Two little puppies were discovered in a box alongside the road in Tennessee, scared and waiting for help.
A local rescue stepped in and helped the puppies find loving forever homes – or so they thought.
Keep reading to hear about one puppy’s winding journey to a forever home and the dedicated rescuer who never gave up.
Rushed to Safety
The puppies, later named Nona and her brother Nigel, were cruelly left on the side of the road in a box.
Alone and needing help, the puppies were so thankful when a local rescue stepped in to help.
The black lab mix puppies were both quickly placed in adoptive homes, hopeful for a life of love and joy.
While things seemed to go well for Nigel, Nona’s adoptive home was not quite working out for her.
“Nona was about a year old when her adoptive family decided to surrender her,” recalled Deb Tumenas, a volunteer foster for Great Dog Rescue of New England.
While surrendering a pet can be a responsible, though hard, decision, Deb was completely unprepared for this family’s reason. They didn’t like the way she looked.
“They surrendered her because she was, as the father said to me, never going to be a pure-bred black lab,” said Deb. “She’s always going to be this 35-pound black dog.”
Completely astounded by this families horrible attitude towards Nona, Deb wasted no time in finding Nona a home that would appreciate her the way she deserved.
Deb brought Nona home to foster, determined to give her a better life.
“She was in love with my other dog Cookie and they were running and playing. She was loving on me and my daughter. She was just fantastic,” said Deb.
Nona was perfect and Deb didn’t want to waste any time finding her the perfect home.
“We did find a lovely family. They were recently engaged, they were planning on getting married and starting a family,” explained Deb.
However, after a week the family came to the shocking discovery that Nona was going blind.
This posed a problem for everyone involved because this family knew their housing situation would be changing frequently.
“With a blind dog you have to keep the surroundings the same,” explained Deb. “They didn’t think it was going to be fair to the dog or fair for their future lives.”
Deb’s heart was breaking for Nona, who was on her way to a new foster home.
Good News Comes Knocking
Nona continued to drift between a new foster and other potential adopters, but things didn’t seem to be working out.
In the middle of all this, Deb decided to handle Nona’s adoption search personally.
It was during this time that Deb discovered something amazing.
“She was an excellent candidate for cataract surgery, but it would cost us $5,000,” said Deb.
Deb jumped into action, raising enough money through fundraising for Nona to have surgery.
“After surgery, Nona needed three different eye drops, three times a day,” said Deb. “And she was just fantastic about it. She would just sit there and let me put them in.”
With the help of Deb and her family, and Nona’s positive attitude, Nona was recovering quickly.
A Brief Respite
“My other dog Cookie, she would always take care of her,” recalled Deb. “When they were lying in bed Cookie was always licking her eyes.”
Nona was so loved by all at Deb’s home, but Nona couldn’t stay with Deb forever.
“My husband was like, we can’t have two dogs, we can’t have two dogs. So, she ended up being adopted out.”
Nona had her very last meet and greet, at a home with two resident cats.
Deb was crushed at the thought of Nona leaving. She set up a play date for Nona and Cookie two weeks later.
The day before the playdate, Deb received a call that made her heart sink.
Home at Last
Nona was being returned by the third adopters and after numerous foster homes.
“It crushed me. I was devastated. Because I had fallen in love with Nona,” said Deb.
The adopter asked how she can help Nona find her next adopter.
“I said Paige, Nona’s not going back into the program,” shared Deb.
Deb could not watch Nona go to another home just to be returned.
“I went and got her and it’s been two years since,” said Deb.
Nona finally got to rest easy, knowing she was at the place she had always belonged.
Now, she gets to enjoy life with her siblings, Cookie and Penny, and hang out with new fosters!
Happily Ever After
Deb, Nona, and the rest of their family have spent an amazing two years playing with and loving Nona the way that she had always deserved.
The road that led Nona to her forever home was not a straight one, but she ended up exactly where she and Deb always knew she belonged – with Deb.
We’re so thankful for people like Deb who never gave up on giving Nona the life she was meant to have!