A Home for Sissy

Back in April, I rescued 6 Pit Bulls from ARF of MS, when a County Breed Ban (BSL) threatened the dogs’ safety, forcing ARF to find immediate placement for them. Sissy was one of those special dogs. Two years ago, ARF rescued Sissy. She was found, lying in a ditch, with horrible compound fractures to her leg. Her injuries were so severe... that she had to live at the vet’s office for 4 months. For the next 2 years, Sissy lived happily on the ARF Farm.

Then 2 months ago, she came to live with me. I immediately fell in love with Sissy’s gentle spirit, and I longed for her to have the family she’s always wanted. While I’m never sure if --or when-- the right family will come along for each of my rescue babies, my heart always remains full of hope.

So... I was elated when my amazing volunteer, Kathy Penn, began spending extra time with Sissy. When I saw their connection, I prayed that Kathy may adopt my special girl one day.

And this week… my prayers were answered. I’ll let Kathy tell you about her volunteer experience with Lucky Dog Rescue, and her life-changing decision to adopt one my rescue babies…

Adopting my very own Lucky Dog, By: Kathy Penn
All my life, I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian. Earlier this year, I started doing some research into getting my volunteer hours for vet school. I contacted all the local vet clinics, and another rescue group in my area, but I just wasn’t feeling any of them. Then... I stumbled upon Ashley Owen Hill’s Facebook page…

I'll be honest... I started “stalking” her (Sorry Ash). I quickly added her as a friend, and Liked both her Lucky Dog Rescue Blog and Lucky Dog Retreat Facebook pages. I was so excited, because I just knew that helping Ashley and Lucky Dog Rescue would truly be the BEST volunteer work I could ever do! Soon thereafter, I messaged her and asked if she needed any help.

Ash said: "Um... yeah girl!!! Come on over!!!"


Then, I began volunteering. When I first got there, I felt like I already knew all of the dogs... because... in addition to stalking Ashley, I'd been stalking her dogs on Facebook too! I knew all of their names and their stories… but I didn’t know their little personalities. I was so excited to finally meet each of them! I felt like I was meeting little celebrities!

I decided to spend most of my time with the 6 Pit Bulls that Ashley had recently taken in from ARF: Mimi, Bonnie, Pinky, Sissy, Capone, and Molly. The blog Ashley wrote about these Pits had really touched my heart. So, to lighten Ashley’s load, I began feeding these pups every morning, cleaning their kennels, and taking them for walks. The first day, they were all so full of excitement and energy! Sure, it was a lot of work, but I loved every minute of it!

My second day at Lucky Dog, I decided that Sissy, a black and white Pit Bull mix, was the best walker. She listened, she could untangle herself from her leash, and she didn’t drag me around. She also made me laugh.

Also, I'm not a skinny girl, by any means, so I loved Sissy's short little legs, which gave her a cute, chunky appearance!

Every day, I spent extra play-time with Sissy. She warmed up to me quickly, and we had a special connection. Sissy would always bark, as I walked the other dogs… knowing that her turn was coming soon, and yearning for my attention. But I’d always save Sissy’s walk for last, so I could spend some extra time with her. Sissy and I would take a stroll, and then we’d sit in the shade and play together. I’d take pictures and give her lots of hugs and kisses. I loved her so much, and I could tell she loved me too.

As we spent more time together, I soon realized that I wanted to adopt Sissy. Our bond was so special… I just knew she was meant to be my dog! I think Ashley knew it too, but she’s not the type to say anything. I could tell... she was just waiting for me to be sure...

Plus... Ashley doesn’t like to get her hopes up... because people let her down so much. But, in the meantime, I’d see Ash smiling and laughing... as she watched us play together… hoping in her heart of hearts... that Sissy had finally found her family.

While I'd stay with Sissy as long as I could, I was always heartbroken when I had to leave her to go home. One afternoon, I asked Ashley if I could take Sissy home for the day, to see how she’d do with my other dogs, Gilligan and Colston. I was so excited... when Ashley said yes! When we got home, I was amazed at how great they did together! Sissy absolutely loved them! My heart was so happy, watching them play together! I’d never seen Sissy’s tail wag so much! We had the best day ever... and to be honest,  I didn’t want to take her back to the rescue that night. But of course, I know how much Ashley loves Sissy too, so I was okay with it.

Over the next couple of weeks, I continued to volunteer and hang out with Sissy. Then, this past Monday, I asked Ashley if I could take Sissy home for the afternoon. Of course, she said yes! Sissy came home with me, and we played all afternoon. When it came time for her to go, I didn’t want to take her back. So, I sent Ash a text... and that's when she asked...  if I wanted to keep Sissy overnight. Next, I asked my mom if we could keep her for the night, and guess what? My mom said yes!

It was a done deal… Sissy and I would have our first sleepover together! And it was the best night ever! We laughed and played, and she slept in the bed with me. But then, I got so upset when I thought about taking her back the next day. So... finally... I decided to ask my mom if I could adopt Sissy!

My 19th birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, and I’d originally asked for a new cell phone. But hey! Mine works fine. So instead, I asked my mom if I could adopt Sissy for my birthday. I promised to pay the adoption fee myself, and take full responsibility for her care. My heart was set on adopting Sissy… I just wanted her to stay with me... from that night... until forever.

My mom knows that I’ve always been super-responsible with my dogs, and she knew I’d do the same for Sissy. I also reminded her: If we adopt Sissy, Ashley will have another spot... to save another life.
Plus... let's be honest... my mom’s a sucker for me, and for dogs, so she said YES! I couldn’t wait to tell Ashley: I'm officially adopting Sissy!

When I finally told her, Ash cried tears of joy... saying, “Thank you,” over and over. She’d been hoping all along that I’d adopt Sissy… and in her heart, she knew Sissy was hoping the same.

Since I adopted Sissy, she’s been the happiest girl in the world! I’m the first family she’s ever had, other than Ashley, and Pippa with ARF. Sissy loves her new home! She’s so funny… she loves simple things:  like lying near the air conditioning vent, and chewing up the stuffed animal my boyfriend bought me for Valentine’s Day! And she really loves sleeping on the beds she stole from my other dogs! It’s so funny! I also taught her to jump up on the couch, and now, that’s her new thing! Sissy’s a super happy girl… which makes me a super happy girl. Out of my 19 years of life, adopting Sissy has truly been the BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!!!
*Dear Kathy,  thank you... for making Sissy's dreams--and, in turn--my dreams--come true.



  1. Jill Knellinger PattonMay 26, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Great Story!!!

  2. You made my night! God bless you!

  3. I absolutely ADORE this story. Makes me want another dog really bad. Totally would adopt if I still didn't live with my parents. Until then, I continue to volunteer :)

  4. congrats on your new family member i cryed all the way through your story i am happy for you all

  5. Charles Jackson (ARF)May 26, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    Ashley and Kathy, I cried when I read this because, as I said on the post where I learned of this adoption, this is TRULY what this business is all about. God bless both of you for making Sissy's life complete!

  6. What a lucky girl....such great women.....:) I love reading ur blogs..they just make my soul smile!!!!! Xoxoxoxox

  7. oh my goodness, this is the best spirit lift! I am so very grateful that God placed Ashley and now Kathy in my life. thank you both for loving our rescue babies and for giving them the chance they deserve.
    give our sweet sissy a kiss from me please

  8. Happy Tears of Joy for Sissy, Kathy and Ashley. Win, win, win!

  9. I love this story.

  10. Frickin' awesome story...bless you all.

  11. You made me tear up! Such a sweet story!

  12. Aaahhh, A happy story, I love it. So happy for all of you!!!

  13. I am home from volunteering at my local shelter and just read your story. God bless all of you... you made my night and the tears I am crying are tears of joy... pure joy... especially for Sissy!! Thanks to you both for all you do. Keep doing what you do... You are touching the lives of SO many...

  14. Another happy story!! Thanks so much for giving Sissy a happy life!

  15. That is sooo awesome!!!!! So happy for all of you, especially Sissy!!!!!!!!

  16. Sissy was definitely a much better birthday present than a cell phone, congratulations and thank you for giving Sissy her forever home!

  17. I am sure Sissy is going to be a wonderful companion and is a very fortunate dog to have such a devoted Mom. I love to come to this page. I always feel better when I read the wonderful stories.


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