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We Flew A Rescue Puppy In From Texas

by Alex Iwashyna

in Pets

Yes, we have a puppy from the streets of Texas and the story is as amazing as he is.

Lars the Puppy

Lars is Texas tough.

After Ratchet found a nice, non-kid family (we had him for a few month but he food-guarded against my children and bit my son twice – once in the face — so our trainer couldn’t help), I missed him and wondered if we were meant for a dog. After a year and a half, I reached out to a long time freader, dog lover and foster dog mom in Texas, Casey, and ask her what she thought. She talked to her trainer friend as well. I was definitely open to her saying: Stick to cats. But she didn’t.

Armed with her suggestions, Scott and I continued to research and read about breeds, and we narrowed it down to Retrievers and Labradors. We wanted dogs who thought people were awesome because my biggest fear was creating another negative experience for my children or for a dog. We also believed that the family, who had Ratchet before us, was not honest about why they rehomed him (they had him from a puppy and once they had a mobile child, they rehomed him) so we knew we wanted a puppy.

We began looking at breeders’ websites but not rescuing an animal weighed heavy on my heart so we went no further.

A week ago, this photo popped up on my Facebook newsfeed.

Black Lab Pup

I’m cute in Texas

I commented (from Virginia): “OMG so cute! Can he come to Virginia?”

Casey (who lives in Texas) responded: “Actually we’re flying into Dulles in a week.”

Wha??? So I asked for more details.

Her friend rescues animals in Texas, and someone called her to report a Mama dog and 12 puppies living on the side of a road in San Antonio. When she arrived, the mother was nowhere to be found, and only four puppies were there. Two had been hit by cars and were dead, but Lars and his brother were alive.

They were underweight, covered in fleas and ticks and had only ever drank from their mother when she brought them to her rescue center foster home. She introduced them to food, bowls, got them shots, tended to their skin and began looking for homes. One brother was adopted immediately, but the other was still making his way around Facebook.

I told Scott and we prayed and talked and asked the kids. My son said: I think he’s supposed to be a part of our family.

We decided that we had room in our hearts to see if the path would open up for the puppy to get from Texas to Virginia. No one in Texas wanted him. The vet okayed the travel. The airline had room.


He was the most popular passenger.

On Saturday, we drove up to Dulles airport where I met Casey, her husband and our puppy for the first time.


Meeting Casey was amazing.

His name is Lars, a minor deity that protects families, a drummer from Metallica, and the newest member of our family. He still has little scars from all the ticks on him, and he’s more comfortable eating off the floor than the bowl, but he is cuddly and sweet, and my son laid down next to him and said: Lars is my brother.



Welcome home, buddy.

Lars Says Hi

Hi guys.

PS. Casey did so much to make this happen. I could not be more grateful for her support whether it’s with dogs, this blog or our friendship. Thank you.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy December 10, 2012 1

Alex I so needed this post this week! We are getting the kids a puppy for christmas and I have been dreading it. After seeing your pictures I know it will be worth it if i can see my son looking like yours does in that picture. Lars is adorable!


Alex Iwashyna December 10, 2012 2

I didn’t grow up with dogs and so far I’d say: Puppies are easier than babies and harder than kittens.
I watched a great DVD on puppies and Scott read a book before he came — both of those helped us to not be overwhelmed. You’ll be great!


Abby December 10, 2012 3

That’s just amazing!!! And Lars is just adorable. I’m so happy for you and your family!! (The pic of E with Lars, and the quote beneath, sent me into the ugly cry. Just FYI.) Yay for puppies!!! :0)


Caitlin MidAtlantic December 10, 2012 4

Oh my goodness! What a wonderful story. I always love a happy ending… And Lars is just in time for Christmas – which means shredded wrapping paper FTW!!


Vicki O'Neal December 10, 2012 5

OMG, the story made me cry. All our pets are rescues, although we don’ know their whole story, just the happy adoption part! We love our animals so much, and applaud you for searching and finding Lars, and making the commitment to go for it! I’m thinking about a new addition…


KLZ December 10, 2012 6

My new little girl is sleeping next to me – the right dog is worth waiting for. Glad you found yours.


Skye December 10, 2012 7

No one in Texas wanted him?! How could anyone see him and not want him? I’m so glad he could join your family! He seems like the perfect match. How are he and the cats getting along?


Alex Iwashyna December 10, 2012 8

The indoor cats are always within 2-3 feet of him which I think is a good sign. I have some funny (to me) videos of them trying to figure out what the heck he is and also of Huckle trying to attack his tail as he’s sleeping.


Skye December 10, 2012 9

Those sound like the most adorable videos ever.


Casey December 10, 2012 10

He would have eventually found a home in Texas, I’m sure. But I agree with E: “I think he’s supposed to be a part of our family.” From the first comment on the shared photo on Facebook, it’s like the stars started to align for Lars– this is where he was meant to be. <3


Leigh Ann December 10, 2012 11

Awwwww. I love him! He looks like the perfect addition to the family.


Lily from It's A Dome Life December 10, 2012 12

Awww rescue dogs are the best. Enjoy him! Also, there will be moments of OMG…WHAT WERE WE THINKING?! Just remember that they outgrow the puppy stage. Hide your shoes if he’s a chewer.


K December 10, 2012 13

All of this made me a bit weepy. Congratulations on Lars!


Tracie December 10, 2012 14

He is pretty much the cutest dog ever.

I love the story of how he joined your family. So sweet.


Casey December 10, 2012 15

Much love to you, Alex, your beautiful family, and to Lars! It was wonderful to meet you as well. Love, Casey <3


julie gardner December 10, 2012 16

I want to be the president of the Lars fan club.
I’m assuming one is forming as I type.

I mean come ON.

Congratulations on your newest family member.
There’s always room for more love.


jacqui herron December 10, 2012 17

He is an adorable addition to your family. He will grow up strong with your love and guidance.


Kat December 10, 2012 18

LOVE this story! I volunteer for a humane society and I’m majoring in animal sciences gearing towards the human-animal bond. It melts my heart when people adopt and get a happy ending, and the comments your son made were the most adorable. Enjoy your puppy!! =]


Jeb Hoge December 10, 2012 19

Brilliant, awesome, perfect, yay! Lars looks like he’s about the age that our Daisy was when we brought her home, and she was a rescue too! Her mom was, that is…rescued while pregnant. Anyway, I’m so happy for your family. This is wonderful.

Your kids will be excellent help…they can practice responsibility with feeding and walking, and he’ll give them all the love they can handle in return.


kalisa December 10, 2012 20



Laura Flickinger December 10, 2012 21

Oh, Alex, that’s wonderful! What a cute puppy! And what a lucky dog he is to have been found by your family. XXOO, L


Nicole December 10, 2012 22

What a cutie pie! His lumps and scars will heal, he’ll find his way to the bowl, and he’ll grow up being one of the best friends your children will ever have. Labs are amazing dogs. Smart, loyal, and patient. YAY FOR LARS!


The Sweetest December 10, 2012 23

Totally crying. Adorable. Gig em, ags.


Kristin December 10, 2012 24

I love Lars! We just adopted a kitten and I’m considering a puppy in the spring, depending on the health of our current dog.
I would feel the same about adopting from a breeder.

P.S. thanks to your backyard updates my girls are getting hammers in their stockings.


Alex Iwashyna December 10, 2012 25

Kittens are awesome. Hugs to your dog.

PS. That is a great PS. Yay for hammers in stockings!


Becca December 11, 2012 26

I am so very glad Lars found his furever home with your family. Giving a dog a new life, and helping your children get past a bad experience are both wonderful, and you should be commended. Many would not have gotten another dog, good for you for trying again.


angela December 11, 2012 27

“Lars is my brother.” I am swooning over the love your family shows each other and all of the people (and animals) who live in your orbit.


Anne@AlwaysHalfFull December 11, 2012 28

I love how incredibly adorable Lars is. I love the insanely cute picture of E laying next to Lars. And I really really love how much thought and prayer and consideration you put into taking this puppy in.


Nicole Morgan (@ByWordsMusings) December 11, 2012 29

All he needs is love …
and you – how lucky you both are xxx


Claudia December 12, 2012 30

Yay! Puppies and kitties and skin puppies (that’s how we refer to kids) all under one roof! Sounds great and crazy at the same time! Congrats on the new addition to your family. I hope Lars and Nugget (our dog not your cat) can meet someday.



Lady Jennie December 12, 2012 31

We’re having such a hard time with our new puppy because we don’t know anything about dogs. And I think our trainer gave us false expectations about him because he made it seem as if we could stop his jumping and nipping. I’m practicing bite inhibition with him, which helps me to overcome my fear of dogs, and we’re getting tons of advice.

Lars is a cutie.


Erica December 12, 2012 32

SO CUTE. He’s totally adorable, as is the way you guys are welcoming him with such love. And I know that once he’s a full-grown, leaping-and-bounding kind of dog, you guys will be keeping up with him every step of the way. Congrats. :)


Debbie Carter December 12, 2012 33

Awwww! We also rescued a puppy from Texas (though I flew to Louisiana and stayed with Erica, and the Humane Society volunteer met us halfway, about 1.5 hours’ drive for each of us). (I’m Erica Angert’s mom, and she shared your story with me.) Jessie has been a wonderful addition to our family!


TheNextMartha December 12, 2012 34

Now that is a great story. That dog is a keeper. You can see it in his eyes.


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