R.O.A.R. Squad: Heather and Joe and their dogs, Ava and Jackson

I am very pleased to introduce you to the latest R.O.A.R. Squad members: Heather and Joe!

A warm congratulations goes out to the pair as well- as of 10/10/10 Heather and Joe are hitched! Congrats guys!

Learn more about their gorgeous rescue dogs and how you can become a R.O.A.R. Squad member with your rescue pet (cat, dog, llama, whatever!) after the jump!

The Rockin’ Rescuers: Heather Reynolds & Joe Kalinowski

The Rescued: Ava, the 4-year-old Italian Greyhound who rules the roost; and Jackson, the 5-year-old Spaniel Mix who happily complies.

Creating a Family: We had a long courtship that included many road trips between Seattle and Portland, our respective homes. When we adopted Jackson and Ava (around the same time), we included them in our travels and the four of us became a family. We decided to embark on an adventure and moved from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast. The dogs were already well-versed in road trips, but became experts during that 5-day, 2500-mile move. The four of us were able to travel all over the East Coast and see so many great things before moving back ‘home’ to Belleuve, Washington in July. We are now engaged to be married on 10/10/10 and are excited to take this next step – as a family.

Wearing Hats: Aside from the full-time job of planning a wedding, Heather is an internet journalist at pet insurance company Trupanion, assists with the pet nanny startup Road Runner Pet Nanny, and runs the her personal blog Family and Fur. Joe is a chiropractor and resident de-stressor.

Rescue Details: After losing her first Italian Greyhound to a liver shunt in 2005, Heather decided to become a foster mom for Italian Greyhound Rescue to help more iggies in need. She fostered many fabulous dogs, all of whom became happy, well-adjusted, healthy pets. Then along came Ava. She was scared out of her mind, had never been outside or on a leash, and didn’t have a clue about the world. She stole Heather’s heart and she was officially adopted in December 2006. Around this same time, Joe was thinking he was ready to bring a dog into his life as well. They looked at every shelter in Oregon and didn’t find the right fit…. until they walked into Family Dogs New Life in Portland. Jackson swept Joe off his feet and by the time Heather asked Joe if he ‘wanted to sleep on it’, he was already filling out the adoption paperwork!

Health is Relative: Ava was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder in September 2009. We almost lost her, as she was declining fast – losing weight and in pain 24 hours a day. When she was finally diagnosed and put on steriods, she recovered 85% and has stayed at that level since. We consider this a major win and are happy to have her still in our lives. She still suffers from many health issues caused by her condition, but we take each of them one day at a time and will fight to keep her with us as long as possible.

Where: Bellevue, Washington

Want to meet another fabulous rescue from Washington? Check out Ashley and her dog, Oly!

Join the R.O.A.R. Squad

Do you want to join the R.O.A.R. Squad? Our goal is to make having a rescue animal THE coolest thing around. Ya game? Perfect! We’d love to have you! 

Send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Recruiting Members

We are well on our way to reaching our goal of finding at least one rescue owner from every state in the US and at least one rescue owner from every province and territory in Canada by April 2011. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We’re looking for rescue dogs, cats, rabbits, parrots… donkeys… snakes… we’re not biased around here. We just want rescues who have found fabulous homes! Check out all the R.O.A.R. Squad members HERE.

Recruiting for:


  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland
  • North West Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon


  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Everywhere Else:

  • From somewhere else? Lemme know!

If your state/province/territory isn’t on this list, THAT’S OKAY! We still need you to join! Just keep your eyes and ears out for rescue owners from these places for me, k? Thanks!

I look forward to hearing from you!

10 Responses to “R.O.A.R. Squad: Heather and Joe and their dogs, Ava and Jackson”

  1. Kim Clune says:

    Love the dogs … and love the wedding date. I’m sorry to hear about Ava’s health issues but that’s exactly why dogs like her need R.O.A.R. Squad members. Job well done, guys! And Congratulations!

  2. Kim says:

    You are a beautiful family that I’m happy to say I’ve learned a lot about via Heather’s blog. I hope Ava is having more good days than not! Hugs!

  3. Mel says:

    Welcome Heather and Joe and Ava and Jackson! Glad you have you join the group!
    I am so sorry to hear about Ava’s health, but so glad you to hear she is doing better. She’s a very lucky girl!

  4. Maggie says:

    What great pics! I love that snuggley one, and I’m so glad that Ava’s health issues are improving!

  5. I love that you are a road-tripping group; I think that’s what really helps keep families together. We love Trupanion also…

  6. Kristine says:

    Yay! It’s always exciting to have new members! The list of places is slowly growing shorter…

  7. Thanks for your comments you guys- love this crew!

  8. Heather says:

    Thank you all for your comments – you are so sweet and supportive! Ava is doing very very well and as long as we monitor her, we know she’ll be happy and healthy for a long time. 🙂 It’s great to be a part of such an awesome group. Can’t wait to meet even more members!

  9. @Heather- We are so very happy to have you part of the squad! 🙂