Valen, Orlando, FL

Hi! I’m Valen! My foster mom tossed around a few names before she choose that one because it means “strong, healthy” and she knew it wouldn’t take long before I grew into my name.

My journey started when my foster mom saw my intake picture pop up on the Orange County Animal Services’ website. It didn’t stay up long ā€” they told her my picture made people sad. But she couldn’t stop thinking about me.

She came to meet me the next day and take some more pictures so more people could find out about me and just maybe someone could help me get out of that cold hard place.

I was so weak I could hardly stand, but I really liked her camera, as soon as she turned it on I did my best to pose for her. I even gave her some kisses. That’s when I heard her tell the nice officer that she HAD to get me out and that she wanted me to come home with HER!

I’m a pretty big guy, my foster mom thinks I’m a boxer/pit mix because I’m all legs and I have such flashy white markings. I weighed 37 lbs. I was weak but I was really happy someone came to see me!

When my foster mom got the “Okay” to come pick me up, they told her I couldn’t be neutered until I gained more weight because they didn’t want to lose me. I was SO happy to get to ride in the car! (Even though she had to help me get in.)

My dogmom Candice (Woof! See what I did there? Instead of godmom I call her dogmom. :-)) made sure I could go to the vet right away. She’s my sponsor and she took care of all my vetting ā€” and all my food and food! My foster mom was worried my organs might have started to shut down because I had gone for sooo long without food.

The vet was really nice and checked me out, said how handsome I was and that he would make sure I was healthy. It turns out I had a blood parasite called a Babesia infection. (YUCK! I don’t know what that is, I just know it meant I had to get MORE shots. I don’t really like shots much but they made me feel better!)

Nobody knows where I came from or how I ended up as a stray. And I left the vet a present ā€” I couldn’t help it, it was embarassing but I was nervous. No, it’s not what you think. There were WHOLE paper towels!! Which made everyone REALLY wonder where I came from and what I was doing swallowing those things. Was I really THAT hungry out on the street? Or did some mean person make me eat them?

I don’t remember. All I know is everyone I have met since I got out has been SO nice to me, and that I don’t need to eat stuff like that anymore.

One of the best things about being out of that shelter? I got to eat ALL DAY LONG! My foster mom was always giving me food! She made me special meatballs too! They were REALLY good! I started putting on weight in no time.

She also found out I really like it in the car and we go for rides a lot. It wasn’t before I started looking like the handsome guy she always knew I should be. A couple months of good food and love and I bounced back to 55 lbs. I still have a few more to go but she doesn’t want me to get fat.

I’m a year and a half now and I’ve come a long way since my foster mom found me back in December. I’ve learned these little people called “kids” are pretty awesome (they almost always smell like FOOD!) and cats are pretty cool too! My foster mom says I’m healthy enough to go live with my forever family but I haven’t found them yet. I love my foster family but if I get adopted my foster mom can help another dog just like she helped me.

If you live in Orlando, I would love to meet you! The awesome people at Sniffing Snouts Rescue are the ones that made it possible for me to be saved. You can look them up if you want to hang out sometime!

~ Valen

p.s. You can also be my friend at Valen’s Journey. šŸ™‚

Editor’s Note: Valen was adopted in October 2012!