And the Winner Is!

As many of you know, we asked for photographs of dogs to grace the cover of our new booklet on welcoming an adopted dog into your home. Karen London and I are working hard on the text right now (too short?! no, too long!? rinse and repeat . . . ) but I can tell you that the official title is Love Has No Age Limit and after looking at over 700 photographs (wow!) we have settled on the photograph you see below.

So here he is: A dog named Theo, who like many of the dogs whose photos were submitted, came with an amazing story. He was found running loose along a highway in New Jersey, and sat in a shelter for 3 months before Kimberly Wang of Eardog Productions in New York found his picture on Petfinder. Kimberly spent three hours with him at the shelter, and was entranced by his eagerness to learn and his “natural tendency to make sustained, relaxed eye contact,” in spite of being an untrained, goofy adolescent. She brought him home and now he is an accomplished photo model, a Licensed Service and Therapy dog, and a friend to all he meets.  I love that he is named after Theo Van Gogh, the painter’s brother who devoted his life to supporting others, just as Theo the dog is doing today.

But, wait, there’s more . . . So many great photographs came in that we are going to use lots more of them by putting another photo on the back cover and starting every section with a picture. We’re also going to put a selection of photos, and the stories that came with them, on a page on the website, once we get then selected and approved by their owners. That’ll take us a few weeks perhaps, but stayed tuned, we’ll let you know as soon as it’s up.

Here’s Theo:

MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Triplets! Rosebud had the first lambs of the spring, 3 little ewe lambs who are terminally cute. (Check out their photo on Facebook!) More than that, bless them for having full bellies when I discovered them in the morning. I had said that I hoped Rosebud would continue her history of having healthy lambs all by herself, producing just the right quantities of creamy, colostrum-rich milk and being an attentive mom to two healthy lambs.  She did all that but went one better, by having triplets. I shouldn’t be surprised, she had triplets last year too. What a girl.  Next up is Spot (due today, but this line seems to be later than the woolly breeds by 2-4 days, Rosebud was actually due last Friday) and then the noble Dorothy and the piggy ewe, Brittany, who are both due on Saturday.)

Willie is thrilled to be off leash right now, although still no playing outside and no herding. The herding restriction is hard for both of us; it’s great weather, the ground is dry and it would be good for the sheep to move around. We’ll just have to be patient, surgery is scheduled for May 14th. I’d do it sooner but Jim’s family comes first. Willie’s is doing his exercises 3 times a day (with a few exceptions during family crisis days) and he is getting visibly stronger on both shoulders. We’ll post a video of his exercises as soon as we can get them.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who sent best wishes to my family. Jim’s sister is finally back in her own home, under hospice care. We are also incredibly lucky to have a family member who is a nurse, and she is there pretty much 24/7. Jim and I will go up to visit as often as we can. One day at a time . . . a good reminder to all of  us to live one day, one minute, one moment at a time.


  1. says


    Theo and I are so incredibly honored that you’ve selected his photo! Without a doubt, “Love Has No Age Limit” will positively influence countless dogs and their humans, and we’ll all be the better for it.

    Theodore and I both hope we’ll have the opportunity to meet you in person! But until then, we’re so happy to make a contribution to your next booklet!

    Warm regards to you, Willie and the whole family!

  2. Sue says

    Oh, Trisha, my heart is with you, Jim and his family during this time of simply being with Jim’s sister and one another. It is a precious and intense time.

    Wonderful choice of photo–I love that Theo is (to my eye anyhow) not a recognizable breed type. He’s a terrific looking generic dog, very dignified appearing in this photo.

    All the best as you await Willie’s repair.

  3. Annie R says

    Theo really is a cool-looking dog. What does his momma think he is? Any good guesses?
    I love the game of guessing at mixed-breed backgrounds; I probably enjoy it because I have no attachment to coming up with accurate answers; it’s fun just to look at the dogs’ features.

    Like Theo — loove the upright wide ears — they look like those of a Kelpie belonging to a friend of mine. Then there’s his coloring, and what looks like some significant height; Dane maybe? His general head shape looks like that too. But who knows? Above all, he is his own handsome dignified self, much greater than the sum of his parts, obviously!

    Glad to hear Jim’s sister has such a great support system; makes the process less stressful at least. May you both get some quality time with her, Trisha.

    And yay for Willie improving with his exercises; can’t wait to see them. I need some new ideas for my aging Aussie’s steadily weakening rear legs. Mostly we just walk steadily and do a few steps here and there. He’s 15 so I don’t expect we’ll get a big recovery at this point but it’s good to maintain what is possible.

  4. Beckmann says

    Beautiful, I am looking forward to read your new book.

    Glad to hear the good news re. your family, all the best.

  5. liz says

    Many wishes of a smiley and peaceful time for your family.
    Is there such a thing a therapy lambs? They might help?!? 😉

  6. Amy says

    I can’t speak for every rescue dog owner, but I know that I hope that our rescue dogs will become as well rounded as Theo. Hopefully his story along with the other rescue dogs published in the book will encourage more people to adopt dogs. Congratulations to Kimberly and Theo!

    Best wishes to you and Jim during your continued hard time.

  7. Lucia says

    I am moved after reading the article :)
    What a beautiful story Theo has! It gives comfort, it really does. And I am sure there are many other wonderful stories among all recieved. :)
    The little lambs are just adorable – I have seen them on FB and it is good to know Willie’s spirit is lighter :)
    Thank you once again for your post and many many wishes to you and your family.

  8. Susan says

    Theo is a great-looking dog, and I love this photo! It will make a wonderful cover. I thoroughly enjoyed Theo’s blog, too! Wow!

    Sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. She is lucky to have such good care and family around her. Thinking of you and your family during the days ahead.

  9. says

    To all of you lovely folks who’ve extended your congratulations and kind words..THANK YOU! Theo was clearly in very good company and it’s so exciting to hear that Patricia will use other doggie photos in the book, too!

    To Annie R: Your analysis of Theo’s ancestry was fun to read! Theo is a mix of border collie and greyhound. He’s quite tall/long. When he works with kids at the library, I always say, ‘Who do you think is taller, you or Theo? And they always say, ‘ME!’ Then I stand him on his hind legs and he towers over the kids. Funny.

    To Amy: I love what you wrote. One of the reasons I’m eagerly anticipating Trisha’s new booklet is because I so passionately believe that rescue/shelter dogs can make wonderful, productive additions to the family. I often meet people on the street who’ll say: “Your dog is so well behaved. Mine is a brat! Where can I get one like yours? What IS HE?” And I say, as nicely as I can: “It’s really about the training and your commitment to it and your dog. Theo is a mutt, through and through.” And then, “Have you ever read ‘The Other End Of The Leash?’ That’s a good place to start.”

    So, that Trisha’s book will help so many folks create a strong and healthy relationship with their newly adopted dogs is monumental. (Theo is absolutely a product of what I’ve learned from Trisha.) In fact, it should be required reading for anyone adopting a dog….perhaps then, far fewer ‘returns’ and abandonments of those dogs will occur.

    I hope Patricia won’t mind my noting: if any of you would like to read more about Theo’s adventures, you can check out his blog. He’s a kooky guy, and so, I enjoy sharing his stories with friends!

    Warm regards to you all! And thanks again for your kind words. :) Theo would blush if he could.

  10. Lucia :) says

    To Kimberly & Theo: Gratz for the story and the picture it is really really good!

  11. em says

    Everybody’s said it before me, but I’ll add to the chorus, Theo’s a beautiful dog and a great choice for the cover! I’m excited that Trisha’s book will be available as a resource for people taking on the not-always-easy task of adopting an adult dog. Outside my choice of spouse, adopting Otis was perhaps the most rewarding decision of my life . Yippee for Trisha and Karen London! Hooray for Theo, cover model extraordinaire! (That eye-contact is captivating…one of the reasons that Otis WOULDN’T make a very good dog model…he absolutely won’t sustain direct eye contact for love nor money. I’ve got a lot of profile shots.. :-) Theo’s a star! Greyhound and border collie…he must be blazing fast :-) ).

  12. jackie says

    Theo is gorgeous! (Not as gorgeous as my dog, of course ;))
    Best wishes to all of you, Trish.

  13. Dee says

    Theo is a great choice! Congrats, Kimberly. What a wonderful idea to use more of the dog photos and stories!

    Congrats to Rosebud and her three lambs. Wishing you well with the other ewes and the rest of lambing season.

    Oh, good for Willy to be off leash as much as he can be.

    Hugs to you, Jim and all the family during this difficult time.

  14. Annie R says

    @eardog/Kimberly — OK, Border collie and greyhound — aha! Now I see it! Well, I wasn’t too far off really with Kelpie and Great Dane, was I? Theo’s story is really impressive and I can’t wait to read the blog and his adventures. So wonderful that you’re able to do so much with him. It is so funny about you standing him up to impress the kids; I bet they really are startled. Congrats on the photo “win”; he is truly amazing with the eye contact, and looks like an old soul.

    I too am reminded to thank Trisha so much for all she gives us in understanding our canines. Those of us who get “used” dogs from shelters and rescue organizations need to be able to “see the dog” and know something about how they think to help them transition and be the best they can. Thank you Trisha! You do make a difference in many many lives!

  15. LynnSusan says

    Congratulations to Theo–a true Jersey Boy :)–regal and dignified!
    I am very much looking forward to seeing him on the cover of another book that I am sure to make my “bible” when counseling folks who are thinking about adopting an adolescent dog .

    I recently sent “The Puppy Primer” to 2 friends who each recently adopted puppies. I am happy to report that my friend Kristine credits the techniques in the book to bringing 4-month old Pit mix, Cadi, back into the yard ,when she wriggled her way out of the fence. It might have ended very differently if Kristine and Cadi hadn’t been working on a good recall.

    Prayers and good thoughts for peace,
    LynnSusan & Gracie

  16. says

    No question in my mind, you picked the right photo for the cover! I’m sure it wasn’t easy choosing. I look forward to seeing the other photos featured on the back and throughout the book/website.

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