An epic day.

I will use the original words from the Love Underdogs Facebook page to explain why it has been an epic day. :-)

600

CELEBRATION TIME! WE HAVE REHOMED OUR 600TH DOG!
This morning we waved goodbye to our 600th dog, leaving for a loving and secure future with a forever family. This means so much to us. When we first visited the Victory shelter in 2011, there were also 600 dogs there. Today, in a symbolic way, we finally emptied the shelter of our first visit. We have now rehomed the same number of dogs that were there at the time.

Thank you all for your support, your dedication to these dogs, and thank you to the generous donors, the volunteers and the families. On behalf of the founders and trustees, a massive thanks to the team, the kennels in the UK and to our friends and partners at AMP Romania, who all work incredibly hard and never ever let the dogs down no matter what!
We never thought this was possible 4 years ago. In fact, it was just a visit in passing, one of these ‘why not, let’s go and have a look’. We were in Romania to discuss a placement for a rescued Georgian bear cub in the AMP bear sanctuary, an operation carried out by our sister charity, Hauser Bears.
We never had any intention of adopting, let alone facilitate several adoptions.
The previous day, we had visited the peaceful bear sanctuary. After the wide open spaces and the rolling hills, where the bears spend their days, safe from harm, playing in the pools and slowly forgetting their concrete pits and their chains, we were ill prepared for the dog shelter.
When we arrived, the shelter was full to the brim with 600 dogs, all desperate for attention. The conditions were basic but we knew this chaotic space was a safe haven from the world outside, from dog catchers. But for too many, this was the only haven they would ever know. There would be no running in fields, no chasing after toys, no loving family. The visit seemed an endless walk between the pens, wet noses pressing against the fences. Their individual stories began to emerge: this one arrived as a puppy, 10 years ago, nobody will come for him. This one is missing a leg, no one will want him. It was heart-breaking. So many dogs, hopeful, desperate, looking at us like maybe today would be their day, so many without names, future or prospects. At the time, there was nowhere for them to walk, they never left their cages, on top of one another, winter after summer after winter… At the time, the existing partners where taking many dogs to Germany and France, but could only afford to take the more adoptable ones to keep on top of the numbers needing homes.
On that day, we fell in love with countless dogs, and a slightly mad idea began to form..
We thought we might be able to rehome 20 dogs and began a shortlist of dogs that had been left behind, those dogs that had no other option, unless we created one, the forgotten, the old, the less than perfect.
It was only ever going to be a side project.. and here we are 600 dogs later – that is the power of the Romanian dogs, those unwanted strays that are so easy to fall in love with.

Anyone who lives with or works with Romanian dogs will tell you – they just grip your heart and won’t let go! There is just something about these street urchins! Very early on, we were faced with criticism over importing dogs to the UK, when so many need homes here. We sincerely believe that any animal lover experiencing what we did, who looked into these desperate eyes on that day, who saw the suffering first hand, would find it hard to turn their backs on them and somehow abandon them to their fate without trying to improve things for them in whatever way they can.
http://www.loveunderdogs.org/…/about…/our-little-philosophy/

Our first Love Underdogs foster was Willy who arrived in that first batch in 2011, Willy is still doing well at the age of 16. :-)

Willy, now Wilfy has a wonderful family of his own now.

Willy, now Wilfy has a wonderful family of his own now.

A selection of the current Underdogs looking for a home.

Ralphy.

Ralphy

Maximus

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Trinity.

Trinity

Basil.

Basil

Grayson.

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Jim.

Jim

Bumble.

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I would invite anyone in the UK looking for a dog to consider Love Underdogs first, these “Romie dogs” will get under your skin and into your heart. :-)

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A slow plodding summer.

Not much going on at the moment. I am still in the process of job hunting, so far I have seen a “job coach” and a career advisor who is writing me a new CV/Resume, looking at her first draft even I would employ me. :-D

It has been a rough few weeks for the animals in this world of ours, I was heart broken over poor Cecil the lion but it woke me up to all the vile trophy hunting that goes on! It is not just over paid American dentists who are doing it, people from all countries and most walks of life get their jollies by murdering other sentient beings?! I have now joined several campaigns to try to change how animals are treated, it is time we acted in a civilized manner with all creatures.

Image courtesy of Bill Lunsford.

Image courtesy of Bill Lunsford.

I am still not quite well enough to take on another foster dog but I hopefully will be soon? Love Underdogs have just brought 31 dogs from Romania so any little space I can help to create at the kennels should help. Of course, a great way to make kennel space is for people to adopt from Love Underdogs (or whatever rescue centre is near you)

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Freya is a gorgeous large girl who needs a special home, she is very shy and will need time and love to develop into the wonderful dog she should be. Freya is exactly the personality that we like to foster but with my health as it is I might struggle a bit to give her the exposure to the world that she needs? :-(

Freya 1

Freya 2

The top Freya picture is from Romania and the bottom one from Glebe farm.

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There is a “pocket sized” version of Freya at Love Underdogs just in case you have a small home. :-)  Dixie is about six months old and is beautiful (mind you I think all dogs are beautiful).

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And finally, Cognac is a lively, playful and somewhat goofy boy needing a home. Cognac is 6 years old so none of that puppy stuff has to be endured. ;-)

Cognac

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Is it really late July?

Where has the year gone? I had so many things that I was going to do this year and I haven’t done any yet. We haven’t bought a replacement Motorhome/RV yet, although we may be close? We haven’t even been to Scotland to visit our friend who happens to be the farmer who bred Indy. I must stop being so lazy and get some stuff done. The one thing I did do was have an appointment with a disability employment advisor although they are now known as “a work coach” I hope the new title makes them good at helping me get a job. :-D That went quite well, I have a kind of plan to do some different volunteer work to test what I can physically do and how many hours I can manage. At the moment with the way my MS has been I don’t think I can do much more than get out of bed but if I force myself I may make some progress. I am now going through all the nonsense of getting my NHS wheelchair upgraded to a lightweight one with detachable wheels as I have discovered that I can’t lift the old one into the car any more! I have noticed a few signs of deterioration since this current bad spell started. I am a lot weaker and less coordinated, I tire easily and my eyes want to stop working after quite short periods of reading or using a computer! I am hopeful that despite my MS now being “secondary progressive” I will still have some good times?

As with all of my moaning posts there is always an upside. My lovely pooches are still as lovely and Hamish is now just like a “normal” dog, he still prefers it if people leave him alone until he is ready to approach them but he is not scared any more. :-)

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As you can see, Hamish is free to roam around off lead with his gang without much supervision. :-) I am so proud of him, we have always been proud of Indy but treated Hamish differently because of his nervousness but since letting him loose to discover things he has flourished. The latest great pleasure Hamish discovered is mud! It started when we took the boys to a bird sanctuary which incorporates a long stretch of disused railway line along the side of which is a deep mud filled ditch! not just regular mud, oh no, this is deep and black and very stinky MUD!! When Hamish came out he was black all over apart from his spine and his head, we spent the rest of the day trying to get him to have a swim in the lake, Indy would but despite Hamish loving swimming he wouldn’t go in. Since that day he has gone in the mostly dried up stream at the park in order to get muddy, if he wants daily baths  (which he hates) then we have the patience to go the distance. :-D I think we are starting to see a turning point now, he is at least going in where there is a little water.

It will soon be time for another foster dog, we are hoping for a few oldies in succession so that I can cope with exercising them, I can’t manage 2 strong young dogs at a time while at the same time watching out for Indy.

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A beautiful tripaw called Betty is in need of a home. Betty is currently being fostered by a member of the Love Underdogs staff but she would love a forever home.

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If Betty is not for you there are plenty of other lovely dogs at Love Underdogs soon to be added to by 31 puppies arriving from Romania in August.

A few of the August puppies.

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Love Underdogs show.

On Sunday we had a lovely, if a little chilly day at Love Underdogs fun dog show and reunion. The purpose of the day is for adopters to meet up while at the same time raising funds to enable other dogs to be rescued. It was a successful day with a lot of people attending and a decent amount of money being raised. :-)

On a personal note our boys were very good, Indy was just Indy and behaved impeccably as usual and Hamish showed great signs of improvement especially with children, he barked at a few people who got too close to him but settled after a while and relaxed. :-)

My pack.

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A few times during the day Indy was mistaken for Chip, Chip is a gorgeous boy who I have added to my blog a few times in the hope of finding him a home, so far to no avail. :-( I would foster Chip but his energy and personality is too close to Hamish which would cause chaos at home!

The beautiful Chip.

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I tried to take some photos of the fun dog show so that the prize winners could be shown on Love Underdogs Facebook page, A former Love Underdogs boy called Yol decided that I should photograph him instead so he photobombed me. :-D

Yol.

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One of the trade stands sold home made dog treats which judging by the dog on the table were very good. :-D

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These are some of the other previous Love Underdogs residents who have been lucky enough to be adopted.

I love this “oldie” he reminds me of Budha who we fostered recently. :-)

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This chap wanted a close up.DSCF0482

What can I say about this gorgeous wee pooch?DSCF0389A lovely well behaved pair. DSCF0390

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A lovely smile for the camera.DSCF0402

I love Collies.DSCF0479 (2)

I love this elegant chap, he is 14 month old Joey.DSCF0434 (2)

It was a great day during which lots of people roamed the kennels meeting dogs with a view to adopting. If you are thinking of getting a dog and you are in the Uk, check out Love Underdogs first as they rehome to all areas of the UK. If you live elsewhere in the world there will be a local rescue centre or shelter near you, many of which will be breed specific in case you have your heart set on a pedigree dog.

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On a sad note. I have featured Bobbi several times recently, he had overcome a bad spinal problem and after expensive surgery and rehab to learn to walk again. In recent weeks Bobbi’s health has deteriorated and yesterday he died. It has been a very hard time for all who knew Bobbi but especially for the team at Glebe Farm who have cared for him for so long. :-(

Rest in peace Bobbi.

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Bobbi

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A whole load of nothing.

Writing for the sake of it!

Nothing much has changed since Jolie was adopted, she has settled well into her new home and we get a pleasant stream of pictures and updates from her family facebook  page.  :-)

Hamish has continued to flourish, I am not saying that Jolie made him behave badly but he has come on leaps and bounds since she went, he was in a constant state of playful excitement! In the past Hamish would have half an hour playing ball at the park away from other dogs and then he went on lead for an hour, now he stays off lead for the whole walk. Hamish is much less bouncy when he meets new dogs and less nervous of their pet people. :-) He loves his afternoon run with my mobility scooter, this causes him to yip like an excited Husky for the first 5 minutes, I used to be embarrassed by the noise but now it just makes me laugh which makes him do it more.

Hamish and Indy (back left) enjoying the sunshine with their friends including Romanian Ginny at the front with her back to camera and Sunny underdog laying down on the right.

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Hamish and a partially hidden Indy in the buttercup meadow.

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We will be getting another foster dog soon but while I am having trouble walking it limits us a bit, I can’t hold two in one hand while using crutches and it would be a nightmare on my buggy(tangles would ensue)!

I am so relieved that nice weather has finally arrived, I hate the cold and wet although if it gets too warm my MS fatigue will be a problem but I could always sleep all day under the cherry tree at the bottom of the garden. :-D

I think my MS has settled in for the long haul as my balance, spasms and neuralgia are still as bad as they were 3 months ago! I will be due to see my MS nurse next month so I will see if anything can be done to feel better? I haven’t even felt well enough to post on Facebook recently!! A few days ago I was sitting thinking about when was the last time I did anything like cooking (I love to cook) or repairs around the house? it has been a long time, I plod from one spell of feeling bad to another and before you know it another year has passed! I will make sure that the next time I have a good spell I will do something to ease the burden of poor old Julia. She doesn’t read my blog so I will probably get away with calling her old? :-D

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3 year old Freya is looking for a very special home. Freya is a very shy girl who will need a patient, gentle family to help her continue to progress after the work already started at Love Underdogs kennels. She is exactly the type of dog that we usually foster, a lot like Annie and Jolie, maybe when I am a bit better she will be the next one? If she doesn’t get a home of her own before then. Please visit Freya’s profile to learn more about this beautiful shy girl.

freya

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News from Jolie.

It is always nice when a foster dog stays in touch. Jolie has been in her new home for 2 weeks now and is settling in nicely. She was nervous of her new dad for the first day but soon got attached to him, he did the right things by walking with her and doing her grooming etc.

Jolie now lives in a small village near the English border with Wales so has the benefit of some gorgeous countryside to walk in. After she had been in her new home for a couple of days she got scared by something and pulled out of her collar and ran away! Her dad followed her a short distance and she was waiting for him in a dead end lane, he calmed her and then put her collar back on and went home, that’s why I use a harness with nervous dogs.

Jolie now has 2 feline siblings, she was OK with cats when she was with us unless Hamish started shouting at them in which case she would join in, she seems happy enough with the cats in her family if a little unsure of them.

I think Jolie is going to have a good life, she lives in a lovely place that has a lovely big paddock for her to play in, with nice people who love her. What more could a dog want? :-)

Jogging Jolie Jolie with new dad asleep in the paddock enjoying the paddock Jolie and cats Jolie in bed

Warm in front of the Aga

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I am going to feature Chip again. Chip is exactly my kind of dog and would be mine if I didn’t have Hamish, Chip is the same personality as Hamish and there are only so many scatty, playful, boisterous pooches I can cope with. :-D

Chip is with Love Underdogs in Warwickshire but can be rehomed anywhere in The UK.

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Chipchip

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Jolie has left the building.

Yesterday we made the trip to Glebe farm, home of Love Underdogs, for Jolie to meet prospective adopters. The journey there was very eventful, more on that later. I was worried that Jolie would be scatty and nervous of the people there as she hasn’t been to the farm for 2 months, I didn’t need to worry, everyone was shocked by how friendly and playful she was. :-) Jolie ran up to all of the staff in turn for a scruffle and even followed a child around! The adopters arrived and went into the paddock with us, this proved to be a mistake as Hamish barked at the people which made Jolie nervous. After we left the paddock so just the adopters and Love Underdogs staff Zara and Shannon were in there Jolie settled down. It took half an hour for Jolie to sit comfortably with her new people but after she was cat checked she happily got in the back of the car with her new Mum/Mom.

Jolie has gone Jolie last day

I am pretty sure that a gust of wind blew some dust in my eyes as they drove away as my eyes got all teary! :-D  We haven’t heard from the adopter yet to say if she is settling but usually no news is good news. We didn’t bring a new foster dog home yet as we like to wait a couple of weeks in case the adoption doesn’t work out, then we can take her back with us.

Indy would like us to leave him at Glebe farm, there are several large dog paddocks that are full of toys, Indy loves toys, he was overwhelmed by the ball pit though, there were so many balls he didn’t know what to do with himself. :-D

Indy with balls

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On the way to Love Underdogs there was an incident on the road which was the closest I have ever come to seeing someone die! We were on a winding road behind 2 cars and an HGV/semi truck, the truck had pulled out in front of the cars dangerously and then went slowly leading to a bit of frustration with one of the car drivers. After a mile or so the front car pulled out to pass the truck, I could clearly see another HGV/semi coming the other way! I waited for car parts to come flying my way but thanks to the immense skill of the truck driver the car driver ended up on the verge on the other side of the road. The truck managed to get down from about 50 MPH and move over enough to allow the car to escape, all in about 2 truck lengths (about 80 feet) I stopped and spent a bit of time with the driver, she was very young (about 19) and she was a wreck, she was crying and shaking so badly she was almost convulsing. :-(  I left her after 10 minutes or so, I did tell her to wait as long as she needed to compose herself, after I left I was annoyed at myself for being a typical dumb man by not asking if she wanted me to call someone for her!!

The incident is a minute and 10 seconds in on the video which is best viewed full screen.

Sorry to all the nations that drive on the wrong side of the road, you may have to view it in a mirror so that you don’t get freaked out. :-D

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I met the most gorgeous looking girl at Love Underdogs yesterday, Trinity has been there for a while but I had never met her before. Trinity is four years old and is way more stunning than she looks in her pictures.

Trinity

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Mobility scooter and dogs.

I finally got around to introducing Jolie to my mobility scooter, I had been using it with Hamish for a few day with no problems. We started off with Julia walking behind me with Jolie but as soon as she saw Hamish come to me for treats she wanted a piece of that action. :-)

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They are both so relaxed with my scooter they don’t pay attention to where it is, I have to instead otherwise my tyres will be getting fur coated. :-D Considering Hamish and Jolie both had a tough start in life and were very nervous they adapt very well.

My MS is still not giving me a break, several of my symptoms are as bad if not worse than they have ever been. My balance almost finished me off yesterday, I was upstairs and was just unfolding my stairlift seat when I lost balance and went head first over it and down the stairs! My body must be well practiced at falling because apart from an aching hip I was totally unscathed. :-) I might just start applying for jobs in the circus or as a stunt man. :-D

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I will post Bumble again as he is still waiting for a home of his own. :-(

Bumble and many other lovely dogs are at Love Underdogs.

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Posted tonight on Love Underdogs Facebook page is Basil a lovely big bear of a dog. Basil is 7 years old and full of fun and love, despite this he hasn’t had anyone show any interest yet?!

Basil

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MS is winning!

It has been a rough old couple of months since my MS started playing up but it is as nothing compared with this week! I got my mobility scooter out to go for a day of fishing but had to return home after an hour because my balance just went, I have long had a balance problem but it has only been short bursts, this week it went and hasn’t come back. Walking may be a thing of the past for a while as I just can’t stay upright, I can shuffle on 2 crutches but if I don’t place them just so I end up falling, I’m afraid Mr wheelchair is coming back! The weirdest thing about my MS is that whenever I am feeling at my worst I get an insatiable urge to get a job and be busy? I am never content with not working but it is strange how being ill makes me want a job even more?

The good thing about a flare up is I get to take loads of extra drugs :-D most of the day I am off with the fairies in floaty world. :-D That is just a joke, of course, but it is better than being miserable and self pitying. I have discussed with Julia how we are going to do the dog walking and it is decided that I will introduce Hamish to my scooter so that I can take him to the fields while Julia will bring Indy and Jolie, I can’t use my wheelchair for dog walking because we live at the top of a hill and I would struggle back home. I suppose I should be thankful that at least my Epilepsy is behaving itself. :-)

Yesterday I managed to avoid the job of bathing the pooches because of feeling bad, The baths couldn’t be avoided though because Jolie discovered that she enjoys rolling in fox poo!!

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Mrs Stinky sulking in the bath.

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Clean and smug as Hamish is taken upstairs. :-)

I didn’t take pictures of Hamish because he sprays water everywhere, my new camera is water resistant but I didn’t want soap all over the lens. Indy just sits with his back to me sulking so that would have been a waste of time too.

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Mr Clean. Hamish is always beautiful.

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Indy or as we call him “The real dog”

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There are many Love Underdogs pooches looking for a forever home but I will stick with Bobbi this week. Bobbi is the most gorgeous and lovable dog, nobody deserves a home more.

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Anyone who can should attend the Love Underdogs fun day and dog show at the end of June, there will be lots of beautiful pooches there.

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Indy, the forgotten one.

It’s not that I ever forget about Indy it’s just he hates having his picture taken. Indy is a remarkable dog, he responds instantly to the softest of spoken requests, (we don’t do commands) most of the time he knows what we want before we say anything. A few years ago Indy taught himself the signs of the early stages of my seizures so he almost always gives me warning!

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I thought I would catch him out by hiding upstairs and pointing the camera out the window, nope, he spotted me. :-)

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He can be quite stern when I con him into looking at the camera by holding a twig.

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It only works once then he brings his own twig, you will need good eyes to see it. :-D

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He will pose occasionally, he had been watching me for ages while I changed my mobility scooter batteries.

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He will always pose if Hamish is around but he has to have his twig. :-D

We are very lucky to have had Indy for the past 8 years and there will never be another like him. We learned after Luca died not to try to replace a unique dog but to get the one that needs us and let them show their own uniqueness.

I don’t want Hamish and Jolie to be forgotten so here they are.

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Hamish enjoying the evening sunshine.

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Jolie also enjoys a bit of sunshine.

Updates are infrequent and a tad boring at the moment because I am still having a hard time with MS symptoms! Life is almost entirely at home as I can’t get around very well which is why I have replaced my scooter batteries to enable me to get out more. It is going to be very interesting when I take Hamish and Jolie out with my scooter because neither one of them have seen it before, maybe the first post after that day may be interesting?

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4 Year old Bobbi is still waiting for a home of his own, he is a wonderful boy who would enrich any home. If you could offer Bobbi a home click his picture for his details or go to Love Underdogs site for information on adopting.

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