Happy Tails

Houston…we no longer have a problem

By: Whitney Sager

In less than one month, Houston the dog went from poor living conditions to world-wide stardom.

Houston, along with eight other chihuahuas, came to the Boone Area Humane Society last month after being rescued from poor living conditions. The unique one of the bunch, Houston was born with one eye and two deformed front paws. After being given clean bills of health, Houston and the other chihuahuas were put up for adoption.

Amy Laube, one of the BAHS volunteers, posted a picture of Houston, along with his story, on Harley the Chihuahua’s Facebook page. Like Houston, Harley only has one eye. Within a matter of hours, Houston’s picture and story had been viewed 60,000 times and shared hundreds of times by people all over the world.

Ryan Huson of Alberta, Canada, was one the people who saw Houston’s picture. Huson said he was drawn to Houston because he already has a chihuahua, 8-year-old Hogan, who also has one eye.

“It was like an instant connection,” Huson said. “I felt like he would be an ideal fit for my family.”

Huson began looking into what it would take to adopt Houston, especially since it would be an out-of-country adoption. He also contacted the Boone Area Humane Society, expressing to them his interest in adopting the dog.

“It was unbelievable,” said Julie Bonamarte, BAHS animal control officer, of when Huson contacted them. “Is he really going to do this?”
Sure enough, a few days after contacting the shelter inquiring about adopting Houston, Huson called to say he had purchased plane tickets to fly to Iowa and would be at the shelter Saturday, Jan. 23, to adopt Houston.

“It’s incredible because specials needs animals are hard to place (in a home),” Rhonda Maas, BAHS animal control officer, said of Houston’s adoption.

When Houston and Huson met in person for the first time Saturday, Huson likened it to a first date with someone who you have only seen his or her picture online. “It was better than I imagined,” Huson said.

So far, Houston has been getting along well with Hogan, and Huson’s other dog, 9-year-old Nixon, a miniature pinscher/pomeranian mix. When Huson takes the dogs on a walk, he said Houston and Hogan follow each other.

Out of all the people who saw Houston’s photo on Facebook and could have adopted him, Huson said he feels fortunate Houston has become a member of his now three dog household. “I’m the one who gets the chance to spend the rest of my life with him,” Huson said.