Happy Endings | Makeovers

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In Memoriam


Rover was rescued at a kindergarten near the beach. He was about four and he lived nine very happy years in his forever home. He sadly passed away recently. He was fine up until the night before he died--he even played with his favorite ball that afternoon. He was a bright spirit who never complained, even when his chronic arthritis made it hard for him to get up. He was a gentle giant that will forever live in our hearts.


In 2008, Edilia Vazquez rescued a small sheepdog that she named Shane. All Sato Rescue reached out to New England Old English Sheepdog Rescue for help in placing this "mostly" (but not really!) English sheepdog.

Loretta and Michelle of Medway, Mass. were ready to open their home to a "mostly." They renamed this happy, vivacious dog Rico. Rico enjoyed life in Mass. until he retired to Sarasota, FL in 2015. He loved his many daily walks there, especially his early morning one when he got to greet all the other dogwalkers and dogs.

Sadly, Rico was diagnosed with kidney failure and was laid to rest in March 2018, after giving his family over nine years of companionship. He is greatly missed.


We were sad to hear that Fenway passed away surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 11 years old. That's him on the left next to his dad, who is a very compassionate dog lover. Fenway leaves behind canine brother Jack, an 8-year-old Plott hound, and "Big" Leo, an Italian greyhound who showed up at the front gate one day and decided to stay for dinner. That was over 4 years ago. On the far right is Fenway's human brother Chris. Fenway arrived in Mass. many years ago with his five litter mates.


Casey crossed over the Rainbow Bridge inNovember 2013. His last week was difficult, but he stayed calm to the end. Health issues were affecting his quality of life, and there was nothing that could be done. As on that first day when his parents adopted him and gave him the first hug, they were with him at the end for a final embrace before saying good-bye.

Casey had been adopted seven years ago through a partnering shelter of All Sato Rescue located in New Jersey. Casey came into the All Sato Rescue system after a woman who found him waiting outside the house she had moved into--his owner had left him behind! When he first arrived at his new adoptive home he was timid, but after receiving love and encouragement he came to trust his parents and others. Casey became the “best” dog you could hope for, always obedient and willing to please. Early on he responded to words and commands. One of his neighbors remarked, “He’s the nicest dog on the block.” When another dog joined his family, two years after adopting Casey, he welcomed her immediately. They were best buddies for five years, enjoying many walks and lying in the sun on our patio in nice weather.

His parents cherish the memories of Casey . . . . . . he definitely made their lives richer by being a part of it.


Lovely Belle, a Senior Sato and beloved ambassador for Puerto Rico's finest export, passed away in October at age 16. She leaves a huge hole in the lives of her family. Her mom said it feels as if she has lost a limb.

Tipping the scales at about ten pounds, Belle was a small dog with a big personality. Contrary to most Satos, she was not a foodie. But, she lived every other facet of life to the fullest. She adored her snuggles, walks, naps, and play times.

She was also a constant companion,going everywhere with her moms--to work, on vacations to Florida, NYC, NJ, and Seattle (and that was just in the last year!), and for walks on the beach near their summer home on Cape Cod.

Belle was a gentle and steadying presence during many ups and downs--offering support during deaths of loved ones and sharing joyous occasions like her moms' wedding where she served as "best dog."

Belle had been slowing down the last few years and let her family know when it was time for her to move on. After a rough start on the streets of Puerto Rico, Belle knew a life full of blessings, perhaps the most important being the fact that she knew she was a cherished member of the family.


Back in May of 2002, we heard from a family that had just adopted Gordy...they wanted to let us know that he had settled into his new home and bonded immediately with his new human siblings--a 7-year-old brother and 5-year-old sister. In fact, Gordy was already spending every night curled up at the foot of his brother's bed. His mom said that she had not wanted to let Gordy on the bed, but he and his brother were so cute together that she didnât have the heart to separate them. (And, yes, we do like her VERY much for feeling that way!!)

They said that Gordy was so popular with all the kids in the neighborhood that whenever he went outside, they all started calling his name. Then Gordy would spend the day running around after all of them. His mom said that he had his own fan club. Gordy was also a quick study. He learned all his indoor manners within a week.

Gordy was the absolute best dog! He was full of personality - He didn't walk into a room, he skipped or trotted always! He loved people and loved to snuggle up with them, even if he had just met them. One of his favorite things to do was sit outside in the sun for hours at a time (Satos love their sun!) He was a happy, loveable little guy - people would comment that he looked like he was smiling. He probably was.

We were so sad to learn that Gordy died of cancer in January 2012, after almost ten years as a loving companion, neighborhood fixture, masterful cuddler, and loving brother. His death left a very big hole in the life of his family, but he will in their hearts forever.


Here's a lovely note that we received about Pancho from his dad.

About 10 years ago, we adopted a Sato from the Animal Shelter in Sterling, Mass. named Pancho. He grew to be the most loving, loyal, and wonderful family dog one could ever hope for.

He was also a terrific watch dog. Pancho always let us know when someone was approaching the house. During his time with us, our family grew with the birth of our son and daughter. Pancho was great with the kids and followed them everywhere to make sure they were okay.

In the fall when I cut trees for firewood, Pancho was right there with me. He never turned down an invitation to go for a walk, cut wood, or go for a car ride.

While he loved everyone in the family, he seemed to form a special bond with me. Pancho stayed by my side no matter where I went in the house. If I made a move to leave a room, he was right there and would follow me. No matter how late I got home from work he was there to greet me.

While this story is one of great happiness and joy, it has a bittersweet ending. On January 18, 2010 at 1:30pm, Pancho crossed the rainbow bridge. While his heart was big and strong, his kidneys weren't, and we lost him. We all still love him and miss him terribly.


Fernando was a very special rescue for ASR President Edilia Vazquez. She spied him in a near-death scenario as he was attempting to cross an expressway. Fortunately, Edi had some yummy sausages with her, for just such an occasion, and she was able to get this gentle lab mix into her car and off to the vet.

Blind in one eye, from a beating, Fernando also had a bullet lodged in his shoulder. But none of that affected his temperament: he didn't have a mean bone in his body.

He went to Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, MA where he was adopted by an extraordinary family with parents and two human brothers. Fernando was in heaven.

But in August 2009, he sustained a spinal injury when he lost his footing during a particularly expressive leap. He was in considerable pain the last few months of his life, but his family was always with him.

Everyone at ASR loved Fernando. He was a great role model in showing that cruel experiences don't have to make some one or some thing cruel. We are very grateful to his family for giving him the life he deserved--even though it was a short one.

Reflections on the Passing of Chopin: Forever in our Hearts

September 13, 2009

He woke me, early, for his morning walk. Except, this time, we needed no harness, no leash. He even gave up his collar which, in the past, always seemed to make him uneasy when we removed it, as I am sure it reminded him of the days when he did not belong.

We walked for miles through town, on this peaceful Sunday morning, to the crossroads of the Sudbury Reservoir, where the road separated two levels of water, encompassing a mini-waterfall and whirlpool.

Months ago, we had made a bucket list of sorts, which included a run on the beach at sunset. Unfortunately, a no-dogs-allowed sign, and his life-long aversion to water (undoubtedly from his days seeking shelter from the hard rains of the streets of San Juan, where he had roamed as a homeless dog), seemed to divert us from this simple pleasure.

Not so this morning. I lifted myself over the guardrail and set myself down on the rocks with my feet over the water's edge. I reflected on our unfettered love and my sense of loss. And then he appeared. No longer my sleek chocolate lab-doberman, but rather a slender solitary water bird. He landed upon a lone rock in the reservoir about two hundred yards away.

We sat in silence and pondered what had come, and gone, and returned. He reminded me that a life well-lived defines and provides meaning to all creatures and beings.

We recalled the list and, as he spread his wings to dry, the overcast sky began to thin some, and veins of blue broke through the early morning mist. We looked at each other for some time, and then, he rose from the rock, he danced upon the water, and he flew as strong, as proud, and as happy as he had ever been. For now, the fear of water was gone; the bucket list complete.

And as he flew away and faded from my sight, I realized that I had my own bucket list and that I had achieved, its most important item, which, until now, had evaded me through my self-absorption: To love without limitation, to give of yourself, selflessly, to know when to let go of the ephemeral, and to cherish the memories of a life seemingly too short, yet so full, is the greatest gift we can give to another being, and to oneself.



Charlie was left to die a slow death of starvation and dehydration by his previous "owner." He and his sister sharpei were locked in an abandoned house after the owner moved. An ASR rescuer moved heaven and earth to get them to safety. Both dogs were emaciated, scared, and had serious skin issues.

After many months of treatment, Charlie was ready to fly off to start his new life with the help of our dear friends at Mid-Atlantic Chinese Shar-Pei Rescue Operation in Bethesda, Maryland. They found the perfect home for Charlie, on a large farm in Virginia where he has a new best friend/brother named Oliver. Now he gets to hang out on the green grass and be petted and adored, as he should be.


It's hard to look at photos of Kylo when he was eking out a living on the streets. We hate so to see any living creature in this much pain. Fortunately, a kind friend of All Sato Rescue whisked him to safety and spent many weeks helping him heal.

She gave him medicated baths and lots of love. Kylo flew to Humane Society of Greater Nashua in New Hampshire under our grant from ASPCA/Subaru in early March of 2016.

Fortunately, he didn't have to wait too long to find his forever home. We heard from his new mom and she sent us wonderful photos of him enjoying his great new life. For instance, he has an older brother named Rocky who is really fun to play with. They go to the dog park together and play tug of war, and sometimes Kylo tries to take Rocky out for a walk, as you can see here.

Kylo is outgoing, fund, humble and sweet. His mom studied in San Juan during the fall of 2015 and saw first hand the terrible situation for abandoned animals on the island. Little did she know that she would have a chance to bring a little bit of Puerto Rico into her home in New Hampshire.


When All Sato Rescue President Edilia Vazquez first rescued Echo from the streets, he had terrible mange. His skin was raw and he had very little fur. He was in a lot of pain.

Echo needed special medicated baths, as well as other treatments and supplements to get better. It was tough going.

During that time, we posted his photo on facebook and a lovely woman in Long Island, New York reached out to us. She was originally from Puerto Rico and knew first hand about the plight of animals on the island. She wanted to adopt a new canine member, who could be a good little brother for her other elderly dog.

Over the course of many months, as she waited for Echo to heal, she kept sponsoring his care. Echo's fur finally grew back and his lovely personality began to emerge. He is a very sweet, playful guy, who loves to give kisses.

Just a week ago, he took a flight to New York and to his forever home. It's all a bit overwhelming because he now has a big backyard, a comfy bed, special toys, a new mom and a new brother.But he's so very happy that he can't stop wagging his tail, as you can see here...(That's Echo on the right and older brother Wacko on the left.)

Maria de los Angeles

Maria de los Angeles was a teeny puppy when an All Sato Rescue volunteer rescued her from certain death on a busy highway. She was malnourished and covered in sores. She had terrible mange and was terrified.

Fortunately, All Sato Rescue has a way of transforming sickly scared puppies into happy, healthy, confident adults. These days Maria has a lovely new name--Bella--and a wonderful new home with a very patient dad who understands how hard it can be to resist the allure of shoelaces! He has very kindly begun turning the socks down over the top of his work boots so she won't be so tempted. Bella was adopted through the Animal Shelter in Sterling, MA.


One of All Sato Rescue's most cherished rescuers, Maru Salgado, was driving on the expressway early one morning when she noticed a tiny puppy trying to cross the road. The woman in the car ahead of Maru had no intention of stopping, so Maru screamed and gestured. Thankfully, the car stopped and Maru ran out to pick up this little two-pound bundle from right in front of the woman's tire.

The puppy was shaking, her little heart racing out of her chest, but Maru told her that she would be safe from then on...And when Maru makes a promise, she won't give up until it happens. The dog's little body was covered with scabs from ant bites and invaded by fleas. She also had a belly full of parasites.

As time passed, the pup started to grow and became the sweetest, funniest, healthiest and most voracious eater youâll ever meet. She used to dance at dinner time!!! Mischievous yet obedient, fast yet gentle, smart and wiggly she became the princess of the house! When she was fully recovered, she took a plane to Boston and went to Cape Ann Animal Aid in Gloucester, MA.

We are happy to report that Lucy is now happy, healthy and very, very, very loved. From the moment she arrived at her forever home, she became an important member of the family. In fact, her new family says that as soon as they saw Lucy, it was love at first hug and lick! She was 17 pounds then, and now she tips the scale at 30. Her parents say that she is a small dog with a "big personality"!! And lots and lots of love to give!


Back in May 2012, we learned about a sweet little dog that had been badly and intentionally burned by someone for God-only-knows what sick reason. Despite this horrible ordeal, Olive was incredibly sweet.

She was going to need extensive veterinary care and even then, her fur probably wouldn't all grow back. That meant that it would take a very special person to look beyond Olive's physical appearance to focus on her wonderful heart and brave spirit. But even before that, it would take a very special shelter to accept Olive.

Fortunately, we were with some of the best shelters on the planet and one of those, Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, MA, agreed to take Olive and find her the perfect home.

We are happy to report that that home has been found! In an August email, we heard from Olive's new parents who say that she is adjusting very well to her new surroundings. She's been meeting and playing with other dogs in the building, and seems a real social climber ;)

They went on to say that Olive had just had her first visit to her new vet and then went home and fell asleep with her feet in the air!

Lily and Holly

In May 2010, All Sato Rescue received a desperate call from a woman who had found a box on the side of the road with this precious cargo. It's a sight that we see all too often on the roads of Puerto Rico. At All Sato Rescue, we will never turn our back on puppies...and these poor things were in terrible shape. They were emaciated, as you can see, and covered with fleas and lice. Despite our best efforts, two of these sweet pups died soon after. We were worried about saving the rest and put out the word on facebook in hopes of getting help to meet their costly medical needs.

We are truly blessed with many wonderful supporters--but our friend "Joe" is in a category all by himself. He immediately stepped in to cover their medical costs. As we kept him posted on their progress, he began to fall in love with one of the little girls. In fact, he decided that he wanted her to be part of his large canine family, which includes THREE other Satos! And in an amazing show of generosity, he paid the entire transport costs of getting the puppies to New England.

Joe met the flight at Boston's Logan Airport so that he could pick up his new girl....but there was a problem. Lily had an identical sister, with whom she was very bonded. Holly was scheduled to go to Buddy Dog Humane Society in Sudbury, MA.

Because Joe has such a big heart, it was very hard for him to see the two dogs separated at the airport. In fact, he couldn't stop thinking about how sad they both must be to have arrived in a strange new place, without being able to support each other.

So, Joe planned a trip to Buddy Dog so that he could bring Holly home too. When the two dogs met again, they were ecstatic. Now they get to play together with all their great new toys, sleep next to each other in their comfy new beds, and even take swimming lessons together in their own pool! Plus, they get to hang out with their Sato siblings in a beautiful home in NH.

Kani Andrea

Kani Andrea was named after the Kennedy TNR effort on January 22. When Aidita and Maru rescued her, she was the only one alive within her litter mates. She was so small, weak, vulnerable and all bitten up by ants. Because of her Valentineâs sponsors, she has gotten the extra care she needed. Kani Andrea is strong and a fighter, she must be needed somewhere to perform her duties as a guardian angel.

Going by a new name, Lyla, she has done a complete turn around. She is such a happy puppy in her new forever home. The days of struggling are far behind her and her future promises to be bright.


It took a village...but we did it! From starving on the beach in Puerto Rico, to a Manhattan pied a terre, Duke has learned just how kind so many people can be! It was a lovely lesson, given his earlier experience. This beautiful purebred boxer was dumped to fend for himself. We will never understand how anyone could do that. But, luckily, an ASR friend, Courtney found him and started feeding him.

Courtney took him off the beach and into her home. You could tell that Duke wanted to feel safe, because he kept trying to climb in the lap of Courtney's husband....trouble was, he's a little big for a lap dog. ASR began to reach out to boxer rescue groups to find help for this lovely creature. It was clear that Max was a special soul. Everyone got lucky, when Northeastern Boxer Rescue very kindly agreed to take him in and find him a home....Next thing we knew, Duke was getting a ticket on an American Airlines flight to Boston.

NBR very graciously found a foster home for Duke in New Hampshire with two of the most compassionate people on the planet! They gave this guy lots of love--changed his name to Don Juan because he oozed charm--and soon discovered some secrets of his past. For starters, he had been living with a badly broken jaw. We can't imagine how painful that must have been. DJ also had venereal disease. But even with these health issues, his foster parents wanted to help build his confidence and get used to the good life. They took him on a boat ride on a beautiful lake.

During DJ's health treatment, a couple who were originally from Puerto Rico found his photo and story online and wanted to meet him. They drove all the way from PA to NH. It was a love match....but these nice people had to wait several weeks because of his medical issues. Finally the day came for DJ to go to his forever home--a condo near Times Square where he spends his weekdays and a lovely home in rural PA for weekends. DJ was a little spooked by the elevators, but now he's a pro at using them. He has a new name too....it's Duke. He has some great outfits including this stylish sweater. We are so grateful to everyone who helped make this makeover possible--especially Northeastern Boxer Rescue for taking a chance on a dog from Puerto Rico and his foster parents, who spent eight months nursing him through so many unexpected health issues. We can't thank you enough.


We are going to start this story with the "after" photo rather than the "before" photo, simply because Makai's condition when he was rescued was so dire. So, here he is today, now called Jack, with his new mom (on the left) and ASR President, Edilia Vazquez, who truly brought him back to life.

In April 2008, a kind-hearted soul spotted Makai begging for food. This poor animal was suffering from horrific mange and was totally hairless. His skin resembled elephant hide: covered with scabs and bleeding from open sores. He smelled pretty bad too. But despite all this, he was incredibly friendly. His tail never stopped wagging as he lay patiently in wait of a handout. This highly disturbing photo shows just how bad it was.

There was no way this amiable fellow could be left to suffer. Soon enough, he was on his way to San Juan and Edi's nurturing home. Edi started him on antibiotics and weekly dips to treat his mange. As his hair came in, Makai proved to have lovely reddish brown coloring. He quickly learned to walk on a leash and was kind and gentle to the other cats and dogs at Edi's house. This photo was taken when Makai was well along in the healing process.

He seemed to know how lucky he was and he appreciated every second of his new life. He thought things were pretty good--and they were--but the best was yet to come. He arrived at Buddy Dog in Sudbury, Mass. and was adopted by a wonderful woman who treats him like the treasure he is. Renamed Jack, he has a huge armchair for naps, a coat for winter, and plenty of love.


Here's little Mick on the beach at Yabucoa where had been abandoned.


Here's little Jonah on the beach in Yabucoa where he had been abandoned.

Jonah and Mick

Here are brothers Jonah and Mick at Cape Ann Animal Aid all healthy and ready for their new forever homes. They were abandoned on a beach that is known as a notorious dumping ground for Satos. But, their future is bright.

Ray and Ranen

These two pups were just days old when they were found on Dead Dog Beach, a notorious dumping ground for dogs on the East Coast of Puerto Rico. Dead Dog Beach was the subject of a story in People magazine that you can find in our section on Media Coverage.

The pups were tiny, hungry, and scared. But dedicated rescuers bottlefed them during the first critical weeks.

Here's Ray at about one week old.

And here's Ranen at about one week old. It's hard to imagine an animal this young and defenseless left to take care of itself.

A safe home, lots of food, and love around-the-clock can work miracles. Look at the siblings now! The two were flown to Boston and picked up by our friends from Cape Ann Animal Aid. They were adopted very quickly and are now in their forever homes where memories of their early days on the beach are receding fast.


ASR President, Edi Vazquez, found this purebred boxer wandering her neighborhood. Malena was in terrible shape--she was skin and bones and covered in ticks. The "before" photo is Malena at the vet's office. The vet wasn't sure she would make it.

But Edi was on a mission, as she so often is, and nursed this gentle dog back to health. Over many months of foster care, Malena grew stronger and her funny personality started to bloom.
For instance, she loves to dance exhuberantly when dinner is being prepared. She loves everyone and everything and isn't shy in showing her affection. Malena went to a rescue group in Maine, where she was quickly adopted into a new home where she gets long walks on the beach.


Nita was rescued from a construction site where she was dodging trucks and trying to find food. She was very timid at first and not at all happy about getting her first round of vaccinations

After being flown to Boston and taken in by the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, Nita ended up in her dream family. Even though she was pretty shy in the shelter, she was instantly drawn to her new dad. Now she has loving parents and a canine brother.