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Dogs are one of God’s purest and most wonderful creations, don’t even try to fight me on that.

We don’t deserve them! They bring us such unconditional love, countless cuddles and endless joy.

Rescued is my favorite breed, and since today is National Rescue Dog Day, I wanted to share some special stories & photos of my own sweet shelter furbabies!

We first adopted Mary Poppins. We knew that we wanted to adopt a dog, and we had been around to several shelters before making our way to the Augusta Animal Services Shelter. I love all dogs, and would have loved to be able to give them all a home, but we knew that we needed to find the right fit for our family.

Then, in the last kennel of the last shelter that we went to, we laid eyes on this sweet face:

I told Chris, “We HAVE to get her; she has red hair like us, it’s a sign!” Her name was “Camille,” and she hadn’t yet been seen by a vet, so she wasn’t able to be adopted that day. While most other dogs in the kennels were rambunctious and loud, this one was timid and shy. She walked over to the cage and licked my hand, and I melted right there. I said to her, “If I was your Mommy, I’d call you Mary Poppins, because you’re practically perfect in every way!

The shelter said that Camille wouldn’t be available to adopt until the next week, and they didn’t put holds on animals. So, everyday for a week, I drove forty minutes to see her—and when she saw me round the corner, she jumped up and ran over to the kennel door. I think she knew then that I was her Mommy. On the fifth day of going to the shelter, Camille had been taken to the vet to be spayed, and she was allowed to come home with us. Just like I told her I would, we named her Mary Poppins.

The whole way home, she rested her head on my leg and I thought I would pass out from all the cuteness! Then, we got home and took the first of many naps together.

Mary Poppins has continued to live up to her name, and really is practically perfect in every way. She’s so smart, so sweet and so funny, and we couldn’t love her more!

She still has that timid, shy personality that we fell in love with, but she has come out of her shell since becoming a Bender!

She has the cutest smile (and her Dad’s perfect teeth!)

She loves a good nap!


Last year, in 2019, we decided to add another set of paws to the family! Mary Poppins loves being around other dogs, and we thought she’d enjoy having a fur sibling. We prayed for the right dog to come along, and one day, little “Lily” was featured by the Aiken ASPCA on Wet Nose Wednesday, on our sister station, HD 98.3!

We went to meet her, and immediately fell in love with that sweet little Beagle mix face—and those ears! She was, in a word, scrumptious! So, we decided to name her after a character from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Truly Scrumptious.

This girl has been full of sass since the day we brought her home!

Truly just turned one year old in April, and although she’s gotten bigger, she never did grow into those ears!

It took some time, but Mary & Truly eventually became best buds!

If you’re wanting to add a pet to your family, please consider adopting a shelter pet. I can’t imagine how or why these two wonderful puppies ended up in a shelter in the first place, but it has been so rewarding to give them a home and the love that they deserve.┬áLife is better with furbabies, and I’m so thankful for mine!

Jenny Bender is one third of the Kicks Wake Up Krew on Kicks 99 in Augusta, Georgia, along with Cash & Dub. She's married to Chris Bender and is doting dog mom to their two rescue fur babies, Mary Poppins Bender & Truly Scrumptious Bender. Jenny is a karaoke queen who loves Jesus, country music, cheese, the color pink, and the smell of new books.