Category: “Blog”

In Memory…..Rest in Peace

In Memory…..Rest in Peace


So many people say that it hurt so much when they lost a beloved pet that they can never take another into their home. It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. This well know saying I am sure was meant to refer to two legged animals but it has meant so much more to me since founding I Could Have Been Adopted.



Saved and loved by Tonya Overbey.  Vetted and loved by I Could Have Been Adopted. Both with her at the end of her journey on earth.





Tammy was his first pet and his first experience with loss. Loved and cherished by the Hansen family who foster kittens for I Could Have Been Adopted.


Tammy was his first pet and his first experience with loss. Loved and cherished by the Hansen family who foster kittens for I   Could Have Been Adopted.





My Tess. A lap warmer and a scrabble player. I see your shadow in the hall…it makes my heart hurt.  



Molly  found by a minister, sponsored by and adopted   from I Could Have Been Adopted. A joy to her adopting family. Molly was tenderly cared for as she battled cancer and greatly loved always.


Maui was found along a highway, taken in by a loving couple who, with I Could of Been Adopted’s sponsorship, were to provide a forever home. Maui died when hit by a car.










Shakari was rescued and loved by Lori who is part of the I Could Have Been Adopted family, She had a chronic digestive problem . Lori loved and cared for her for 7 years. Had she stayed in the animal control facility Shakari would not have had those years of being loved.


Eddie and Me… In Case I Die

Eddie and Me… In Case I Die

Not One Family Member Stepped Forward for Willy

After the police found 10 year old Willy’s owner deceased in his home with Willy waiting beside him hoping he would wake up, Willy was put in a shelter.  The shelter staff spent hours calling family members related to Willy’s owner.  All have rejected him, shooting down plea’s made on Willy’s behalf to adopt him.

Fortunately, thanks to social media, some animal loving stranger has given Willy a home but those of us who advocate for animals know that the abandonment of grieving pets by surviving family members happens more than frequently.  Personally it is the situation that frustrates me more than any other I Could Have Been Adopted encounters because most likely these pets are seniors and  less likely to be re homed and, more importantly, no matter their age they are grieving too and no words can explain it to them.


ICHBA received a call from a pet owner asking us to find a home for Eddie.

“I am undergoing treatment for my second battle with cancer and am sick for so many days that I can’t give Eddie the care he needs.  While there is hope, the prognosis is not good and I want the peace of mind that knowing he is in a loving home will give me.”

The next morning I called Eddie’s owner and asked if she would like for us to foster Eddie during her bad periods and then bring him to her for a visit when she was feeling well whether it be for 15 minutes or for a week?  There are no words to describe her reaction to this plan…I can only tell you that her reaction filled my heart and made me giggle.

During the year Eddie has been with one of our loving fostering families, ICHBA has taken care of all of his vetting needs and consulted with his owner every step of the way.  She felt comfortable to call and ask about Eddie at any time and regularly received pictures and phone calls from ICHBA and his foster family.  She knew Eddie was loved, that she could see him any time she was physically able, and that hopefully he could one day return to her home.   If not, she trusted that I Could Have Been Adopted would  find him another loving home.

On Wednesday morning April 5th, 2017 Winfield and I carried Eddie to Gallatin, TN to visit his owner for a few minutes.  That afternoon, Eddie and his foster mom,17 year old Chelsea, visited and gave his owner one last hug and assured her that Eddie has already found a new home……with Chelsea and her family.

Eddie’s loving owner passed away on Tuesday April 11th.  Rest in Peace dear lady….your unselfish concern and prior planning for one of God’s four legged creatures is the way it should be done.

BEFORE YOU DIE…Just as we consider what would happen to our children if we should die suddenly, give your pets the same consideration.  Hopefully, you will have family members who, unlike Willy’s owner’s family, will step forward.  If not call a rescue for advice.

Tigger … No Unwanted Litters

Tigger … No Unwanted Litters

The Wilkins family now has a visitor who sleeps, eats, and accepts lots of love in our garage at night, Tigger has the run of the neighborhood during the day while we have the comfort of knowing he has had a rabies and feline distemper vaccine, been wormed, and more importantly will not be responsible for one more unwanted kitten being born. Thanks to the Trap Neuter Release program (TNR) supported by Sumner Spay & Neuter Alliance in Gallatin TN, the vetting cost, including “fixing” is 25.00.  Call  I Could Have Been Adopted at 6153909622 to learn more about this program.

In addition their spay/neuter prices for domesticated cats is less than 50.00 and dogs are less than 60.00.  All surgeries include a rabies vaccine if needed. Transport to and from Gallatin for Robertson County animals is available by contacting ICHBA at the number listed above.

Donate to I Could Have Been Adopted

Donate to I Could Have Been Adopted

Please consider a donation to I Could Have Been Adopted Rescue this holiday season. We are a small non-profit rescuing and finding homes for dogs and cats in the Robertson County, TN area.  We also help with low cost spay and neuter programs and sponsor animals owned by responsible owners who need help with veterinary expenses.

Our program is foster based with no physical plant and no paid staff so every dollar goes directly to expenses incurred by vetting, transporting, and feeding the animals available for adoption or those sponsored.

I Could Have Been Adopt is part of the Robertson County Community Foundation and is a 501(c)3 charity.

Click HERE to learn how to donate online or via snail mail.

In addition to donating money, we also would love to get some toys, treats, and food for the cats and dogs in our program.  You may call 6153909622 and we will help you expedite getting those items to us.

fostering is fun

            Fostering is fun!!

WE NEED FOSTERS:  At this time we only have two families fostering and one family participating in our Eddie’s Haven program so  ICHBA needs fosters.. call the number above to inquire about becoming a foster.

Our Vet suggests: “Are you an idiot?”

Our Vet suggests:  “Are you an idiot?”

When a family adopts from I Could Have Been Adopted they sign a contract saying that if they can’t keep the animal, they will call us and we will get him back under the rescue’s sponsorship. This has happened several times in the course of 4 years but never have we gotten a call from a stranger who, after three weeks of feeding two stray dogs, finally traced one of the dogs back to our rescue.

As Karla described the dogs, my heart grew heavy because I was convinced they were littermates who ICHBA had re-homed to a family in KY just 6 weeks before.  “I could never get them to come to me so I could check the tag. I prayed that I could find who they belonged to because they still had harnesses on and I knew they were somebody’s pets.  I went out this morning and found a collar with the tag and a red harness lying beside the shed and my daughter traced the rabies tag to you” Karla informed me.

 Pumpkin & Sunny

      Pumpkin & Sunny

My fears were confirmed when I checked our records for the tag number Karla gave me….it was Pumpkin’s tag and he and Sunny were roaming the hills, being fed by  Karla, sometimes sleeping on her porch or in the middle of the paved road in front of her home.  Lost? Abandoned?

I immediately sent a text to the family who had adopted the pups and was informed that while they were visiting family in Russellville, KY, Sunny and Pumpkin had escaped from the fenced in yard and had been gone 2 weeks.  This didn’t add up since Russellville is about 90 miles from where they were found and they had been roaming the area around Karla’s for 3 weeks. Lost…absolutely not!

Abandoned…thinking they were going for a walk…left to watch the people they trusted drive away!  Words cannot describe the anger I felt toward  Peyton and Chelsea*, the sadness I felt for Pumpkin and Sunny, nor the gratitude I felt for Karla.

At 6:00 the next morning, Winfield and I drove some 30 miles west of Bowling Green, KY with the hopes of getting Sunny and Pumpkin…praying they had begun to trust Karla enough that she could get her hands on them.


    Karla and Mike Have Pumpkin

IMG_2049Karla, a feisty little woman who has the reputation of being the St. Francis of the community, took the day off from work to help as did her brother from next door.

After 3 hours, about two pounds of baloney, several tranquilizers, and while Winfield and I had gone to get more luncheon meat, Karla was able to coax Pumpkin onto the porch and Mike was able to get a leash around his neck.

Karla...So Close

           Karla…So Close

Another 4 hours passed while we tried to get our hands on Sunny but we left around 4:00 with her still on the loose. We drove back to Robertson County with Pumpkin, took him to the vet, and then returned him to the family who had fostered him for I Could Have Been Adopted.

The next afternoon, Sunny’s foster mom, a soft spoken strong lady who knows her pack so well that I think she is part canine herself, rode with me to Karla’s. We hoped we would have Sunny safely back with us today.  More tranquilizers wrapped in ham and baloney, more getting close, more Sunny running from us…there is no question that we would come as often as we needed to but how many trips to KY would it take?

Sunny, dopey but still vigilant, finally chose a weeping willow in the back yard as her resting place between forays into the surrounding countryside.  Mike and his girlfriend sat on the patio behind the shed where they could still see the willow but could also keep an eye out for Sunny if she took the route she had been taking each time she left the tree.  Karla and I sat on the back steps of her home where we could observe Sunny   under the tree and see the side yard if she took off that way. Christine positioned herself at the kennel housing two of Karla’s dogs and paid no attention to Sunny (or so Sunny thought). Each time dopey Sunny’s head went down Christine would crawl a few paces so that she could circle widely around the tree and approach Sunny from the side thru the low hanging branches.  After about 30 minutes we observed Christine softly addressing Sunny as “Honey, Bunny” as she got within ten feet of her….five feet…2 feet.  At 12 inches away, Sunny lifted her paw and gave it to Christine…the next thing we saw was Christine hunched over cradling Sunny in her arms!

Christine & Sunny

                  Christine & Sunny


IMG_2057Sunny and Pumpkin are safe now.  They were covered with fleas and with ticks the size of the nail on my pinky finger.  Pumpkin’s white coat has patches of black tar stuck to it. They both have hot spots on their skin, usually caused by stress, that required having the area shaved, cleaned, and weeks of antibiotics. They are each playing with their dog friends and being lovable and loved on by their previous foster family.

Pumpkin back with Judy

        Pumpkin back with Judy

When I shared this with ICHBA’s vet, I expressed my guilt about misjudging the family who re homed Pumpkin and Sunny and he replied that no matter how conscientious we are there is no guarantee that the people who leave his office or re-home ICHBA’s animals will be the way they presented themselves. He did suggest though that the first question on our adoption application should be…Are you an idiot?


*Peyton and Chelsea have been placed on the “do not adopt” national registry







Baby and the Smelly Socks

Baby and the Smelly Socks

Our rescue received a call from a lady who had a stray dog pick her family as a safe place to call home. It had been several weeks since “Baby” arrived and L had become quite attached to her. Unfortunately, Baby did not want anything to do with L’s husband and she asked if we could help find a good family to take Baby.

It was obvious that L and Baby were tight and her husband wanted just a little of that love. With further questions, it became clear that Baby was only baring her teeth at the man when L was in the room.  In fact, L said that the mornings her husband was up before her she would walk into the living room and find Baby sitting on the couch beside him.

No way was ICHBA going to take Baby without trying to help L get her to lovingly accept her husband. I mentioned the smelly sock method and told her to put a pair of her husbands dirty socks in her lap every time Baby decides to settle there and give it about a week. I checked in a few days later and it was going great and a few days ago L called to tell me they were keeping Baby!!!!   A really happy tail!!!IMG_2109

ICHBA does this on a regular basis by asking potential adopters to either bring tees or socks that have not been washed to the first meet and greet or to mail them to us so that we can put them in the crate with the dog for about a week before we take the dog to his new home.


This can be used in various ways:  

guests coming 

taking your dog into an environment with new people

new baby

bringing a new pet into the family (don’t try this method with cats)



Eddie’s Haven…Peace of Mind

Eddie’s Haven…Peace of Mind


In mid-March ICHBA received a call from the Greenbrier/Springfield Animal Hospital asking if we could help a pet owner find a home for Eddie, a 4 year old Shih Tzu.  The owner, Louise, is undergoing treatment for her second battle with cancer and is sick for so many days that she is unable to give Eddie the care he needs.  While there is hope, the prognosis is not good and she wants the peace of mind that knowing Eddie is in a loving home will give her.




I called Louise and, with both of us crying, assured her we would help.  After talking to Terry, an ICHBA  foster,  who did not hesitate to commit his family to  fostering Eddie until we found a home for him, I remembered an acquaintance telling me how much she wished she could have had the comfort of a pet while she was battling cancer.  The only difference is that she had family at home to help with the care of a pet when she had her bad days; Louise doesn’t have that kind of support. Still I couldn’t imagine not having our Miss Kitty and Tess around, especially at difficult times.

I love how God works because the next morning I knew just what to do.  I called Louise and told her we would foster Eddie during her bad periods and then bring him back when she was feeling well enough for a visit, whether it be for 15 minutes or for a week?  There are no words to describe Louise’s reaction to this plan…I can only tell you that her reaction filled my heart and made me giggle.

We went over Eddie’s vetting history with GSAH and one week later we picked up Eddie, his bed, food, a t-shirt with Louise’s scent on it, and notes telling us all about Eddie.  He is the most well-adjusted dog I Could Have Been Adopted has ever had in our foster program, fitting in immediately with his fostering family and their wide variety of critters…from gerbils to exotic birds and everything in between!


Eddie and Winfield coming home from the vets

Since we began fostering him Eddie has had a seizure resulting in a  visit to the emergency clinic and we have given him a round of vaccines and worming to bring him up to date with his vetting.  Louise was informed and consulted at each step of the way and says she is so glad Eddie was with us when he had his seizure.  Louise is free to call and ask about Eddie at any time and is regularly receiving pictures and phone calls from the fostering family.

Every time I think of Eddie or Louise I send out a  prayerful thought asking that one day Eddie may return to live out his life with Louise but if that does not happen, he will find a loving home…that is what we do.

This could be a new direction for ICHBA…providing a hopefully temporary haven for Robertson County pets while giving peace of mind to the persons who love them.

I have to really think about it though…animal rescue is already an emotional roller coaster…can those of us “hands on” with ICHBA  handle a bigger ride?


The Gift of an Animal

The Gift of an Animal

As founder of  a  rescue organization and after viewing a Captain D’s commercial, I find it important to republish the article we sent to the Connection in 2014.  In the commercial the parents put a puppy in a box, gaily wrap it, and watch as their daughter excitedly opens it only to be tearfully told that she actually wanted a hush puppy.  Some people will find this cute but I would guess most rescues find in disturbing to watch, especially since the family rushes out the door to go to Captain D’s with the pup left in the box to fend for himself

I can’t help but wonder what destruction they found when they returned home.   DWW

Around the holidays people ask, “Do you have any puppies? I want one for my four-year old for Christmas. It’s a surprise!” Unfortunately, when rescue organizations hear this they become extra cautious.  While a puppy or kitten adorned with a red bow paints a warm and nostalgic picture, the truth is that it is really unfair to both the family and the animal.  A gifted cat or dog often becomes less appealing as the family realizes they were not prepared for the responsibility and, overwhelmed, they find it easier to relegate the animal to a crate in the corner, surrender it to an animal control facility, or toss it out on a country road.

Having a pet is a long-term financial and emotional commitment. It should be a decision between every member of your family. That is why rescue groups won’t release animals without a home visit attended by the entire family, including children and other pets. One should not assume the animal they picked as a surprise is the right one for the family, that a child will love it, or that other pets in the family will accept another animal.

Animals take time so schedules should be considered.  Like babies, you can’t leave a pup alone for 8 hours and expect it to housebreak and socialize itself. In many ways kittens are easier to care for but they have teeth and claws like needles, which often frighten children and young children can unintentionally injure a two pound kitten, sometimes fatally.

Financially, several sessions of preventative vetting are needed beginning at seven weeks. Without this a puppy or kitten is more vulnerable to contagious, life-threatening diseases which are more expensive to treat than to prevent. Health maintenance costs are significantly reduced after the first year unless something catastrophic happens but the cost of animal care should be included in the family budget.

SUGGESTIONS:      Google the cost of twelve to eighteen years of caring for an animal. You can find sites which will include estimates for major and minor expenses.

Think about your lifestyle. Can your family dedicate the time to exercise, socialize, and train an animal? Does your family like pet-friendly activities?

If you do decide to give the gift of an animal, start with a stuffed one. Include a note stating that the adventure of finding a family pet is beginning and allow everyone to have a say in finding the perfect dog or cat for your family..

Keep in mind that You become responsible forever for what you have tamed.”                Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Advice From Thelma

Advice From Thelma

Dear Thelma,

I have the sweetest dog who normally loves hugs and pats but very often when we are out for walks and we meet dog loving strangers who want to give him affection, he will back off and sometimes growl.  I am beginning to think I should not walk him.  Any advice?   Pooch’s Mom


ICHBA Thelma final for Connection


We are known for being pretty tolerant, easy-going creatures, but there are certain things that can bother even the most docile of us.  Intentions may be good when giving us a hug or a pat on the head, but sometime we don’t appreciate these actions and they can result in fearful or aggressive behavior. Below are five things not to do that often make us dogs uncomfortable:

A stranger who tries to hug us:  Dogs don’t express affection in the same ways that humans do. While some dogs will tolerate hugs from their own family, a hug from a stranger can be interpreted as threatening. If a dog tenses up or disengages from your hug, he’s clearly uncomfortable.

Pats on the head:  Reaching for the top of a dog’s head can be a recipe for disaster. If it’s a dog you haven’t met before, let him greet you first and then opt for a chest rub instead of a head pat.

Direct eye contact: While people may see eye contact as a sign of connection or good communication, dogs can perceive it as a threat. Be aware that eye contact is a sign of dominance in the canine world and sometimes can lead to aggressive behavior.

Getting in our faces:  People often do this to express affection, but this behavior can be intimidating and make a dog tense and uncomfortable.

Exposing us to a noisy environment:  A dog’s hearing is at least twice as sensitive to that of a human, making noisy situations uncomfortable and sometimes anxiety inducing So think twice before turning that music way up, exposing your canine companion to a large get-together, or leaving him outside during a thunderstorm or fireworks.

Thelma and family

Thelma with Dana on adoption day



  article edited by ICHBA from Vet Depot


“THELMA” picture by The Farnival


Duke….TLC And Then A Home

Duke….TLC And Then A Home

Foster Melissa writes from The Farnival June 24th:

For all my chattering about walking and socializing dogs, Duke defies all my advice. This poor pup lived alone in a fenced backyard and ate human scraps because his family couldn’t afford dog food. When Donna first met him, he had been so infested with fleas that he had to spend a few nights at the vet. Now, his fur is so raggedy along his haunches that it looks like he has mange. The back of his legs are bald, the skin discolored and flaking.

Last night, Mason and I drove over to Judy’s house to meet Duke and snap some pictures. Judy is another one of ICHBA’s foster moms, and Duke’ll be living there until he’s adopted. Even though that dog has basically been ignored since birth, he is one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever met, a gentle giant that greeted us with a wagging tail and soft nuzzles. Mason and I will start leash training Duke soon, but we’re going take it slow at first. Right now, Duke needs more TLC than exercise.

Duke at six months

Duke at six months


FROM ICHBA:  This is a prime example of a big heart over ruling reality…this family loved Duke along with their 2 other dogs but have never been able to afford to protect them against fleas, worms, or parvo/distemper.  As you read, often they couldn’t afford dog food . 

When ICHBA sponsored the family with financial aid and transportation to have their the dogs “fixed” , I learned that Duke spent lots of time tethered in the yard while the two smaller dogs were inside dogs.  I asked that Duke come into our program and let us find a home for him but the family refused.

8 months later I get a call from the family.

Duke, undernourished and flea ridden to the point of giving himself a buzz cut because his skin is so irritated, is now with I Could Have Been Adopted                 

                            The reality is that sometimes we can’t afford to have a big heart