ARF: Home is Where the Hounds Are

May 7, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures

by Wendy Hunter

Wendy Hunter is a volunteer with the Animal Rescue of Fresno. ARF will be sharing their animal rescue adventures with us now every month.

You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than beings because they know, but do not tell.-Emily Dickinson

If you missed the gigantic Fresno Fairgrounds Home & Garden Show back in March, you sure missed some big excitement. And I’m not just talking about the massive cinnamon rolls. I could talk about those amazing doughy dreams all day long, so warm and gooey, with melted icing and crunchy walnuts, smothered in dripping butter, layers and layers of decadent heaven just melting in your mouth…uh wait, where was I? Oh right. It was a fantastic three days for ARF’s animals that weekend, but not a great one for us volunteers, as we had to adjust our belt buckles a couple of notches afterward. It was a tough job, but we were willing to take it for the team, if it meant just getting one dog adopted.

Yes, if finding a few homes for our magical mutts meant having to ingest the aforementioned breakfast buns, along with gallons of Starbucks, we would do it. Because that’s the way we roll. And what did we get from all that sacrifice besides full bellies and caffeine jitters? I’ll tell you what we got: thirteen dogs adopted! Thirteen! That’s huge! Thirteen fuzzy faces who found a family to call their very own. Thirteen groups of lovely humans convinced they just couldn’t go home without a wagging tail and a slobbery grin. Case in point, Gwen and Mary. Two sugar cookie sisters who both went off to start their awesome new lives, with two different families. Because sometimes, you just have to take the pups to the people. Check out these lucky little beauties:





I think I can speak for all of our brave ARF dogs, when I say that the Home Show can be a bit overwhelming. Okay, VERY overwhelming. Yowza, it was a lot of activity, including one very well intended, but very ill-advised helium tank, and hundreds of very full balloons. POP! Talk about scaring the bejeezus out of a cowering crew…and the dogs didn’t like it either. There were thousands of visitors, including kids of all ages, anxious to pet and play with the pooches. And let’s face it, some pooches do better than others. For example, “Jenny,” who was the center of attention and loved it. Prancing around her kennel for all to see, she practically jumped out of her domino colored coat with excitement. What a gal; she worked that room like Giselle working a runway. In the end, her new owners were signing the papers, as another interested couple showed up just two minutes too late. In the world of pet adoption, it’s all about timing…you snooze, you lose!



Some of our other featured dogs took the stealth approach…quiet, unassuming, flying under the radar. I give you “Shirley,” a sweet charcoal-dusted poodle mix, who patiently waited most of the day for her new family to arrive. Although she attracted kids and adults alike, she remained fairly stoic and silent. She was taken out and held by lots of people, and put back by many more. Finally, a fantastic couple came along and it was love at first sight. Nothing made me happier than seeing her contentedly snuggled into her new mom’s arms, as if to say, “Now THIS is what I’ve been waiting for…what took you so long?” That old cliché never gets old – a picture really is worth a thousand words:



It’s true, these powwows like the Home Show are a lot of work. There’s no end to the supplies that must be packed and loaded and set up. Critters and kennels, toys and treats, blankets and bowls, and just about anything else you can cram into an already overstuffed van. That being said, these functions are critical to ARF’s survival. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been showing people around our facility, only to have them say, “Wow, I’ve never heard of you before,” or “Geez, I didn’t even know you guys were out here.” Yikes. That’s why participating in off-site gatherings is so important; it’s a chance for us to get our name out there. Add a few cute-as-a-button doggies for adoption, and voila! You got yourself a full blown opportunity to spread the word. That’s right folks, we preach the gospel of Rescue. So get thee to one of our many loyal meeting places around town, like Petco, and PetSmart. You’ll find lots of goodies for your buddy at home, and maybe even a new playmate to keep him/her company.

We even take our show on the road to places like the Sunmaid Kennel Club Dog Show, and to the incredibly generous clothing and home boutique that is Anthropologie. Talk about dog-friendly; they offer water bowls and snacks to your four-legged friend, while you shop for that perfect printed piece.

You can check out our fan page and website for upcoming events, including our annual “Woofstock,” which will take place June 11th at The Next Bar in Fresno. It’s an evening of food, fun, and frolic, with live music and comedy, and your opportunity to get out and support the ARF dogs. Check the Kings River Life Magazine’s calendar soon for a flyer and more details. We can’t wait to see you there! And now, take a look at a few more fortunate fidos from the Home Show:





See more on the ARF Facebook page:

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue.

Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF for just over a year. She grew up in Fresno and recently became an Office Assistant with Fresno County. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.


  1. Congrats, Wendy, on a very well-written and cute article in KRL. I’ve been an email subscriber to its newsletters for a couple of years — my first love being TCHOTK, The Cat House on the Kings [who had their spring Open House on Saturday, May 7]. I’m always interested in the animal founation-rescue articles, and wish I lived nearer to Parlier — CHOTK has three semi-feral cats I surrendered there when the VA hospital administration in West L.A. in 2010 ordered all us feral feeders to relocate our ‘charges’, or the VA would take steps to dispose of them…. Again, thanks – I loved your story! Regards, April Hutchings n Southern California. [BTW, most animal ‘people’ always know the names of most other rescues — many years ago I used to get donation solicitations from many of them!

  2. I went to the Home show and saw “Jenny” walking out the door with her new family. I can’t remember everything I saw at the show but I will always remember that happy, proud family. It made my day! I’m glad you showed a picture of Jenny…now I know I wasn’t just dreaming of this happy dog and her forever family.


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