Alumni Stories

We always love to hear stories of how our dogs and cats are doing. When we become tired and life becomes difficult, reading stories from our alumni helps to remind us of why we work so hard. We are so proud of how well our little ones are doing that we wanted to share their stories.

If you have an Alumni Story you would like posted on our website, please send it to the Webmaster. Feel free to include digital photos with your Alumni Story. Stories without photos are welcome too!

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Faith - October 11, 2019

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Faith is settling in with us. She likes yogurt from her small humans, exploring the woods, basking in the sun, "working" in the home office, and curling up in the reading chair. We love her wiggle butt when we return home and her little zoomie to run back in the house. It's her house now too, and after 6 weeks, she seems comfortable with that.

Thanks for Faith!
The Kostenko Family

Remy - June 30, 2019

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Good afternoon,

We wanted to give you an update on our little girl, Remy, adopted from you in July of last year.

When we first met Remy, it was clear that she chose both Stacy and I as her doggie parents. At first, she was a scared little girl (the strong thunderstorm at the time didn't help), but my wife snuggled with her on the way home - her first sign that her new life would be very different from her old. Although we were challenged with some separation anxiety issues, she has evolved into a happy, healthy, confident dog. On behalf of Stacy and I, we want to thank those who made it all possible to save her and make her the perfect addition to our family

Abby Tay - June 3, 2019

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Back in February of this year, my family and I adopted Abby Tay. She is doing wonderful! Her and sister, Pebbles, get along fabulously to the point that friends call them Yin and Yang.

In addition, she no longer has any hot spots/chew spots on her. Abby Tay is a riot when it comes to her toys that we keep in a wooden box; she will carefully go through the box to pick out a toy she wants to play with and often times will try to get Pebbles or one of to play tug of war with her.

Thank you so much for letting us adopt Abby Tay!

The Boni Family

Panther and Puma - May 9, 2019
(Formerly Mr. Storm and Cashew)

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Just wanted to send an update on the two I adopted last week - they are adjusting to the house really well! Panther (Formerly Mr. Storm) and Puma (Formerly Cashew) love to run around the house until exhausted - and then fall asleep hard. Panther literally passes out on me - picture attached of him on his back, mouth open, tongue hanging out. All is quiet for about 30 minutes and then they are up and off again - setting the land speed record for time up and down the stairs, around the kitchen, then back to the sunroom. The big cat tree is in their sunroom overlooking some bird feeders so they have entertainment. The other smaller cat tree is in their front bedroom so they can catch the morning sun.

Don Raines, cat dad once again

Hershey - May 8, 2019

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Hi everyone at HART,

This note is long overdue but wanted to give you an update on Hershey! He is doing just great and has definitely been the piece of the puzzle that completes a perfect picture of our little family!

He is so easy going that his canine and feline brothers and sister immediately took to him. He LOVES treats and adventures and at the end of the day loves to snuggle up with me on the sofa and relax. He is just the most perfect little hound and as sweet as his name! Thank you again for introducing us!


Penny - March 25, 2019
(Formerly Okie)

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Hi there! I am the owner of the former Okie - now called Penny (after our favorite show Big Bang theory!)

We adopted Penny in February of 2019 so that our 6 year old boxer mix could have a friend. And boy did she get one! Penny goes wherever Zula does and they love playing in the backyard. Penny runs circles around Zula while Zula just watches her be crazy and then pounces on her! Penny is an ankle biter and likes to plop right on top of Zula (see pictures) but Zula doesn't mind at all. She just loves having a friend.

Penny still has some young pup tendencies but she quickly got the hang of potty training and learning to drop her toys when you say "out". She is currently in obedience school as well on Monday nights. She is the BEST snuggle bug and never misses a Chance to give a kiss or chase a squirrel/bird.

Thank you for finding Penny and for giving our old girl new life with Penny!

Kelly and Kenny champagne

Kobe - February 25, 2019
(Formerly Nolan)

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We celebrated our first anniversary on January 27. He's great and thriving! Could not ask for a better buddy!


Gus - October 23, 2018

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My family and I fell in love with Gus when we met him at an adoption event. He has been with us for about 4 weeks, but we can't remember life without him. He is a member of our family.

Gus is a sweetheart. He is my shadow, following me around the house everywhere I go. He loves to sleep on the couch and give lots of kisses. Gus has made several dog and human friends, and has a BFF, Boomer, that he takes walks with every morning. Our elderly neighbor loves him and let's him come in her house, but won't let her own sons' dogs in.

Gus went on his first camping trip where he got to sleep in a tent, go to the beach, eat bacon, and "get married". His beautiful bride, Diamond, is a sweetheart, and we are happy she has come into his life. He loved the water, but not the waves.

Gus is looking forward to Halloween. He is going to be a cop and will be keeping his BFF, Boomer, who is going as prisoner, in line.

We are looking forward to many years with Gus.

Maggie - August 21, 2018

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My boyfriend and I adopted Maggie when she was about a year and a half old sometime around Easter of this year and have loved every moment since. We fell in love with her the moment we saw her. Right away all we could think was how much we wanted to rescue this dog and spent the entire week thereafter thinking about her.

When we first brought Maggie home and she realized she was here to stay we had a little bit of trouble getting her to go outside. I think she thought she wasn't coming back in but she slowly got over that fear. She's definitely got some issues with men and some anxiety issues that we're still working on with her.

Since Easter, we've learned that all Maggie wants to do is give us lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles. She's the sweetest and kindest dog we've ever known. She's a little shy with new people, occasionally sleeps with her eyes open, and has some strange fears like caution tape or any type of door opening/closing. We love all of Maggie's little quirks no matter how strange and she certainly keeps things interesting. We love her so much and have enjoyed having her in our lives thus far and couldn't imagine life without her.

Thank you HART for helping us find the perfect addition to our family!

Bune - May 7, 2018
(Formerly Weizen)

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I'm Bune (formerly Weizen). I've been with my family since July 2016, when I picked them out at an adoption event at the Chantilly Petsmart. Since I came into the family, we've gone on lots of adventures at local parks, lakes and hiking trails. We've spent summer weeks camping at a state park. And, we've graduated from dog obedience and agility classes - I'm an AKC Good Citizen! My family is so happy I found them, and so am I.

We are all so thankful for Hart. Thank you!

Toby Beagle - March 2, 2018

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Mr. Toby Beagle!!!!!!!!!!!

Sweet Darling Toby Boy, we adopted on 1/2718........We were told he perhaps was 13 or 14.....Well Mr. Boi went to our vet, and they figured he may be 9 or 10 yrs old. HE IS A LOVE.....Sweetest Boy ever. He will walk for an hour, loves the Bark Parks.....loves riding in the car and going to "Pet Supplies Plus" where he can sniff out all his treats he wan'ts, then, get's a free bag of goodies! AND gets lots of loves and Pets. Took him to our Vet, He's quite well, and now going to Dogtopia in Manassas with his other "sister" who we adopted from HART in March of last year. They are bonding well, and he's a comfortable and happy boy! Has taken over everything with his Sis Bonnie.....

Thank you Hart! He is one Happy Boy!

Rosie - January 19, 2018
(Formerly Cass)

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I adopted Cass (now Rosie) in November. I met her at her first adoption event at Petsmart and I knew immediately that she was my girl. I can't explain what it was; we didn't get a chance to bond very much at the event because she was pretty nervous with all the other dogs and people around, but I felt something was right, and I filed to adopt her. It was a rocky start - she had come down with kennel cough, so she wasn't able to be spayed right away and she stayed with Nancy for two weeks while she recovered (thank you Nancy for restoring her to health!)

Rosie and I have been a team for a couple of months now and it feels like she and I have grown up together. She is a very spunky and energetic girl - she loves running and jumping over everything and most of all, she loves to sniff and "hunt" down squirrels and birds on our walks. Rosie is also a big cuddle bug; she will lay on your chest and snuggle you when Netflix-bingeing.

She recently won a "dog of the month" contest at Copperwood Tavern for January 2018 and we have been doing some hiking and exploring - she is going to love going on the Shenandoah trails once it gets warmer! Aside from that, she's going to dog training once a week (and learning super quickly!) and getting some play dates in with some of my friend's pups. She is a wonderful and loyal companion and I am so grateful to have her doing life with me.

Jellybean - December 21, 2017

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We adopted Jellybean in August of 2016 and she became little sister to Hart alum Cher. It didn't take Jellybean any time at all to settle into our house but it took Cher and Jelly a while to settle into each other. They're exact opposites in that Jelly loves toys and zoomies around the living room and Cher prefers naps but they've helped to balance each other out and we now can all snuggle happily together on the couch. The girls are our road trip buddies and have their own special seats in the car for their safety and comfort and we take them as many places as we can. Jelly has also become a lover of my hand knit sweaters so that she stays nice and warm in these colder months. We love, love, love our girls and can't wait for more adventures in the years to come.


Hugsley - November 27, 2017
(Formerly Pugsley)

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Nick and I (Anisha) adopted Pugsley (now Hugsley) in April. He got his name after I misheard Leslie introduce him to me, and the name stuck! The name is very fitting for him - he loves hugs and cuddles 100% of the time. Hugsley enjoys long, leisurely walks at all hours of the day, napping, and of course, hanging out with his parents. We live in very dog friendly town center, so Hugsley gets to join us on many outings and gets lots of attention (especially from the ladies!). He has acquired many nicknames over the past months - Hugsely the Derp, Derpus, Bubba...the list goes on and on. Due to his mini-celebrity status, we've even created an Instagram for him - @hugsleythederp! All in all, Hugsley is a very happy pupper and always has a smile on his face. We could not be happier with our decision to add Hugsley to our family!

Anisha and Nick

Stella Bella - November 14, 2017
(Formerly Star)

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Good Morning from Star (now Stella Bella)!

We adopted her after fostering her here in SC in August. She was transported up to VA and we went to get her. This is her looking at my daughter getting ready for school. She sleeps with her every night. Stella is trained on the invisible fence now, but her strong prey drive and impulse to react to things before thinking it through made her a slight challenge to work with on that project. She is a thousand times better than when we first got her though. She is an ideal house dog, mellow, and gets along with our cats and two small dogs. Too well, perhaps because she thinks she's a cat. I caught her standing on my nightstand once following my cat! Monkey see, monkey do. She watches everything they do and copies it. She has absolutely no spatial awareness for her size, it's become a household joke. All in all, she's where she belongs and we love her a lot.

Thanks for all you do for these dogs!!
Tara Loos

Lilly - June 7, 2017

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Hello! I adopted this 3-year old scared girl, Lilly, in July 2006. Last week, Lilly celebrated her 14th birthday! It's hard to remember life before Lilly. She is an absolute love, and we have a wonderful life together. Thank you for bringing us together all those years ago! She and I are both older and grayer, but we like to think we're wiser, too :)

Jill Baker

Eli - June 5, 2017
(Formerly Handsome)

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We adopted Handsome now known as Eli on May 18,2017. In such a short time I have grown to love this handful of energy. He is a younger brother to Lily who is also a Hart Alumni. Lily came into my life two years ago this October after losing a pup to Cancer and Eli has come into my life after losing my boy dog to Cancer. I'm not sure if it is more heartbreaking to lose a dog to Cancer or to help a dog heal when you know he has had a rough life. I will say healing a dog from a rough past is far more fun.

I will never understand is full past life, I will however know his future and his enjoyments of life as they are now full of Frosty Paws, Liver treats and long walks with his mom and Lily. I will work to positively train Eli, I have noticed when you raise your voice or make sudden movements it scares him. He is a strong young boy and has put on a bit of weight with me which pleases me since his body now seems to fit his big block head. Eli in the Hebrew translation means one who will ascend to great heights. He will definitely ascend to great heights, he is a strong boy who has a full life ahead of him.

Lady Collington - March 2, 2017

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It's been almost 5 months since we adopted Lady from HART and we can't be happier to have been chosen to be her forever home. Lady, at 65 lbs now, constantly forgets how big she is and loves to climb in your lap for a cuddle. She is eager to greet anyone that comes within sight and has made friends of every human in our apartment complex. Lady is very smart and now has 8 tricks under her collar and is willing to learn new ones every day. My boyfriend and I spend our work days just waiting to get back home to lay on the couch with Lady and relax as a family.

Thank you so much for giving us the chance to be fur-parents to this sweet girl, she truly makes every day better for us. We hope you enjoy these photos of her!

Penny & Leonard - January 18, 2017
(Formerly Dixie & Moe Moe)

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Hi everyone,

It has been 8 months since you gave us the chance to be the forever home of our two kids Penny (formally Dixie) and Leonard (formally Moe Moe). They have settled in very well as you can see frome the pictures. Penny even allows us to scratch jer ears and for everyone at jart that knew her that would have been impossible without some huge vocalization. Leonard took some time to learn the rules but he caught on. When he first got home he decided to redecorate the house such as to many pillows on the sofa and the carpet on the stairs didnt have enough holes. Leonard did his first camping trip with dad while Penny stayed home with mom. They enjoy car rides and you cant say walk without them jumping for joy.thank you from the new family to all of you for the wonderful work you do every day.

Roger, Jen, Leonard, and Penny

Henry - November 6, 2016
(Formerly Nicholas)

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To the HART family!

It has been about four weeks since I have been adopted!!! I love my new family. Mom and Dad have been spoiling me rotten. I have made a lot of new dog friends. I recently met my grandparents who visited all the way from California; they bought me A LOT of toys!!! I love my new forever home!

***Thank you HART for choosing us to be parents to this beautiful fur baby of ours! We are very grateful to have been able to adopt from the HART family. We are blessed for our Henry boy; he's been such a joy in our lives.

Thank you again!

Henry (formerly Nicholas), Gabriela & Steven Tennyson

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