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Gone Home!




We thought you would like to read some of the letters and email we receive from people who have adopted Dakin companions.  If you have a Dakin animal, and would like to share your story, please let us know by mail or email at leverett@dpvhs.org.

Pete (now Elvis)

Hello Everyone at the Dakin Shelter,

We adopted Elvis aka Pete from you in April 05, he was a Dixie Dog (Collie/Shepard Mix) who came from Tennessee. I would love for you to pass on the attached pictures of this "Ham". If he sees the camera, he's in front of it! 

This boy is a joy to have around! He was housebroken from day one, stayed in the yard w/our Golden (who he became best friends with) and got along fine w/our four cats! He loves our 10 & 2 year old also. If the two year old goes to touch Elvis, or sometimes, like two year olds do, trip over him, Elvis just lays quietly until the coast is clear. We couldn't ask for a better match to this family! He does like to chew, so we need to watch him for that, but I can't think of any other bad habit this boy has. And I can't thank you enough for allowing us to adopt him, and to the Tennessee shelter/foster home for saving this boys life. It's like he has always been with us!

Again, Thank You,



I'm writing to give an update on the dog I adopted. His name was Oz and he came from Tennessee. Now his name is Banjo and he knows it well. He is such a great dog! I don't even know where to begin. For starters he just makes me happy whenever I am around him. His personality is amazing and everyone who has met him, both human and animal, have gotten along with him. He has excellent manners, he comes, he sits, he lays down, doesn't jump or bark or whine. He stays sometimes, although he is always hoping to come with me wherever I go. I take him off leash in the woods every day and he loves to run and chase squirrels and play in the river, but he always comes when I call him, and cheese is his favorite treat. He was marking a little in the house when I brought him home (probably because of the other animals) so I got him a crate which he was very good about until he settled in, but now we can leave him home with the other dog and he is fine. He loves to play and he quickly figured out how fun it is to chase frisbees, and he is also one of the best cuddlers I have ever met. He is great in the car, he is fine around horses, I trust him completely with other cats and dogs, he loves to watch the gerbils in their cage, and he is an excellent alarm clock (not the loud kind, but the kind that pounces on you and plays with you until you get out of bed.) He is a very fast learner and it isn't hard for us to communicate so he has picked up a lot already. I seriously can't find anything wrong with him and clearly someone spent a lot of time with him. So, thank you for finding such a great dog. I am so happy to have him. 



Elvis has been settling in beautifully and as he does he shows me new facets of his personality, which can be really funny. He has slept at the foot of my bed since the first night he came home. He’s very talkative, especially in the morning and his favorite spot during the day is on one of the window sills of my porch. He always greets me at the door when I come home from work.
I think he’s happy here and I’m really happy to have him in my life. He makes my house a home.



First, Meg has re-named him Mr Mel Gibson, or "Mel". He is also called variously Fathead, Pumpkinhead, Melvin and Moose. His name should really be Love in a Fur Suit, and he's nothing but walking gratitude. Very affectionate right out of the box, and not thrilled with quarantine because he hates to be alone. He's sneaked by twice and been rounded up and replaced. He met Hannah on one of his escapes - they came face to face as she exited my bedroom and he came flying out of Meg's. Everyone stopped and waited. Hannah (who's 15, calico, and grumpy) hissed and growled, and he thought for a moment, then sniffed the air and said "Nasty old lady!", turned and walked slowly away. She looked very shocked, and then went and sat in a snit and pouted "He did not even try to molest me!!" Since then we've kept our hands low when entering Meg's room to keep him in as he's pretty slippery for an ox. Hannah I expected to have more issues with his presence but has had less. She actually curled up on the towel from his box and fell asleep the first night. We gave him her dead mouse pillow which he sniffed but mostly ignores. I think this will be the tone of their relationship - Hannah with unrequited love for the (much) younger man, thinking she's still 4 and a man-magnet, and he ignoring her completely.

Anyone who enters Megan's room must be rubbed and must rub in return. He comes right over, all affectionate greetings, then lots of rubbing. He does not like to be scratched near his tail. He turns and suggests to you that rubbing is preferred, and then appears to apologize for being snippy with extra rubbing and purrs. He's just incredible and we all adore him! 



I wanted to send you a picture and update of Brewster, who we adopted as a Dixie dog in January of 2004. He was the "best dog" at our wedding in September. He is the absolute light of our lives and we cannot imagine how we managed without him. He is well loved by everyone who meets him. When I bring him to visit the sick kids at my work, he climb right into bed with them and licks them all over. He is truly a loving and kind dog, and we are just so pleased that he came into our lives. I am in school full-time right now, so we don't have the resources to get him a buddy just yet, but when we do, we are definitely coming back to Dakin. Thank you again for bringing this guy into our lives.

Molly and Jason 


Landry has been the perfect addition into our
household. We simply cannot get enough of her and
find it hard to ever plan vacations anymore. She is
such a joy and delight. Thank you for connecting us,
we do not remember a time without her. 

Sasha, Freya and Dundee

Dear Dakin Staff,

I just wanted to write to catch you up on our 3 dogs and how they have been doing.  Dundee who we adopted last August (a dixie dog from Kentucky) gave us a real run for our money when we first got him.  As you probably remember we were very close to bringing him back due to our difficulty in getting him trained and house/people broken.  As you may remember from my frantic email last year his nickname for his first 5 months living here was "monster boy" because he was impossible.  Our other two huskies, Sasha (was Macha) and Freya who we adopted in September of 2004 are also doing great.  Dundee has come full circle and is now the sweetest dog you could imagine.  He is happy all the time, very affectionate, very gentle and his new nickname is "Budley" because he follows us around and is a great buddy.  He can go off leash, he has been following commands much better and generally has finally settled into our house hold. I have attached some pictures...as you can see all of the dogs have grown significantly in size and personality.  Last fall we put up a fence in our yard, which the dogs love!!! Melissa (I think) was the name our adoption counselor with Dundee, so could you let her know how great he is doing? Also if you have an email address for the shelter Dundee came from in Kentucky I would love to send them an update to let them know how great he is doing, or if you could forward this email to them I would greatly appreciate it.



Scrot (now Big)

I thought you guys might enjoy these photos of the former Scrot/Secret (now named Big since he's working his way back up to his former 15.5 lb heft):) he has clearly crossed species lines and succumbed to the charms of our rabbit Petrunia. he is one weird cat. he is a kitten in a cat's body. and perhaps also a rabbit in a cat's body! 




Hi! Here's a couple of pictures of teddy on the day he came home. It's like he was born for our family. He loves his big brother, and seems happy here. He has free reign of the yard abutting a wild life sanctuary, and likes to take walks. He is incredibly well behaved and doesn't wander at all. Thank you again so much, and feel free to forward this message to TN. We love him much, and call him Jed after the Grateful Dead song "Tennessee Jed." Keep up the good work, 
Tim and Heather 


We want to thank everyone at Dakin Shelter for taking such good care of Beverly (now Stella) before she became a part of our family. She's so healthy and strong now, and we know we have all of you to thank for it.
Now Stella is a big girl and very vocal. She runs to meet us when we come home, and sleeps at our feet at night. We could never have imagined finding such an affectionate, beautiful girl to take home with us, but thanks to all of you, we did. We're hoping that sometime in the near future, we'll be bringing home a playmate for Stella. 

Much Love,
Sarah and Eric

Precious (now Zoe)

I am sending a picture of Precious, now known as Zoe (pronounced Zoey), We love her so much, she is so loving and gentle. As you can see, Zoe and my granddaughter Kianna who is 2, just love each other so much, my whole family loves her. She is always so happy and she loves the other 2 dogs we have. She has won our hearts and boy does she know it. She gives lots of kisses and her and our Chocolate Lab love to play together, he is male and they have really bonded. Imagine me, my husband and these 2 dogs all in a double bed, a little crowded but so worth all the kisses. Thank you so much for allowing Zoe to become part of our family, now that we have her we can't imagine life without her.
Mark and Emma B.

Queen Sheba

Princess Martha (now Queen Sheba)

Happy in Plainfield as an ONLY CAT-just what I wanted! Its been 5 months since my adoption. Love my parents and they adore me! The life of an indoor, worshipped cat, is the best.

Thank you!

Queen Sheba
and her faithful servant, Maria

Millie (now Willa)

Millie, who we've renamed Willa, came to live with us in May and has been a wonderful addition to our home. She is very good-natured and the gentlest creature I've ever met. She enthusiastically keeps the world safe from squirrels, but is very calm with our two cats. They never seemed to worry about her at all. We have 5 children of all ages who come and go, and she is happy to get attention from all of them. She has been to several soccer games where the little girls think she's the "most beautiful dog they've ever seen." Willa's favorite thing of all, though, is to take a romp in the nearby park with her friends, Mandy and Sammy. Sammy is a bassett hound and Mandy is a very short, stubby Springer, so the three of them look like the Hounds of the Baskerville together. They are really funny to watch--all the little legs and tails wiggling and running. Willa wishes she got to do that everyday, but lots of days she has to snuggle up in the kitchen while we're at work because she hasn't been entirely trustworthy loose in the house. She tends to want to "mark" her territory a little. I think she's letting us know that she'd rather not be alone. But in the kitchen, she has been fine, and seems to snuggle into her blanket and rest until we get home. Then she lets us know how happy she is to see us. 
Willa has a lambskin bed in our bedroom, but she loves to sleep at our heads on the pillows. She is very quiet, sleeps like a log, so if she climbs up, she usually stays for the night. And with heat costing what it will this winter, she will come in useful in bed! She has filled-out a lot since we got her. It took her a while to want to go for long walks, but now she will walk as much and as often as we can take her. She even saved me from a goose attack in the park one day! She heroically tromped after a big goose and scared it off. The only thing she tries to chew on are pens and the remote control. Shoes and everything else are perfectly safe. And as her foster mother discovered, she is not much of a barker. She will occasionally join in with other dogs in the park, but she really is very quiet. As far as protecting the house, well, that's not her "thing". Not even the mailman gets a bark out of her! Anyway, as you can tell, Willa is the apple of our eyes and we love her a lot. And we are very grateful that she got up here before the onslaught of hurricanes in the south. Thank you for taking such good care of our dog. 
Vicky and Eric, Lucy, Brendan, Becca, Madeline and Alex, Theo and Kahlua


Hi Does anyone there remember Spencer? he used to be Star. I got him 3 years ago from Dakin and he is doing better than ever. He's got a buddy now thats been here for almost 3 years too. He really turned into a big lazy tiger but he is solid as a rock. Not fat at all. He's 6 years old now and we love him so much. Here are some recent photos of him that I think you will enjoy. He was cooling off in front of the fan during the real hot weather last week.


Sandy (now Lola)

Hi Dakin staff, I just wanted to send some photos of Sandy (we have re-named her Lola) to add to your web site. She has adjusted beautifully to her new home and is enjoying her 2 cats and long walks in the woods with her new dog brother and family. She is very fast and runs circles around the other dogs in the neighborhood. Thank you! 



I just wanted to write and say that it was my privilege to be given the chance to help the shelter by organizing and participating in the Dakin 
Animal Shelter Ride For The Animals last year. My main motivation behind the ride was to be able to help raise money for the shelter and get attention for the shelter and its cause. The same day of the ride I left on vacation and left my dog with parents while I was away. When I got home a week later I had found that my dog was happier at my parents house because they were home more often then I was, being as at the time I was single and on the go a lot. But within a week there was a void without him around. So I thought maybe a cat would fit into my life a Little easier then a dog. So I went to the shelter and looked at some kittens. The one I first looked at was yet to be fixed and wouldn't be able to leave the shelter for a couple days. So I looked at a couple more kittens and one that was very shy and didn't want to be held or picked up caught my eye. Because even though she didn't want to be picked up once you were holding her she was happy and content. I fell in love instantly with her. She is now a very happy and healthy cat almost a year old. She is a very vocal cat and has no problem letting you know when she wants to be picked up and held.
There are not words to describe the joy that she has brought to my life. I just wanted to write to say thank you and send some pictures.
Thank You,


Here's an update on Leon. The photos are of him at his favorite windows on the world.  I adopted him three weeks ago from Dakin, and he's adjusting beautifully. First he got comfortable enough to try to get onto the sofa, then he learned not to try any more. He seems like a very quick learner. We're starting classes at Dakin on Saturday, and I think he'll have fun.  He's learning what the strange sounds and sights are, and that he doesn't have to be scared of them--like the neighbor's garage door opener, garbage trucks, an umbrella, a clock (?!), and a plastic horse model.  Actually, I just hid the horse toy; he may still be scared of it. :-) 
He wants to play with the cat that lives upstairs, but the cat will have none of it. Leon's a little daunted by the cat, which is good since it means he won't chase it.  The vet was very impressed with his care and condition. 
We walk around the neighborhood and he gets lots of admiring comments, and is very polite to people.  Sometimes he ignores other dogs, and sometimes he wants to make friends. He's learning not to pull on the leash, but nothing compares to squirrels. It's nearly impossible to get him away when he's treed one. He can sit and look out the windows for hours, watching the birds and cars and squirrels and everything else that goes on. He loves his beef marrow bones and pressed rawhide, and shaking his stuffed animals. And his buster cube--except when it gets caught under furniture, when he comes to ask me for help sometimes. We have a fenced-in back yard where he loves to run around and take in all the new scents. He loves playing ball in the back yard, and will throw his toys up and catch them. 
He's incredibly sweet and will sit next to me while I'm working, or lean on me. He goes right to sleep at night. I'm in graduate school, so I'm home a lot during the day working at my desk. Leon is really good company, and for the most part is completely happy just lying near where I am, sleeping or maybe chewing on something. 
Thank you so much for taking him in and caring for him. I've wanted to adopt a dog for years, and the circumstances finally came together. I'm glad I ended up with Leon.


Keisha and Arrow

Hello everyone! Keisha (adopted November 2003) and I (Arrow the cat, adopted in mid-2004) have been meaning to write for some time. As you can see, we have become great play-buddies. Sometimes Keisha is a little overzealous, though, so I have to remind her who's boss. I've shown the other two kitties that Keisha doesn't want to eat us, so they don't hide so much anymore and they even play with me sometimes!  (You would think strays from the streets of L.A. would be a little braver, but whatever). I still have my sinus problems, but my people give me antibiotics every month and don't seem to mind too much when I sneeze. I've watched Keisha become really good at her tricks. She knows "sit," "down," "come," "stay," "leave it," "kisses," and "shake" (though she sometimes uses the wrong paw for "shake," but that's OK since she's not going into politics). She often scares visitors with her deep and ferocious-sounding bark, even though she's really a big lug-nut, but she's learning "quiet." She also finally learned how to go into her crate on command, once she figured out that she got yummy treats for doing it. It's padded out really nicely so she stays comfy (I know because I nap there sometimes). So, we're happy and healthy and hope our friends at Dakin are too! We thank the staff for helping us find a permanent home and we want the animals to know that there's a good home somewhere for you too, so just hang in there.


Pablo and Nina

We are the proud parents of Pablo (Red) & Nina (Tan/White) Henley-Fernandez. Pablo & Nina were adopted by my wife Diana almost 5 years ago. She adopted Pablo in December 2000 and Nina in February 2001, they were both 9 months old at the time. I became their proud second Mom  in 2002. We just wanted to let you know that both of our little trouble makers are healthy, happy, and doing very well. Thank you very much for  your time and hard work.

Shakira & Diana 


I'm writing to give you an update on Horatio (formerly Lenny, formerly Jinx). He is such a wonderful, warm, loyal, charming little guy and has brought nothing but joy to our home. My two older cats have adopted him as their new little brother, and they -- at ages 9 and 12 -- are actually beginning to behave more "kitten-like" themselves since he arrived. Horatio and my Basset Hound have fallen in love. They snuggle, "wrestle," and follow each other around the house. Horatio is such a fantastic cat -- thank you for all your good work.


PS: Horatio even has his own page on Catster.com...voted "5 Paws!" 


My family recently adopted a smooth haired collie
named Amie from Dakin. We have some pictures that we
took that we wanted to share with all of you. She is
doing very well and enjoying country living and we are
all overjoyed to have her in our family. Thank you so
much for all that you do to help animals find loving homes.




I adopted Riggs who is in the attached pics in 1997 (I think) from your shelter. I was in school at the time and Riggs had been given back to the shelter twice. Well, he was very energetic at first, but that suited my life style fine. He even accompanied me on a 5 month drive around the country after I graduated school. Now Riggs lives w/ us on the beach north of Boston. He's the greatest and we couldn't ask for more. Thanks for your part in taking care of him before we got him.

Best, Jim

Coco Ann (now Charlotte)

Hello to all our friends at Dakin,

It's been over a month since we adopted Coco Ann, whom we've renamed Charlotte Foster Poe. She's fitting in with our other Aussie, Truman, quite well. She loves the good food we feed her and her coat is smooth and shining. Lots of running and playing has given her some great lean muscles too. I swear she doesn't look like the same dog that we brought home. She's learning daily. I have to keep reminding myself that at one year old she's still very much a puppy and she wants to know about everything. She's in basic obedience classes at Dakin now and I think she's the star pupil.

Thank you so much for having such a great shelter and for helping us find Charlotte. 

Lynnette, Brandon,
Truman & Charlotte Poe


We finally managed to get some pictures of Belle, now known as Grace, from the Menifee County Animal Shelter, one of which includes our cat, Callie (formerly known as Sasha ) also from the Dakin. Please tell the folks at Menifee that Grace is a bit hot right now, but loves her bones and toys, loves her friend the cocker Merlin and adores! the cat, Grace is a bit timid, but has discovered the joys of cool ponds, car rides, loves to run in the woods and is learning some basic obedience commands. She has been to my kindergarten classroom, the farmer's market, lots of different trails in the woods and walking in town. She is a wonderful, loving, stubborn girl and we wouldn't trade her for anything. Her coat has come in thick and beautiful, and she even has some new black markings on her tail and ears--we think her improved diet and exercise are having an effect on even her coat! Thanks so much for our girl.

Fruitloop and Rex (now Rumple and Buster)

Rumple (Fruitloop) and Buster (Rex) have adjusted to the family. Rumple thinks our dog Jake is his mother, Jake tries to gently move him away. Our cat Oscar finally decided that they weren’t going away so is starting to play with them. Both kitten are purr boxes and greet everyone at the door!





Dear Dakin,
Hi! I was just looking at your website and reading your "Gone Home" page and I just wanted to drop a note to thank you and update you about Mikey (formerly Albert) who I adopted with my friend John back in 2002. Mikey will be having his 4th birthday on April 9, 2006. He has grown and is quite big, but it seems like just yesterday when we adopted him and he was just a little fur ball. All the other kitties were curled up in the back of the cage, but Mikey was so eager to see what was going on outside! I fell in love the first time I saw him and I knew he was the cat for me. He loves sleeping on my head at night and getting into a little trouble now and then, but he is just a great cat all around. Attached is a picture of John, Mikey and me. Thank you for everything Dakin! 



Dear Folks at Dakin,
We adopted Bert back in late August, and have been meaning to send this email and a few photos. He's adapted to life in Providence, RI very well, and really enjoys going to the dog park not far from our house and playing with friends. He's also very much in love with my parents' dog, who lives in Pelham, MA. He's still a bit shy around new people, but he's coming out of his shell nicely. I'm sure in a year he'll be a very confident, well-adjusted dog.

Thanks for making it possible for him to become a part of our little family. Life here would not be be the same without him. 

Robert & Rachel

Sully and Precious

Hey, remember us? You called us “Sully” and “Precious.” Now our family calls us “Mr. Sullivan” and “Lia.” Thanks for taking such good care of us as kittens in Summer of ’06. See what healthy cats we’ve grown into?

Gone Home Photo


Life is good! I couldn’t be happier in my new home.

Gone Home Photo


Hi Friends. I’m loving my new home! My family keeps me looking glamorous. Do you know how many scarves I own? I sure am a lucky greyhound.

Gone Home Photo

Lily Kitten

This past January ’07 I went to my new home and guess what? I got a best friend! You know what else? My best friend is a Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society kitty, too! If you’re a foster family you may remember me and my sibs, we all had flower names. Thanks for taking good care of us, I’m such a grateful gal.

Gone Home Photo


Did you know that I had such a beautiful mane? Look at this coat! I bet my twin sister “Peony” is looking as good as I am in her new home. I’d like to let her know that I have a really great doggy friend that comes to play, as well as my very own toys. It’s super fun here!

Gone Home Photo


Pardon the silly face I’m making, but my big brother cat was making faces at me! This is me at Christmas with my Mom and Dad. They’re the best! Remember how tiny I was when I was sick and lived with my foster family? Well they did a great job taking care of me because now I’m a big girl

Gone Home Photo

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