This is a success story. Well, almost. There's still one last step to go in their journey and that's finding the perfect furever homes. I'd like you to meet Goldie and Hope, former street dogs who, through the efforts of teamwork within the rescue community, made it out alive. This pair deserved more than the usual "glamour portrait" for their adoption photos so we got special permission to photograph them at the Highland Village Fire Department (big thanks to Chief Goudie for his support). Just looking at these proud and happy dogs, it's hard to believe they were ever on the street, but read their story below (click on any image to view full size).
Hope top) is all smiles posing with one of the firefigher's helmets and Goldie (bottom) strikes a power pose in between the two engines (you go girl!).
On the Street
In June, 2017 a good Samaritan noticed a family of dogs – two adult males, two adult females and five puppies - hanging around the production plant where she worked in southeast Dallas. She wanted to help these poor dogs and reached out to Duck Team 6, a street dog rescue group whose mission it is to reduce the street dog population through capture, placement, and outreach.
Duck Team 6 worked with the good Samaritan, showing her how to get the dogs onto a feeding schedule so they could be caught. The initial plan was to get the puppies off the street first and then work on the adults. Cameras were placed so the dogs could be monitored day and night and the good Samaritan provided them fresh food and water twice a day.
Soon the dogs got onto a regular feeding schedule, knowing exactly where they were going to find food; the plan was coming together. With the schedule in place and the dogs routinely returning to the plant for all their meals, traps were introduced. Initially the traps were put out and left open and the food was moved closer and closer and eventually placed into the trap. The adult dogs had no problem venturing into the traps but those puppies, they wanted no part of it!!
Toots, now Hope, (L) snuggling with another one of the group of 9 "Power Plant Pack" and Blondie, now Goldie, (R) who retreated into the culvert pipe seconds after this photo was taken.
Photo credit: Duck Team 6
The Power Plant Pack - Photo Credit: Duck Team 6
Blondie (now Goldie) on the left and Toots (now Hope) on the right.
Photo credit: Coppell Humane Society
Once Coppell Humane Society heard about the “Production Plant Pack”, as they became known, they joined the growing group of volunteers. Foster homes were readied for several of the puppies as well as one of the female adults. One of the things to understand about street dog rescue, no two rescues are exactly the same and you are constantly trying to think of new ways to catch these street-smart dogs!
Nine dogs at one time was more than Duck Team 6 had ever attempted and everyone knew it would probably mean capturing a few at a time but the thought process was always about how many you could get at once and what the impact of that would be on the rest of them that were not captured. Along the way the idea of a “feeding station” was suggested so this group of ingenious people used the resources available and constructed a large feeding station from kennel panels. One of their volunteers made a remote control gate for the front of the station. Now the trick would be to get this group used to a NEW spot to feed and see if the puppies would join the adults. It WORKED!! Feeding station in place, dogs on a schedule, a capture attempt was planned!!
Unfortunately the cameras put out at the feeding area revealed a new wrinkle; one or both of the females appeared to be in heat! The last thing the group wanted to chance was another litter of puppies so the plan was revised and “the girls” were to be the first ones once captured.
Previously when the traps were set with food, the girls had no problem going into the traps so …traps it would be!! The day was chosen, the traps were baited and the volunteers waited out of sight watching the camera feeds…and on September 3rd, both Toots and Blondie were captured and ended their life on the streets! Coppell Humane Society had a foster home for one of the girls but when both girls were captured the same day, the foster family said they would take BOTH girls so they were able to stay together as they made their transition from the street and looked for their forever homes!
Learning to be Loved
Their foster family spoon fed them food and water in the first days after their arrival.
Photo credit: The Duderstadt Family
Hope and Goldie arrived in their foster home on Labor Day weekend as very shy street dogs, refusing to come out of their crates, eat or go outside. The first week their dedicated family literally spoon fed water and food to them and carried them outside to ensure their physical needs were met. They completely shut down to human interaction, even to the resident dogs in the house.
Initially both girls would just lie down if they were carried outside and not move, but slowly they began checking the yard out and taking care of business. Once they began moving about the yard, they would be let on their own, but getting them back inside was another story. Eventually they learned “Inside” or “Outside” but the family had to hide behind the door because they wouldn’t come through the doorway if they could see a person. Eventually they warmed up to the resident dogs who showed them the way and they followed their example of going in and out the door with ease.
Both girls initially had a fondness for chewing on anything in the house. Potty training and crate training was never the issue, but it was not uncommon to see Hope trotting through the house with a shoe, a shirt, a plastic bag…pretty much anything. They both learned quickly what was okay to play with and chew on and what wasn’t but not before a shoe or two lost its life.
Hope (L) caught in the act! Notice Goldie's (R) death grip on the lawn when she first arrived.
Photo credit: The Duderstadt Family
Toys are good! Photo credit: The Duderstadt family
Goldie was the first to let herself be petted and touched and has become quite affectionate, demanding attention by poking her foster family with her nose or pawing at their arms when she wants to be loved on. If she is happy to see you or wants to play she will come up behind you and jump on the backs your legs. She is very bouncy and if you talk to her, her tail will change from wagging back and forth to going in rapid circles, which earned her the nickname “Helicopter Butt”. Goldie does not bark. At all. She is the quietest, sweetest little girl and is quicker to warm to new people and let them approach her than Hope, but...
Hope, too, has come a long, long way. She allows her foster family to pet her now and play bows with them and lies on the couch with her foster dad. She is the protector and barks letting them know if there is anything unusual going on. She also has a hidden talent; Hope yodels a bit like she’s telling you a story. She can be stealthy about carrying things out of a room but now it’s always dog toys and she does love her dog toys.
Goldie (L) is ready to fall asleep after her portrait session and Hope (R) leans on her foster dad.
Both girls LOVE to play with other dogs. They run circles in the yard now and wrestle with their foster sisters. They love riding in the car and even like going on walks. It’s amazing to see how they have changed from being frightened street dogs to being a part of a family. "We feel incredibly honored and blessed to have helped teach these girls that people really can be okay and being spoiled is kind of nice." said her foster mom.
Fitting right in with their foster pack. Photo credit: The Duderstadt Family
So what do you do when you have a firehouse and big red trucks all to yourself with two sweet, photogenic dogs? Well, you make the most of it and have some fun!
Ever vigilant, Goldie (L) and Hope (R) fit right into the life at the firehouse and were ready for action.
Hope (L) thinks she could totally be a firehouse dog as she takes up guarding the uniforms and Goldie (R) doesn't get the whole fire hydrant thing.
You didn't think that we'd let those big red trucks go to waste did you? Goldie (L) strikes a pose on the front bumper of one of the engines and Hope (R) beams one of her fabulous smiles with a very large sledgehammer!
Hope and Goldie are Available for Adoption
These two special girls are now ready to find their furever homes, so help them out by sharing their story. If you'd like to more about them, visit the Coppell Humane Society on their website to find out where you can meet them and fill out an application to adopt.
Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. Penny Whistle specializes in both natural light and studio photography providing family and pet portraits as well as corporate headshots and commercial photography in her studio located in old town Carrollton as well as out on location in Coppell and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.