Journey Home Fund: Huckleberry’s Adoption Story
Stella and Chewy, the inspirations for our brand, were both adopted as adult dogs. This prompted our passion for adult and senior pet adoption and we aim to raise awareness about the joys of older pet adoption through our Journey Home Fund. To help 4-year old, blind Huckleberry (fka “Ducky”) find his perfect home, Stella & Chewy’s covered his adoption fee. We interviewed Huckleberry’s new dog mom, Kallianne, a college student from Oklahoma, to share more about the awesomeness of older pet adoption!
What is your experience with pets? How did it lead you to adoption?
I have had pets quite literally since the day I was born as my mom had a German Shepherd and three cats when I arrived. I got MY first dog when I was five years old, a six-week old, 3lb chihuahua who had been abandoned in the church parking lot behind my house. She quickly became my best friend. This was also around the time when my family started doing rescue and fostering with our local shelter, and all of my animals since then have been rescues. My chihuahua, Sweetie, was around for 14 years and just passed away last May. She would have been 15 on St. Patrick’s Day, which was the birthday we assigned her. I couldn’t imagine anything other than adoption since it’s just simply in my blood.
How did you end up finding and adopting Huckleberry?
I have been following Long Way Home Adoptables on Instagram since before my chihuahua passed away, simply because I enjoy seeing all the babies they take in and help. I promised myself I would adopt from them someday when I had the chance and the money. I remember when Huckleberry came into their possession and I thought he was just the cutest little guy. It’s all thanks to Stella & Chewy’s that I was able to make this sweet boy a part of my family.
What makes Huckleberry special?
Huckleberry has such a sweet spirit; He has no idea he can’t see and doesn’t really care. He just wants to give out bucketfuls of love whenever he has the opportunity. It’s simply amazing how little he lets his eyes affect him, and he actually gets around very well. I suppose that comes from blindness being all he has ever known. He is inspiring. He doesn’t let his differences get in the way of loving anyone and everyone. But that’s the best things about dog in general, they don’t see or care about our differences.
How has Huckleberry settled into your home and become a part of your family?
He has settled in like this has been his home his entire life. We are having an interesting adjustment period with our cats but it’s only because he thinks they should be his friends and wants to play. They don’t agree! Other than that, he is absolutely perfect and gives the most wonderful snuggles which is what I had been desperately missing since my Sweetie passed away.
What made you decide to adopt an older/special needs pet?
For the last three years of Sweetie’s life, she was blind and suffered from some brain damage due to seizures. She may have been a little addled, but she was still my baby, and I fell even more in love with her as she got the “addled” and goofy look that so many blind puppers have. My family has also always been the rescue that takes in the special needs, elderly, and otherwise compromised animals because otherwise no one would take them. While I wasn’t equipped with the time or money to handle adopting a senior, I really was interested in Huckleberry when I saw that he was still a young little guy but just had some vision issues. The blindness was the easiest part for me to handle about Sweetie’s aging, so I knew I was perfectly able to handle another little blind dog. My heart was shattered after the loss of Sweetie and it’s been hard even to sleep because she slept with me every night for 14 years as well as was a constant. So, I decided to adopt him in honor of Sweetie, which while she would have been jealous while she was alive, I knew she would have liked for me to give another baby a much-needed forever home.
What advice would you give to others who may be hesitant to adopt an older/special needs animal?
I would say, evaluate the amount of time you have before you bring an older/special needs pet home as sometimes they can be surprisingly time consuming depending on the level of care they need. However, I think everyone should adopt an older/special needs pet at least once in their life as they can teach you so much and it’s incredible how much love they still have to give despite developmental issues or complications from aging. They are so much more resilient than people think. You’ll also have to keep in mind that a senior will ultimately be more work than a normal dog, and make sure you can handle the extra responsibility they bring, but always remember they are so worth it. They are often more appreciative because they’ve felt so unwanted.
Thank you, Kallianne, for opening your heart and home to a senior pet in need! Learn more about Journey Home Fund here.