Live Big: Our Journey to Storm through Petfinder. #StormLiveBig

Live Big: Our Journey to Storm through Petfinder. #StormLiveBig
01 Dec 2017

Saturday, January 9th, 2016… a day that I will remember always. I don’t think I have cried more in my life. It’s the day we had to put down Dakota, our lovable rott’n’lab, who had been a part of our lives for over 13 years.

No matter how good or bad my day was, she was always waiting at the door for me. When I was away, she didn’t sleep in her bed… she slept by the door, until I came home.

The many memories she gave us will live on. We are so blessed fro all of the love she brought into our life.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than she loves herself.”

I miss her so much.

Dakota hadn’t been gone for more than a few days, before the girls asked if we were going to get another dog. We had all been thinking about all the love Dakota brought into our home. We knew we wanted to wait a few weeks before looking. It took us about 2 months to find Dakota, as we wanted a young puppy, to maximize our time with them. We knew we wanted another female, and were not overly picky about the size or breed. One thing for sure though… we wanted to rescue a dog. Dakota was a rescue, and rescuing is important to us.

Wendy had found Dakota on Petfinder in early October 2002. We had been looking for a dog since returning from our honeymoon in August. So on January 18th, we all gathered around my computer and started searching through listings on We didn’t care how long our search took. We wanted to find the right addition to our family.

On January 18th, we found 4 dogs we felt would be good candidates. We reached out to all 3 rescues. 2 of them had already been adopted, but the rescues did not update their listings. The last rescue had 2 of the dogs we wanted to see. They said that we could come and meet them both on Wednesday evening (January 20th).

When the girls got back from school on Wednesday, I let them know that as soon as Wendy got home, we were going to see “Lucy and Lily” from Blue Collared Canines in Dunnville. They said “where?” Dunnville is a small town located on the Grand River, close to where it meets Lake Erie.

petfinder storm with rachel

It was a dark and stormy night…

No, it really was. We started our journey to Dunnville, which was just over an hour drive from our place, without traffic, and in good weather. Well, by the time Wendy got home from work, it was rush hour, and it started snowing. About 2 hours after we left home, we arrived at the rescue.

petfinder storm with wendy

As we walked in, we were greeted by several dogs. In came Lilly and Lucy, the two newest additions, rescued from a Northern reserve past Thunder Bay with their mom Zoey. We played with both dogs, and took turns holding each of them.

petfinder storm

We are true believers in that the dog chooses it’s family, just like the wand chooses it’s owner. Yes, we are all Harry Potter fans too!

petfinder storm with craig

In the end, it was Lilly’s snuggles and kisses that won all 4 of us over. She was coming home with us.

On the drive home, we all talked about what we were going to name her. It was still snowing, and very difficult to see more than 20 feet in front of us. As Rachel and Lauren played with her in the back, Wendy said to me, “what a day for me not to check the weather. I wasn’t expecting this snow storm.”

Ding Ding Ding!

Storm. None of us were expecting to find a dog this quickly. The fact that we went to see her, and were bringing her home in a snow storm, was just fitting.

Welcome to our family, Storm Lilly Silva.

What is Petfinder? is a database of hundreds of thousands of adoptable pets, from more than 13,000 shelters and rescue groups throughout North America, with over 600 active groups in Canada. More than 25 million pets across North America have found their forever home on Petfinder since the organization was established in 1996 – that’s an average of 1.2 million pets per year. Petfinder joined the Purina family in 2013.

Petfinder encourages more people to consider adoption when adding a pet to their family. By removing barriers within the adoption process, Petfinder’s goal is to make the pet adoption process easier by connecting people with adoptable pets.

It took us 2 months to find Dakota, and 9 days to find Storm, both on on,

When you adopt a pet…

You Save Two Lives.
You save both the pet you adopt, and the pet the shelter can take in as a result of your adoption.

You Know What You’re Getting.
Many pet shelters and rescue groups provide behavioural assessments on adoptable dogs, and veterinarian checks on all adoptable pets.

You Can Find Your Perfect Pet.
Each year, 6-8 million dogs and cats across North America enter shelters, in addition to countless other species. You can find nearly 300,000 adoptable pets on Petfinder at any given time.

You Save Money.
Shelters and rescue groups usually cover initial veterinary costs, including:
• Spay/neuter
• Distemper vaccination
• Rabies vaccination
• Heartworm test
• Flea/tick Treatment
• Microchip

petfinder timeline has been operating for over 20 years, and is updated daily. Their mission is simple:

To use Internet technology and the resources it can generate to
1. Increase public awareness of the availability of high-quality adoptable pets
2. Increase the overall effectiveness of pet adoption programs across North America to the extent that the euthanasia of adoptable pets is eliminated
3. Elevate the status of pets to that of family member

Social Storm

Be sure to follow Storm on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Big Daddy

Disclaimer: Storm and I are Purina Canada ambassadors. All opinions are our own. Woof… er… word.

If you would like me to review your service, product, restaurant, or travel destination, please send me an email or tweet me @BigDaddyKreativ

Petfinder is only a directory of homeless pets and pet adoption organizations. No information in Petfinder is guaranteed. Although the information on Petfinder is updated frequently, it is always best to call the facility or organization that lists the pet to insure it is still available and to insure the information listed in Petfinder is accurate. It is crucial that any pet found through an adoption service be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian immediately upon adoption. Any pets found, adopted through, or listed in Petfinder are the sole responsibility of the adoption organizations and/or the adopting party.

Petfinder accepts no responsiblity for any liability or for any injury or damages to any person or property caused by any listed animal, as well as any cause of action, claims, suits or demands whatsoever that may arise as a result of such injury or damage.


Craig Silva

Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, blogger, and social media manager. Craig likes to go camping, travel, go on road trips, watch movies, read with his girls, build stuff, operate the grill, and play bass guitar. In June 2017, PR firm Cision identified Craig as one of Canada’s top 10 most popular male bloggers in the parents and family space. Known as Big Daddy Kreativ, his blog specializes in travel, lifestyle, food, automotive, events, parenting, movies, tech, recipes, health, pets, reviews, and giveaways.

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