Bringing Home Lucy

I’ve been a volunteer at my local animal shelter for over a year now and I continue to love it.  The environment is of course challenging, but that makes my time there feel even more worthwhile.

All of us who help out there, including the staff, have our favorites.  Some don’t make it out, but a lot get adopted or rescued, especially because we’ve taken the time to find out more about them.  Joe Public comes in every day looking at the dogs and cats.  Some are just looking, some are looking for lost pets, some for replacements of lost pets, and some are looking for a new member of their family.  We try and engage them in conversation, see if they’re looking for something in particular, ask if they have any questions, because the more we can find out about them, the better we can help them find a good match to take home.  Quite often people say they’re waiting to find the one that connects with them… and I know exactly what they mean.

I’d had my eye on a funny quiet little dog with unusual coloring and intense, soulful eyes.  Her intake date was February 1.  She is Corgi mixed with I don’t know what, about 2 years old.  I really liked her, I don’t know why, but I REALLY liked her.  So back in early March, I picked her and several other dogs and cats for an adoption program on a local radio network.  We named her Lucy.  All the other dogs went, one by one, but no-one took Lucy home.  Each time I was at the shelter, I’d go see her, spend a few minutes with her.  She was calm and sweet, she had roommates, so was seemingly good with other dogs.  But as time passed, things changed.  One day someone wrote “food aggressive, feed separately” on her kennel card, I started to worry.  Shelter life is no good, it wears their little spirits down until they’re all used up.

A couple of weeks ago, we took her (and about 29 other dogs) to a big adoption event.  But Lucy couldn’t hang with the noise and the multitude of chihuahuas and terriers, she growled at them, snarled at them, was not happy at all.  I separated her from the crowd and set her aside in a crate with two other small and frightened dogs, and she settled.  But no-one took Lucy home, no-one even wanted to look at her, no matter what I said it was clear she was invisible to everyone else.  I knew her time had all but run out.  So that night, I took her home with me, intending to foster and start networking to find her a forever home.

She was clingy and intolerant of my two big girl dogs, and, yes, food aggressive.  But within two days these shelter habits began to fall away, she stopped being food aggressive and relaxed, found some toys and found herself again.

We fell in love with her.  She is very people friendly, she doesn’t hardly bark at all, she’s good with other dogs, she’s playful, smart, responsive, house-trained, sits, walks well, and makes us laugh so much.  Last Thursday (after only 7 days) we knew she belonged here and so we’ve adopted her.

Click Lucy to see a little video of her playing fetch with her Platypus toy.

From my fostering experiences, I’m always telling folks that all shelter dogs need time in their new home to truly reveal themselves, and now I have Lucy’s tale to recount.  So if you’re looking for a new four-legged someone to join your family, please come to your local animal care and control center and ask a maroon-shirted volunteer or blue-shirted staff member, who their favorite is.  You are quite likely to discover a treasure just waiting for you.


Flight to Freedom

The Chi Yin and Yang

Just to conclude the Gracie and Beanz tale, which I probably need to write out in full one day, cos it’s a heart-warmer.  These two were my fosters from the first week of December to March – we had sickness, extreme fear, anxiety, birth, and in the end new-found self esteem and happiness.  It was quite a ride and so a good outcome was felt very deeply here.

On March 3, I drove them up to Signature Flight Support at Van Nuys Airport and put them on the Wings of Rescue flight up to Oregon.  Beanz was fostered and then immediately adopted by her foster parents, Gracie went to a foster, was instrumental in bringing another tiny, fearful Chi out of her shell, and so she too was adopted by her foster mom.

These kinds of outcomes are why I foster, why anyone fosters I imagine.  And guess what, there are never enough fosters.  Maybe it’s something you want to consider?  If you do, and have questions, I’m here. :)

Anyways, here’s the tiny plane.  There were four or five vehicles with at least two dogs each.  We helped the pilot load in as many crates as we could, then he climbed in and took his seat in the cockpit.  We fitted in the last couple of crates and shut him in.  And that was it, he taxied away to take flight on a clear, blue-skied California Saturday morning.

Last week I took in two new girls – Dorothy and Alice (pretty cute, not cuddling yet but tolerating each other at least).  This a short term foster as I’m about to go on a little adventure… but hey they’re available and if YOU know anyone who might make a good home for either or both, PLEASE let me know.  Here they are:


Looking for a forever home... can you help?

Extremely huggable little girl, needing a forever home... know of one?











So there we are, one Chi chapter concluded, another begun.