One year ago, we adopted 3-year old Mia.  She made such an easy transition into our lives that it was hard to believe where she came from!  Mia is the whole package – adorable, playful, loving, cuddly with a bit of mischief thrown in for good measure.  We adore her!  Three months ago, we fostered tiny 4 ½ year old Whisper.  She came to us straight out of a Missouri puppy mill.  Whisper was thin, fragile and had a broken spirit.  I am convinced that within a couple days of being here she had decided that I was her person, this was her new home, and “these people” were never going to let anything bad happen to her again.  Of course, she was right and we quickly fell in love and adopted her.  As the days turned into weeks, Whisper blossomed and transformed into a completely different dog.  It is now 9 months later and, with love and patience, she has conquered many of her fears – separation anxiety, the dark, and walking in the grass to name a few.  Whisper continues to be a work in progress (aren’t we all?!) and that is ok.  Mia and Whisper have been a huge blessing to our family and we will be forever grateful to HALO for bringing them into our lives.

Bella has an amazing little personality. She is a sweet and playful girl, most of the time...however she has her moments when she can be very obstinate :) But I'm loving her.  She is truly my little companion and adopting her is the best thing I could have done!

Phoebe arrived on the scene 3 ½ years after we had to put our beloved Murphy down. Murphy had a headstone in our yard in Arizona. Before we went back to Michigan I went to Murphy’s gravesite and asked him to send us someone special.

We arrived in Michigan and began to unpack. Had not been home long and the phone rang. It was HALO asking if I would be willing to foster an 11 ½ year old Havanese that was surrendered by her owner. It was immediate love as she walked in the house and gave me a kiss. We ended up adopting Phoebe, she is now 16 ½. She is as perky as a 6 year old. She is not a lap dog but loves to be petted. She hates other dogs but loves humans. This sweet older dog has taught us all the tricks she knows. But most of all she has taught us to love her as she loves us. I have told Murphy that I am glad he sent us a dog, but I wish she was a little younger. But Murphy was 15 when he passed and 11 ½ probably seemed young to him. Thanks Murphy, you sent us a winner.

We are bragging today because on Friday both of us passed our Canine Good Citizen Test. Can you believe, shy me? Mom is so proud of us and we have been getting some special treats because we have worked to hard. Me, Maui, says a special thank you to my foster mom for taking care of me while waiting for my forever home.  I really like it here and Macie plays with me a lot now that she figured out that I am here to stay.  She even misses me when mom takes me to Florida and she stays home.

Molina is so full of personality! The kids LOVE her!  Cooper the dog is warming up to her and even seems to be a little protective of her as he sleeps next to her crate at night and by the chair if she is in someone's lap.  She enjoys chasing leaves in the yard and laying in the grass and dragging her belly with her front legs through the grass.  Lastly we have learned that she is a little laundry thief!  She loves to jump into the piles of clothes and really loves to steal folded underpants and rolled up socks.  She's being labeled the panty thief!

Thanks again for allowing us to be her forever family!

Charlie came to us as a foster in May of 2011. He spent 6.5 years in a puppy mill before HALO rescued him.  From the start he was a very sweet, gentle, quiet and loving little guy who was so extremely male shy that he would cower every time my husband came near the same room.  Since we have dealt with shy mill dogs before we knew the best way for Charlie to come around was to give him space and let him come to my husband on his own terms. Tom would sit on the floor and let Charlie just smell him and then slowly he would try to extend a hand. Sometimes he would gently scratch his chin but if he moved too fast, Charlie would bolt with his tail down. Charlie's first big step was to let Tom leash him at the door if I was standing there. Tom consistently took Charlie out first thing in the morning and always feed him his meals. This was key in gaining his trust. After 5 months, one morning Tom called him to the door and he went by himself. We were so proud. He now sits on his lap at night, comes when called and is a lot more comfortable around males. He captured our hearts and we knew that he had found his forever home with us. Everyone who meets Charlie falls in love and can't believe he spent his first 6.5 years in a puppy mill. He has come so far. We love you Charlie Brown Eyes.

I have two Havanese rescues. My first is Emma Jane. When I adopted this little sweetheart, she was very skittish, and constantly walked in circles. She also did not do stairs. It took her four months to learn how to go up and down stairs and walk through an open door. To this day she does not jump on furniture or out of the car. She has come a long way! She loves everyone she meets, hardly ever goes in circles and loves her toys and snacks.

My second rescue is Zoey. She was 4 at the time, and when HALO rescued her it turned out she was pregnant with 9 puppies.  I adopted her 4 months ago. She is such a smart girl, had only one accident in the house and learned to ring bells to go out to do her business in just three week.  She is a happy go-lucky little girl.  We are still working on her frightened dog issues. She loves walks, cuddling and toys.  They are my little princess (Emma) and my tomboy (Zoey) and I love them to pieces! These two little girls had wonderful foster families and a second chance at life by HALO Rescue.

Just wanted to check in on the year anniversary of when we picked up Sofie, on that cold day last December.  She was such a little (5 pound) waif when we took her, so shy and overwhelmed with everything. Now she is wonderfully friendly with people, including little kids--we have yet to see her growl or show any aggression with anyone, which is such a gift! Keep up the good work with the Havanese.

When Halo was able to save two boys age 8 and nine, I was asked to be their foster dad. 

Little Jack, then age 9 had lost all but 4 of his teeth but was in good health and a happy yet shy lad.  He was a small (8 pounds) mostly white Havanese with just a little black on the tips of his ears.  He had a long flowing coat and to see him run was such a joy.  The first couple of weeks he was shy but that soon melted away to where he became trusting of me and my other dogs. He was on Petfinder for adoption but my heart would not let me turn him loose.  I had been given one of the dearest boys one could ever ask for.  In about a month my little lover boy turns 15.  Jack is the gift I kept.

Big Joe, then age 8, was in great health and a little outgoing.  Joe is not a small Havanese - he tipped the scales at 16.8 lbs. when I got him.  Joe adjusted to his foster home quickly. Joe is one of my Velcro dogs meaning he is at my side most of the day.  Joe also was on Petfinder but never got a request to adopt.  He loves people, children, other dogs and mostly me.  He turns 14 in March 2017.  He found his own perfect home and of course my love and lap.  Joe is the gift I accepted.   So glad I had the good sense to accept his gift of pure love. Sometimes people don’t understand how much love older dogs have to give.

Oliver is a wonderful addition to our lives and we are very lucky to have adopted him. He enthusiastically lets us know daily how much he enjoys being with people and, in so doing, he brings us much joy and laughter. He is naturally loving and affectionate. He is also goofy and energetic. All of his behaviors combine to make us look forward to coming home to him, or to sitting with him when we watch TV, or just spending time with him. He constantly lets us know how important we are in his life. At night, when we go to bed, he gets himself settled between our pillows so he can continue to be close to us. Everything he does in his life is focused on expressing his affection and love for us. When I tell people his story they say that Oliver is lucky to be with us but we feel far luckier to see his smiling face everyday---and yes, he does actually smile.

Boo (aka Georgie)!  He is a great puppy!  Very friendly and playful, and not destructive (with the exception of one little rug).  We are adjusting to puppy parent life pretty well I think. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to grow!!

Like a kid at Christmas, my husband and I as well as friends of ours drove to Ohio to pick up Matty. Upon meeting Matty, I immediately fell in love. He has the biggest brown eyes. He looks like a teddy bear. He was not very social, but now he has adjusted to people coming and going from the house. He now loves Sunday. We have a football gathering at our home every Sunday. Matty gets his greeting and he loves to eat. Everybody feeds Matty, talks to him, and now they can even pet him.

It is important once you take your adopted dog home to allow them to accept the change at their pace. They do not like loud voices or sudden loud noise(s). They need to “investigate” and learn the surrounding. The dog will find what we call a “safe” place where they hide. That is their way of not wanting to be bothered. Sometimes it is difficult after letting Matty into the yard for him to come back into the house. We still do not know why this happens. We leave the door open and when he is ready-he does come in. Thank you for allowing us to adopt Matty. We love him! (he loves us)

We are so grateful for being given the opportunity to have Sophie as a part of our family.  What a bundle of love and a blessing. Thank you so very much!

Thank you HALO for your efforts and for bringing into our lives such a wonderful boy.  Yes, potty training is still a challenge, but hey, we don't mind as we help him learn.

We're in Florida this week and discovered Piper is truly part of our family as she absolutely loves the beach and Gulf of Mexico just like Mom and Dad. She even has her own suitcase.


This is just to say that Lilli is the greatest dog that ever lived. She loves her big sister (mutual) even though the two of them are completely different. Ella prefers to sit on the couch and watch out the window while Lilli goes tearing around outside. The dirtier Lilli gets, the happier she is. She loves snow, mud, grass, the woods -- and is especially fond of running through, splashing in, and floating down the stream that runs through our property. She loves people and dogs and throws her eight pound self around with astonishing moxy. Again, we can't thank you enough for bringing her into our lives.

We wanted to give you guys an update on Sage (adopted from HALO in early January).  Going on four months with Sage, and it feels like a lifetime already. She's changed our lives, very much for the better.  She gives us so much love, so much excitement, and after a rough day at work her happiness is an instant pick-me-up!  We can't imagine our family without Sage.  Thanks so much for giving us the chance to add her to our lives.  We'll owe you forever for it!

Mojo is the best addition to our family--he fits in so well. We were matched perfectly! Mojo is a big snuggle puppy and loves to cuddle with us and curl up with us (yes, he sleeps with us because we can’t resist!). We can’t imagine how we got along without him and love watching him grow with our children. He has brought even more joy to our lives and we are so grateful for HALO! Thank you for being such a wonderful organization.


Piper was a very shy, but loving 1-year-old when I adopted her. I was told she would be perfect in my home because I lived alone since my children were grown and on their own. How true that was! HALO matched us perfectly! Piper adjusted immediately, basically because of her calm temperament. She loves people but is not real fond of people who move too quickly, such as young children, and has a definite distaste for men and people who are wearing gloves. She is my constant companion and has been considered by everyone who meets her “the perfect dog!” Thank you, HALO, for knowing exactly what Piper and I both needed!

My husband and I adopted Owen when he was four and a half years old and had spent his life in several mills. The first few weeks, Owen was fearful and often hid in his safe spots.  Although he was curious when people came to the door and cautiously approached them, he cowered and withdrew with fear. He soon responded to treats and learned the invaluable "touch" command, among others, which served to bring him in close contact and more comfortable around people.  He continued to blossom, gaining a new confidence and perspective on life.  The first two milestones I hoped for were: first, to see his tail wag, and second, to be greeted at the door when I came home, both of which were achieved within weeks. 

For a couple of months, we took care of our son's one-year old Havanese, Cooper, who was also adopted from HALO.  He truly brought Owen out of his shell and eventually Owen learned to wrestle and play like a real dog, which they tirelessly did all day!

He is such a little bundle of sweetness and everyone we see on our walks always come up to greet him.  Owen is a very popular guy.  And his truly soulful eyes can melt anyone's heart.

Here's Zoe’s first snowfall. We all adore her and she adores us! Thank you for bringing her into our lives!

We adopted 8 week old Daisy and then drove back from Washington DC to Ohio to collect her mom, Bailey, 3 weeks later. When Bailey, almost 5 at the time, was rescued from a puppy mill, she was pregnant – again – giving birth to her final 5 pups in freedom.

Bailey’s journey from ‘breeder’ to cherished family member had begun. She has come a LONG way, but many of her issues persist. She is still fearful, skittish, hypersensitive to sudden noises and movements. But she is more relaxed most of the time, and allows more touch and she loves playing with her daughter. Daisy is a plucky, friendly and super-loving puppy, who helps her mom gain confidence and trust. We LOVE them to bits! The challenges puppy mill survivors bring are more than repaid by seeing them grow day by day.

Odessa is doing great. All the humans in the house love her and have been having lots of fun with her. The cats are slowly getting more curious and coming out of hiding. Speaking of hiding...

Picking up Jasper was an adventure that required flying for 4 hours, then driving for 4 hours to his foster home, and then flying back to our home with Jasper in a kennel under the seat in front of us. He was a very timid and fearful guy. It took time and patience to get him to where he is today, but every step forward was such an incredible reward for our family. The day he first wagged his tail (after 3 months here) is still embedded in our memories.  For many months, although we wanted to pick him up and hug him, we showed our love for him by respecting his need for space and patience. This investment paid off and now there could not be a happier and more delightfully affectionate boy. He has taught us a lot about resilience, and has given us more than we could ever give him.

I love my rescue girl! She was a senior gal of 8 1/2 and blended into our house and other pups in just weeks. She stared out the bay window for hours during the first thirty days she was here. Violet is the best behaved of our lot and definitely the most grateful and loving. I will absolutely only adopt from now on.

Then...When we first brought Jessie home, she was frightened and bewildered. Although we were eager to shower her with our love, we needed to be patient. When we would approach her, she would grovel on the floor and attempt to melt into the floor when we went to pick her up. When we held her, especially on our laps, she was stiff and eager to get down. When Sammy, our 4 year-old Havanese, would try to play with her, he would be met with snarling and growling that even scared us!

Now... Jessie comes running to us full speed when we walk in the door! She not only enjoys being held and sitting on our lap, but she puts her paws up on us to ask to be picked up. She rolls onto her back for belly rubs, and comes to us for morning snuggles!  Jessie follows Sammy wherever he goes, and greets his play invitations with eagerness and a wagging tail. But most of all, the loving gazes that we receive from Jessie let us know that she is "oh so happy" in her forever home! 

We cannot imagine life without Jessie, and we are so thankful that she is part of our family! Thank you to HALO for everything that you do for these precious babies to give them the chance to live the lives that they deserve!

Frannie came to us when she was 4, she had been nursing her last litter just before she came to our house. She was afraid of every noise and the grass and would get sick to her stomach with every kind of food. She is now the happiest family member in our house - always cheering, running, caring and looking for someone to cuddle with every time. We have since moved from Ohio to Texas. She did great in the plane and continues to charm everyone who comes close. I always come into the house and there is a big party from a happy dog! At least I know someone loves me! (I say) We love you too! (Says my wife) Well, how come you don't run around jump and bark with happiness as Frannie does? (I say) Well..(pause) I think you're right and she loves you more... ;). That's our Frannie - happiest most thankful dog in the whole wide world.

Allie was in a puppy mill for 10 years. Her paws were so sensitive from walking around in a cage for all those years that on our walks that first year she had to ride in a stroller. She was happy to be in the stroller but my husband was embarrassed to be seen with a dog in a stroller, haha. Now walks are her favorite thing. I think she has an internal clock as she will stand by the door waiting patiently for her stroll around the neighborhood.

Her paws are fine now but I had to teach her how to walk in the grass, she doesn't like the texture and hops through as fast as possible. She was a quick learner when going up and down steps.

She is still afraid of loud noises, I don't think that will ever change. She also likes me to be by her side when she is eating.  I have come to the conclusion that she wants me to guard her while she is eating.

She is the sweetest little girl, quiet, loving and loves to sleep between my legs when I'm sitting in my lounge chair. As you can tell I fell in love with this foster so much that we adopted her a few months after we started fostering.

Parker had been in a mill for 7 years. From day one he fell in love with my husband. All he wanted to do was be held and snuggle. He loved to put his head on my husband’s shoulder and fall asleep.

It only took a short time to get him house broken. We also had to teach him what grass felt like on his little feet and how to go up and down steps. 

He is so in love with his big comfy bed that if I happen to drop his leash when outside he will run back to the house straight to his bed. We still have trouble getting him to come when called but we carry a squeaky toy with us as he will run as fast as lighting to us if we squeak the toy. 

Winnie's zest for her freedom is apparent when you watch her run laps around the yard as if she is in the Olympics competing for gold.

Her once dark empty eyes are actually the most beautiful golden brown. Her timid walk is now the most striking gait that I have ever seen.  She has bloomed into a beautiful girl, forgiving those before us, holding no grudges. She loves her fur sisters and follows their lead.  In the morning when she can hear our breathing changing as we wake up, we are graced with body snuggles and tongue presses. Precious in a little package.