Gonzo’s Bunny-Ears: Saving Lives Since 2007*

The moment we met Gonzo, we felt that it was his ears that helped spring him out of jail at one of the most overcrowded shelters in the DC area. Having spent almost two months with him, we were all the more convinced that the magnetism of his ears is so strong that they have the capacity to save more dogs than just himself. And now? Well, now we have proof.

We first met T through her inquiry about adopting Gonzo. Her family is perfect. Two boys, one young, one older, a big fenced yard, nice flexible schedules, another dog — a lab — who loves to play. T is absolutely charming, and was equally charmed by Gonzo through his bio and his blog. Because of the young age of one of her children, her application was not a match (Gonzo is a bit nippy with toys and is not allowed to go to a family with kids under 4ish). Sad to be losing a great potential adopter, I emailed her right away, offering to suggest a few dogs at local shelters who met her general criteria (smallish pit bull type, dog- and cat-friendly, young, and cute ears — a la Gonzo — if possible). After all, spring is the season of dogs being put to sleep in huge numbers, so it’s also the best time to adopt.

Much to my delight, T responded to my offer. I rushed to get in touch with friends at our local shelter, MCHS, who immediately recommended a sweet, young, timid pit bull girl named Precious. She even has cute, perky ears! Precious had been a shelter favorite because of her dainty, gentle nature and adorable, petite features, but as many pit bulls do, she kept getting overlooked. Unfortunately, her initial shelter photo kind of made her look like a haggard old lady:

Still, at my determined insistence, T agreed to make the long haul up to MCHS (30 miles is far for the DC area!) to meet her that week. And wouldn’t you know, it was love. They loved Precious’ temperament, her sweet eyes, her gentle nature, and her fabulous bat ears. Over the next few days, another visit ensued with the rest of the family, including dog Gretzky, a home interview, and a spay surgery for Precious. She was adopted!

No glamour shots of Precious (now Luna!) are available yet, but these show off her cuteness just a tad bit better. Check out those Gonz-esque ears!

During the application process, we got a very nice note from T about her experience working with us and with MCHS on the adoption. We were thrilled to hear about T’s great experience, and wanted to pass this along as an important reminder to our friends who are on the front lines of animal welfare work– whether in shelters, at rescues, or elsewhere. A bit of kindness and a willingness to treat every person as an individual just as you would treat every animal — can make all the difference.

“And any lingering twinge over the “Gonzo app” is negated by all the positives that came out of the situation. (Hopefully) A sweet angel of a dog is getting a forever home she might not have gotten otherwise, and in the process ya’ll (You, Bobbi and Dave)  may help a couple OTHER dogs find their forever homes as a result.
I know a few people who want to adopt a dog, but who’ve found the online adoption process to be rather daunting and overwhelming (all those dogs, and they all sound/look equally as adorable, but it’s not the same as meeting the dog in person)  and I’ve shared with them my experiences this far, and how helpful and supportive you all have been and they’re looking into adoption via MCHS and other local shelters in the coming weeks.
So if it all works out maybe a few more doggies with find forever homes that wouldn’t have if everything had gone perfectly and smoothly with the Gonzo adoption. Win!”

So Precious/Luna: congratulations on your beautiful new life, and Gonzo: your ears’ altruism clearly knows no bounds!

*Gonzo has technically been saving lives only since 2010, when he saved his own life, via his ears, at the shelter. But six months ago in human years is four years ago in dog years . . . right?

27 responses

  1. a happy story! when i volunteered for a small no-kill shelter in baton rouge, they were super picky about adopters. i had a speech i gave to all my friends who came in to look at dogs- how this organization has super high standards, don’t be discouraged, there’s the pound with tons of awesome dogs, etc. i just hate that so many people get turned off by the adoption process but know that it’s in the best interest of the dog.

    awesome job!

  2. I never understand why shelters and many rescues put the most unflattering pictures online for potential adopters. I feel a flattering picture would encourage a person to go and meet the dogs!

  3. Wow what an amazing ending! Congrats to Luna and her new family and an extra special congrats to you and your family for all you’re doing for these amazing animals. This blog Is so wonderful and the work you do is an inspiration. Thanks for bringing such much needed attention to this fantastic breed and shelter work in general 🙂

  4. What great karma Gonzo is putting out there! And so is Aleksandra! Petey looked VERY scary when I saw him at NYC’s ACC. But his personality shone through 🙂

  5. Oh, congratulations! That is wonderful news to hear – any dog adopted from a shelter is news worthy of a celebration!


  6. Way to Go Mr. Ambassador Ears! Aleksandra – I know this was touched on in a post a while back, but so often rescue groups just refuse the application and move on. Kudos to you for taking the time to recognize a great home and to help them find another great pup that is a better fit. MCHS – and all their rescues – are so lucky to have you on their team.

  7. Do you think those huge ears serve as karma catchers? Like big satellite dishes to harness positive energy?

    Well that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

    Hope Gonzo has his own happy adoption story soon.

  8. Oh My, Luna has such beautiful eyes, it looks like she’s wearing eyeliner.
    So glad to hear that she found her happy ending.

  9. Luna is beautiful and is so fortunate that you and Gonzo helped her to locate her forever home. You went above and beyond and because of that, Luna and (hopefully) other shelter pups will lead happy & healthy lives. I hope Gonzo’s perfect forever home comes along soon!!! Keep up the good (no…..great) work!!

  10. I was really happy to meet T and the family and I was REALLY excited when I heard that they got approved! It’s always nice to get recognized for doing something nice and being helpful but the real good feeling comes from seeing a great dog going home with a really cool family!

  11. Precious/Luna doesn’t even look like a “pitbull type” to me– I just see melty eyes and maybe and a sort of American bulldog head. Sad she sat overlooked so long!

    As for Gonzo’s “nippiness” with toys… is there any way to cure that? People without children under “four-ish” often have friends with kids that age; I would not adopt a dog that is a risk for a child of any age, even if I was childless, because my friends and family have many, many children, and this home has to be a safe place for all (including the dog, who is not allowed to be harassed).

    • We think Precious/Luna is pretty straight up “pit bull type” as far as that can go. The photos of her are not perfectly representative of what she really looks like. As for Gonzo- his nippiness is just that. He is absolutely not a biter. He shows no aggression in any form toward anything. The nippiness is better characterized as a slight inaccuracy with the teeth during play. If I am playing tug with him, he will sometimes tooth my finger when he is going for the toy. He doesn’t break skin, and I don’t think he would be unsafe for a family with kids, even very young ones. I think the rescue is just being extra uber cautious when they say they want him to go to a family without little tots, that’s all.

      • Fair enough! My own little one got “nipped” at the dog park today by a GS puppy who likes feet! Didn’t even break the skin, but kind of freaked her out. The owner was highly apologetic, but I refused to make an issue out of it. Something the dog will outgrow, I believe. And maybe Mr. Gonzo’s aim will improve. 🙂

  12. You guys are doing such an amazing job saving pit bulls and changing people’s attitudes about them. You’re such an inspiration! As for Gonzo, well, fantastic work saving the pitties! Precious Luna is adorable with those big ears and beautiful eyes (she looks like she’s wearing eye-liner).

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  15. I love Dogs with big ears. I almost adopted a put bull once that looked a lot like her. Unfortunately I was living with my parents at the time and the insurance company wouldn’t cover our insurance if I did. 😦 bunny ear dogs are awesome. ❤

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