Saved From Euthanasia, Strawberry the Unicorn Dog Is Loving Life in Her Forever Home
It turns out unicorns really do exist—and Strawberry proves they are the sweetest creatures.
The unicorn dog was initially on a shelter's euthanasia list, until she was rescued at the last minute by a local rescue organization. Now, Strawberry is living her best life with her forever family.
In April 2022, Laura Labelle, founder of the Labelle Foundation in Los Angeles, was sifting through the dozens of emails she receives daily. She saw a photo of a pit bull in an email from a shelter saying the pup would be euthanized if she didn't find a new home. There was something unique about this dog: She had a large bump on her head, above her left eye.
"There was just something that spoke to me about her, that little unicorn," Labelle tells Daily Paws. "I was like, oh my God, she's so cute, this dog is adorable, she's going to get scooped up in a heartbeat."
After realizing she had "to save her," Labelle went to the shelter to pick her up and the unicorn pup's loving demeanor immediately greeted her.
"They brought her out to me and she was just the sweetest," Labelle says about her first encounter with the special dog.
The Mystery Bump
Unfortunately, she wasn't in the best condition physically. Along with the pup's mysterious unicorn bump, Labelle says the dog's skin was "horrific," bright red and scabbed over. Thus, the name Strawberry seemed pretty fitting.
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Labelle says she received lots of speculation about what the bump on Strawberry's head could be, with people wondering if it could be a tumor. The rescue raised enough money to get Strawberry a CT scan on her head, and they found the bump is basically just old scar tissue, possibly from an old injury, but there's no way to know for sure how the pup got it. Luckily, it's harmless.
Because Strawberry's bump doesn't cause her any pain, Labelle says surgeons decided that "it would do her more harm than good" to attempt to remove it because of how close it is to her brain.
"We were just thrilled because we were so afraid that it was going to be something horrible and fatal," Labelle says. "And it was just a funny scar, and so to us, it just endeared her even more."
Strawberry lived with Labelle for a little while before going to a foster home. Labelle says she's a "delightful soul" who got along with everyone in the house, including her cat and kids. After moving to her foster home, she was eventually eligible for adoption, where she was adopted by a "beautiful family with amazing children who adore her."
Strawberry's New Family
In September 2022, Kristen Kulhman and her family decided to adopt the one-of-a-kind pup after seeing the Labelle Foundation's Instagram posts about her.
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"She kept popping up, and I think it was just her sweet, gentle eyes and that bump on her head that's so unusual," Kulhman tells Daily Paws. "That's the type of dog I wanna help and that's the type of dog I love."
When two-year-old Strawberry first arrived at her forever home, Kuhlman says she was a little nervous, which was to be expected after she had moved around so many times. After a few weeks, however, Kulhman says the pup started to come out of her shell, becoming a "fun, wonderful dog."
Now, Kuhlman says Strawberry is a busy dog who always "wants to be part of the action." The active pooch loves playing fetch with her human siblings and has recently started enjoying walks. Kulhman says they used to make her a little nervous.
"She is probably the most affectionate, loving, snuggly dog I've ever met," Kulhman says.
Labelle says there are many special dogs out there like Strawberry who shouldn't be overlooked and deserve a second chance.
"Recognizing that dogs can have differences and it makes them extra special as opposed to undesirable, I think is such a beautiful gift," Labelle says.