Going the Distance for Dogs

Family takes road trips to get rescues.



PetSmart Charities animal adoption story Moses BachmanWhen hunting dogs are less than perfect at their jobs, they’re usually abandoned, and sometimes even shot. Either Moses wasn’t a great hunting dog, or his previous owner had pretty bad aim; the purebred German Shorthaired Pointer was found with 28 pieces of buckshot in his back and a ruptured eardrum from a shotgun blast.


Moses was ten pounds underweight when he was discovered wandering around Nampa, Idaho. He also had serious food allergies. But this thin, mostly deaf dog was about to meet a family willing to go the distance to love him.


Using the GPS to find a GSP

“We were looking for a German Shorthaired Pointer,” says Dana Bach Johnson, a marketing consultant living in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Bo, also a marketing consultant, and their sons Mak, 13; Ryder, 11; and Sam, 8. “We’d just lost a beloved dog, and I was trying to figure out what would pull at Bo’s heartstrings to get another. He grew up with a GSP, so I started looking for one.”


Dana found a German Shorthaired Pointer rescue group online, and after a lengthy application process, a candidate was found in Idaho. “We made a deal to meet them at the halfway point,” Dana remembers. “We packed up the kids, drove across the state, and did an overnight so we could meet Moses.”





PetSmart Charities dog adoption story Moses BachmanDog’s best friend

Moses made a good impression on the Johnsons, and they made a good impression on the rescue group. At home, he adjusted quickly. The Johnsons came up with a form of sign language to communicate with the nearly deaf dog: an arm waved overhead meant Let’s go, a hand held out meant Sit. Moses seemed happy in his new home, not asking for much more than to lie by the fireplace or snuggle with the boys.


But when the Johnsons dog-sat for a friend on vacation, Moses came alive. “This little Teacup Pomeranian didn’t even want anything to do with him and he was so happy around her,” Dana says. “That’s when we realized he needed a pal.”


Another online search, another road trip, this time to Vancouver, Washington to meet Rosie, part Pomeranian, part Toy Poodle. “We went to see if she was a good fit for us, but when we got there, I knew we’d bring her home regardless,” Dana says. “She wasn’t being well taken care of, and the owners’ kids were swatting at her. They were too young for this little dog.”






PetSmart Charities dog rescue story Moses BachmanThere’s usually a period of adjustment when a new animal is brought home into an existing pet’s territory. For Moses, that period was about five seconds. “He just fell in love with Rosie,” Dana says.


More snuggles and new ears

Today, Moses, now about eight years old, and Rosie, now four, are an inseparable team. “Rosie has become his new set of ears,” Dana reports. “She lets him know about all the exciting events going on around here, like the UPS man coming.” Then two sit and snuggle until the boys get home from school.


Having a pal has definitely benefitted Moses. “Rescues can be anxious, and Moses used to shake a lot. Since Rosie’s been around, he hardly shakes at all,” Dana says.


Though this family had to go a long way to find the right furry friends, Dana says they’ve gotten twice as much in return. “That’s the thing about adopting rescues—they have so much love to give. They snuggle with us all the time. They’re so smart, and having them has taught my boys about being responsible,” Dana says. “Moses and Rosie are much happier since we brought them home—and so are we.”




PetSmart Charities pet adoption story Moses Bachman

More Adopters That Went the Distance:

Family Uproots Everything to Adopt Another Pit Bull Mix

Dog’s 5-Year Wait for a Home Proves Worthwhile

Couple Travels 2,200 Miles to Adopt Jack Russell Terrier Mix



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