In January 2007, I was in Van Nuys, California, trapping feral cats to be spayed and neutered (TNR) to help with their overpopulation. As I was setting up the traps, I looked up to find a dog. She was a brown pit bull with a white head and legs. Her ears were clipped short, and it looked like she had had several litters. She came right up to me, smiling with her tail wagging as if to say hello. She didn’t have a collar, and she was alone. I didn’t know much about dogs back then, but it concerned me that she might be lost. Even without a leash, she stayed close to me as we walked around the neighborhood. No one recognized her. I got to my car and had to make a decision – do I leave her and let her get back to where she came from, or do I take her and try to find the owner? I opened my car door to see what she would do. Without hesitation, she happily jumped right into the back seat.

I did my due diligence in trying to find her people. Nobody came forward. I contacted several pit bull and dog rescues but was told that they were all full and could not help. I was worried because I had a house full of rescue cats and kittens. I kept her in the guest room and slept with her for the first three nights. Again, I didn’t know much about dogs and wasn’t sure what to expect. I was also apprehensive about being with a dog that I didn’t know.

Anyway, fast forward to two weeks later, my husband and I fell head over heels in love with her, and we named her Daisy. She was instantly sweet with the cats. (see video below) She eventually passed her Good Canine Citizenship Test and worked as a therapy dog at Children’s Hospital. I credit Daisy for getting my start in dog rescue. I also became a fervent pit bull advocate

Since 2007 we have fostered over a hundred dogs, and Daisy was always the top mama. I started volunteering at the East Valley Animal Shelter and learned the sad fact of older dogs and sick dogs being dumped by their humans when they need them most. I decided that someday I would have a place where these abandoned dogs can come to be taken care of and loved until it’s their time to leave.

Daisy died of cancer in 2017. She never got the chance to live at the ranch that was named after her. But because of her, I found my calling, and I now dedicate my life to rescuing dogs. Thank you, Daisy. I will never forget you.

Love, Daisy’s Mom, Toni

My first dog Chico, 1967

Present time with Bobby

Lulu, Daisy’s sister