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Miles for Moe!

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Naperville Sun
by Natalie Ruppert, Special to the Sun
September 7, 2010

The one and only, MOE!

In June, my family rescued Moe, a mixed-breed dog (or, as my kids lovingly tell anyone who asks, "a total mutt") from A.D.O.P.T. in Naperville.

But that's not where our story begins. Our story begins in April, with a foster dog named Lucy from a Chicago rescue. We fostered Lucy for two weeks and in that short time, we fell in love with her and she with us. The only problem? She was seriously aggressive. On the advice of a trainer and after talking extensively with the rescue organization, we decided it wasn't safe to keep Lucy in a home with two small children. So Lucy went back. And we went to A.D.O.P.T. the very next day -- both of my girls heartbroken and wearing lockets with Lucy's photo around their necks.

For the next few months, we worked with Laura, one of the adoption counselors at A.D.O.P.T. She knew what we were looking for in a dog -- or what we thought we were looking for. We said we wanted a large dog, a high-energy dog, a playful dog.

But Laura saw what we weren't seeing. My girls (ages 6 and 4), who wanted a dog desperately, were tentative around most of the dogs they met -- unsure of bigger dogs, afraid of high-energy dogs who showed affection by jumping and licking.

So we waited until the fateful day in June when I e-mailed Laura to check in and she wrote back, "I just got the greatest dog. He'd be perfect for you."

...and the rest is history!

The rest is history.

I think people tend to worry that rescue dogs are problem dogs. That couldn't be further from the truth. Moe doesn't bark. He doesn't jump on the furniture. He's housebroken. He walks well on a leash. He is the most well-mannered, sweet-tempered dog I have ever met. To borrow a phrase from a sign I saw recently in a gourmet dog store (yes, Moe is spoiled), "A shelter dog rescued this family." Moe may be living the sweet life now, but we're getting an awful lot from the relationship too.

The sad truth is that without A.D.O.P.T., Moe would have been euthanized. Not only was he unlucky enough to end up at a high-kill shelter (which is where he was before he found his way to A.D.O.P.T.), but he was also heartworm-positive, which probably put him even higher on the list to be euthanized. Heartworm disease is a serious condition that can be deadly if left untreated, but treatment is expensive, and many shelters choose to euthanize infected dogs.

At A.D.O.P.T., Moe got the treatment he needed, and he will continue to be treated until he is officially declared heartworm-free (which our vet found pretty impressive).

Moe's marathon is over, but he has plenty of pals with paws over at A.D.O.P.T. who still need forever homes. This October, I'll be running the Chicago Marathon to try to help A.D.O.P.T. raise much-needed funds to continue to do the work it does so well. Fundraising proceeds will be put toward concrete dog runs, which will give the dogs a place to play while also cutting down on the spread of doggy diseases.

If you'd like to make a contribution, please visit All proceeds go directly to A.D.O.P.T.

About the Author:
Natalie Ruppert is a writer and editor living in La Grange Park. She has participated in three half-marathons and is currently training for the Chicago Marathon. Moe contributes to her training by giving her sad, mournful looks whenever she puts on her running shoes. Her children contribute in the same way.

Check out Moe's Blog!


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