Natasha Paws

Halloween should be a fun time for adults, kids and of course our dogs! Have some fun with your dog this year and create a costume for them yourself. We’ve scoured just about every single do it yourself guide for dog Halloween costumes. Here are the top 11 we found.

Editor’s Picks

A Delicious Cupcake – From


















Pirate Dog – Jack Sparrow and his Pirate + their Booty! – From Coolest Homemade Costumes – Video guide















Starbucks Dog Costume – From Coolest Homemade Costumes
















Hot Dog Vendor Costume – By Stephanie Lynn

























Unicorn Costume For Your Dog – From the Live Colorful Blog























Fairy Princess Costume For Your Dog – From the Polished Habitat blog




















Little Bad Wolf Costume Dog – Coolest Homeade Costumes














Batman Dog Costume (No-Sew) – From the Sage + Sparkle blog


























Chia Pet – Kitai – From The Flirty Guide blog




















Skunk Dog – Coolest Homemade Costumes














Light-Up Dandelion Dog Costume – by SwitchGirl

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Forget Christmas and birthdays! National Dog Day is the holiday all dog lovers and their furry friends truly look forward to. Every year on August 26th, dog owners and their four-legged companions have the chance to celebrate the special bond humans and canines share. Across the country, humans and dogs will be enjoying special treats, new adventures, and taking plenty of photos in the process!

But for this year’s National Dog Day, have you considered celebrating by adding a dog to your family? An animal shelter in Knoxville, TN is offering special deals on adoptions in honor of this annual holiday.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Knoxville animal shelters will be hosting adoption awareness events throughout the day on Friday. One animal shelter will place a reduced fee on the adoption of dogs for the entire week! At the Young-Williams Animal Center, puppies will cost $150, adult dogs will cost $25, and senior dogs aged 6 years or older are free.

The reduced fees are meant to encourage the adoption of dogs in need and discourage future owners from purchasing dogs from unreputable sources. “We continue to discourage people from buying dogs from puppy mills and backyard breeders when shelters are full of wonderful dogs available for adoption,” shelter director Monica Brown told WBIR.COM. In fact, the holiday itself was started in 2004 as a way to encourage and celebrate the adoption of dogs.

But maybe you won’t be near Knoxville during this doggie-holiday season. If you’re still interested in adopting a dog however, the official National Dog Day organization is here to help.

Set to launch this year on August 26th, a database of adoptable dogs has been in the works at National Dog Day. The “adoption portal” will display dogs from several rescue groups that partner with National Dog Day to encourage the adoption of these dogs in need.

For some of us, it may not be the right time to adopt a dog. But dog lovers everywhere are always looking for ways to lend a helping paw. If you can’t adopt this year, try celebrating in any of these other ways:

  • Volunteer – Adoption centers are always looking for assistance. Check you local shelters to see what kinds of volunteer programs are available
  • Donate – Whether it’s money or supplies, animals shelters could always use a little something extra! Blankets, food, water dishes, and toys are all great things to donate. Or you can donate a little money that will be used towards keeping pets healthy and happy.
  • Get the Word Out – Don’t forget to share on social media! Lots of adoption centers will be hosting events on National Dog Day. So spread the word! Maybe you can’t adopt a dog this year, but one of your friends on Facebook might be looking for a new furry friend.

Let us know how you’ll be celebrating! Happy National Dog Day everyone!

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Debbie and Larry LaVallee from Longville, MN have come to expect calls from strangers saying their dog has been found. When the LaVallees get these calls, they always know the person is from out of town. They’ve grown used to it. And the silence on the other end when they say the dog can find his way home on his own? Well, they’ve grown used to that too.

Meet Bruno, a 12-year-old, wolf-like mutt who has been taking himself for walks into the town of Longville every day since he was a puppy. The citizens of Longville have grown used to seeing Bruno around town. In fact, many of them look forward to it.

“He’s our buddy, we kind of watch out for him the best way we can,” Patrick Moran told KARE 11. Bruno has a route that he follows through town, and Moran’s office is along the way.

Bruno’s walk is about 4 miles, starting from the LaVallee’s home, into the town center, and then back home again in the evening. He makes several stops along the way, where the residents of Longville often greet him with treats. He stops at city hall, the library, the ice cream shop, several real estate offices, and the grocery store. At the grocery store, Bruno is given deli scraps through the back door. Mary Tripp, a citizen of Longville, is one of several people known for giving Bruno a ride home sometimes. Tripp often buys special donuts, just for Bruno.

“Don’t you buy your best friend treats?” She asked KARE 11. “He’s more friendly than most of the humans in town, and I’m not saying that in a negative way about the humans. He’s that lovable.”

But Bruno’s life wasn’t always full of special treats and welcoming friends. This hometown hero actually began his life as a stray.

“The first time I seen him in town, he almost beat me to town,” Larry LaVallee told KARE 11. Larry used to pick up Longville’s trash. “I was picking garbage on the way, and I get in town, and I wasn’t there five minutes, and there’s Bruno.”

Bruno was just a puppy then. He was seen around town by a neighbor who thought he belonged to the LaVallees.

“A guy come in my driveway, and Bruno was a little pup,” Larry LaVallee recalls, “and he says, ‘I found your dog at the end of your driveway.’ I says, ‘Well he ain’t my dog.’”

But despite Larry’s protests, one look at Bruno was all it took. After seeing the puppy inside the man’s car, he decided right then and there to keep Bruno. And that was just the beginning.

Though Bruno was a natural wanderer, the LaVallees attempted to keep him at the house. Part of their efforts included chaining him up to prevent him from going into town. But this unfortunately backfired. Bruno “almost hanged himself” attempting to break free.

After that, the LaVallees let Bruno do as a pleased. Fortunately, the citizens of Longville all look out for Bruno. And the dog’s skills at dodging traffic have reached an almost legendary status. “He’s got to have a guardian angel,” says Moran.

So far this “guardian angel” has enabled Bruno to reach the ripe old age of 12. And his age is certainly showing. He walks slower now, and when he lies down to relax, it takes some effort. Knowing this, the town wanted to do something to remember Bruno while they still had the chance.
A carved, wooden statue was erected last year and dedicated in Bruno’s honor. Next to the statue is a marker engraved with “Longville’s town dog and ambassador.”

His memory will certainly be remembered fondly. But until then, Bruno continues his daily trip through town, visiting all his friends along the way.

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What began as a mother and child dealing with a storm, turned into a tragic tale of one dog’s willingness to sacrifice everything for his family.

After a power outage affected their Baltimore home, Erika Poremski and her 8-month old daughter Viviana were settling in for the evening. Viviana was asleep, and Poremski stepped outside for just a few minutes so she could charge her phone in her car. But according to Inside Edition, it was within those few minutes that flames erupted inside the house. With baby Viviana still inside.

Poremski tried frantically to get back into the house to save Viviana. Even neighbors stepped in to attempt the rescue.

“I couldn’t get to her. I tried really hard,” Poremski tearfully told WTAE 4. “Everybody in the neighborhood tried. They were kicking the doors in, kicking the windows out. And it was just…I couldn’t.”

The firefighters arrived quickly. According to WMAR, they immediately climbed a ladder to the second story and smashed in the window to rescue baby Viviana. What they found there was astonishing.

Lying across the baby’s body was a small, black, curly-haired dog named Polo. The Poremski’s family dog was protecting the 8-month-old girl from the flames. And before the firefighters arrived, the dog had been refusing to leave her side.

“Polo stayed with her the whole time in the bedroom and wouldn’t even come downstairs to get out the door,” Poremski told WTAE 4.

Sadly, by the time the firefighters arrived on the scene, it was too late for Polo. The little dog had died protecting the baby girl.

But because of the dog’s selfless act, Viviana suffered burns on only 19% of her body – her face, leg, and arm, according to Inside Edition. When the firefighters reached her, she was unconscious but alive. Baby Viviana is currently in intensive care. According to The Independent, she continues to survive from day to day.

“She’s doing the best she can right now, and she’s fighting and that’s it.” Poremski said of her baby daughter. “She’s a really good girl, and I just…I hope she’s okay.”

Though the team of firefighters was able to put out the fire in 30 minutes, the Poremski family still lost everything. A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the mother and her baby to restart their lives. So far they have raised over $17,000, and the numbers continue to grow. In addition to the funds, many generous people are organizing donations of baby supplies, clothing, and other essentials.

Though the future is still somewhat uncertain for Erika Poremski and her baby Viviana, it would be a lot more devastating had it not been for the selfless act of one small dog. And as their Go Fund Me page states, “Polo died a hero.”

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It’s no secret that many dogs have a small obsession with food. Whether it’s time for dinner, time for a treat, or time to sneak food from the table, all bets are off when it comes to dogs and their motivation to eat.

Besides loving food, all dog owners are convinced that their dog loves them dearly. But how much does your dog actually love you? Or is it that your dog loves the food they get from you more?

A recent study at Emory University set out to answer these questions. The department of Psychology studied 15 dogs in a two part experiment to test whether they would show preference towards food or towards their owners.

“We are trying to understand the basis of the dog-human bond and whether it’s mainly about food, or about the relationship itself,” Gregory Berns told Berns is a neuroscientist at Emory University and lead author of the research. “We found that most of [the dogs] either preferred praise from their owners over food, or they appeared to like both equally. Only two of the dogs were real chowhounds, showing a strong preference for the food.”

Before the experiment could even begin, the dogs had to be trained for it. This study is the first of its kind that trained dogs to voluntarily enter an MRI machine, according to The dogs had to learn to stay still while scans were done on the MRI machine, without any restraints or sedation.

Next the dogs had to learn some basic visual associations, so the
experimenters could communicate effectively with them. The dogs were taught that if they were shown a toy truck, they would receive a food reward. If they were shown a toy knight, their owner gave them verbal praise. And if they were shown a hairbrush, they were given nothing. The hairbrush signal was to serve as a control.

Once the dogs learned what each object meant, it was time to run the first part of the test. Each dog went into the MRI scanner, and stayed still and calm, just as they had been taught to do. They were then shown each object a series of 32 times. When each object was shown, the MRI machine conducted scans of their brain activity in response to being shown the objects.

So what do you suppose these dogs were thinking? Well it turns out that 9 of the 15 dogs showed equal excitement for food and praise from their owner. 4 of the 15 dogs showed more excitement about praise than food. And 2 of the dogs showed more excitement towards food than towards their owners. But that’s not to say those two food motivate pups showed no excitement for their owners at all! They simply got more excitement from food.

Then it was time for the second phase of the experiment – the behavioral portion. Each dog was placed into a simple, Y-shaped maze. At the end of each branch of the Y was either their owner or food. Their owner was sitting down, with their back turned towards the dog. Dogs were then given the opportunity to choose to go towards their owner or towards the food. If the dogs chose the owner, the owner would give them praise.

It turns out that the “response of each dog in the first experiment correlated with their choices in the second experiment,” Berns told “Dogs are individuals and their neurological profiles fit the behavioral choices they make. Most of the dogs alternated between food and owner, but the dogs with the strongest neural response to praise chose to go to their owners 80 to 90 percent of the time. It shows the importance of social reward and praise to dogs. It may be analogous to how we humans feel when someone praises us.”

So what does this mean for our furry friends? Well according to the Mother Nature Network, researchers believe that this information could help us determine what types of dogs will be best suited for certain jobs. For instance, that dog you know who would do anything for attention and praise? They might be well suited for a therapy dog job. Or maybe you know a dog who is much more motivated by food than people? That kind of motivation can be great for search and rescue positions, where dogs need to be more independent.

But this study is still rather small, and only the first of its kind. Further research needs to be done to determine its usefulness for dogs in the workforce. For now, the researchers simply write that, “Our findings support the use of social praise as a reward in dog training. For most dogs, social reinforcement is at least as effective as food – and probably healthier too.” Positive reinforcement is the key! So give a little love to your furry friend.

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There’s a brand new contest out there for talented dogs everywhere, but your dog doesn’t need to be a purebred to enter. The dog simply needs to be a part of an office workplace!

StartPup is a brand new contest to honor the dogs that spend their days in startup offices. The Boston-based video marketing company Wistia conceived the idea and put out a call for entries in May. To enter an office dog into the contest, a 2-minute video of the dog needed to be submitted to Wistia. The videos were supposed to show “how their office dogs contribute to positive work environments.”

The official winner of StartPup 2016 is a French bulldog named Amelie. According to GeekWire, she is the “head of client services” at Rooster Punk, a branding agency based in London. According to Newsweek, the judges stated that it was her humor, elegance, and how crucial her role was to the company that ultimately won her the title. In her entry video, Amelie can be seen running late for a meeting, “conversing” with a client, and of course, getting plenty of love! As the winner, Amelie won a free premium plan from Wistia, a $500 donation to a local Humane Society branch, a GoPro camera, a GoPro dog mount, a Wistia dog bandana, and a certificate (to display in the office of course!).

StartPup also chose a runner up. This year, that award went to Charlie, a miniature poodle and the office dog at Wpromote. In his video, we get a glimpse of the “tough” schedule Charlie keeps in the office of this Los Angeles marketing firm.

But why have a contest like this at all? Wistia actually got the idea from their own office dog, Lenny. To host the competition, they teamed up with Humane Society International. Chris Lavigne is the owner of Lenny and head of video production at Wistia. In a statement to Newsweek, he said, “As the proud owner of Lenny, the four-legged friend who inspired the contest, I’m thrilled to see the effect StartPup has had on companies all over the world. It is obvious to me that wherever you are, office pups can be a positive and welcome influence at work. The variety of videos submitted shows that even though dogs and companies come in different shapes and sizes, the best friend bond is always there.”

Inviting dogs to the workplace is certainly nothing new, and the celebration of the benefits that dogs can bring to companies is only getting stronger. In 2014, Fast Company highlighted several benefits employees experience when they allow dogs in the workplace, including reduced stress, boosts in health and creativity, improved coworker relationships, and even improved consumer relations. Many companies are catching on to this phenomenon, and are embracing dog-friendly office policies.

It will be fun to see if this contest expands in the future, and what sorts of companies enter the contest next year. In the meantime, congratulations to Amelie – the best office dog in the world!

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Olivia Sievers is a flight attendant who lives in Germany but frequently travels to Argentina for work. It was on one of these trips that Sievers met the dog who was destined to become her new best friend.

According to The Dodo, it began earlier this year. Sievers was staying in a hotel in Buenos Aires when she came across a friendly, stray dog. The dog had a reputation for wandering around the neighborhood, so Sievers decided to take a moment to spend time with him. She offered the dog food, and they played for a time. But when Sievers attempted to leave the dog behind and go about her business, the dog had other plans. He refused to leave her side.

“I tried to change my way because I didn’t want that he follow me back to the hotel,” she told Noticiero Trece. “But it was not possible. He always came back and followed me. I tried one hour, but he always watched me and followed me. He was really happy that somebody gave him attention.”

The street dog continued to follow Sievers and even waited outside the hotel for her. According to the Huffington Post, it was cold that time of year in Buenos Aires, but the devoted dog continued to wait outside the hotel’s front doors. Taking pity on him, Sievers came down to the front of the hotel and gave the dog an airline blanket so he could keep warm in the cold weather. She decided to call him Rubio.

The next day, Sievers left Argentina to return to Germany. According to the Telegraph, Sievers thought she would never see Rubio again.

Shortly after this first visit, Sievers returned to Argentina for her work. There, she found a surprise waiting for her outside of the same hotel: Rubio. The pair greeted each other, but Sievers continued her business as usual, and returned to Germany at the end of the trip, leaving Rubio behind.

But work continued to bring Sievers to Buenos Aires. And Rubio was waiting outside of the hotel for her every single time. He had not forgotten the kindness she showed him, and he was devoted to Sievers completely.

On one occasion, Sievers contacted a rescue organization about Rubio. She hoped that he could be adopted into a loving family, but Rubio had other plans. According to the Telegraph, the dog ran away from his adopted family and was waiting for Sievers at the hotel the next time she came to Argentina. It was as though he knew who his true family was.

That sealed the deal. Sievers decided to adopt Rubio.

After filling out all the necessary paperwork, Sievers was able to transport Rubio from Argentina to her home in Germany. This past Friday, Rubio flew on a plane to meet Sievers.

After six months of waiting patiently outside of the hotel, Rubio was finally in his new home. It was a home he always knew he was destined for.

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If you’re looking to adopt a dog, you might not think a running race would be the first place you go to find one. Especially if that race is 7 days long – and in the desert. But for Dion Leonard, that’s exactly where he found his new best friend.

Leonard, age 41, is an extreme marathon runner from Edinburgh, Scotland. In June of 2016 he ran the 7-day, 250 kilometer Gobi March through the Gobi Desert in China. The March is part of the 4 Deserts race series. For Leonard and the 100 other runners, the race started out like any other. But quickly he began to notice a furry little friend who was trailing along with them.

A stray dog, now known as Gobi, was running alongside a few of the American competitors, according to Inside Edition. She kept pace with the runners all day and even spent the night in their camp.

“We don’t know how she got there,” Leonard told Inside Edition via phone. Leonard noticed the little dog in the camp, but didn’t think much of it.

On day two, Leonard found himself starting the race with the mysterious little dog by his side.

“At the start of day two, Gobi was on the start line next to me looking up at me,” Leonard told The Independent. “I didn’t speak much to her that day thinking she wouldn’t stay with me, but at the finish line she followed me into the tent and we slept next to each other. That was it then.”

Gobi stayed by his side the entire second day of the race, sealing the new the bond she and Leonard were forming. She even ran over a mountain that was nearly 2,000 feet high.

By day three of the race, Leonard and Gobi were inseparable. The third day of the March crosses multiple, treacherous rivers, according to the Sydney Morning News. Leonard could have left Gobi behind, which would have given him a competitive advantage. But as he told The Good News Network, he could never have left the dog behind – even if it meant slowing him down.

“There were times during the race when, you know I’m there to race and compete and I’m trying to do my best to win the race but we had to cross some really large rivers where I would have to carry her over them. I didn’t actually have the time to do it but I realized then that I had to take her with me and the bond was made.”

Gobi might be small, but often she was running well ahead of even Leonard, who ultimately finished the race in 2nd place overall. “She would run ahead of me and turn around and look at me,” Leonard told Inside Edition. It was as though she was telling him to hurry up.

But even with some incredible endurance and devotion, Gobi could not have made it with Leonard’s help alone. Because the race is in the desert, parts of the run can reach temperatures well over 100 degrees. During those legs of the race, Gobi got to ride in style. Inside Edition reports that she was transported in an air-conditioned vehicle, for her safety and comfort.

In total, Gobi ran 124 kilometers of the 250 kilometer race – nearly half the total distance, and all in grueling conditions. Now having accomplished the extreme marathon, Leonard has another accomplishment to achieve: adopting Gobi.

The process for adopting a dog from China to Scotland is lengthy, pricey, and full of red-tape. According to The Independent, the process can take up to 4 months. But Leonard hopes to have Gobi home with him and his wife by Christmas.

A crowdfunding page has been set up to cover the expenses for Gobi’s adoption, and so far Leonard has raised more than double his goal. According to the Sydney Morning Herald>, any funds that are not used for Gobi’s adoption will be donated to a yet-to-be-determined animal charity.

Until she can go home to Leonard in Scotland, Gobi is living with one of the race organizers. “She joined us on the cold side of the mountain,” Leonard told The Independent, “so I’m sure she will adapt quickly to life in Scotland.”

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In St. Paul, MN, dog owners are getting worried. According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, two dog owners have reported to the police that mysterious dog biscuits had been found in their yard. And the biscuits had been laced with rat poison.

One of the dog owners who reported the incident is Kelsey Jurek, a veterinary student who lives in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul. She caught her Italian Greyhound named Jet eating something strange in her backyard last Friday afternoon.

“So I grabbed it from him,” Jurek told Kare 11. What she found was a homemade dog biscuit. Tucked inside were little, blue, rat poison pellets. Jurek was lucky to have caught Jet early. Though the little dog had eaten half of one of the biscuits, an immediate trip to the vet saved his life.

Jurek says that even though she found the biscuits in her yard, there would be no easy way for a passerby to simply throw the biscuits onto her property. This leads her to believe that, “Somebody had to intentionally walk into the yard,” she told Kare 11. “It’s a sick human that follows through with something like this.”

After her trip to the vet, Jurek began to warn her neighbors of the potential threat to the dogs in their area. And thank goodness she did. Her neighbor, Dan Piepkorn discovered his dog Lola eating one of the poisoned biscuits only days later. Thanks to Jurek’s warning, he was on high alert. Piepkorn was able to get the biscuit away from Lola immediately.

“It would’ve really hurt if I hadn’t caught her with it,” Piepkorn told Fox 9. “I had a dog poisoned as a child, and I don’t want to go through that again.”

Though Piepkorn and Jurek are the only two dog owners to report formal complaints to the police, many other residents of the Frogtown neighborhood are expressing their concerns via the neighborhood Facebook page. In some cases, the biscuits have actually proved fatal for the dogs.

Nancy Hernandez, a pet owner who lives nearby, is equally concerned. “I got scared so I check the yard every day,” Hernandez told Fox 9. “If [the suspect] is doing it to dogs, [they] might be doing it to kids.”

And she’s not the only one concerned for the safety of children as well as dogs. “All it would take is for them to pick a piece up and in the mouth it goes if it’s a small child,” Piepkorn told Fox 9.

Police are working diligently to find the person (or people) responsible for these poisonous dog biscuits. The law in Minnesota considers the poisoning of animals a gross misdemeanor. Sgt. Mike Ernster of the St. Paul police is aware that other poisoning allegations are being expressed via social media, but only two have officially been reported to the police. Ernster is encouraging anyone with additional information to come forward, according to Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

“Neighbors need to look out for each other,” Ernster told Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “The way this person will be found is by a neighbor seeing something suspicious and getting police out there.”

And the residents of Frogtown are certainly fed up. Jurek told Kare 11 that it’s “likely that someone just has a sick game going in their head.” And Piepkorn, in a message to the suspect via Fox 9, said simply, “Knock it off. Knock it off and get some help.”

If anyone in the Frogtown or St. Paul area has information on an incident or sees any suspicious behavior around neighborhood pets, police are encouraging them to call 911 or call the local animal control office at 651-266-1100.

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A 13-year-old Australian cattle dog was found outside a boarded up home in Mojave, CA. The dog was waiting outside the home for his owner. But sadly, the owner was never going to return.

The dog, now known as Ricky Bobby, was waiting in the yard for his owner. But his owner had died several months before the dog was finally rescued. During those months, a neighbor was keeping him alive with hamburgers and Spam, according to ABC News. It wasn’t until a neighbor contacted Zach Skow from Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue in Tehachapi, CA that Ricky Bobby was finally rescued from his situation.

Skow is the founder and executive director at Marley’s Mutts, and told ABC News that, “at first, [Ricky Bobby] was very defensive, but is now starting to warm up to everybody.” Slowly, Ricky Bobby is growing used to the volunteers who work at Marley’s Mutts.

And when we say slowly – we mean it! Ricky Bobby weighs 108 pounds, classifying him as an obese canine. “We named him Ricky Bobby because it was ironic,” Skow wrote to ABC News. The name Ricky Bobby is in reference to the movie “Talladega Nights” which centers around racecar drivers. But this Ricky Bobby is not speedy.

But true to form, this Ricky Bobby isn’t giving up. He is currently with a foster mom who is devoted to helping him regain his health. “His foster mom is taking him for long walks and giving him the correct amount of food for a good diet,” Anne Klein, the media liaison for Marley’s Mutts, told ABC News.

Fortunately for Ricky Bobby, regaining his health is entirely possible. Marley’s Mutts checked for underlying health problems and found that he was simply obese. “There’s no thyroid problem or nothing,” said Klein.

As the chubby Australian cattle dog continues to improve both his health and his temperament, Marley’s Mutts is hopeful that they can find a forever home for Ricky Bobby. “We WILL get him adopted,” Skow said in his email to ABC News. And when dealing with a dog who was devoted enough to wait months for his owner, that’s exactly the kind of dedication Ricky Bobby deserves

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