Adopted German Shepherd Becomes a Member of the Traveling Asher Pack

Tony’s new family members helped him find health and happiness on the road.

Lee + Tony

With nine rescue dogs in an RV, Lee wasn’t looking for a new member for his pack. But when he met Tony, he knew they were meant to be family.

"When I met Tony, he stole my heart. I knew I was in trouble by the way he looked up at me with his big sad eyes. I never thought I would have a German Shepard, only because I have never met one that I felt I truly bonded with, but I immediately felt so connected to Tony."

My name is Lee Asher, and my nine rescue dogs and I travel around the country in an RV for 8 months out of the year. We host meet-and-greets and adoption events in each city and state we visit. The 10 of us together in an RV are surrounded by more love and support than I ever could’ve imagined. At our adoption events alone, we have gotten over 500 dogs adopted. The goal is to influence people to not only adopt, but also to seek adventure and to spread love, kindness and positivity.

Adopted Dog Tony Too Toned

In February during a short break, I stopped by the Sacramento SPCA. I had just collaborated with them for an adoption event one week prior. It was a successful event, and I was so impressed with their staff that I wanted to help support them by showing my audience the Sacramento SPCA facilities and the dogs that were available for adoption. I didn’t want any more dogs, I certainly felt that I was at my limit. I definitely didn’t think I needed another dog and when people would ask me if I would ever consider adding just one more dog to my family, my answer was always the same: “Maybe when I no longer live on the road.” But I hadn’t met
Tony yet.

Adopted Dog Tony Too Toned

At the time his name was “Bear,” which made perfect sense because he was seriously as big as
a bear. When I met Tony, he stole my heart. I knew I was in trouble by the way he looked up at me with his big sad eyes. I never thought I would have a German Shepard, only because I have never met one that I felt I truly bonded with, but I immediately felt so connected to Tony. I wanted to not just get him the help and support he needed, I wanted to give it to him myself because for some reason I felt that I was the only one who could.

Tony was 40 pounds overweight. Originally found in bad shape as stray, he was then adopted but then returned to the SPCA in even worse condition. But that wasn’t Tony’s life, that was Bear. Tony is now the perfect weight as he has lost over 40 pounds. He is loved by thousands of people all over the country, people stand in line at our adoption events just to be able to
meet him. I have personally received an endless amount of messages and emails form people showing me pictures of their new additions to the family that they say Tony influenced them to rescue.

Adopted Dog Tony Too Toned

He has brought so much joy and gratitude to my life. He never leaves my side and I never leave his. His story caught so much attention that The Ellen Show even showed a picture of him in one of her live episodes. Tony and I were always supposed to be together; it just took us a little time to find each other.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Lee won Sacramento SPCA in Sacramento, California a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.