In Memory

This page is dedicated to the memory of those beloved dogs that have had an unforgettable impact on our life. Circle Tail wants to celebrate the memory of these special dogs.

Please feel free to email us your tribute to a special dog that has touched your life. We also welcome additional tributes from those who knew a dog whose memory is featured below:

If you would like to make a donation to Circle Tail in memory or honor of a special animal that has a special place in your heart, click here.

A loved one is not gone, until they are forgotten. And to live in the hearts of those left behind is to live forever.

Thank You

We said goodbye to Gonzo (one of Fozzy's pups from April 2003) on Monday, 6/8/2020. He was the sweetest little guy and loved by everyone he crossed paths with. Such a one of a kind dog, so full of energy and personality and is missed so much it hurts. I am so grateful to have been able to adopt him and have him part of our family for the past 17 years and just wanted to let you know, he had a good life and was loved dearly. Thank you for allowing us this time with him. It is so precious just as he was.

2003 - 2020

Kena, Therapy dog and Beloved Golden

Kena was pulled from Campbell County Shelter, Kentucky in 2012 by Circle Tail, and estimated to be about 4 years old. She was enrolled in the service dog training program and was trained in basic obedience by prison inmates, but was released from the program due to lack of focus. After my golden retriever, Rookie, died I was looking for another dog and Marlys introduced me to Kena. She was a beautiful amber color, had silky soft fur, and the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen! I fell in love with her and adopted her that day!

Kena was an exuberant dog and sometimes it was hard to curb her enthusiasm, but she loved life! She loved to play fetch in the yard, loved her walks, and always had a toy in her mouth, whether greeting someone at the door or falling asleep. She got along great with my Cairn mix, Bathilda, and they became great friends. She was good with all dogs and was a rock with children. This led me to getting her certified as a therapy dog with Therapy Pets of Greater Cincinnati in 2013. She was an awesome therapy dog and brought joy to so many people, especially children, whom she loved!

Kena was a kind, gentle, loving soul and made the world a better place through her presence. I will miss reaching down and feeling her golden head, as she was always by my side. There is a line from a Van Morrison song that says, “fill my heart with gladness, take away my sadness, ease my troubles that’s what you do” which is exactly what Kena did for me and many other people. I am grateful that she was part of my life and I was part of hers. Such unconditional love is something to be treasured. While my heart is breaking for her loss, she will be in my heart always. Rest peacefully, Kena, and I hope that one day we will be together again.

Passed December 19, 2019, Age 11

On the evening of 12/18/2019 , my family and I had to make arguably one of the toughest decisions we've ever had to make. Our buddy, Alex, had been struggling with some issues that we suspect were neurological in nature, and that evening his symptoms had hit the climax. Alex was put to rest surrounded by most of the family. He was showered with love and affection in the final moments of his life. 

Alex was my (his brother, Tim) best friend. He was always welcoming, even to those he had never met. He loved being an opportunist when treats and other food was concerned, sleeping on the large leather chair in our living room, participating in rowdy time around 10-11 PM most nights as he would run around the home whining and wagging his tail with his favorite bone between his teeth, and taking walks outside on our property so he could effectively patrol the grounds to guard from cats, squirrels, and other intruders. He was everything and more for our family. 

Alex brought an incredible joy and happiness to our household that I don’t believe could have ever been matched by any other dog. Our family had been desperately hoping he would make it to Christmas for one last celebration, but it apparently wasn’t meant to be. It was easily his favorite time of year and he looked forward to being spoiled by Grandpa especially. 

Alex had a unique relationship with each member of my family. Alex saw Dad as the ultimate provider of food and other tasty snacks that Mom wouldn't want him to have. Mom was his comforter during big bad thunderstorms and his advocate for when he needed taken care of. Erin was his forever roommate as he found his best rest sleeping close next to her on her bed. From Kelly, Alex knew he would receive quality pets and TLC time.


Brenna provided Alex secret treats simply based on cuteness as well as an overwhelming quantity of baby talk, which I believe he enjoyed. And I, Tim, would take him outside for walks (as weather permitted) and play fun puppy games with him like hide and seek with treats, chasing him around the house, and tug-o-war with his favorite bone. He literally watched us kids grow from children to adults and even helped marry off 2 of his sisters, almost 3. 

I could go on for days about all of his nuances and personality quirks, but that unfortunately will not help to bring him back. Our house feels cold and lonely without him. When I say Alex was the bestest boy, I mean he really was the bestest boy. Love you bestest friend Alex. I pray that we will be reunited again and, when we are, I promise to take you for a long walk. 

Your brother, boy, and bestest friend,
-Tim and the rest of your loving family


I wanted to let you know that our beloved Circle Tail rescue, Brandee, passed a couple weeks ago. She was 11 months old when we came to “meet” her in May of 2007 and spent the next 12+ years being pampered and loved by all that met her. She was without a doubt, the smartest, friendliest, most loving fur baby we have EVER had and is sorely missed. Thank you all for bringing her into our lives and all the wonderful things you do at CT. Just felt you should know.


We are sad to announce the death of Miller, our beloved black Lab who died just before Christmas last year near the age of 15.  Over eleven years ago we came to Circle Tail and adopted him, a handsome 4 year old, who, we were told, could not be placed as a service dog because he expected treats for every task. Miller was the name he had when we got him and we decided to keep it for him.  He loved food, to be sure, but he also loved us.  He was a "people dog" with an "old soul" as we used to say; mellow, affectionate, patient and attracted to people large and small, old and young.  
I used to joke that he never met a human he didn't love, and, he was always more than willing to climb up into the postman's jeep and keep him company. Sometimes dogs take more to one person in the family than others.  In our case, Miller adopted me.  The happiest part of his day was getting to go with me...anywhere.  The saddest part was Miller NOT being able to go. Like all dogs with big personalities, Miller had habits and quirks that were uniquely his, but the predominant characteristic noticed by all who knew him was his generous and quiet affection.  He simply wanted to please us.  Even toward the end when he was sick and it was hard for him to get around, whenever I got up to do something, Miller had to get up too and do it with me whatever it was as long as I was moving he was right beside me and if I wasn't home he would do the same with Becky, my wife. I serve as the Chaplain for our city fire department, and Miller was always happy to visit the firehouse and surf the floor for scraps.  He took to the firefighters and they to him, offering each one as much affection as they wanted.  His favorite behavior was to walk up to a person who was sitting and put his head on that person's lap and look up at them with those big eyes of his.  As long as one had a hand to pet him, Miller was your nearest companion. Neither territorial nor dominant, he got along with nearly all of God's creation...kind of a living peacemaker.  I hope, as the saying goes, to one day be the man my dog Miller thought I was.  We loved him deeply and we miss him terribly.  When he died, we cried like a child who had lost a member of his family.  For, you see, we had.  Thank you for giving Miller a home and allowing us to find him.  He made our world more loving and alive every day he was with us.

Aug. 2006 – Sept. 22, 2017

THOMPSON, Jackson Robert, age 11 years, died peacefully in the arms of his parents on Friday, September 22nd, 2017, ending his long battle with cancer. Jackson, aka Jackie Chan Chewbacca Bear, was born August of 2006, and adopted into the Thompson family on February 1st, 2007. He leaves behind his parents, Jon and Stephanie; brothers, Chris and Cody; grandparents, Bob and Jan Renner. He was our Baby Bear, and will be deeply missed. To honor Jackson, we ask that families support or adopt from Circle Tail, Inc. "And like a boat out on the ocean, I'm rocking you to sleep; the water's dark and deep, inside this ancient heart, you'll always be a part of me".

Feb. 2005 – Aug. 31, 2017

We said goodbye to our little girl Zoolu aka Zoo (formerly Zudora) last week. I adopted her in late September 2006. I still remember Tracy bringing out Zoo; she walked right up to me, sat pretty, and won my heart. She was my best friend. She was very loved by all that knew her. Zoo was my first dog along with our family’s first dog as she happily welcomed my husband into our pack.

About three years ago she developed severe rheumatoid arthritis. When we first got her the whippet was all you could see but as time would tell the chucky lab slowly took over. While the medications worked at first, the past 6 months were hard on her. Her little whippet legs could no longer support her lab body with the progression of the disease. We had to make the very hard decision to let her go where she would be free from pain and could walk and run again. Thank you Circle Tail for giving us the opportunity to own such an amazing dog that will forever be part of my heart.

Until we meet again on the Rainbow Bridge; Momma loves you pretty girl. RIP Zoolu.


Sorry to report that Tak passed away August 25. I adopted Tak in May of 2009 from Circle Tail.

She was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in April 2017 when her spleen ruptured. We tried three kinds of chemotherapy with no luck. It may have bought her a few months. We had one last summer together.

She went on to do so much after Circe Tail. She became a spoke's dog and was my best friend. Her memorial site is:

I am asking folks to donate money in her name to Circle Tail.


It’s with a heavy heart that we let you know that Pinta passed away from Hemangiosarcomas of the spleen and liver on August 3, 2017. She was our only canine child and her passing has left a huge void in our tiny family.

We fell in love with Pinta during the many weekends we spent volunteering at Circle Tail. Her calm nature stood out amongst the sea of rambunctious labs who never ceased to frantically jump up on their kennel doors in an attempt to attract the attention of any and every passerby. But not Pinta. Oh no! There she was paws delicately placed on her door while she elegantly wiggled her booty back and forth, taking a dainty hop now and then.

At the time, Pinta was jet setting back and forth between the prison training program and Circle Tail. And while Circle Tail had high expectations for this calm beauty, we knew in our hearts that she would never make it to the finish line. She was far too smart and far too lazy to be amongst the elite few who graduated from the assistance dog training program.
As a matter of fact, Pinta had it in her mind that she would live out her days as a pampered house dog lazing about in her soft, pillowy bed. On occasion she would be dressed up in a Brittany Spear’s school girl costume, court jester collar, or Harley Davidson hat. . . all to the amusement of her human companions. But she didn’t mind. It only meant more attention for her.

Pinta’s jet setting did not stop at the Circle Tail prison’s. She traveled to Germany, the Netherlands, and eventually landed in Kenya where she spent the next 3 years smack talking our compound’s security dogs, eating the juicy termites that would emerge during the heavy rains & being teased by the monkeys that would pay her a visit every morning on their way to foraging.

She was loved by all the Kenyans who met her. . .so much so that they volunteered to adopt her had we not been able to transport her safely back to the U.S.

But there was no way that we would be leaving our little Pinta Beans behind. She ultimately would be living out the rest of her days back in the states where this once country girl would now become a city girl living in downtown Boston.

We will sorely miss her silky ears, goofy face and stubbornness. The deafening silence in our house now only serves as a heartbreaking reminder that our little furry, four legged daughter is no longer with us. But there is comfort in knowing that she will now serve the important role of guardian angel to her feline brother and sister who passed away shortly before her. She is survived by Lucy, her feline sister and BFF.


It’s with a heavy heart that I let you know that Bayton (Formerly to you as Bay) had passed away on June 10, 2017. He was born at Circle Tail on May 2, 2005 and was one of the many puppies that went through the prison program. I had seen his picture on the website with him looking over a staff members shoulder and immediately fell in love. He never ceased to impressed me every day with his intelligence and regal mannerisms. It only took him less than 2 weeks to show me he needed to go outside by pointing his nose to the drawer where I kept his leash and giving me a look (which he taught Phoenix 2 years later when we adopted him from and was also born at Circle Tail).
Bayton became my unofficial hearing dog once he realized that I didn’t hear certain things and alerted me to them.He loved to jump in my lap and watch TV with me as a puppy then as he grew to be too big to sit on the chair with me, he would curl up in the chair by himself to take a nap or sit with me on the couch with his front legs and torso on my lap. Then when he couldn’t jump on the couch, he would lay beside me on the floor. He also loved being pampered as I started taking him to the groomer a month after he came into my life. Then as he got older, all I had to do was ask him if he wanted a bath and he would go to the bathroom and jump in the tub. As he aged and the arthritis began to bother him, he would go to the tub and wait for me to help him in. He saw me through multiple surgeries and always knew just where to position himself to be near me without hurting me. In his usual regal manner, he sat at the top of the hill in my back yard so he could oversee everything going on and most of all, to make sure the wild rabbits didn’t enter his yard. He was my loving friend for almost 12 years and he continued his regal mannerism all the way to the end. Thank you so much for providing me with one of the best friends I could have.

Romeo: For All the Love He Gave

We came to Circle Tail in the fall of 2003 "just to look"…were particularly drawn to the litter of pups known as the "tool puppies", as they were named after various digging tools like Trencher, Auger, and the one who became our beloved Matty (Mattock)
I’m writing in to tell you of my dog Romeo. 14 years ago, I adopted Romeo from your facility. This medium sized indeterminate brown dog, that later was identified as an Australian Cattle Dog mix, he was identified as a special needs guy. He was, at the time, shy and in need of a quiet home with no children. I knew I was able to provide that, and after spending some time together with him and my now late dog Dingo, I knew he would be the right dog for my home. How much of an understatement that was.
Romeo at first was shy, but he LOVED playing chase games with his sister. Shoving the cats around with his nose was also so much fun! (Too bad the cats disapproved greatly. Oh how Emer disliked him!) Over time he grew more and more comfortable, and more sure of himself. We bonded, and we bonded together hard. He always had to be in the room with me, and he preferred to always be touching me. Such love in his eyes! It takes my breath away to think about it, and clouds my eyes with tears to remember it, and my heart aches that I’m now without it.
Romeo was with me through so many hard things. Through economic uncertainty, to divorce (he at my veil the night before the wedding, he was I think trying to save me), and depression so bad I had become suicidal. Through all those times, he kept me going. His devotion and loyalty were limitless, his love the one constant in my life. I mean it when I say I am alive today because I had him. He gave me the respite from stress, the notion that there was always a kind ear listening, even if he didn’t understand the words. He was SO SERIOUS about his job! He was going to protect me NO MATTER WHAT. Mailman on the porch? BARK BARK BARK. Car door slamming? BARK BARK BARK. Leaf blowing in the wind? BARK BARK BARK. Date coming over to see me? Romeo would sit on the couch between us and give the guy the side eye.
For all the love he gave, he had so many people that loved him. His Aunts, his Grandma, and I’m sure he viewed all my female friends as part of his harem as well. Though he was but a medium sized dog, his heart was huge, his love constant. And I had that for fourteen years. FOURTEEN.

I remain astounded and amazed at just how blessed I was to have this wonderful dog in my life for so many years. He remained devoted to the last, but his body was giving out, and he could not stand up by himself. I made the hard choice. The last thing he heard was my voice, the last thing he saw was my face and my smile for him, and the last thing he felt was my touch on his head. As I lay there on the floor holding him as he passed, I knew for a fact…I wouldn’t have changed one minute.
He was my love, my friend, my companion. My favorite hello, and my hardest goodbye. Thank you for allowing me to have given him a home and love. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

A Life Celebrated: Mattock Drew

We came to Circle Tail in the fall of 2003 "just to look"…were particularly drawn to the litter of pups known as the "tool puppies", as they were named after various digging tools like Trencher, Auger, and the one who became our beloved Matty (Mattock)
Our Matty girl had separation anxiety. She used her kennel like a hamster ball and rolled it from the back of the house to the front door where we had left. Eventually, after nearly a year, we were back at Circle Tail. Not to return her, because even though she had some issues, she had already found herself in our hearts and we loved her. So, we were back at Circle Tail to find a buddy in hopes that would help her with her separation anxiety. The people at Circle Tail suggested one dog in particular they thought would be an excellent match. This was a pup that had been adopted out and returned from the "shoe litter" born in June of 2002. His name was Adidas. Well these two hit it off from the get-go making it obvious that he was coming home with us that day. From that day on, they were best friends and the change in our Matty was jaw-dropping. More


We sadly said goodbye to our beloved Cassie this week. She was suffering due to severe hip and spine arthritis. Our vet said it is rare to see a dog of her size get to such an advanced age.
We adopted Cassie from Circle Tail in March 2002 as a 16 week old puppy. Our son was very interested in astronomy at the time and wanted to name her after the constellation Cassiopeia. That was a mouthful so eventually her name was shortened to Cassie. Over the years she was also known as Baby Cass, Casses or in later years Old Friend.
I've said many times that she was the ultimate family dog. She was never far from what our family was doing. She was always happy to tag along even if it was just a trip to the mailbox. She loved our children and patiently participated in our young daughter's games of make believe. Cassie would watch the kids get on the school bus in the mornings and often look at me as if to say "are you OK with this?" My job allows me to work from home and Cassie faithfully reported for work every day to her bed next to my desk.
After she passed away I said to the vet "they don't tell you about this day when you adopt a puppy." He agreed and added "but you wouldn't change it for the world." He was right. We are heartbroken but we are grateful for the 14 years of memories that Cassie brought to our family.

Thanks for everything. I had a wonderful time.


A Circle Tail service dog "flunkie," Emma was supposed to be my foster dog just for a few weeks, but it was soon clear we were meant for each other. I will forever cherish our bond. I'll miss her adorable little fuzzy face, her "bracelet" on her paw, her sweet kisses. How lucky I am to have shared my life with such a beautiful soul.


We lost our beloved family member and my first Search And Rescue partner, Kali, on April 24th, 2015. I adopted her as a puppy from Circle Tail in May, 2000 after she was released from the Service Dog Training Program due to her high energy level. This same trait made her a perfect candidate for a new career as a Search And Rescue Dog. We started training together immediately and became nationally certified as a Wilderness Search Dog Team when Kali was only 18 months old. We maintained this certification and deployed on many searches until she retired at 10 years of age. She continued accompanying me and my new K9SAR partner, Major, to training and demonstrations until last fall. Even in her old age, she continued to get excited and bark wildly every time the gear and uniform boots came out, so I couldn't resist bringing her along as a team ambassador whenever possible.

She was the perfect example of "Work Hard, Play Hard". She fit wonderfully into our active household. She was also quick to offer a cuddle during quiet time. She was an invaluable teacher and playmate for my next Search Dog, Major. We are forever indebted to Circle Tail for allowing us to adopt her and cherish this one-of-a-kind dog. She is greatly missed.


After being a member of our family for 14 years we sadly we said goodbye to our loving sweet boy Parker on Monday. He was a gentle giant who loved everyone, never met a stranger and only wanted to keep his family safe and to be loved. He brought us so much joy and happiness through the years. He was a constant companion to our grandson Quentin. When Q was younger Parker was his full time playmate, wherever Quentin went Parker was there. He watched over him better than a Nanny could have and loved every minute of being with him. He was a part of our family, he ate when we ate, slept when we slept and played when we played until he was too old to participate and then he stayed by us and watched.

We will forever be grateful to Circle Tail for giving us the opportunity of bringing Parker into our lives. He was the best dog ever, a keeper for sure and gave us all a love that will remain in our hearts forever. My grandson is 18 now and in college but he was with Parker as he passed on Monday and probably gave Parker the most fitting tribute by telling him quietly as he prepared to go on “I hope you make some other little boy in heaven as happy as you have made me.” That says it all – we love you Parker and you will forever be with us.


Moon was born at Circle Tail and entered into their foster program until the fateful day Maryls said, “I have the dog for you.” A gentle giant that ruled the dog park with a velvet paw. The other dogs just naturally seemed to look up to him, literally and figuratively. Many of our vacations revolved around him. We didn’t go anywhere without knowing where the dog friendly places were. One of his favorite places both in Northern Kentucky and North Carolina was Lowe’s Home Improvement. He recognized those aprons knowing many contained treats. He attended nearly every dog event in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky winning prizes for tossing a treat from his nose to his mouth. He had even taken up running and did two 5k’s. Moon enjoyed every minute of his life and so did we. He will be forever missed.


Avi was such an amazing, happy dog that it both feels natural yet ridiculously selfish to cry for her. The last thing she'd ever have wanted was for me to be sad -- about something she had no control over! It's been so hard. I keep expecting to see her around a corner, or when I open a door -- and she's not there. I know she's still here, with me, with all of us. I wish they could all be here forever. Had I not adopted Avi and thought, no, this is too hard I can't go through with this -- look what I'd have missed!!! As my hearing dog, she made the IAADP newsletter twice, and even in her last 24-hours on earth, we "played" touch -- the game I used to teach her to alert me. The day before, she was still running full-steam and jumping onto my bed. And it was to me she came when she knew it was time to go. And I'm blessed beyond belief to have known her. And I know, someday, I'll see my girl, again.


I lost my best friend Cayman last Wednesday on 8/20. He was simply put, a great dog. Cayman could erase my worst day with his wagging tail and deep eyes. More than one person who met Cayman described him as an "old soul". The adoption was fate. I saw Cayman's profile and wanted to adopt him. I was going to see him on a Saturday but he was adopted out earlier in the week. Two weeks later Marlys called and said Cayman was returned and wanted to know if I was still interested. The rest was history. I had 11-1/2 wonderful years with Cayman. Cayman was a golden retriever/ New Foundland mix who loved being outdoors and in the snow. He loved car rides, belly rubs, but most of all he just loved being with my Dad and I and we loved being with him. He was a puppy in his heart till the end and I will miss him dearly. I feel his presence at night when all is quiet, I know he is watching out for us and waiting till we meet again for another "Hey Cayman, car ride buddy?"
Rest well Cayman, love you always.


We lost our beloved Koko on March 9th. We got her from Circletail in February of 1999. The name she was given at Circletail was Shimi. She was a Chow Shepherd mix, and would have been 15 in May. We are grateful for the many happy years that we had her in our lives. Koko had an underbite that always made her look as if she were smiling. She took a huge chunk of our hearts with her. Oh how we miss her. She loved the snow. I am attaching pictures of her; . . . one that was taken in December during one of our many snow storms this year.

2003 - 2014

Carmella rescued me and my daughter in the fall of 2003 after I fell in love with her photo on your website. Timid and reserved in the beginning, she eventually grew comfortable in our home and accepted us as her new family. Carmella brought much love and happiness in to our lives. She developed a most unusual human-like smile she’d often greet us with upon our return home. She was no watchdog, but that was ok by us. She would only bark at people walking their dog by her house. She wanted to make certain they knew just whose territory they were trotting by! Carmella loved her walks, ear/belly rubs and grooming time. I can still hear her cooing noises as I’d rub her ears/belly or brush her soft golden fur. Carmella slept in my daughter’s room until she left for college when I was happy to welcome her in to my room at night. Everyone loved Carmella! She became the neighborhood dog as none of our immediate neighbors had dogs. I eventually had to ask the neighbors to stop feeding her treats because she was starting to gain weight! Carmella had two houses as she sometimes spent time with me at my friend John’s house in the woods. She loved exploring the scents in the woods, splashing in the river and sharing late night bonfires with us. John spoiled her as well as he built her custom stairs for her to climb up on the bed since in her later years the jump up on the bed at night became difficult. God was kind to Carmella as she walked over Rainbow Bridge, taking her quickly without much suffering and for that we are very grateful. Yet he took her too soon and so unexpectedly. She will be forever missed yet forever remembered in our hearts. Play Carmella in the sunshine with the other dogs and sleep in the shade, keeping warm always. Until we meet again CarmellaBellaBear.

July 9, 2002 - July 6, 2012

Thank you Circle Tail for the amazing gift you gave us nearly ten years ago when we adopted our Maverick (then "Tank") when he was just 13 weeks old. I'm so sad to say that we had to say goodbye to him today, just 3 days shy of his 10th birthday. His liver was failing him and, after two weeks of tests, we knew there was nothing more that we could do. He was an amazing dog...a loving, gentle dog who was SO good to us and our three children. He will be greatly missed, but we are so thankful to have had him in our lives. What a blessing he was. Thank you so much for the work that you do and the joy you bring to so many families.


Today we lost a beloved friend. We adopted Neo from Circle Tail in 2004, and he immediately became a beloved member of our family. He loved everyone, and everyone loved him, too. Last week, he developed ITP, and in just a few days his condition deteriorated to the point where we felt no more could be done for him. He is at peace, but we are grieving terribly for our tremendous loss. Neo was the best dog we've ever shared our lives with, and our home will never be the same. He truly was a joy to have with us. Thank you for making it possible to have him join our family. If we decide that another canine companion is a good move, Circle Tail will be the first place we look for a good fit.

Daisy Kiblinger
November 28, 1997 – March 14, 2012
“The Forever Puppy”

Daisy was absolutely the perfect dog for me. She was my little ray of sunshine, always joyful.

Daisy came into my life when she was 2 months old. What a little fuzzball. Although everything and everyone around her was new, her curious and friendly spirit was obvious. Her body may have gotten old, but her spirit never did – on her last day of life, she played out in the sun, rolling in the mud and leaves and chewing on a stick, took a walk, cheerfully greeting the neighbors, and was surrounded by love. She was happy from the beginning through the end.

My Dad called her the forever puppy, because of her playfulness and enthusiasm for life.

She liked playing fetch and tug-of-war, rolling around in the grass, and swimming in the Circle Tail pond. When Circle Tail had a booth at various festivals and events, she often accompanied me to staff it. She made an ideal ambassador, greeting everyone with an enthusiastic tail wag and a smile. The more people to pet her, the better!

I’ve had her almost my entire adult life, and can’t imagine life without her. I had so much fun with her, and cherish all the special memories. She was, and will always be, the love of my life.

Remembering Sadie

Sadie came into our home at the beginning of January 2005. It had been a few years since we had dogs and we felt the house was a bit empty without them. We found a wonderful group that let prison inmates help raise and train dogs for adoption called Circle Tail. They had rescued Sadie from a shelter who was going to put her down because she was pregnant. They told me she was one of the first adoptees they took in who was allowed to have her puppies. We took her and one of her puppies home to live with us and they filled our life with joy.

Sadie was small and round and had tiny little legs. She was a mutt but she had a strong dose of Corgi in her. She had such a pretty shade of light brown tan fur and the most beautiful and soulful chocolate brown eyes.

She was a very laid back girl but took protecting her new home very seriously. She would bark at anyone who came into the house she did not know until they petted her then she would go back to her chair or window content that she had done her duty.Her main duty was taking care of her puppy Sophie who got regular face lickings regardless of if she wanted them or not. Sophie would try to cover up her face with her paws but Sadie would just root them out of the way and get on with being a good momma. She was very devoted to her pup and her human family.

She loved to watch the world go by and could spend hours just laying outside. Her favorite time of the year was spring and fall when her thick coat of fur would let her stay out comfortably for long spells. During summer and winter her humans would always be bothering her and making her come in after only a few minutes claiming she would freeze or overheat. One of the best things we ever installed in the house was a big bay window that she loved to lay in. She had problems getting from the chair into the window with her stubby little legs but she would try until she got there. We ended up buying two separate doggie stairs for her. One went up to the solid side table next to her chair and the other one, weighted with a brick so it would not move, went from the table to the window. She loved to walk up to her window and see the world unfold before her.

She was one of the most gentle dogs I have ever known. There were so many ways she showed this. If she was following you upstairs she would always stay a few stairs behind you so she would not trip you. She would wait for her treats and not rush at you to get them.

C.S. Lewis once said "The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal." This is that pain that you pretend will never come. I cannot imagine still that I will never hug her again or pet her or talk with her while she looked on with rapt attention even though she had no idea what I was talking about. She left a mark on all of us and those seven brief yet infinitely long years Circle Tail gave us with her are a gift I will never be able to replay. Rest in peace Sadie Paddy Pretty Lady. We are better for having had you in our life.

Rookie, therapy dog and beloved Golden

Rookie came to Circle Tail as a puppy from a breeder in North Carolina. She entered the service dog training program and was trained by prison inmates in basic and some intermediate obedience skills. She was released from the program at 8 months of age over concern with her back legs. My sons and I were at Circle Tail that day walking dogs and Marlys told me to take a look at her. It was love at first site and she came home with us that day! From that day on, Rookie and I would take a wonderful journey together as partners in pet therapy and as ambassadors for Circle Tail. After some additional obedience training with me, Rookie passed her therapy dog testing with flying colors in 2005 and we became members of Therapy Dogs of Greater Cincinnati, an affiliate of Delta Society. Rookie brought joy to many people, especially children, during her therapy dog visits which included the day center at the Cincinnati Epilepsy Foundation, Shriners Burn Institute for Children, Mason High School (developmental disabilities), and Western Row Elementary reading program. In addition, she attended many talks with me at various schools and Circle Tail events.

Rookie was a beautiful, gentle, loving golden with a heart of gold. People often commented to me that they had never pet such a soft dog before, as her coat was very silky, and it warmed your heart to pet her. For me, she gave me unconditional love and a purpose to bring comfort to others by sharing my dog. She was my dog and I was her special person and I am forever thankful for that bond. I will miss the way she followed me wherever I went in the house and stayed at my feet while I spent countless hours writing at the computer. It was funny to watch her jump right up when the computer log off sounded as she knew that meant some quality time for her! I will also miss her wet nose and warm soft muzzle, her wiggle butt when happy, and her golden whine when she greeted me or anyone at the door (with shoe in mouth!). She enjoyed our daily walks, getting belly rubs, playing catch in the yard, reveled in chasing squirrels, and loved spending time with her sister, Bathilda, our Cairn mix. She was an avid swimmer, though I didn’t get her out enough, and loved going to new places and meeting new people. She was the social butterfly of our particular team! I want to thank her for sharing my life, although for much too brief a time, and for always being there to support me and our family in every aspect of our lives. Rest peacefully, my golden girl, and I look forward to the day when I see you running to me over the Rainbow Bridge.

November 2003 – December 2011

Bogey 2000-2011

I first met Bogey (Boyd) online while searching for a dog for my husband. My daughter was going to give him as a Father’s day present. We had just relocated to Ohio, and my husband was still back in California packing. So I typed in Blonde Labrador Large, and up popped “boyd” at Circle Tail. I filled out the application and made a date to meet him. Tracy met me out at their facility, and as always I was running late. She already had Bogey on a leash, and when I saw him I was “Oh No!” I had no idea what to expect, isn’t 132lbs average for a big dog?. Tracy said “take him for a walk.” Well we know how that turned out. All I remember is Tracy saying “take charge of him.” I was like “Sure” as he drug me across the rocks in heels I had on from work. I was hesitant to take him home, but Tracy assured me he will be fine. From that point on, he took my husband, me, my kids and all that met him for the walk of their life. He was the sweetest gentlest dog, I had ever met. All everyone could say is “WOW” that is a big dog, I didn’t think labs got that big?. Well Boges was in more ways than one. I have never seen a dog move around furniture and not even knock the dust off, yet leave a handful of blond hair behind. He thought he was just one of the family, and he was, and still is.

We loved bogey more than we could ever know until he left us September 16th. He was a wonderful companion, he watched our home, he made sure everyone was safe before he could rest, and he even let our grandbabies sit on him like a baby horse, until they got too big. He would follow the youngest in the house whoever that may be, to make sure they were always safe, and he knew where they were. He was such a gentle giant with a heart bigger than him.

We miss him, and would do anything to have him back, But I guess God had another purpose for him to move on. We lost our son in December, so we believe our Son Justin needed a companion up there, so as Bogey always did, he went where he was needed.

We love you Boges, Rest in Peace Baby Dog.

Scooby Doo

Scooby and Kali

Today I bid farewell to a loyal and faithful friend. As I sit and reminisce about his life and our time together, it’s hard to believe that it’s been over eleven years. I first encountered Scooby at Circle Tail in March of 2000. At twelve weeks old, Scooby was displaying all of the drive and attitude necessary to become a working search dog and I was in need of a partner.

I took Scooby on a trial basis on April 1st, 2000 and began a combination of search and obedience training and officially adopted him on April 16th, 2000. Scooby received his first obedience certificate in May of 2001. One month later he received his Canine Good Citizenship certificate. On June 24th, 2001 he passed his first Wilderness Search Dog test and was put into active duty with South Western Ohio Search and Rescue (SWOSAR).On November 17th, 2001, at just 22 months old, Scooby received his certification from the North American Police Work Dog Association, clearing 60 acres of wilderness and successfully locating the hidden subject in less than fifteen minutes.Scooby also received a certification in cadaver search in July of 2001 as well as his Wilderness Search Dog certification from the Ohio Search Dog Association (OSDA).Scooby served on active duty with multiple search teams through 2003. As my life change, Scooby was ever adaptive. Moving from an apartment to a home and then a second home, adding a wife and eventually five kids. Scooby was always patient and great with the children.By now, his well muscled one hundred pound frame was diminishing, his black muzzle was riddled with white and time was taking its toll.
With his back legs failing, Scooby and I made our last visit to Circle Tail this morning. He made a short walk around the parking area and then slept for the forty‐five minute ride home. We said our final good‐bye at 3:35 pm and he made his run for the rainbow bridge.
Farewell my friend, until we meet again. Good boy, good boy.

(12/1/1999 – 8/2/2011)

Picture of Rhone


Rhone was adopted from Circle Tail in January 2005 by our son Ryan, he cared for her for 3 years until a new job required him to move to Chicago and he was unable to take her. Knowing what a sweet girl she was we agreed to give her a home. Rhone was a beautiful dog and had an amazing personality, she had an intense love for her family and people in general and had to visit everyone she saw during her walks. She began visiting a local nursing home and quickly became their favorite dog, she also visited the Ohio Veterans' Home in Sandusky. She brightened the days of so many people during her weekly visits. She was a loved and valued member of our family, we miss her very much. In October 2010 she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer most common in larger breeds. She died on February 7, 2011. This was a huge loss for our family and all the people that she visited and who also loved her. Rhone is the January girl on the 2011 Circle Tail calendar, her calendar photo is the first one in the video Please take a few minutes to view a tribute video we made in her honor and experience a bit of her life.

We'd like to thank the great people at Circle Tail for rescuing her and giving us the chance to adopt her and provide a home for this wonderful girl.

Picture of Saga


The "second lady” of Circle Tail left us this past week. 8 1/2 years ago, Saga escaped euthanasia at an Indiana shelter and came to Circle Tail. With much patience, training and socialization, along with mentoring under Circle Tail’s “first lady” Abby, Saga went from a fearful young dog to a therapy dog for adults with disabilities and a regular Circle Tail greeter. She regularly went on trips to the prisons, talks, and in later life loved to hang out in the new Training Center office. Her gentle spirit and “I love life” attitude will be missed by her pack and all the Circle Tail volunteers.

June 2001 – January 2011

Picture of Tarka


At 6 weeks of age, Tarka came to Circle Tail in 1996 and became one of the first Service Dogs in Training. He received all of his obedience and service skills in a foster home. When he was 1.5 years old and ready to be partnered as an assistance dog, he developed Inflammatory Bowel Disease and had to drop out of the program. It was a great loss for Circle Tail, but a tremendous gain for me. Tarka joined my household of 2 cats during Christmas 1998. He was my first dog, ever. For the next 12 years, Tarka was at my side. He has taught me so much about dogs and dog training. He tolerated multiple foster dogs in training into the home, showed them the ropes and made sure they abided by the house rules. If they were too slow at a command or skill, he would take over, always remembering the skills he was taught as a puppy. Where ever I was, Tarka was watching over me. He was a quiet but powerful presence throughout the years. He had a smile that would light up the room and my heart. Sadly, Tarka's body was failing. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge January 2, 2011 and joined all of his friends who went before him. Tarka captured my heart and soul. He taught me the meaning of unconditional love and devotion. He was my friend and my protector. He is greatly missed.

June 1997 - January 2011

Pictrue of Euchre


Just wanted to pass a note to you, not even sure if it matters to you but my best friend, my companion, and so much more than my dog has passed away. His name was Euchre. I was the Correctional Officer at RCI where Euchre lived and trained. He was and always will be contrary to any ones opinion the best dog that Circle Tail ever produced. He saved me in many more ways than can be said. Please Honor him as he deserves it.
Picture of Zeke


Our faithful, loving friend, Zeke, was put to rest on April 17, 2010. We got Zeke from Circle Tail back in March of 2001. It didn't take long for him to become a treasured member of our family. He especially bonded with me, and was my canine soul mate. Throughout his life, he endured IBD, seizures and autoimmune disease. With the help of his veterinarian, we were able to keep these under control so he could live a normal life. His biggest battle, and the one that he finally lost, was when he was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelothopy in 2007. Since there is no cure for this horrible disease, all we could do was try to slow its progress. We started taking him for weekly acupuncture and water therapy. His therapy became a weekly ritual for over two years. Since his original prognosis was six to nine months, it shows you what a fighter that he was! They called him the "poster child" at the clinic where he went for his therapy :) He actually was able to walk on his own until about the last six weeks of his life. I held my Zekie Boy as he left this world, and told him I would see him again someday. There wasn't anything I wouldn't have done for him, and I know the feeling was mutual. His passing has left a hole in our lives and our hearts. Rest in peace, dear Zeke.

January 14, 1999 - April 17, 2010


In the summer of 2006 I had the pleasure of adopting Pugsley, a boxer mix, from your organization. I have never been so blessed. He was hands down, no question, the best dog I have ever met and he quickly earned “rock star” celebrity status in the neighborhood shortly after coming home with me. Everyone loved him. He possessed all of the best qualities that a dog could have. He was loyal, obedient, affectionate, humorous, snuggly, playful and charismatic… his size and low booming bark gave the misleading impression of a fierce gate keeper… however that quickly faded as soon as he was appropriately introduced to whoever approached. He was perfect for me.
Sadly, Pugs began having some health issues late last summer. He was diagnosed with a degenerative nerve condition in his left rear leg.
Picture of Pugsley
This gradually progressed to his other back leg and then to his bladder and bowels. He was almost to the point where he could not raise himself without assistance and he could no longer sense when he needed to potty. Unfortunately there was nothing medically that could be done to prevent the deterioration of his nerves or improve his condition.On Tuesday, February 9, 2010 I made the heart breaking decision to say good-bye to Pugs. As word of his passing spread throughout the neighborhood, we received dozens of cards and visits from adults, kids and his doggie buddies. As I said, he was a celebrity on our street! Three of his best buds still stop and sit at the end of our driveway everyday during their daily walks. (In the past when they would stop we would let Pugs out to say Hi and play for a bit). Their “people” literally have to drag them away (sometimes resorting to carrying them away) – with the dogs looking over their shoulder the whole time waiting for Pugs to come hobbling out to greet them.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you for matching me with Pugsley and for providing me with a friend that will forever be in my heart. I have purchased a memorial tile for your new building in Pugsley’s name, and I’ve attached a photo of him for you (this one was taken about 2 years ago). Thank you for providing such a wonderful service to this community.


In 2002 I went for surgical removal of abdominal adhesions and overnight hospitalization. I woke three months later in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit on a ventilator. Imagine my surprise! My surgery had gone horribly wrong. A loop of perforated bowel went unnoticed at closing, and infection was soon followed by total body sepsis. According to my spouse, I was a cornucopia of medical problems: fluid in my lungs, uncontrollable high blood pressure, kidney failure and massive swelling in my brain.
Picture of Nixa
Picture of Nixa
The last proved hardest to overcome. The areas of my brain that control balance, coordination, speech and cognition were compromised.After the three months in a coma, I spent another three months in the hospital recovering and learning how to be a person again. There I received speech, cognitive, physical and occupational therapies.After release from the hospital, I lived in a hospital bed in my living room for weeks, continuing with all of the above therapies. I spent the better part of a year working on regaining the functions I had lost. I relearned how to speak, read, write, walk, feed, dress and all the other activities that make one human. However, no matter how hard I worked, I could not stop falling. One moment I'd be standing up and the next thing I knew I would be on the floor. I was also dropping things all the time. In July 2004, Nixa came into my life. Nixa, a beautiful black lab, was my service dog and my constant companion. You saw me, and you saw Nixa. She kept me safe and kept me from falling. When I would start to lose my balance, Nix would stand totally still so I could lean on her shoulders to steady myself. Nixa picked up the hundreds of things that fell out of my hands. I had no idea how many things I was dropping until Nixa starting giving them to me! Nixa found all my lost pens. Words cannot express how Nixa changed my life. Sometimes I was so thankful to have her that I would well up with tears. Nixa would lick my cheeks as if to say "Mom, it's my job." She gave me confidence and comfort. I knew that Nixa would be a big help to me. I had no idea that Nixa would give me back my life. Now I picture Nixa in a wonderful place with plenty of rabbits and squirrels to chase. Nixa drinks from a stream that occasionally bubbles up peanut butter. Nixa gets to romp as much and as long as she wants. I am so thankful to have had Nixa. I miss her so.
Picture of Snaves


In memory of Snaves Lee Watson. Snaves (left) and Lilly (right) were almost always touching when resting. Here Lilly has her head on her big sister. We are celebrating her specifically and celebrating senior dogs in general.
Picture of Zach


I first met Zach his first weekend at Circle Tail, which just happened to be Valentine's Day weekend 2003! He was slated for the assistance dog program, so I didn't see him for a few months. In July of that year he was back at CT - and Tracy told me to walk him last because he was going home with me... And he did! Through the past six years, Zach has had his troubled times - but those were far outweighed by the love, comfort, companionship, and cuddles that he provided. We'd had a few scares in the past 3 1/2 years, and I told Zach he couldn't leave me - that I wouldn't be able to get through school/clinicals/boards exams for occupational therapy and deal with his passing on top of it. I got word from the State of Ohio yesterday that I am a licensed occupational therapist - Zach knew this, and it was his time to go. The cancer was throughout his body - he'd held out for me, for that I am thankful. I was with him, and holding him as he passed. And I'll see him again - at that Rainbow Bridge .

Doing what he did best - providing and receiving unconditional love


(A Therapy Dog, and permanent Circle Tail resident)
Luke, also affectionately known as Lukie-Duke, a 100 lb Akbash, was one of the original Circle Tail “therapy dogs”. He came to Circle Tail in 1998 and from the beginning it was obvious that he wasn’t “assistance dog” material but that he definitely had all the makings of a “therapy dog”. He went to various talks and demonstrations, strolling amongst the masses who marveled at his beauty and calm, gentle nature. He was most at home with children; letting swarms of little ones snuggle into his soft fur. He was always up for a walk with the volunteers at Circle Tail and greeted volunteers with a kiss and a lean! This year he started to show his age and walks got slower, but he was always ready for a nice stroll on the Circle Tail grounds. He went quietly to meet Abby (his GSD housemate for 7 years) at the Rainbow Bridge on a sunny Saturday morning, surrounded by his 6 four- legged housemates and 4 of his close human companions. Luke’s smile will be missed by many.

May 22, 1997 - September 13, 2008

Providing therapy at Halloween!
A Picture of Sonny


(A Service Dog)
Sonny was a 72 lb. blonde Golden Retriever, born 2-9-99, partnered June 2001, and died 8-2-08. We were extremely close. He was a big help. We spent only 30 mins. apart in 7 years. Everywhere we went, people told me what a pretty dog he is. I became very used to his presence.
Editor's Note: Sonny helped with every day living - retrieval, opening / closing doors. Sonny helped Jay stay independent. Jay is heartbroken over his sudden/ unexpected death.

February 1999 - August 2008

Picture of Merlynn
Picture of Merlynn


We lost our magnificent Merlynn on Monday July 7, 2008. Apparently she was born in May 1993 and she enjoyed a wonderful 11 years with our family. My 3 children adored her. My bird was able to sit on Merlynn's head. She was patient with everything and everyone. Our house has been buzzing with activity since Merlynn came from Cirlce Tail to live with us. Everyone I know loved her. Many of my clients cried when they came for their weekly sessions with me and Merlynn was gone. People talked about what an incredible animal she was all the time. My own mom, disliked being around all animals except for our Merlynn. We loved her so much and she was a gift from heaven. There will never be another dog like her, but we will never be without our memories of her.
Picture of Merlynn


It is with a sad heart that Circle Tail wished Abby, faithful and much loved canine friend of Circle Tail, a safe journey across the Rainbow Bridge.
Circle Tail and Abby’s life as the Circle Tail demo dog both began in 1997. As Circle Tail continued to grow and touch so many lives, so did Abby. Every assistance dog who passed through the Circle Tail training program was trained under Abby’s silent but effective tutelage. Guards and handlers alike knew Abby when she walked through the prison gates to lend a paw with the dog program. Saturday training classes were held under her ever-watchful eye. Abby was and always will be Circle Tail. She will be greatly missed by all those whose lives she touched.
Some people are blessed with experiencing the unconditional love and absolute devotion of that true, once in a lifetime, canine soul mate - the dog that seems to become a part of who we are. Circle Tail’s Director, Marlys, and Abby had such a relationship. The Friends of Circle Tail send our sincerest condolences to Marlys.

November 1997 - April 27, 2006


It's with a sad heart that Circle Tail said goodbye to Jesse, our second retired assistance dog. He was well loved and will be forever missed by many.
This good-natured Shepherd / Rottweiler mix retired from his job as a Seizure Response Dog in fall of 2003 around the age of 6. Jesse was partnered as a Seizure Response Dog in August 2000. He was partnered with a gentleman who he helped when he had seizures. Jesse was so well trained and bonded to his partner - he pulled the lifeline 5 times in the first year alone, summoning EMTs! After Jesse’s partner had a stroke, he was no longer able to care for Jesse and utilize his skills. So Jesse's new job was to be a pampered pet and he was adopted into a loving home. With his change of career, he had it made!! He played with his elderly canine sibling, was stalked by the 3 resident cats, hunted "rabbits" (and the occasional misidentified leaf!) and received pets and belly rubs daily from his new mom and dad. For three years, he lived the life of luxury where his family thought he was the best dog in the world.
From a stray puppy, to an honorable Assistance Dog, to a retired pampered pet, Jesse's life was filled with love and adventure; however, never long enough for those of us left behind without him.



It is with a very sad heart that we write to tell you of the loss of our beloved Boston Terrier Bert. We adopted him from Circle Tail two years ago ... when he was 6 or 7 years old. He was such a fun, silly boy ... and brought smiles and laughter to all of us. Our sons were especially attached to this wonderful little guy. In July, he was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor. Earlier this month, the tumor entered his brain ... and we had to say goodbye. We thank you for helping us find Bert. He was such a wonderful part of our family. We miss him ... and we love him still.

The Life of Dooley

Dooley, our vibrant Black Lab, led an exemplary life. He came to our house at 10 months old, fresh out of his first round of service dog training and ready for some fostering from teenage triplet dog handlers and their mom.
With his fastidious manners, pensive look, remarkable patience, and an uncanny ability to “serve” each of us in his own way, Dooley quickly won over our hearts. This gentleman of a dog became our beloved pet in February 2006 after being dismissed from the service program for barking at prisoners. We believe he was calling out to us to be his family and we quickly obliged.
For fifteen months, Dooley entertained, comforted, played with and protected us. After a sudden diagnosis of leukemia and a brief, valiant battle, Dooley left this Earth on March 26, 2007 to be of service in a different place. Our hearts are broken and we grieve his loss but are grateful for the time he was part of our family. His spirit endures. Rest in peace, Dools. Woof, woof!

Dec 14, 2004 – Mar 26, 2007


It is with a heavy heart that we say bye to Autumn as she journeys to the Rainbow Bridge. Autumn did not come from Circle Tail but her constant companion, Baxter (one of Wren's puppies) did a little over 2 years ago. We miss her so...we love her so...she will be missed but never forgotten.

Sonny 1/19/05 - 1/29/07

It is with a broken heart that I have to tell you that Sonny, one of Wren's pups, lost a recent and short battle with an aggressive form of cancer. Not that he would ever show any pain or discomfort, but by the time the diagnosis was made, it was too late, we had to make the decision to tell our baby goodbye. I am thankful though for every second we had together in this world and that we made the most of it. It's almost like he knew from the start that he didn't have as long, so his star burnt as brightly as it could for as long as it could. He loved unconditionally and with all his heart and expected nothing in return, we were lucky to briefly cross paths with him. We will be forever left questioning why he was taken from us so young, when he touched so many people's lives in such a positive way. He brought us smiles and joy every single day, and no words can express how much he meant to us.
He was our pillow and blanket, our student and teacher, our tour guide and workout partner, our taste tester and guard dog, but most of all, he was our best friend and our son. There is an empty place left inside us until we see our sweet boy again. Thank you for bringing us together.