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Dog is Family: Maya Gracie

Adam Axley and the Axley’s dog, Bo, were inseparable. Bo was the son he never had and they did absolutely everything together. Their bond was unlike any other and Bo helped Adam through the last three years of sobriety, an incredibly tough battle softened only by his furry sidekick. When Bo passed away unexpectedly, the Axleys were distraught but little did they know, a little Ferngully was about to come into their lives.

A few months after Bo crossed the Rainbow Bridge, the Axley family saw a picture of Ferngully, a puppy OTAT rescued that was riddled with parvovirus and fighting for her life. While we all know a puppy photo is enough to turn any of us into a puddle, it was Ferngully’s story that moved the Axleys the most. Just like Adam, Ferngully was a warrior. She struggled from day to day, minute to minute. And, despite the odds, both Adam and Ferngully kept on fighting.

“I knew then that she belonged in our family. Fighting life’s challenges and overcoming all obstacles,” said Liana Axley.

Now, Ferngully goes by Maya Gracie and is living the best life with her Forever Mom and Dad and some feline friends. She’s kicked parvo’s butt and has gained more than 50 pounds!

Liana says, “Maya Gracie is full of laughs and unconditional love. She is both strong and sassy! She is a perfect addition… strong, resilient, and full of love. She made our family whole.”

For the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring heartwarming stories about how #dogisfamily. Follow along on the blog or on OTAT’s Facebook for all the feels, and share your story at for a chance to be featured on the OTAT blog.