Kenna’s Guardian Angels
(written by Rebecca, Kenna’s foster mom)

Anyone who knows me knows that I love dogs. Well, I love pretty much any creature, even the creepy crawly ones. But the softest spot in my heart is reserved for Australian Cattle Dogs, particularly rescues. I can’t help but to want to help those wayward furkids. Kenna was no different.

Having such a love of ACD’s, I am, of course, on an ACD internet forum. People from all over the world write in about their cattle dogs, whether it be a show dog or an agility dog or just a plain good companion dog. They also write in about cattle dogs that need rescuing. Who can pass up reading those posts? I can’t. For the most part, though, I am able to refrain from taking action, as we already have 4 dogs, 2 cats, a foster pigeon (yes, I said a foster pigeon), and 6 fish tanks. Do we need another mouth to feed or paws to walk? Sure. Well, no. Not exactly.

Sometimes, though, I can’t help myself.

The September 2006 post on ACD-L started out something like this: “4 month-old ACD puppy in GA gas shelter”. Well, that can never be good. So I emailed Jenny, a rescuer in MN, who had placed the post on the forum. I asked for some information and a picture. It turns out that the puppy had been turned in as a stray and was being held for 3 days to see if she would be claimed by her owners. She would then be put up for adoption FOR ONE DAY. The following day she would be gassed. The animal control facility that she was in did not allow puppies to be listed on their web site, so her life was riding on the chance that someone would happen to see her on that one day and adopt her.

Then Jenny sent a picture. If ever a dog looked forlorn, it was this one. She sat hunched in the corner of a cement run with a desperate look on her face. Who could resist? So, after consulting the other members of the household, I wrote back and told them that if they could get her to me, I would foster.

Kenna at animal control, in September 2006

A rescue in Minnesota responded. Melissa with Death Row Dog Rescue (who had sent this photo to Jenny in the first place) provided the funding and contacted Dawn in Georgia. Dawn (who is a volunteer for the humane society) and her husband Jason agreed to bust Kenna out of the Animal Control Facility on her one day of adoption. Poor Jason got wetted on by Kenna on their way home! They boarded her overnight and the following day a rescue volunteer (Chrissy of Animal Action Rescue out of Decatur) drove her the 4 1/2 hrs one way to the vet clinic in Mt. Juliet, TN, where I work. Tennessee Valley Cattle Dog Rescue, agreed to let me post her on their site and foster her under the umbrella of their rescue.

I named her Kenna. The little girl finally had a name. She was no longer just a number at the facility. I bathed her. She was covered in fleas. It was really bad. From there we moved on to the shots and the stool samples. Worms. Lots of them. Finally, I gave her a bowl of kibble and she took a much needed nap. She could rest now.

Over the next few days Kenna began to blossom. Her ears slowly came up. She stopped submissively urinating. She stopped crawling on her belly and whimpering when she so desperately wanted attention. She began to play with our puppy. She learned sit and down and a cute little trick where I would ask her if she was sleepy and she would lay down with her head between her paws.

It was only a matter of time before someone would fall in love with her. Sheryl, who lives in Baton Rouge, LA, saw Kenna’s web page on After reading her story, Sheryl knew that Kenna was just the puppy she was looking for to be her companion and to be a buddy for her ACD, Bleu. Sheryl and I met in Chattanooga, TN. It was love at first sight for both of them. Sheryl knelt down and Kenna climbed up into her arms. Soon there were wet puppy kisses everywhere. Kenna had found her forever home.

Sheryl wrote me a few days later to tell me that Kenna was wonderful. She and Bleu made instant friends and slept curled together in the front seat all the way home from the adoption. Sheryl, Kenna, and Bleu could not be happier.

It is amazing to me how many people in how many states were involved in saving this little dog from death. Rescuers in GA asked Melissa for help, Melissa sent the info to Jenny in MN, who posted a plea on ACD-L. I, in TN, answered. Melissa in MN provided funding and organized her rescue and transport by volunteers Dawn, Jason, and Chrissy in GA, Michael in TN provided the umbrella of his rescue, hosted her page and allowed Sheryl in LA to find her. What a wonderful group of people. Kenna thanks you!

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