Adopting a dog online can come with risks. And while one Vermont family says the web services are making it easier, it still comes with risks.
Ginger fills her day with chew toys and chasing squirrels. Mariann Hulse and her husband Bill normally have purebred pups, but this time they decided to adopt a rescue.
"We had a yellow lab that passed away June of last year and it took us a while because dogs are like our children. I tried to get 2 other dogs but they each fell through so it was like ginger was destined for us," said owner Mariann Hulse.
But Ginger's life has not always been a walk in the park
"She was not even one year old yet. She had been shot, hit by a car, left to live in the woods by herself, hungry, cold and now pregnant," Hulse says.
Her story starts in Oxford, Missisippi, where a cyclist found her starving and alone after following him for 11 miles on the bike trail.
"He thought she was a friendly dog he gave her some frosted mini wheats out if his pocket. That was probably the best food she had in a very long time and wasn't letting him get away," Hulse says.
This man and his family decided to foster Ginger while waiting for a permanent home through gooddogrescue.com -- where Mariann first spotted her.
"Every dog out there had a video of the dog running around and playing so you could get an idea of what the dogs temperament was like. Was that the most important part? For me it was," Hulse says.
She said hearing Ginger's heartbreaking story and seeing her behave through web videos helped them make the decision to adopt from halfway across the country.
"I asked if she had any food aggression, if she was aggressive toward children. They told me about the gunshot they told me about the condition she was in. They were very upfront with everything," Hulse says.
Hulse says Ginger had the run of the place from her first day in Vermont, but one day they noticed she had a limp in her right rear leg.
That's when they realized her medical journey was far from over. Through more extensive testing, a vet later discovered a fungal infection and that some of her organs were in the wrong place.
"All of those organs had migrated up in to her chest so when doctor Bruce did the x-ray he saw a loop of intestine around her heart," Hulse says.
Major surgery -- and thousands of dollars later -- she's back to normal and the Hulse family says they do not regret their decision for one minute.
While the dog's beginnings sound like that of a country song, her tune has never changed and her family says they are looking forward to their next adventure -- snow.