Over 25,000 pets have found their forever home at one of our stores thanks to our in-store adoption events with local rescues and shelters. In March of 2015 a Beagle named Guy was one of those lucky dogs when he was adopted from our Milton Main Street store through A Dog’s Dream Rescue. The team at the store that day remember his adopter as a very pretty, very knowledgeable and very polite woman who told them she ‘worked on a set’. Now in 2018 it’s likely everyone recognizes her face and name: Meghan Markle.
Dolores Doherty founded a Dog’s Dream rescue in October of 2010 when upon retirement she began helping transport rescue pets from the American border. Over the trips she fell in love with the sweet Beagles she met and pledged to start helping them herself. When shelters in Kentucky found out that Dolores was willing to help find homes for Beagles, she was quickly flooded with requests. In certain communities where hunting is popular, there are often Beagles and Coonhounds who were discarded if their hunting skills were not up to snuff. “I’m contributing to society in my own way by finding homes for beagles who would have been euthanized otherwise, and putting them into places where they are adding enjoyment or love or companionship.”
A Dog’s Dream Rescue has found homes for over 1600 Beagles, Coonhounds and the occasional Black Lab. Dolores partnered with Pet Valu Milton five years ago, and the partnership has been a very fortuitous one: “That store is lucky for us, every time we have an adoption event I can bring 20 dogs and adopt 10 of them,” explains Dolores. Steve Pearson, the owner of Pet Valu Milton Main St., estimates that over 333 dogs have been adopted out of his store.
Meghan Markle, at the time an actress on the show Suits which films in nearby Toronto, found a Dog’s Dream Rescue on Petfinder while she was on the hunt for a companion to her other rescued dog, Bogart. Meghan reached out to Dolores over email and one of the things that sticks out most to Dolores was that Meghan had her application back to Dolores within 10 minutes,” She was very sincere and eager, and anxious to find a good companion and she liked Beagles.” Dolores told her there was an adoption event that weekend at Pet Valu Milton.
When Meghan first arrived at the event with Bogart in tow, Dolores introduced her to another available dog, Roman, “She came in with Bogart and Roman was there, who I thought might be a good fit for her dog, but the dogs ignored one another.”
Guy was brought up to Canada the night before the adoption event and was feeling a little anxious, so Clarrie, a volunteer was holding him. “She was trying to make him feel more comfortable, but he had these long gorgeous brown ears. He was adorable, just adorable.” Dolores explained, this was the moment Meghan locked eyes on Guy. “And so she says ‘oh I like that dog!’ so she went over and she chatted with Clarrie and they took Bogart and Guy for a little walk, just to see how they got on, and they connected! They really, obviously liked one another.”
Dolores had a great gut instinct about Meghan, she was dressed like a dog person – in a nice sweater, coat, jeans and tennis shoes, and over their conversation Dolores knew she had found a fellow dog person in Meghan. “She liked Guy. In the time I had talked to her, she called a couple times, we discussed dogs, and we emailed back and forth about different dogs she thought she might like. So, I had a bit of communication and feeling that she really would give a dog a good home.”
Breaking with her usual process, Dolores told Meghan she could take Guy home that day, and she would follow up with a home visit. Meghan agreed and asked Dolores to follow up to set up an appointment. But in the days that followed Meghan was sending and posting photos of Guy clearly enjoying his new life with Meghan and Bogart, “and I thought well I don’t need to do a home visit, obviously this lady is doing well with him and Bogart and Guy seemed to me very happy.” So Dolores went ahead and decided a home visit was not necessary, something she now regrets, “I wish I had! That would have been really nice to have said now ‘oh yes, and I visited her in her home and we shared a cup of coaffee’, but I didn’t do it!”
Of course, things began to change for Meghan in the years that followed, as she became the girlfriend and then fiancé of Prince Harry. When Meghan made the move to England, Guy came along with her. The Beagle who no one wanted in Kentucky is now living in Kensington Palace alongside the royal family – a true fairy ‘tail’ if ever there was one.
(Note: Dog in the header of this article is not Guy. To see pictures of Guy, head over to A Dog’s Dream Rescue’s Facebook page.)