandoned her thought, like so many other imperfect owners who haven’t realized there are no imperfect dogs. 

In his mind, an “imperfect” bulldog like Roxie would never be sold in a pet store. There was something a little “off” with her left eye  (or was it her paw, I can’t even remember now), so he left her in a crate for eight weeks, separate from her mom. The breeder made arrangements with a pet store employee to have Roxie put down. 

Thankfully, I was able to negotiate with the pet store employee and paid $800 to adopt her. 

I didn’t know anything about bulldogs at the time, I just knew I wanted her.

The breeder was wrong.

Roxie was perfect….perfect for me and my family. I loved her so much. 

Saving the imperfect dogs comes from the heart

I’m grateful we were able to save Roxie and give her a comfortable safe home to live out her life. We had her for about eight years until she passed away from cancer. Throughout those years, I realized that Roxie’s was just one story of many abandoned, sick, and mistreated “imperfect” dogs. 

I knew I had to help other imperfect dogs like Roxie, so I set out in search of an agency that rescued bulldogs that I could work with. 

After some research, I found the Long Island Bulldog Rescue (LIBR). The LIBR is a well-established bulldog rescue that aims to provide “education, prevention, intervention, and adoption services to ensure that all English Bulldogs enjoy long, healthy lives in loving, safe, appropriate homes where they are provided the life-long care they require.” 

They rescue bulldogs that are usually very sick and very mistreated and find temporary homes (fosters) for them where the doggies are loved and cared for and nursed back to health with exceptional vet care. The Rescue then either finds a permanent home for the bulldog or the foster falls in love with and becomes the doggie’s permanent home (as in many of my cases).

My first foster through the organization was Lulu, one of my favorite dogs ever. She was absolutely wonderful. Lulu was abandoned in Harlem and found caught in a cat trap. She was extremely sick and was suffering from mange (hair loss). She also had kidney failure which had caused pulmonary hypertension. It looked like she had been used for breeding and like she had just delivered a litter. She was not going to live very long, but we didn’t care. We were going to take care of her. She had never really walked or been out of her cage. We took her to the beach and she didn’t know what the beach was. She was confused by the sand. She lived a good eight months with us, sleeping in fluffy beds, eating delicious food, and, yes, enjoying the beach. 

We either say yes or we say yes. 

After that we took in another doggie, then another, and another, I think we’re up to eight lovely, wonderful “imperfect dogs now. We rescue the ones that are going to die or are in ICU at a dog hospital in Manhattan. We’ll get a call from Dean, Long Island Bulldog Rescue’s coordinator, fellow rescuer, and foster, and he’ll ask, “We’ve got a really sick one here, can you take them?” 

We never say no. 

I connect with these dogs in a way…I feel their pain, their energy. I want, my family wants, to give these doggies all the love in their final days. 

With doggies, it’s different, they can’t speak, we have to be their voice.

I love the Long Island Bulldog rescue and the good news is, they are just one of many reputable and amazing animal rescues. We adopted our cat from Louie’s Legacy. Louie’s is a giant organization, established in 2006, that rescues dogs and cats from bad situations from all over the country. Their mission is to keep expanding and helping find safe homes for as many animals as possible. I adopted a kitten from Louie’s that was abandoned on the street, someone had ruptured her cornea by hitting her with something. All she needed was a little love and care. Now she’s perfect. 

Somewhere to call home

People don’t know what the word foster means and they tend to shy away from rescues. Simply put, it means you keep an abandoned animal out of a crate or shelter. 

The rescue covers all the costs. They even find the vet for you, make the appointments and pay for medications. It’s easy. Your job, as a foster, is just to make sure the dog or cat is okay and warm and loved.

I love showing people before and after pictures of our fosters. They’re usually blown away at the difference. These animals, they’re just looking for a place to call home. Even though our house is full, there’s always room for more. We always have more love to give. And we are always looking for more people to give that love by fostering and rescuing. 

Be a better pet owner. Adopt an imperfect dog today for your perfect pet.

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