A Journey Home
When local dog mom Amber Pitcher connected online with a dog in need, a small army of animal lovers across the country sprang into action.
Welcome to Tuesday’s Substack—a few days late for the first time ever. Can we pretty please blame the snowstorm? Thankfully, this story is worth the wait. At its center: a dog lover who might be familiar to a lot of our dog-loving or hike-loving readers. Animal whisperer and 46er Amber Pitcher runs the popular Instagram account @ambpitch, where she details the (mostly) Adirondack adventures she and her husband, Matthew Lounsbury, have with their dogs and cats. But a recent new addition to the family—a senior dog from SoCal—required an assist from animal lovers across the country, from LA to the Empire State. All the while, thousands of us watched the 2500-mile journey live, thanks to the joys of social media. Amber said it best: “This has restored my faith in humanity. It’s really something special.”
*Editor’s note: Click on the embedded “Saving Amber” Instagram posts to watch the heart-warming videos. And remember to turn the sound on, bottom right of each video!
I heard about your story from a dear friend in Albuquerque by way of her friends in LA. It really did touch people across the whole country. Will you catch us up from the beginning?
My story started with my soul-dog Ariel, who changed my entire life. She passed a couple of years ago, and I've continued fostering and being involved in rescuing dogs—to honor her, because I fostered dogs with her. She was amazing with foster dogs. Being so dog obsessed, on my Facebook I see a million different rescue dogs on there—hundreds a day probably. And this one dog just immediately stopped me in my tracks. She was a 12-year-old dog abandoned in a shelter in Los Angeles. She's literally shivering, shaking. She's on a concrete floor; there's no bedding in there. Her family had surrendered her to the shelter after having her for 10 years, and something inside me broke when I saw her video. She looks almost like a mirror image of my dog, Ariel, that passed away, and I thought, oh my god.
What did you do next?
Most people who follow me on social media are also dog lovers, so I started posting about her, begging for anybody to help. I was like, “Is anyone in California? Can someone adopt her? Do we know any rescues that can pull this dog?” I spent three days calling the shelter, and they told me she was shutting down from stress. She was so anxious there. Finally, I was like, “If she can get to me, I will take this dog in.”
And that’s where the beautiful saga started to take shape…
I had an overwhelming amount of people message me, offering to help. I wrote down everybody who offered and made a huge group message. We had enough people to string together transport from LA to here, all of these incredible people who donated their time to drive 20, 30 hours each to bring her across the country.
Tell me about this special dog that captured your heart!
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