Feral to Fabulous is an ongoing blog series about the feral dogs No Kill Kern captures and rehabilitates.

Shaggy was found running stray in Bakersfield, CA.  He was stinky, playful and yet very apprehensive about trusting us.  We tried the dog trap, we tried to free hand catch him, nothing worked.  Finally Valerie went to get a tennis ball from her car and while the door was open he jumped in and basically rescued himself.

And that was the beginning of what would be a months long battle with Shaggy, it was his way or no way at all for so long that he learned to live by his own rules and to use his mouth to get what he wanted.

Shaggy was also very sick and required medication that I had to administer daily for months.  His hair was matted, he was in pain, his fur was full of scabs and he didn't want to have anything to do with me.  Battle after battle, day after day and I felt like we were getting no where.  Suddenly, just as he decided to rescue himself, he decided we would be best friends.  I'll never forget when he jumped onto my lap unexpectedly, wanting to be pet but still glairing at me warning that if I didn't do it just right he would try to bite me.

My little Shag-Pie was selected to be in a handful of dogs worked with by Cesar Millan for a training seminar.  He spent 5 days surrounded by some of the best trainers in the world and he won over each and every one of them as he had won over me. 

Piece by piece, we worked together, with mutual love and respect until one day he was ready to leave my care.  Shaggy went to a new foster with children and did amazing.  He was a far cry from the wild dog we had saved just a few months before and was ready for the next chapter of his life to begin.

Shaggy meet an amazing couple with a dog just his size.  He went to live out his days with them and we couldn't be happier to see him with such a wonderful home.


Hachika's story was brought to our attention by a friend who had seen her living in a field near his home for months.

Upon arrival, we watch Hachika while she went about her daily routine.  She would walk down the road to a corn field, drink water from their irrigation ditch, swim in the sump across the street, walk back and lay in the middle of a field just off the main road. It was almost 100 degrees and she was not hiding under shelter for shade, she wasn't digging a den to stay cool, she would only lay in field with the sun beating down on her.

We had to figure out why she kept returning to that spot so we slowly approached. That's when we saw the body of another dog who had been struck down by a car, badly decomposed but almost every piece remained. Hachika was guarding her fallen friend. 

We set to work developing a plan to capture her, it was one of the hardest rescues I've ever been a part of.  When we saved this dog, we didn't have a dog trap.  Everything would have to be freehand, in a field, in the middle of nothing with miles for her to run in each direction and the occasional farm house. 

After 3 days, we moved the body while she was off drinking water.  A neighbor allowed to let us use his gated yard to trap her.  12 hours later, the will to be near her friend was too great to resist and she entered the yard, laid under a tree and fell asleep.

We had just enough time to block the 3 gates that she could escape from.  I dropped down a leash as she tried to push past me and just like that, our battle to capture this dog was over.

At first she seemed sad, then scared, then overjoyed when she realized we wouldn't hurt her.  The thought of leaving her friend behind never crossed my mind, as she hadn't left them behind after all of these months.  We had her friend picked up, cremated and some of the ashes placed in a charm for Hachika to keep with her, always.

Hachika quickly found a home with an amazing family.  Now she has a new fur brother, fur sister, mom and dad as her pack.  She also has her friend, who we named Angel, hanging from her collar. 

The video of her rescue has been viewed over 1,000,000 times! Her inspirational story of loyalty is one worth reliving.

Check out her RESCUE VIDEO HERE!