Home for the Holidays: An Animal Rescue Story For Christmas

Dec 21, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Lee Juslin, Pets

by Lee Juslin

McGee was a stud. Now, though, instead of living in a kennel where he sired lots of pups, he’s in his forever home. But, that’s not to say that he isn’t still a very handsome boy!

When McGee’s breeder died, her son gave McGee to Scottie Rescue. After the usual vetting done by rescue– including being neutered– McGee was ready for the good life. Barbara, who had learned about McGee through the rescue’s website, was drawn to him and immediately called to apply to adopt him. Unfortunately she was told that another family had an appointment to meet him that very afternoon. Barbara was disappointed. However, when an adoption didn’t go through for that family, Barbara had her chance.


McGee lived in a foster home on Long Island, New York, and Barbara was in upstate New York so she had about an eight hour drive. A veteran of rescue adoptions–McGee would be her fifth rescue–Barbara was undaunted and made arrangements to drive down to meet McGee. The only problem was Emma, a five year old rather excitable Scottie that Barbara had previously adopted. “Once before we tried to take in a second rescue with our existing Scottie and it didn’t work. I wanted to be sure that Emma and McGee would accept each other.” Barbara and the rescue volunteers allotted an hour for the visit and crossed their collective fingers and toes.

McGee and Emma

After only twenty minutes, Emma and McGee were romping and chasing like old friends. Emma loved him at first sight and McGee thought Emma was pretty special, too. “That was all it took. All of us witnessing the ‘reunion’ knew McGee would be a good fit for us.”

At home, Emma, although younger, is the alpha and she is teaching McGee the ropes. For instance, McGee knew nothing about toys which Emma thoroughly enjoys. So, to encourage him, Emma will carry a toy over to McGee and drop it in front of him inviting him to play. McGee also didn’t know about the delight of treats, but Emma has taught him about that as well.

I've heard about these treats. Where are they?

Surprisingly, McGee walks well on a leash, travels easily in the car and is crate-trained. He is a good contrast to Emma as he is more laidback, not as apt to bark and much less excitable. In fact, McGee on occasion goes into his crate just for a time out, especially when Emma goes on a rant about a dog commercial on TV. She hates those! On those occasions, Emma will often go over and put her head in the crate just to check on him. “Sometimes they even try to get into the crate together which makes me a bit nervous,” Barbara said, “but there’s never really been a cross word between them. Emma runs the show which seems fine with McGee, but occasionally he does talk back to her.”

McGee enjoying Dad's chair

McGee is still adjusting to a life of leisure. He’s nervous around loud noises and raised voices, but with Emma’s help he’s learning to relax, trust and have fun. Soon McGee will have a big surprise because every year at Christmas, Barbara and her family host a big family party of twenty to thirty people. This year, however, everyone is coming to celebrate, not just Christmas, but McGee’s special day as well, because Christmas Day will be McGee’s ninth birthday.

The Greater New York/New Jersey Scottie Rescue is an all volunteer, 501C3 organization that depends on the kindness of friends and strangers. If you would like to learn more about this dedicated Scottie rescue group, donate or volunteer, visit their website.

You can find more animal rescue, therapy animal, and other pet related articles in our pet section.

Want to know how to see your ad like this at the end of an article? Email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] for more info. 10% of all ad sales goes to animal rescue.

Lee Juslin is a free lance copywriter living in North Carolina with her husband, Scott, and her band of misfits: Tarquin, a Wheaten Scottish Terrier, and three handicapped cats. They can be seen on their website: Hampshire Hooligans. She owns I B Dog Gone, a small embroidery business and is the author of the Nurse Frosty books for children and Frosty’s Story: Tales of a Therapy Dog. She supports a number of national and regional terrier rescue organizations.


  1. Another wonderful rescue story that can make us all a little happier this Christmas.

  2. well, like they say — ‘Dogs Drool, Girl dogs Rule’ – it’s a good thing that Emma is so willing to show McGee the ropes from the right end – and being a fellow with ‘experience’ I’m sure
    he was a quick study!
    Wonderful story for right here at the Holidays

  3. What a heart warming story. I have a small mixed terrier named Shilo. Three years ago my daughter went to a shelter to look at a cat and came home with Shilo. Her owners were getting a divorce and couldn’t keep her. Shilo and my daughter’s cats didn’t get along so my husband and I took her in. The best day of my life.

  4. Wonderful story! Happy birthday, McGee! And Merry Christmas to Emma and the 2-leggeds. Ha!

  5. McGee couldn’t have found a better home and two more caring parents than Jim and barbara. I can guarantee he will have the best home he could have found.I have seen him at the house and not only is he precious,but he is happy and Emma is a sweetheart. A great Christmas to you all.mju meu


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