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Pet of the Month-August 2020-Riley Brown

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Congratulations to our August 2020 Pet of the Month; Riley Brown!

“Riley’s Story

After our beloved dog Scruffy passed away in 2015, we felt we had room to help another rescue dog. All of our dogs have been rescues. We still had two other rescues at home, Bailey and Maggie (each with their own story) and they were both getting up in years. Bailey seemed lost without his buddy Scruffy, so we felt an addition, would be good for him and us.

We have worked with the Silky Breed rescue for the 20 years, so we decide to see if they had any available for adoption on their website. Riley had just been posted as an owner surrender, so we contacted the rescue and started making plans to go get him in Castle Rock, Colorado. We bought an RV so that we could take the other 2 dogs and pick him up. We headed out in November. It was very cold when we arrived at his house to pick him up. When I went into the house, I didn’t see him initially but soon I heard him and looked down and said, “you must be Riley!” I picked him up and held him the whole time we talked, Riley didn’t leave my lap the whole trip home, and is still never to far from his mom! He loves his Grandma too and always announces himself before going in her house.

Attached below are some photos of Riley. I’ve also attached the link below to the flyer from the Breed Rescue site we saw, and decided he needed to be  with us.


Pet of the Month-July 2020-Koko McKinley

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Congratulations to our July 2020 Pet of the Month, Koko McKinley!

“Koko became my sweet little nugget after my uncle passed away and she needed a new home. She adapted immediately!!!. Koko enjoys sleeping, eating, and being lazy… so we get along great. She is also a new big sister and is taking to her new role pretty well.

Pet of the Month-Sadie DeGregoria-June 2020

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Congratulations to TOAH’s June 2020 Pet of the Month, Sadie Degregoria!! Read her bio below:)

“Sadie was found wandering in Crystal Hill area near Lakeland/Winter Garden, FL. She ended up at Brantley Nurseries, where my son worked. Sadie was scared and skinny and she was injured (probably hit by a vehicle).

The nursery personnel fed her for a while but it was obvious she would need a permanent home. My son sent pictures of Sadie and we decided to give her a home with us.

After a checkup at Tuscawilla Oaks, Sadie’s health issues were addressed and she was on her way to full recovery.

Sadie enjoys playing with JoJo, our Sheltie, and chasing squirrels in our backyard.

She is loving, comforting, and eager.

Thank you to the doctors and staff at Tuscawilla Oaks for taking such good care of Sadie Girl.”

Pet of the Month-Pepper Redfield-May 2020

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Congratulations to TOAH’s May 2020 Pet of the Month, Pepper Redfield!! Read her bio below:)

“Pepper has been a beloved member of our family since the fall of 2009 when she was adopted from the Dane County Humane Society in Madison, Wisconsin. Having been pet parents of smaller “apartment friendly” critters (cats, ferrets, gerbils, and fish), we decided it was finally time to add a dog to the mix.

We originally were looking to adopt an older dog that needed a good home. As a volunteer at the Humane Society, I knew that puppies find homes faster than older dogs, so we purposely tried to not fall in love with an attractive puppy with ears comically too large for her head and instead turned our attention to an older Husky named Shelby. We tried to spend some time with Shelby, but she did not seem too interested in us and mostly stood by the door to the meet-and-greet room, waiting to be excused. We went home that evening to think it over and when we returned the next day, we found Shelby was being adopted by another family that had Huskies in the past and had fallen in love with her.

To our surprise, the puppy was still available, and we decided to spend a couple minutes with her “just for fun.” In the meet-and-greet room, my inexperience with dogs prevailed as I attempted to pet this puppy while my husband laughed at my clueless attempts at interactions with the little dog the facility had named “Petals.” Petals then took a deep yawn, went over to my husband’s lap, curled-up with her belly high, and promptly fell asleep. She clearly knew who the dog person was between the two of us. I looked at my husband and knew he had already fallen in love.

We adopted “Petals” changed her name to Pepper, a name that was much more appropriate for her spunk and energy, and finally brought her home to join our family. Training and socialization were important to us so we enrolled her in puppy classes early and spent many afternoons and weekends at dog parks and around as many people as we could. As a puppy, her potty training was perfectly timed with the melting snow of winter leaving her to desperately search for a patch of snow to do her business as the warmer Wisconsin weather set in. To this day, she still uses a Staples Easy Button to let us know when she needs to go outside.

Pepper has brought us years of fun as we’ve watched her learn and grow. In 2010, she made the long trip with us to Florida where she has enjoyed the last 10 years playing fetch, hiking in the conservation, going for walks, bike rides, and car rides, swimming in the pool, and protecting our yard from squirrels, birds, and the occasional delivery driver. Pepper has been a wonderful big sister to her feline siblings and in 2017 helped us welcome our son, Benjamin. Every night Pepper puts Ben to sleep, not leaving his room, until he drifts off to sleep.

Pepper is now 10 years young. She still has the spirit of a puppy with a body that isn’t quite as fast, but she still does impressively well. Pepper is lovingly cared for by the great team at the Tuscawilla Oaks Animal Hospital. Although she is starting to slow down in her older age, she still enjoys daily walks and swimming in the summer. She is adored by her family and we are so grateful for the joy she has brought to our life!”

Pet of the Month-Luke Thomas-April 2020

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Congratulations to our April 2020 Pet of the Month! Luke Thomas!!! Read his bio below:)

“Our sweet boy Luke is a six-year-old Sheltie who is full of personality, more energy than you can imagine and also, a fair amount of mischief. He is as handsome as he is sweet, not to mention extremely smart and he brings so much joy and laughter to our lives.

His favorite hobbies include car rides, camping trips, walks to the park with his brother “Fave” and chasing anything that moves, i.e. his brother Ripley (the cat), lizards, ALL the squirrels and even flying objects…yes, he loves chasing birds and he will even run full speed across the yard looking up the whole time at an airplane flying overhead. He loves to run laps in our back yard, making sure to look at us each time he passes by, just to be sure we are watching him!! And after that much running he loves jumping onto the top step of the pool for a quick cool down. He loves playing ball….catching balls, chasing balls and occasionally bringing them back to you. His current favorite game is bouncing a ball back and forth with his dad.

Of course, this much energy requires a good bit of rest and sleeping late in the mornings is another one of his favorite things. He waits patiently for one of us to get up and then assumes our position in the bed and goes immediately into Do Not Disturb mode!! His adventures usually leave him worn out at the end of a fun day and if I didn’t know better, I would swear he could tell time. Without fail, at about 10 p.m. every night, HE IS DONE and ready to go to bed. Of course, this is fine….except that he wants all of us to go to bed!! He stands in the living room and barks at us, as if to say…”Do you people know what time it is?”

He has been featured in two different Sheltie calendars but we’ve tried not to let it go to his head. So far, he remains humble!! 😉

Since the day we brought him home Luke has received outstanding care by Dr. Fullenwider and all of the staff at Tuscawilla Oaks Animal Hospital. But recently, we experienced TOAH going above and beyond in their exceptional care for our sweet boy. After an unfortunate encounter with another animal in January, Luke was left with some significant wounds that required surgical repair. After the initial surgery, he continued to have some necrosis of the tissue (which was explained to us and we understood was a distinct possibility). Dr. Fullenwider told us about the success they had experienced with something that she called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments. She shared some before and after photos of the healing process in other animals who had received PRP treatments at TOAH and we were sold.

After the necrotic tissue was removed, Luke started weekly PRP treatments and the rate of wound healing he experienced was nothing short of miraculous. It’s been right at 60 days since the initial injury and today Luke’s wounds are 100% healed. He still has a few scars, but as soon as that long, flowing, calendar star hair grows back, the scars will be completely covered. He is back to running, jumping, chasing and everything else that makes him our special boy. We can’t thank Dr. Fullenwider and everyone at Tuscawilla Oaks Animal Hospital enough for loving our boy and providing him with the very best pet care in Central Florida!!”


Pet of the Month-Bandit Dwyer-March 2020

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Congratulations to our March 2020 Pet of the Month!!!! Bandit Dwyer!!!

Read his bio below:)

“Born to the humblest of beginnings, on a working farm in Old Town, Maine, Bandit came into our lives by surprise in August of 2005 and it has been the absolute best decision we ever made. I was looking for a Maine Coon Cat in a
swap and sell magazine called Uncle Henry’s when I came upon the ad. He was the only male, Blue Merle with blue eyes (which is what I always wanted) out of 11 pups and he happened to be available. I called the farm he was on and she told me someone else was on the way but it was first come first serve. I hung up and grabbed the keys, my husband asked where we were going, I said “I will tell you on the way”… his only reply was “ Do I need money?” and the rest is history. We bonded with Bandit instantly and fell in love from the start, he was
exactly what my soul needed in that moment. Born all Aussie, Bandit spent his first few years chasing frisbees and herding his K9 siblings, his arch nemesis…the cat, and his humans, especially his favorite little human, our nephew Rick.

He has always been able to accompany us to work and he took his job of warning us that the UPS driver was near, very seriously. He later became the inspiration for and the face of our pet business, building up a fan club from
around the world. His love of travel has earned him many stories of adventure, navigating the
roads beside his Dad in the passenger seat of an RV. On one such adventure, his Golden Retriever sister Kiwi taught him to swim while on vacation in Florida and that was the day we realized he was half fish. Bandit has always had a lively wanderlust and has never said no to going somewhere new—especially a beach,
lake, or ocean. His swimming skills are second to none, and even as his running has become a little less graceful and swift in his older years he still glides through the water with the grace of a swan. He loves to take a morning dip, swimming laps around his pool just because he can. He swims EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It’s
his passion and I believe is what has kept him mobile as he has aged.

Bandit has many talents, including the sweetest nibble kisses, stealing the hearts of all the ladies he meets, total pillow domination, and the art of morphing to the exact dimensions of a king-sized bed leaving us balancing on the edges. He is so connected with us that we can communicate with the look of an eye or the nod of a head. He’s smarter than any dog I’ve ever known, however he has never learned a “dog” trick as I think he felt it was beneath him. I think he truly believes he is one of us.

Bandit takes seriously his call to protect and serve. He never lets a doorbell ring without his direct intervention, always warns the neighborhood when the winds are high, and restricts the pesky squirrels to a designated tree line.

Bandit loves deeply, snores loudly, and always lets you know exactly what he is thinking. His affection for his people is intense and our love for him is unmatched.

Eventually Bandit (and our) old bones started to hurt in the winter cold of Maine so we relocated to Central Florida and to him it was the best move ever as he can swim year round. He is living out his retirement years in K9 bliss loved and spoiled by all that know him.

As Bandit approached his 14th birthday he started to show pretty sudden and severe signs of arthritis. We tried every treatment from supplements to pharmaceuticals to acupuncture, laser and massage. When I had all but lost
hope thinking it was time to make the agonizing decision to end our boy’s suffering I stumbled upon the amazing team at Tuscawilla Oaks and the incredible stem cell treatments that they offer. The stars aligned and we were
able to get Bandit in immediately for a consult and on September 11 he had his first treatment. I cannot express the gratitude I have for Dr Fullenwider and her team. They have given us the gift of more time with our little guy. In the fall we were able to celebrate the procedures success by having a “100 in human years” birthday party for Bandit. Neighbors, family and friends joined in as he made a grand entrance by running out to everyone assembled by the pool to “Who Let The Dogs Out” playing on the stereo. He jumped around, swam and showed off for the crowd. Everyone was amazed that the dog, who months before needed help to lift himself off the floor was in such good health and spirits. We do not have children and Bandit is my baby so I cannot thank the staff enough for
caring for him the way that they have. Their level of kindness and compassion for Bandit and for myself was above and beyond.

Bandit loves life, like truly loves life… He loves his family, his sharky toys and of course swimming. He loves naps, chin scratches, playing catch with his Dad and dance parties with his Mom. He loves lobster, steak, cheeseburgers, and especially the Twistee Treat ice creams that his Uncle Rick gets him. We are currently planning Bandit’s 15th or 105 in human years birthday party for June and are so thankful that we have the opportunity.”

Pet of the Month-Ella Stack-February 2020

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Congratulations to our February 2020 Pet of the Month, Ella Stack!!!

“We are so excited Ella was selected for pet of the month!
Ella was born in March 2010 in Jacksonville FL. She was delivered to us 2 months later. Ella has always been a little cuddle buddy, she loves to play catch, she smiles when she is happy, and always wants to be held like a baby. She likes to cuddle with our kids, bark at the neighbors, and once you start petting her she becomes your best friend. She is the sweetest girl and we love her so much!”

Pet of the Month-Nala Carlson-January 2020

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Congratulations to Nala Carlson, January 2020 Pet of the Month! Please read her bio below.
“Happy New Year! Nala Ranae Carlson is a 14 year old, part Pitbull/part Retriever. She is a very mind-manner, smart, well behaved dog (she thinks she’s human though) that loves attention and just loves all people and dogs, Cats?..well,… not so much.
Nala was diagnosed with severe arthritis in her back legs (mainly the right} as well as a slight ACL tear in her right rear knee. Dr. Fullenwider recommended Stem Cell Regeneration for Nala. I read up on the procedure, as well as watched numerous videos. I couldn’t bear to see my best friend be in pain as she tried to stand up or do simple movements anymore. Nala had the surgery in July of 2019 and here it is, January 2020, and my girl is standing and walking so much better due the the Stem Cell Regeneration.
I am forever thankful to Tuscawilla Oaks Animal hospital, Dr. Fullenwider and the AMAZING staff for giving Nala a new lease on life and for giving me the one Christmas present I truly wanted…My best friend Nala’s health and love for life back. “

Pet of the Month-Babe Babinchak-December 2019

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Congratulations to Babe Babinchak our December 2019 Pet of the Month. Read her bio below!

“Babe is a 12-year-old, 9-pound, Shih Tzu -Pomeranian mix, who was born and raised in the Bahamas.  After suffering an unfortunate birth accident, Babe lost part of her left rear leg.  But that did not prevent her from walking and living a very purposeful life.  As a puppy she went to live with an elderly couple where she remained a constant companion and alert dog to an Alzheimer’s victim, and an osteoporosis patient.  Upon their death, she came to live with family in Winter Park.  For much of her life Babe suffered chronic bladder ailments.  Recently the brilliant doctors at Tuscawilla Oaks discovered that she has Cushing’s disease.  After finding the right medication for her, Babe is now living a retirement she deserves with her one eyed 55-pound companion rescue “Lucky Dog.” Thank you Tuscawilla Oaks- you’re the best!”

Pet of the Month-November 2019-Max McBride

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Congratulations to our November 2019 Pet of the Month, Max McBride!!! Read his Bio below!!

“One evening in August of 2008, I was walking my three dogs near the entrance to my neighborhood. Suddenly, my Doberman-mix, Roscoe, rushed over to some bushes along our path. I went to see what he was so curious about and found this tiny kitten. The kitten was so small he fit in the palm of my hand. Even though his eyes were still partially closed, he put up a fight when Roscoe got a little too close. It seemed he was abandoned, so home he went with me and my three dogs.

The next day I took him to TOAH, which is where my dogs had been going for years. After some tests, they found he was a sick little fellow. He was sent home with several medications and not a lot of hope in recovery. It was a tough couple of months because we were not sure he was going to make it. But, with the love and support of the TOAH team, and a neighbor of mine that is a nurse, Max recovered! I felt really blessed that he was given a chance at life. With much wonder, I watched as he grew into a beautiful young cat. Max considered me, my son and the three dogs, his family. When he was almost two, he became sick again. This time he was diagnosed with diabetes. He has been dealing with this for nine years now.

A couple of years ago I adopted another stray to give Max company (our three dogs had all passed away and I knew he missed them). To my amazement, Stella (the new stray) began to teach Max how to be more like a cat. I will never forget the first time he came into the living room with a toy mouse in his mouth, as if he had caught it. He proclaimed for awhile how proud of himself he was. Stella has since taught him even more kitty things.

Max loves to be rubbed on his head and back (especially in the early morning hours). He is very good at chasing and catching lizards and bringing them in the house. He does seem confused about me trying to catch them and put them back out though.

Max is such a blessing and so loved by us all. With all that he has been through, I can’t help but admire how he keeps thriving and being a very loving cat. When I need encouragement and inspiration, I think of Max. He truly is amazing. Thank you TOAH for choosing Max as pet of the month!”