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By Diana Waldhuber


This is the second episode I’ve watched of the National Geographic Channel’s hit show, DogTown, and for some random reason, I decided to check out DogTown’s Web site. I’m glad I did.


Dogtown was set up as part of the Best Friends Animal Society, a non-profit organization that is building no-kill shelters, programs and forming different partnerships in an effort to reduce the number of animals killed in shelters to zero. Since they started in the late 1980s, they’ve managed to reduce the number from roughly 17 million per year to about 5 million.


Their philosophy? "Kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us."


I think that’s a philosophy I can most definitely live with and it’s something you can see in each story DogTown tells us.


This week we were introduced to Rose, a pit bull rescued off the streets during Hurricane Gustav. She was so skinny her rescuers feared internal organ damage and with blood in her stools, she was rushed to an emergency clinic for treatment. Lucky for Rose, she was fine and Dogtown nursed this super friendly pup back to health, and finally into a new and loving home.


The loving and protective dog Sophie, meanwhile, had become so aggressive in protecting her owners that she would attack strangers and was eventually given up. Dogtown brought in an animal behaviorist who specializes in dangerous behavior to teach Sophie not only that her aggression wasn’t appropriate, but that good behavior brings rewards. And it worked.


Of the three dogs presented this week, the most heartbreaking (and uplifting) story belonged to Ellie.


Ellie spent two horrible years living with 20 other dogs on a flea-infested porch. Of all the rescues, she was in the worst condition. In fact, her skin problems were so bad that she lost most of her hair. It didn't help any that she had an unusual skin tumor.


Ellie, however, had a strong will to live, and with the help of Dogtown, she was on the road to recovery in a place with all the love and attention she deserved.


If you didn’t watch the episode, you’ll be relieved to know Ellie is just fine. But, seriously, her story had me blubbering like a baby.


Tune in next week. Something tells me you should keep the tissue box at a handy distance, though. Just in case.