Skinny bundle-of-love dog gains weight, then a family

Molasses the black and white dog sitting and wearing a purple bandana with colored flowers on it
Molasses was tiny and tired when firefighters found her, but now this once-lost pup is finally home.
By Karen Asp

“Weak” isn’t a word you’d associate with Molasses now. But when the two-year-old dog — with her big brown eyes and toes that look like they were dipped in white paint — was found as a lost pet in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, she had so little strength that she almost couldn’t walk.

What Molasses lacked in might she made up for in affection, and you might say her gentle nature helped her get to where she is today. She charmed everybody she met, including the woman who would eventually adopt her.

Dog decompresses in foster home

Firefighters found this sweet girl, naming her Molasses and taking her to the Pine Bluff Animal Shelter when nobody claimed her. Her first pictures show her to be a skinny dog with a not-so-healthy coat, and her history will always be a mystery. What was clear to the staff, though, was how loving Molasses was.

During her time at the shelter, Molasses put on some much-needed weight before coming to Best Friends in Northwest Arkansas. Then, she went to a foster home.

“Molasses needed a home where she could fatten up, rest and decompress,” says Linda DeBerry, Best Friends senior specialist for strategic communications and outreach, who enjoyed spending time with Molasses in Northwest Arkansas.

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For the next several weeks, Mo, as she became known, spent time in two foster homes — moving from 27 to 38 pounds, learning to play and soaking up all the belly rubs she could get.

“Her foster [families] were amazed at what good manners she had, even after having been through so much,” says Linda, adding that Mo was housetrained, slept in her crate and excelled with kids. “She was a real snuggler.”

When she visited the Best Friends lifesaving center, Mo won hearts. “She just went from person to person soaking up the love,” Linda says.

In August, Molasses was even featured on a local TV station as the adoptable pet of the week. As coincidence would have it, she also met her adopter that same month — but not because of her news fame.

Music-loving, happy dog

Nancy Osuna has always had Labs in her life, but when she went looking for a dog to adopt in August, she didn’t care about the breed. Adopting a rescued dog was the important factor to her. “It’s just not right that so many dogs are being abandoned, even abused,” says Nancy.

She had mentioned to the Best Friends team that she was looking for a dog, and when she learned about Molasses, she didn’t hesitate to get to the lifesaving center.

When she met Molasses, she was immediately drawn to her. “She was happy, bouncing around and playing with the toys people were giving her,” says Nancy. That’s when the team asked Nancy if she wanted to foster Mo for a few weeks to see whether the fit would be right.

The answer was easy, and shortly, Mo and Nancy were riding home together — Mo’s love of car rides soon evident.

From day one, Mo showed Nancy what a good houseguest she was, exhibiting the same behaviors she had in her other foster homes. Her personality also came out. “She’s always making me smile and giggle,” Nancy says.

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For instance, whenever Nancy goes to put the footrest up on her recliner, Mo always jumps up to snuggle close, and if there’s something in her spot, she’ll whine until Nancy removes it. Mo also likes to listen to music, putting her nose on the stereo speaker for 30 seconds at a time. And Mo can never get enough of tug-of-war and fetch.

About three to four weeks after taking her home, Nancy officially adopted Mo. Of course, she still wonders about her past, given that Mo has scars on her legs and it appears as though she probably had at least one litter of puppies. Some details of her life before landing in a shelter will remain a mystery to those who love her today.

None of that matters, though, for this once-lost pup is now home.

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