Apples- Our FounderHello, my name is Appalachia-Bloom.

My human companions called me “Apples” for short.  I was born in southern California on July 21, 1999. Growing up in California I loved to go hiking, running down dirt sand trails, over top of boulders and rock, and through the sage and tumbleweed. Many days during the week I would go to work with my master and sit in the office next to his desk and chew on my rawhides.

On June 13, 2006 my master called to me that it was time to for the ride home. I love riding “shotgun” in his truck with the window down, my head out, my long beautiful ears blowing back in the wind and looking at myself in the side mirror. But this day was different. I stood up to move and everything was going dark.


For a couple of days I had a bad headache that wouldn’t go away. But today was really bad. My master climbed down onto the floor with me and asked why I wasn’t feeling well. Of course I couldn’t respond, except with a reassuring lick to his face letting him know I would feel better soon. But that day as I stood up I couldn’t see my master. I heard him talking to me, but my eyes were covered and I was unable to see. I didn’t understand why — then I heard the urgent fright in his voice as I walked directly into the wall of his office. I couldn’t see. Everything was blackness.

Next thing I knew he was rushing me into emergency at the local vet clinic. I didn’t need my eyes to know where I was; I could smell. Minutes passed into hours, and after I had drops in my eyes and they were poked and prodded, I could see some shapes and shadows. My master was beside me the entire time. I could tell by all the different voices something must me really wrong. I heard in my master’s broken voice the news. “Glaucoma”?

For the next 24 hours, my sight came and went. I was on medications, and the pain in my head and eyes was slowing going away, but so was my sight.The next morning I felt my master move. I knew I was awake, but it was still dark. I felt his hand on my shoulder as he guided me outside to my yard. He sat beside me and with an upset voice he explained to me that I was blind; never again to see.

I was grateful to have him to lean on. He cared for me, led me around, took me to the office, had long walks, played with my three dog sisters, treated me to cookies…and I even continued to swim in the pool! Then one day he said that because of being so responsive in my rehabilitation, I would become the founder of my own ranch for other differently-abled animals.

As founder of the LoveHandlers Animal Sanctuary, I can’t express enough of what it’s like to have the love of my caring family. I got to go for long walks in the mountains, sleep by a warm fireplace on a cushy pillow, got my treats, two meals a day, plenty of fresh water and had so many more new friends to visit and play with. I may have been blind, but my “sniffer” and my ears worked better than ever.

So welcome to LoveHandlers Animal Sanctuary on on behalf of all my friends, we love you! LICK!

Founder of LoveHandlers

Established 2007

Note: In November 2008, Apples lost her courageous battle with cancer, but her memory lives on the sanctuary that she inspired for differently-abled animals.

Apples on porch