Friday, March 5

Hoover: The Rescue Dog Who Rescued My Family

“Dogs are always good and full of selfless love. They are undiluted vessels of joy who never, ever deserve anything bad that happens to them.” – Steven Rowley

Before I start telling you all about Hoover, I wanted to thank you for all of your incredibly kind comments on my Facebook page and this blog post (still trying to comment on them all). Wow, I am overwhelmed by gratitude for you guys!  It has been so therapeutic to read all of your comments, thank you. And also thank you for your thoughts and prayer for my family. It has been a rough start of the new year, but things are starting to look up and we are counting our blessings, not our troubles.

Isaac has started physical therapy and he has graduated from his crutches to his cane (we call him Mr. Peanut) and now he can walk unassisted! It will be a year or two before he is 100% recovered, but already he is healing well. His physical therapy has been a godsend, and thanks to our GoFundMe account it is all paid for, in addition to helping pay for our replacement (and extra safe) car. Thank you so much!!!

If you read my last post, you know that our beloved fur baby Piper was killed by a drunk driver who totaled our car. We are heartbroken as Piper was a member of our family, constant companion, and we loved him so much. We rescued him when he was 6 weeks old and he was only 6 years old when he was killed. What wonderful adventures we had with him over the years 

While grieving for the loss of Paul's sister and dealing with the damage inflicted on our kids, we also had a huge hole in our lives without Piper. One evening, just a day or two after Isaac returned from the hospital, Luke and I were sitting on the couch talking about Piper. His bark collar was still sitting on the table where we last placed it as I wasn't able to put any of his things away yet. As we were getting up, it beeped one time. It has never done this before, and it was fully charged and on, so Luke and I decided that Piper was letting us know he was OK. 

There is plenty of room in heaven for fur babies.

We heard phantom barks, knocks on the back door, his little toe nails tapping on the floors. I would cut up a cucumber and look for Piper so I could give him a slice. I would glance outside the door to see if he was ready to come in. I would grab his leash when I headed out for a walk. 

I had so much on my plate, physically and mentally. My family and I were overwhelmed with grief and we were in the middle of a forced kitchen and bath renovation so it was bad timing to get a new fur baby. 

My mother had recently rescued a dog with our help, so I was still on all of the local rescue sites on Facebook. I would have a daily reminder of sweet dogs who needed good homes, but I tried to stay strong. But it was just too quiet without Piper.

One day I saw a photo of a cute small black lab mix female that needed a home at FMCTAS. I thought I could just see if she was adopted, just in case. Lucy had found a loving home, but Sandra of FMCTAS told me she had another black lab mix (a male) that was available for adoption. She had rescued his black lab mom 2 years ago and he was one of ten puppies. He was adopted right away, but unfortunately his family had personal reasons come up where they had to re-home him. They hated to do it since he was a family dog and had two human toddler siblings. But they really didn't have a choice.

Poor Donut (his name at the time) was back with his foster mom and had horrible separation anxiety. He was heartbroken since he lost his family of almost two years and he was scared to trust again. After I heard his story I had to bring the kids and my mom to go check him out. As Sandra had predicted, he was a little scared of us at first, but after a few sniffs he became our best friend. I took one night to sleep on it, and we returned with Paul the next day to take him home on a trial basis.

I wanted to mention that Sandra of FMCTAS is wonderful and really directed us to the dog that was a perfect fit for our family. You can tell she has so much passion fostering dogs and cats, and she is amazing.

Paul fell in love with Donut instantly. He has never one that encouraged dogs to sleep on the furniture. Piper, who he adored, was only allowed to cuddle with me on the couch. And Piper slept on his doggy bed every night like the good boy he was.

But Paul worried that Bob Hoover (Paul decided on his name BEFORE I brought him home), was stressed and thought it important that he be treated with extra special care the first days we had him. So he was invited to cuddle with Paul on Paul's leather recliner couch.

And my couch. With Paul.

On our bed. With the family.

Paul couldn't very well drink coffee and have Hoover on the floor.

And Paul made sure Hoover had his own little pillow to rest his weary head.This dog loves to sleep.

Hoover was an angel and we all fell in love with him. You would think with everything that had happened to us that month, we were maxed out on horrible situations. I was on edge as it was, trying to conquer my fear of driving the boys around and dealing with Isaac's broken leg and our family's emotional health.

But Feb. 2021 was not yet over.

We have a big balcony off our bedroom that Piper loved to hang out on. Hoover liked to follow me everywhere, so when I went to go brush my teeth one morning I let him go sit on the balcony while I was in the bathroom. 

When I came out I couldn't find him anywhere. Then some movement caught my eye and I saw that Hoover had squeezed between the balcony railings and managed to jump down to the garage roof. He was at the edge of the roof, looking down at the pavement below. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Literally.

My heart started racing and I rushed over and called him to come to me so I could pull him back up. He was having fun and running around the roof without a care in the world. My heart dropped and I realized that I was going to lose another dog, weeks after I lost Piper. He was going to fall to his death and there was nothing I could do about it.

I ran inside screaming to Paul to come immediantly.

Paul was terrified that something horrible had happened and couldn't find me on the second floor, but finally heard me outside on the balcony. When he ran out Hoover was sitting on the peak of the roof of the garage, enjoying the view. Paul calmly called him and was able to pull him back up on the balcony. Hoover was saved! 

I had to take two Triple Calm magnesium pills and one lavender pill as I had a complete panic attack. We almost lost our new fur baby and we hadn't even adopted him formally yet. Thank God he was OK! And obviously he will never be allowed on the balcony again.  I felt like the worst dog mom ever, so I added a dash of guilt to my grief.

After that we realized that Hoover was our baby. So we formally made Hoover a permanent member of our family. And we celebrated with a walk around the neighborhood.

And a walk around the Greenbelt.

We showed him off to our friends and he was a perfect gentleman.

And he made an instant fur friend for life with my parent's rescue dog Luna. 

This 2 year old mutt with a heart of gold is helping us cope with life right now. He loves people, dogs and ignores cats. Walks on the leash perfectly. Hardly barks. Sleeps like a baby but snores like a big guy. Takes food from your fingers with such a gently touch, and has zero food/toy aggression. He wants to be with us 24/7 but will hang out in the house for a while if he can't come out with us. Hoover loves riding in the car and going on adventures, but is just as happy cuddled by his family on the couch or bed. He is pretty low energy but will play when prompted. We can bring him outside in the front yard and he stays close and doesn't wonder off. He has no interest in chasing cars, and loves kids. 

We have had workers coming in and out of the house since we have had him and he is doing great. So proud of him since many rescues wouldn't be able to handle so many strangers, loud noises, and strange smells. 

Yes, he is perfect for our family. We love him.

But I did find something he doesn't like. My big camera! I took it out to take some photos of him and  he started barking at it! I had to put it down and let him sniff it, but he is still suspicious. Funny since he is a big poser when it comes to my iPhone camera. Maybe he just does't like Canons.

So this is the story of Hoover. The dog who saved us.

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart.”―Author Unknown

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for all the actions/presets and professional design elements, storyboards, and textures.


  1. I love this story! Praying for you all and so sweet you’ve been blessed by this perfect new furr-baby!

  2. Oh heck, Rita!! You have me crying again but I also think I'm a little in love with your new fur baby!! I'm so glad you took the plunge and brought him home! I can't imagine any therapy better than the unconditional love of a dog! They soothe and entertain at the same time! Congratulations!!

    1. Pattye, I am just getting around to answering these comments and I wanted to say you are so right! Hoover was a little angel sent to help our family heal. Rita

  3. I'm glad to hear your family is recovering from the heartbreak and pain. You can never replace a beloved dog but there is always room in your heart to love another one.

  4. I am still so sorry for everything that has happened to your family and poor Piper but grateful you are all alive and on the mend and that Hoover has come to your family to help you heal.

  5. What a beautiful story to live. Sorry for your loss and pain. Thank Dog/God for Hoover. He is a beautiful soul.

  6. I had somehow missed your last post and had to go back and read it to catch up. I am so glad you and your sons survived this horrible crash and so sorry about your lovely dog Piper who was obviously still trying to get up and help you all even with a broken back. Animals are just amazing and I know your Hoover, who is now joining you in your recovery from his own emotional trauma of being separated from his first family, is going to be a stalwart member of yours. All my best to you and both of your sons. The broken leg was so severe and being a young driver under those circumstances...well, I am glad neither remembers the accident.

  7. I am so happy to hear that you are back in a place where the blessings outweigh the troubles. It is wonderful that so many people were able to help out and donate in order to contribute towards the medical bills and the new vehicle. Though sometimes it doesn't look like it, there are still so many good people out there and I'm glad that your family was able to benefit from their incredible generosity. I am also happy to hear that Issac is progressing so well with his therapy and there is hope that his injury will heal completely down the road with enough time and therapy. Once again you set me to tears talking about sweet Piper. I completely agree that animals that have passed have a place in heaven and I'm sure Piper is up there hanging out with the other pups having a great old time.
    Goodness, Bob Hoover certainly put you through hell that day, didn't he?! You can't blame yourself though. It is just a matter of learning what troubles your new pup can get up to and then trying to funnel some of that enthusiasm elsewhere. You're a great dog mom and will figure out Hoover soon. Looks like it didn't take long for him to adjust to a new family. It sounds like he is fitting right in and such a good dog. Definitely what your family needs right now to assist with the healing. I love that last quote. It is so true that one animal can never replace another. They just fill your heart in new and wondrous ways. Continuing to send my thoughts and prayers as your family progresses on its journey to heal. ♥Lisa D.

  8. Hi Rita, I used to follow you blog but then as my interests changed from digital to mixed media you fell off my radar. I arrived here through a link from The Graphics Fairy and I immediately recognised you. I was amazed to see how your kids have grown - Isaac was just a teeny kid when I used to visit and Luke is now taller than you - heck, he's even taller than his dad! (I have 16-year-old too and he's only just reached my height!) I was shocked to read what had happened to your family and I'm so sorry. The unfairness of it makes me angry, but I guess, that's not helpful. I admire your positive attitude and I can only imagine how hard it must have been. I shed a few tears for Piper - I remember seeing him as a puppy. I'm glad Hoover came into your life and brought you all joy to heal the emotional wounds, and I'm also hoping that Isaac is now fully recovered. Wishing the very best to you and your family xx

    1. Zsuzsa, so happy you came back and visited!!! I love working for the Graphics Fairy, they are so nice over there. Yes, Luke is so tall now, almost 6'2" and still growing! And Isaac is now taller than me. It was a crazy beginning of the year for sure and without all of the wonderful supportive people in my life I don't know if I would have made it through without a nervous breakdown. I have shed many a tear for Piper, especially since I have to drive by the wreck area almost every day. It still breaks my heart to think what he went through and that I could not say good-bye. It is easier with the boys since they are with me and doing so well. I realized I have got through the anger and now just feel blessed that we humans all survived and are healed! It is a miracle we didn't get killed and I am so thankful to have this extra time on earth with my amazing family. Thank you so much for your kind words, I really do appreciate it!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a message, I love reading them! All comments are personally moderated by me and I will post and answer them them as soon as possible.