Once upon a time a red-headed baby Duchess was born into the royal family of Dogue De Bordeaux.

Once upon a time a red-headed baby Duchess was born into the royal family of Dogue De Bordeaux. Duchess Bonni was a shining example of the royal family bloodlines. As she grew up to be a beautiful lady, her family was pleased — until, Duchess Bonni fell short of her royal family obligations by not producing the number of heirs required of her. Banished, locked away in an isolated, tiny, concrete room, a broken Bonni retreated to her “corner.” The family couldn’t have this blight on the family name, nor the expense of caring for an “unproductive” Bordeaux, so in the dark of night she was dragged from the “palace,” the only safe place she knew, and abandoned in a land far away where she would never be traced back to her royal beginnings. 

Duchess waited in the middle of that dark foreign land, terrified of everything that moved or made a sound, frantically looking for her “safe corner” that was nowhere to be found. Sunrises and sunsets came and went but no one came back for Duchess. One morning a man walked through the field where Duchess sat and spoke to her kindly. Duchess was terribly afraid of this stranger but when he returned with the lure of food and water, her hunger and thirst trumped her terror. Being sure to keep a safe distance, she followed him back to his home. Duchess Bonni Dogue De Bordeaux’s journey to a new life had just begun. 

Bonni was adopted by a prince and princess named Chuck and Julie who recognized that royal beauty locked away behind those sad, fearful eyes as Bonni crouched, trembling in the corner of her foster home. This special couple was determined that their patient love could set her free from the fears and scars that held her prisoner, releasing her to be the beautiful creature she was meant to be.   

In another land, not far away, was born a chubby little royal English Bully baby named Lady Bertie Bee Berkenshire. She was an adorable delight to her family — for a while. But, Lady Bertie Bee was not content to lead a quiet, sedate life, confined all day long tucked in the corner, watching life go by through prison bars. Bursting with affectionate personality, confidence, and an irrepressible zest for life, she loved to chase, roll and wrestle, play in the water (and mud), jump on the furniture, slobber her toys, and snuggle! Her behavior was far too “un-lady-like” for her “father” who was a very busy man. This young girl begged for attention that he wasn’t providing, so Lady Bertie Bee was sent to the FFAA orphanage. 

Duchess Bonni’s “parents” witnessed amazing progress as she took courageous baby steps away from her past. But, she still battled a great deal of fear and loneliness lurking inside, in spite of all the loving reassurance they gave her. They began to wonder if Bonni needed a “sister” to model for her how good life could be. As they began their search and as coincidence would have it, they received a letter from Duchess Bonni’s former foster parents who were now fostering Lady Bertie Bee Berkenshire! Foster Mom (I) agreed with their “sister” idea and wondered if these two girls might be a good match. Bertie desperately needed a home too, where she could be loved, appreciated and set free to be the happy, delightful girl she was meant to be.

These two royal adoptions have created a “sisterhood” and a “family” that was exactly what everyone needed so much. Bertie Bee brought her comical, sweet, confident little self into her new home and nothing has been the same. Bertie immediately embraced and celebrated her new life and the love of her new parents. She quickly began to show Duchess Bonni how life and love should be experienced! 

Almost daily, Duchess posts on her Facebook page the struggles and miraculous strides she has taken since her adoption, and even more since the arrival of her new little “sister.” Last night, Chuck and Julie posted a video of Chuck’s arrival home after only being gone for 15 minutes. Duchess Bonni greeted him with kisses and an ecstatic doggie dance. Lady Bertie Bee ran “Dad’s home” happy laps as she skidded around the kitchen tile — and they lived happily ever after.    

Leanne Williams is president of Faithful Friends Animal Advocates.