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"You Can't Judge a Book" - Alum Update!

“New York Pizza”?

“Georgia Peach”?

“Cayman Coconut”?


People who visit Paws Crossed for the first time either laugh at our kennel cards for each adorable dog, some are just completely confused by it all … or truthfully ... both! 😀 We explain that we never "breed label" any dog, because honestly, most of the time, we do not know what their full backgrounds are. So we have ‘mixes’ … we have ‘blends’ … and they are named for the state or area they come to us from.

Many of you know that one of the favorite parts of my job is that I get to post all of the phenomenal Alumni pictures from our adopters and hear the stories from forever homes. It wasn't until I started receiving updates from a few 'Spice Drop Puppies' that I seriously realized how true it is ... You can't judge a book by it's cover ... or a pup by it's looks 😀

Let us rewind to July of 2017!

Last year, literally days before a July transport, we received a call. A dog was found wandering down by a river…. heavily pregnant and very much in need of a foster! Could Paws Crossed take her?

This was the picture we received!

Could you have said no?

SURPRISE ... neither could we!!!

When she arrived in New Jersey to meet us (which, by the way, was my first ever transport!) our wonderful partners in rescue, Animal Aid USA, thought this beautiful girl had already started to go into labor! She was nervous ... She was hesitant to leave her kennel, until she saw the caring arms of Scott... This girl had not had an easy life… and still, there was no complaining; only the most loving, trusting and grateful personality.


Upon arriving at Paws Crossed a few hours later, she was swept up by the most capable and loving

foster family. Within hours, all reports from foster-mom, Shawna, were that Pepper had settled in nicely and 'this girl is absolutely amazing ... I love her and so does the whole family!!!'. She was not quite in labor, but was definitely very close. Three days later, at 4:45am, texts started coming in that

"The babies are coming!!! The babies are coming!!!"

Pepper and her babies remained with Shawna and her entire animal-loving family for weeks as Pepper gained strength and the puppies continued to grow and develop their own individual looks and personalities.

Some beautiful words from her foster family:

"Every minute of being Pepper's foster family was amazing. From delivering her beautiful puppies 2 days after her arrival, to watching them grow and develop their little personalities. Then when it was time for them to find their forever families it was Peppers turn to be insanely spoiled. Watching her learn how to be loved, how to be a member of a family, how to be a dog was something we are PROUD to have experienced. It was extremely difficult to let her go. BUT..... the BEST part???!!! She found her forever family RIGHT NEXT DOOR with our very good friends the Rozmus family. We know our lives have been changed forever by Pepper and her babies and now theirs have been too. RESCUE AND ADOPT!!!!!!!!"

All were adopted in August of 2017......

Fast forward a year ... Check out these amazing siblings and their mom,

and it will be immediately clear why we never breed label:




Dill now Dexter: “...He is a honey of a dog! He loves people! There isn’t a person he doesn’t want to meet with great enthusiasm. He loves long walks, and laying in green grass and doing a commando-style belly crawl. (As pictured). Helen, our sixteen year old daughter, informed us that the act of lying on one’s belly with legs extended outward is known as “splooting”.

He is our nugget! Not so small anymore, he is around 150 lbs. I feel he was a puppy for all of ten days! We love him like crazy, with the exception of our cat Oscar, who remains unimpressed with his antics.

We think of Paws Crossed all of the time, with many mentions of the great facility and the wonderful people we’ve met there, because people want to know what kind of dog our very handsome dog is.”

Paprika now Charlie: “My little nugget no longer little.”

Marjoram now Khaleesi: “We love her so much!!!! She is loving, gentle, smart and playful!!! We did a genetic test and she is part Weimaraner (25 percent) and Pitt Bull (75 percent)”

Basil now Mickey: "He’s doing great! He weighs about 50lbs. He’s very healthy. He’s great with kids but sometimes knocks them over because he’s so excited to play with them. He does not realize how big and strong he is. He’s very smart and learns new tricks easily. He loves peanut butter and duck treats. He also likes to chew everything. We have determined that he is a power chewer and have bought him lots of toys that are strong enough to handle him. He is afraid of loud noises and balloons. He hates water too. He loves to run and wrestle. Especially with my 10 year old son (Brian Jr.). He is very patient with my 2 year old son (Brody). He doesn’t mind when he climbs on him. I think he might actually enjoy it. His most favorite thing to do with my 2 year old is sitting patiently waiting for him to walk away from his snack. He is a master food thief. He listens best to my 14 year old daughter (Hailey). For some reason he really respects her. His favorite people are my husband (Brian) and 16 year old daughter (Emily). He gets so happy to see my husband. He jumps around like crazy. He sleeps with my 16 year old every night. Oddly enough he enjoys sleeping completely under the blankets. He hates his crate so we don’t often put him there. We plan to have a trainer come here and help us get him used to the crate. The trainer will also help him with his impulse control. He really wants to be well behaved but sometimes he just can’t help himself. Lol. He’s a really sweet dog. Sometimes his eagerness to play with other animals annoys them. Especially our 2 cats (Simba and Lola). He’s is protective of the house and family and always lets us know when someone has come into the driveway. He’s not too protective though because he always greets guests with a wagging tail and lots of kisses. Overall he’s a great addition to our family and we’re happy to have him. “

Ginger now Abbey: “It’s difficult to get a picture of Ginger (Abbey) by herself because she’s so attached to her big sister, but here are some pictures! “

Rosemary now Piper: “Piper is doing great! She is very warm, sweet and loving. She has really matured in the last few months and everyone loves her. She weighs about 50 pounds now. She is so smart too - we trained her to ring a bell when she has to go outside and she’s had very few accidents in the house since learning that. She is so playful and loves to run around and play with us. We love having her as our pet - she is such a special dog. ... We’re looking forward to seeing her siblings. “We think Piper looks just like Pepper.

Cayenne now Atlas: “Atlas (FKA Cayenne) is super happy here with his adoptive brother Buddy, he’s doubled his original weight and loves having the run of the backyard. He’s a huge part of our family thanks to paws crossed “

Saffron now Harley: “Hi!!! Saffron.... now known as Harley is fantastic.... we love her so much.... we are so happy we adopted her. We are also very excited to see her brothers and sisters!!!!

Our babies are all grown up!!!


We love the story our wonderful Rescue Manager, Donna, shares about her family to explain why we never breed label. Donna is approximately 5'3" and her husband is about 5'10". They have 2 of the most amazing sons. One is 5'9" and one is 6'7!!! Everyone says the same thing when they meet this family ... 'SAME FATHER?' ... and the answer is yes! It is amazing the traits that appear generations down the line.

Trying to label a dog to one breed is taking away their unique qualities as a blend. Knowing a dogs breed will not help you in determining their personality, because so many more factors (such as socialization, health, environment, diet, health etc...) go into making the pup who he/she is. So when you are adopting a dog, please try and approach the experience as, you are not adopting a german shepherd, or a chihuahua or a "purebred"... you are adopting a Pepper, or a Dexter, or a Charlie, or a Khaleesi, or a Mickey, or an Abbey, or a Piper, or an Atlas or a Harley. You are adopting a new family member, no matter what their 'heritage' is, they are your babies.

I hope you had as much fun catching up with the Spice Drops as I did. Remember, now matter what our backgrounds are ...

And please, don't forget to keep those Alum Pictures & Stories coming!!! Please send them to me at


{PS: Thank you to Animal Farm Foundation for the adorable, informative slides.}

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