It started with Gizmo, a darling Pug. Our niece needed a dog sitter so we happily volunteered. I loved having a snuggly warm fur baby after fifteen years without one to accompany me on beach walks and bark wildly while running around in circles whenever I’d come home.

Gizmo on Blanket
Gizmo on my granddaughter’s blanket (this is our niece’s dog we dog sat helping us to want a dog of our own)
Photo credit: Sandi Harrington

Sadly, we couldn’t keep Gizmo forever. In preparation for that day, I checked out Clatsop County Animal Shelter in Warrenton, Oregon. Since Gizmo was a rescue dog, the seed had been planted for us to adopt a Rescue.

Not finding a pug there, I searched the Internet and found the cutest puggle (half Pug/half Beagle) at Rescue Strong Oregon. I submitted an application and heard back the following morning. We made an appointment for Friday.

Snuggles' Left-Sided Scar
Snuggles’ left-sided scar
Photo credit: Sandi Harrington

When my husband and I arrived at the shelter, Puggles (aka Chugster’s mom) was quite skittish and I could see a gigantic scar on her left lower side where hair was starting to grow again.

We were told she was attacked by a vicious animal, tearing a hole in her back and leaving a scar on her face. A local veterinarian had donated her services by performing several surgeries and blood transfusions on Puggles. I am forever grateful to that caring vet.

Puggles (Chugster's Mom) Online
Puggles (Chugster’s Mom) Online (when I saw this online photo of her, I knew she was the one we wanted).
Photo credit: Rescue Strong Oregon

After visiting with Puggles and helping her feel more comfortable, Puggles’ foster mom handed her over calling her “Mama” as she said her goodbyes.

We were dogless for five short days when we found ourselves driving home with our new puggle sitting on my lap! We discussed another name for her on the drive home. My husband wanted to name her Hope. Our granddaughter wanted to name her Snuggles. I didn’t care, she had three names already! 

We decided her adopted name would be “Snuggles Hope”. Snuggles was exceedingly shy, extremely timid, and immensely confused as to what was happening to her. She was quaking with fright all the way home and I hoped she’d learn to trust us.

We made our way to Petco and bought her everything she needed. She had trouble settling in, having “accidents”, but we were patient and tried to help her feel at home.

The next day was Saturday, Snuggles’ first day in our home. While I ran errands, my husband took her on a walk with her new pink harness and leash! It was a beautiful sunny day, a dream come true. Until it became a nightmare!

“We were walking toward the post office,” my husband told me later. “Suddenly, a truck sped by with a pit-bull hanging out the window barking.”

Before my husband could blink, Snuggles bolted out of her harness and took off racing toward the highway. My husband called her name, but she wasn’t used to her fourth name yet.

Snuggles Sitting in her Chair
Snuggles sitting in her chair
Photo credit: Sandi Harrington

A recently traumatized sweet little dog with a new name, a new town, a new home, and a new family – LOST. It definitely WAS a nightmare!

My husband called me and our daughter immediately and we all went searching. No Snuggles anywhere!

We called the police, posted it on Facebook, texted our friends and neighbors, and most of all prayed. A LOT! We searched. For hours. No sign of Snuggles. Did she get hit by a car? Did someone pick her up? I wondered why God had even given her to us, simply to take her like this. We finally headed home. There was nothing else to do. But as our daughter was driving home, she spotted Snuggles near the highway in Gearhart. She carefully got out of her car and called for Snuggles but once again, she bolted! My husband joined our daughter in the search again, but Snuggles had disappeared.

The evening was approaching, daylight was fading, and all we could do was walk the entire neighborhood, call for Snuggles, and continue to pray.

Snuggles Happily Sitting in her Car Seat
Snuggles happily sitting in her car seat (we tried two others, but the third time was a charm).
Photo credit: Sandi Harrington

Exhausted, my husband went home, our daughter went home, but my friend and I refused to go home. We got into her car and continued to search.

We drove up and down streets pausing to shine high beam lights into possible hiding places. We called her “Mama” and shook a bowl of dog food in hopes she was hungry enough to come. Nothing.   

Well after dark, my cell phone rang. It was my husband reporting Snuggles was HOME! We sped to the house and there she was, lying on my husband’s lap, stinky, muddy and exhausted! How prophetic her middle name was Hope.

“I heard a noise outside, but didn’t see the motion lights come on,” my husband said. So he slowly opened the door, turned on the porch light, and there sat Snuggles!

She came through the gate my husband left open for her, to the only house she recognized with her amazing instincts. It was then we realized Snuggles finally knew this was her forever home!

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