12/12/12|Submitted by Andrew

Octane and Axel's Story

I grew up with a mixture of rescued dogs and a couple from breeders. My parents being animal lovers would feed and house any stray dogs that came our way until their original owner could be found, or a could home could be found.

When Octane came into my life he was a dog from the streets of Atlanta, no collar, no microchip, emaciated malnourished and with heartworms. Octane spent almost 2 weeks at the vet getting back to health. After that he came home and was amazing. All he wanted was to be loved, and to make me happy. Did I mention he was the most beautiful black lab you'll ever see? I played fetch with him daily and he was the best dog you could ask for, never tore anything up, never barked (unless there was a scary noise in the middle of the night), and other than the suspicious body print on the couch when I got home always behaved perfectly.

Octane was so great that I started working with him to become a therapy dog. After passing our certification test we began visiting children's hospitals and Octane got to share the joy and love that he brought to me with children in a bad situation that needed a smile. When I moved to a house with a backyard I decided Octane needed a little brother. We made the trip to the Atlanta Humane Society and there a little shy in his run was a beautiful black lab mix 6 month old puppy. Once I took Axel outside to meet Octane there was no longer any shyness, they became instant best friends. They wrestled, and played and chased each other around. I wasn't planning on getting a dog that day or really that month, but Axel jumped into my heart, and black dogs often get passed up for adoption so they hold a special place with me. Axel came home with me, and to my amazement was potty trained and could sit, although we needed some practice. The great thing about getting a older dog is you get to skip the part where they need to go to the bathroom every hour (even the middle of the night) and make plenty of messes around the house. Sure you miss the cute little puppy part, but you get a dog that loves you more than you could ever imagine for giving him/her a good home.

I'm a firm believer in rescuing a dog or cat, and everyone that I've convinced to do so couldn't be happier with the family member they brought home. While it is a little heart breaking to go into the shelter, make sure to go into the area with the older dogs, not just the puppies, there will be purebreds and mixes, but all of them will love you and know that you changed their life. Enjoy the picture of my boys practicing their sit & stay patience.