Little dog finds big love in her new home

Debbie the black and tan dog lying on a wooden deck
Eleanor once lived in a home with too many dogs. Now, she’s living large and making her adopters laugh in the process.
By Best Friends staff

Mark Kiefer isn’t a rock star, but don’t tell this to Eleanor, the pint-sized pup he recently adopted from Best Friends in Los Angeles. Whenever he returns home, even after being away for just an hour or so, Eleanor greets him at the door like she’s his biggest fan.

“She goes nuts,” says Mark, elaborating on her signature style of welcoming him home. “She jumps up and down, runs around until we pick her up and give her some love. Sometimes she is so animated that she jumps into the air and lands on her back. She's just so excited.”

Maybe Eleanor is excited because she knows how much she’s loved. Or maybe she knows life is a lot better now than it was for her before she was brought to a shelter, along with two other pint-sized pups, from a home that had far too many dogs. From the shelter, the doggy trio came to Best Friends.

Last year around 378,000 dogs and cats were killed in our nation’s shelters just because they didn’t have safe places to call home. Best Friends’ goal is to support shelters across the country in reaching no-kill by 2025, and collaborating with our shelter partners to take in and place their pets in new homes is just one of the ways we work together toward that shared goal.

At first, Eleanor was nervous and shy. It took her a little time to let her guard down. But once she did, she became a total sweetheart to everyone she met (especially if they came bearing treats).

[Loving a shy dog: An adopter’s story]

It didn’t take long for her to capture the attention of Mark and his family. They’d been looking for a small dog who would be the perfect companion for their equally small pup. After meeting Eleanor, they knew she was the one and adopted her.

She settled into her new home quickly, and Mark says they were surprised (in a very good way) by how affectionate she turned out to be. Now, she loves to play games to get their attention. One game involves waiting until Mark makes the bed. Once he does, he picks up Eleanor and gently tosses her on the bed, making sure she lands safely.

“She comes right back and wants to be tossed over and over,” says Mark. “She also likes to wiggle free from under her dog blanket. And when she gets the zoomies, she runs full throttle through the house, or around the backyard, or in circles on our bed. She is a bundle of energy.” She also loves meeting people and dogs, too.

Of course, we all need rest at some point — even Eleanor. When she’s tired of playing, she cuddles close to her new family and sometimes even up to her new canine housemate. It seems she’s found the recipe for the good life: a lot of fun, a little rest, and plenty of friends.

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

Black and tan dog outside on the grass
Photo by Lori Fusaro

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