CHARLESTON, W.Va. — At six months of age, Ellie May tips the scales at 40 pounds — which isn’t enough to cause problems when she engages in one of her favorite activities: climbing onto chairs. But by the time she reaches adulthood, that could change. Cathy Kerns and the rest of Ellie May’s family in Elkview expect the English mastiff pup will reach 160 pounds or more.
“Ellie May loves to look at herself in the mirror and watch Animal Planet on television,” Kerns says.
Near the opposite end of the spectrum, Coco is a 2½-year-old Chihuahua-Maltese mix who weighs in at roughly 40 pounds. He’s been living with Kim Champeon, of Charleston, since he was 8 weeks old and came into the family as an anniversary gift from her husband.
“He is my big baby. He’s always playing inside with toys or outside with the ball,” Champeon says.
Roscoe is a greyhound mix whose owner, Savana Frame, of Clendenin, says she saw his photo on Facebook and took an eight-hour trip to Anderson, Indiana, to bring him home to West Virginia.
“He was a lurcher, and they used him to train the full-bred dogs. You can tell because whenever he goes outside he just runs in circles,” Frame says.
At some point he was found wandering along a road and ended up at an Indiana shelter. “He was on death row and set to be euthanized,” she says. She piled two other dogs and her young daughter into the car and headed for Indiana.
Roscoe has separation anxiety, but quickly took to the habit of posing for photos with various objects on his head — everything from pine cones, cotton candy and sunflowers to Barbie dolls and apples.
Sage was the outgoing first-ever spokesdog for canine rescue group Dog Bless, and lives with Randi Robinson and family in St. Albans. She was abandoned when her owner’s home foreclosed. Dog Bless rescued her to keep the Kanawha County shelter (under the previous management) from euthanizing her immediately because she was older and sick.
“I fostered her for Dog Bless then adopted her. She was chosen the first spokesdog for Dog Bless and she thoroughly enjoyed her role. Whenever I got her T-shirt and hat out, she knew she was going to some Dog Bless event and got very excited,” Robinson says.