Dog News

Cinderella’s Story: Marine Corps Family Gives Abused Dog A Loving Home

by Amy Drew

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Photo: Morgan Kinzel Photography ----------------------------------
Photo: Morgan Kinzel Photography

Cinderella, known most often these days as “Relli,” had it tough for her first six years, which were marked by abusive treatment. Her luck turned the day Ohio-based rescue Paws and Prayers put her up on its site, utilizing all the tools in their grasp to up her chances for adoption.

One such tool was the Pets for Patriots icon, which is what Marine reservist Caleigh noticed while perusing the site for a third rescue to add to her pack. Before Relli’s arrival they were a family of six, she and husband Chuck (a Marine with multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan under his belt), their two sons, Jameson and Jaxon, and two rescue dogs: Cadence and Big Boom.

Pets for Patriots’ digital badges allow its shelter and rescue partners to promote program-eligible pets in their care and increase the visibility of the most overlooked dogs awaiting adoption in their network of foster homes. Their mission statement: to give the gifts of fidelity, joy and companionship to both pet and veteran through companion animal adoption.

At the time, Caleigh told Paws for Patriots in a post on its Wet Nose Blog, she’d never heard of their organization. “I looked more into the cause,” she said, “and it seemed like such a no-brainer for us: rescue the dogs that need us the most.”

Photo: Morgan Kinzel Photography ----------------------------------
Photo: Morgan Kinzel Photography

Relli, who was to be a companion for Cadence, proved that although she had suffered greatly — she had been repeatedly beaten — she still had an incredible capacity for love.

“She grew to trust us,” Caleigh shared, noting that although “she still has her moments when she shows you her past, she is honestly an amazing dog with an amazing heart. From what I know of her past she should have no reason to trust or love a human again, but she does. She truly has a heart of gold,” she says. “She just wants to be around us and cuddle and steal every bit of love that we have to give.”

Relli has since fallen into the rhythm of healthy family life.

“I love when it’s nap time for our boys and it’s her favorite part of the day,” Caleigh said. “She follows the boys right up to their room and snuggles with them until they wake up.”

Cinderella is a good name for this loving mixed-breed. Her story certainly has a fairy-tale ending.