Once upon a time, the Brands family found themselves without dogs after their three senior pups crossed the rainbow bridge one after the other. Kenna Brands and her family waited more than a year before even considering bringing new four-legged friends into the family. One day, she convinced her husband to go look at a dog at PetSmart. When they arrived, however, the dog they came to see wasn’t there – but a little 5-year-old French bulldog was. The pup was scared and had been a puppy-mill dog, but the Brandses took to her right away. Due to some health issues, she wasn’t available for adoption right away, but the foster group agreed to bring her out for a home visit. When the All About Paws member brought the bulldog for a visit, they also brought a Xoloitzcuintli (commonly known as a Mexican hairless dog, or Xolo) to keep the bulldog company.
“[The Mexican dog] showed up in her PJs and had a little white mohawk and a sweet, soulful face,” Brands recalls. “She was in our house for about 10 minutes, and we knew she was supposed to be here.”
They called All About Paws and said they wanted to adopt both dogs. The 3-year-old Xolo, now named Zoey, came to the Brands family in early March 2018, and the bulldog, now named Chaka, a few weeks later.
“Zoey has been awesome with helping Chaka learn how to become a dog,” Brands says. “Zoey wants to play so much, and Chaka didn’t know how to play.”
While the Brands family was acclimating their two new family members, they kept in contact with All About Paws. And that’s when they got the call about Timmy Tornado, another Xolo who was 1 year old. They brought Timmy over for a visit, and “Timmy and Zoey turned our backyard into WrestleMania,” Brands says with a laugh. And so, the Brands family grew by another member as Timmy joined the family in September of the same year.
One of the things that endeared the Brands family to Timmy was his patience with Chaka, who’s slower to warm up to people and other dogs due to her background of abuse.
“He plays softer with her and gives her snuggles,” Brands says.
In the months that they’ve had her, Chaka has adapted to her new family. It was harder for her than for the other two, and Brands said she almost cried the first time the pup came over to her asking to be held.
“When you see that from a mill dog, it’s so rewarding,” Brands says. “Her love is so pure.”
Hairless Zoey and Timmy are spending their winter months lounging around in their pajamas, though Brands says Timmy doesn’t seem to realize he’s hairless and loves to play in the snow. Brands says their skin is soft like a baby’s, and they need to be rubbed down with coconut oil after their baths. But the family has come to love the interesting-looking dogs and their quirky personalities – particularly how they all get along together.
“We just love our dogs so much,” Brands says. “We’re so grateful for All About Paws.”
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All About Paws Rescue
P.O. Box 621, Bridgeton