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Old Southern Dog Gets New Northern Home

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Cliff at his new home

At Pilots N Paws we love to hear stories from those who adopt rescue animals flown by our volunteer pilots. We recently heard from Cliff’s family, the Schmidt’s, who adopted him in February 2011.

Their story is one of chance meeting. The week before Christmas 2010 their Hazel died; she had been in their family for 16 years. The Schmidt’s knew that everyone in their family, including their other dog Beatrice, needed a friend.

As Wally and his wife, Mickey talked about what to do, Cliff’s picture appeared in their local paper. The article mentioned that Cliff had been rescued in Savannah, GA and taken to a shelter that could not keep older dogs and would have to put him down unless rescued.  A group called Pilots N Paws chose to give him the “flight of his life” to a shelter called Happily Ever After (HEA) in Marion, WI.

The Best of Friends: Cliff and Beatrice

“Well the picture of Cliff was all we needed, we called HEA and adopted him Last February. He and Beatrice are the best of friends and he is GREATLY LOVED by us, our family and our friends. He may only get to fly once in his lifetime but THANKS to you folks however much lifetime he has left is going to be GREAT for Cliff & all of us” said Wally.

Cliff’s story was published in the local paper, The County Post, which is copied below:


By Lori Schneider

Mickey Schmidt (left) with Cliff, a stray from Georgia

Wally and Mickey Schmidt have a new four-legged friend at home, thanks to Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary, Inc., (HEA) who runs pictures of dogs in need of adoption in the County Post East. HEA is home to approximately 70 dogs. One of them was old Cliff.

This little southern gentleman is around 10 years old, was picked up as a stray near Savannah, Georgia, ending up at the city shelter. He was then put aboard a Pilots N Paws transport to Wisconsin. Cliff was living in a Green Bay foster home, part of the HEA process.

“When we saw his picture in the County Post, there was just something that said ‘check it out’,” said Wally Schmidt. “Our first priority was to get a non-allergenic, non-shedding dog,” said Wally. “We knew Cliff would fit that criteria.”

“We had to have our 13-year old Hazel put to sleep a few days before Christmas and that left us with our 11-year old Beatrice,” explains Mickey. “We had been thinking about getting a puppy, but after seeing Cliff’s picture, we thought maybe an older dog might be a better fit.” The Schmidt’s contacted the Happily Ever Animal Sanctuary in Marion and were able to set up a visit with Cliff at his foster home in Green Bay.

“We threw this up to God and said that if this is the right thing to do and it will work out for Beatrice, please make it happen, says Mickey. “I guess it was meant to be.”

Once he got adopted, and made his way to the Schmidt’s large, old home in New London, Cliff adjusted nicely.

“I was a bit concerned because the foster mom said he didn’t like being held, said Mickey. “And she said he growled if you pet him.” After a few days, Mickey’s lap was a regular resting spot for Cliff. As for the growling, it’s more like a purr of thanks for getting some attention.

Cliff gets along fine with Beatrice too, and since they are close to the same age, they meshed rather quickly. Cliff has more energy than the Schmidt’s thought he would and are happy that he likes to rollick and is frisky.

A trip to the family veterinarian revealed that somewhere along the way both of Cliff’s kneecaps were displaced, but he gets along fine. He jumps around and has lots of energy. He will most likely go blind within a few years, but he’ll be used to the house.

The Schmidt’s are happy with their older dog decision. “Cliff is doing the best he can with what he’s got going, and we’re happy he’s now part of the family.”

Link To Original Story

One thought on “Old Southern Dog Gets New Northern Home”

  1. Sharon says:

    I want to say Thank You for saving so many of these homeless animals lives. This is such a wonderful and compassionate thing for you to do. I myself am an animal lover, and wish I could take in every needy animal, but is not possible. God Bless you as you continue finding homes for these adorable animals

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