The Daycare Puppy

Eliza was dropped over the 6 foot privacy fence at The Eden Daycare facility with another puppy and abandoned. They were found Monday morning by an appalled staff member, filthy, hungry, and covered in fleas. They caught the jerk who had done it, abandoned them, threw them away. They were his and his girlfriend’s puppies.  There was some lame excuse about a fight they had. He did it to hurt his girlfriend. Idiot.

Eliza had a flea allergy. The day that I picked her up from the Veterinary Hospital that had been caring for her, she was looking rough, scrawny-underweight, missing a lot of hair, her ears were pink and nearly hairless. She smelled bad, from the flea dip, and she had a big scab on her bottom. They said that her anal glands had been infected. She is a mess, I said, poor thing. She looks much better, they said.


Click her to see Eliza’s arrival at The Cecchine Hotel for Dogs 

A few weeks later, I took her to the vet and there was another yellow lab puppy just her age, all plump and healthy and fluffy. The difference in them made me sad. This girl had a rough start. She didn’t deserve that.

We were at the vet a few times with Eliza. She had a seroma, a fluid build-up, on her little bum. We had it drained twice. It may have happened because of the drop over the fence. I hate to think about her falling like that.

Eliza has long legs, and big, webbed, labrador feet. She is going to grow up to be a big girl, and beautiful, and loved. It amazes me, dogs that are treated so badly, and yet they trust me. They crawl into my lap. They want to be held. I guess it takes a lot of abuse to make them lose faith in humans. Puppies, in particular, just want to be held. (It’s a tough job, but somebody has got to do it.)

I don’t know what happened to the other puppy, a german shepherd, it went to another rescue. The rest of the Cecchine Hotel dogs trained Eliza, as much or more so than we did. They let her know that this is a safe place, a happy place. That is really a good feeling, to see that and know that this is a healing place. The pictures that I took say more about that than any words I can write.  We loved her and help her and played with her, and then we sent her to her forever family to live the happily-ever-after that she deserved all along.

Eliza - fostered 31 March 2017 - 22 April 2017
Adopted in Virginia

Собака по имени Саша – our newest guests

Her name is Cherokee Princess Sapphire, but we call her Sasha. It suits her. Her shelter papers had her listed as Sapphire, but she’s no good on the pole, if you know what I mean. I chose Sasha because it is a soft name, feminine and strong. A good Slavic name for a beautiful pure bred Siberian Husky. And she is beautiful. Her eyes are the light blue of frozen glacier water. Why the long name above? This girl has AKC papers. How in the hell does a gorgeous, 3-year-old American Kennel Club girl end up in a shelter?  Was there some awful tragedy in the family? Nope. This is one of the stories that make me angry. I will try to balance my angry frustration with lovely puppy photos, and accept that we never really know why people do the sucky things that they do.

The lovely woman who volunteered to drive Sasha, and several other dogs, south to various rescue organizations told me Sasha’s story as she rolled her eyes in disgust. Sasha was owned by the daughter of the shelter manager where she was turned in, un-spayed, with the excuse that daughter had been evicted and moved to a place that doesn’t accept pets. This dog would have cost anywhere from $1300 on up from a breeder, which leaves lots of questions. Excuse my general indignation, but, how can you be an animal shelter manager and not teach your own child to spay/neuter her pets? Why would a shelter manager’s daughter buy a dog from a breeder when so many beautiful, deserving dogs are being euthanized at mom’s shelter? Why wouldn’t mom make her daughter either find a way to keep the dog or help her to find a new home for this girl? Shelter managers know that when the shelters are full, as they are now, completely full, the owner surrendered dogs are the first to be euthanized.  (Strays are held for about a week while their owners have a chance to find them.)

Despite being abandoned by her owner, Sasha is lovely and likes to cuddle up into a ball at my feet. I have been battling a stomach flu, and Sasha has been nursing me, keeping me company, letting me know that I am loved. She plays with Bernie, our little dachshund puppy, at my feet.

She makes my first lab, Pen, extremely jealous with her I’m-beautiful-and-I’ll cuddle-your-mom-if-I-want-to-attitude. I’m pretty sure that Sasha was an only dog. The Cecchine Hotel for Dogs has been an adjustment for her, and she is doing very well.

Sasha is not the 1st purebred dog I’ve seen in a shelter, and she won’t be the last. It makes me angry. I feel like its just to easy for people to throw dogs away, not my problem, let somebody else deal with it.

We are so happy to have Sasha as our guest, but we know it won’t be for long. This beautiful girl is going to be adopted quickly. She is going to be taken into a family and loved forever, the way that it should be. We are excited to find her forever family. They will be lucky to have her.

Sasha will be available for adoption from Take Paws Rescue. Also, if you happen to need a calendar, Take Paws can help you out.

2017 Take Paws Rescue Calendar

(Oh yeah, and I have a degree in Russian, which I don’t get to use much these days, and I’m perfectly good with that!)

Let me pause here for a puppy photo:

Its not a great photo, but they are cute. Someone dumped them, 7 of them. Yeah, people suck. It was called a “common dumping area”. The good news: someone picked them up! Yay! The bad news: it turns out they have skin issues, possibly mange. The good news: a rescue volunteer was ready to take them and make sure that they get the care that they need and deserve. The bad news: the person that found them said that she was just going to dump them again rather than deal with it. She then agreed to bring them to the rescuer. Bad news: She never showed up or answered the rescuer’s calls. Why do people suck this much? They are cute, little, innocent puppies for God’s sake! More bad news: dogs and cats and puppies and kittens get dumped every day. There are more puppies and kittens being born than people willing to take them into their homes, and that is why some people are completely opposed to any sort of formal breeding.  I just want people to take responsibility for the pets that they brig into their home. They are living things, and they should be treated as part of the family. As much as you might want to, you don’t move away and leave family in the backyard for the neighbors to feed. You don’t dump the families’ babies in a box somewhere and let them fend for themselves. He might really be an ass, but you don’t throw grumpy old uncle Jack out of a truck and just drive away from him. Family is forever, period, the end.

I’d like to end on a positive, and I was ready to post this blog entry, when I saw a message that came to NOLA Lab Rescue:

“Hello, I have a friend on vacation in New Orleans. A stray dog followed her back to her Airbnb and she doesn’t know who to reach out to. The Shelter is closed until tomorrow and the humane society has a waiting list to take in strays. Any suggestions?”

I suggested that she take the dog to Zeus’ Rescues, where they have a microchip reader. She doesn’t have a car. Found out you can Uber with a dog. You just have to let the driver know in advance. Then she said that the finder was willing to take the dog home with her, to Ohio, and that she already has a rescued dog, a lab named Bentley from The Greater Dayton Labrador Retriever Rescue. Then I knew she was a good person, and I just gave my number and asked the finder to call me. Jenny is the lovely young lady that rescued an overheated, dehydrated puppy and went all out trying to get him home or home with her. We drove to her AirBnB with dog food, a small harness, a leash, a small stuffed pig, some treats, and a crate. We hoped to help her find a pet carrier and she had already added him to her ticket home tomorrow on Allegiant Air. Unfortunately, this little puppy is too big for that size carrier. She named him Nola. I told her I had posted his picture on all of the local lost pet boards and I would take him to get scanned for a microchip.

There, that’s better. Not all people suck!

Nola does not have a microchip. I asked and  Zeus’ Rescues gave me a sample of Trifexis ( kills fleas and prevents flea infestations, treats and controls adult hookworm, whipworm and roundworm infections, and prevents heartworm disease) and I have some dewormer at home that I randomly bought at Walmart just in case.  We decided to bring Nola to The Cecchine Hotel for Dogs and find him transportation to Ohio. I have family in Cincinnati, so that might end up being me.

добро пожаловать! Welcome Nola!



He seems to like it here. He is absolutely adorable.

1st Rescue – Meet Pen and Ollie

It was a Saturday morning in New Orleans. The first Saturday of the month. We like to go to the local Freret Market. Freret Street is transitional. It is up-and-coming, revitalizing, and still haunted by its pre-Katrina gang and projects past. It’s a microcosm of my part of New Orleans, the affluent bumping up against the poor. House-by-house, block-by-block, revitalized, revitalizing, under-construction, tear-down. We looked at a house near Freret Street. It was an affordable and modern shotgun rebuild, walking distance to great new restaurants and bars. It was great except for the drug dealers two doors down. They were very polite. Like really polite. They said Good Morning as we walked the neighborhood. It’s a very southern thing, that politeness. I still can’t get used to it after living in DC and Paris. We talked to some neighbors and passed on that house. Not with kids, they said. Still, we like the restaurants. We frequent the monthly street market that has live music and food trucks and local artists and dog adoptions…

He wanted a hot dog and a beer. We put Pen, our young Labrador Retriever, my writing companion, in a harness and leash and headed out. There were puppies. Five of them, in a little pen. I knew they would be there. I just wanted to maybe look. They were really cute. I picked one up. I didn’t want to put him down. Um, beagles I think, said the sorority girl volunteer. They sort of had beagle coloring, and floppy ears, and long legs. Non-beagle legs. Beagle with a lift-kit, we decided. Cute, we decided. Pen liked him. She was surprisingly cool and well-behaved around the puppy. Please, I said? I might have whined. A little. I might have definitely had the pleading eyes and sad face as we walked away. Can we please? I pleaded. I came for a beer and a hot dog, he said. We can’t afford another dog, he said.  It was true that our one dog was expensive. We bought her and she had parasites and needed so many vaccinations and medecine, and dog beds, and a leash and collar and toys, and food and treats, and toys. She needed a good deal of toys. And attention. She needed a lot. And she would need to be spayed. Cha-Ching, cha-ching.

Let’s just ask, I said. I had heard sorority girl saying they had their shots and the rescue would pay for the spay/neuter. Maybe not so expensive, I said. We asked. We found the non-sorority girl in charge and we asked lots and lots of questions. Really, not so expensive. Cool. Ok, he said. Grudgingly. I could tell that he only wanted to make me happy and basically thought this was a really stupid idea. But, he said ok. We filled out adoption paperwork. I will need to talk to your vet, she said. We called his personal number, on a Saturday morning (sorry Ned), and handed her the phone. All good. I’ll need to do a home visit, she said. Right. We have a fence. We don’t have a landlord. We aren’t cooking meth or a puppy mill. Sure. When? I can come right after I’m done here, she said, around 4. Great, we said. And here is where it gets weird. It was loud with live music blaring. We thought she had okayed us taking the dog, and so I named him Ollie and brought him home. She never showed up at 4. We later got a phone call. She was unhappy. We took the dog without her permission, she said. Wait, what? We had talked to her for like half an hour and walked away from her holding the dog and everything was cool. Except that in her version, we had stolen the dog. Whatever. She was kind of dramatic. Ollie was fine, and napping, and I tried to reschedule that home visit for the next three days, and she just kept saying she would come, and never did. So, I’m not going to say who that rescue was, except to say that it’s not Zeus’ Place, which is usually at the Ferret Market and is great. I will say that that other rescue should have been more organized, more explicit, and more thorough. They should have followed up and they didn’t. I stole their dog. He is a great dog. We really love him. I’d steal him again. Trying to track down that rescue so that they could do the home visit is the reason I rescue now. Before that, I knew nothing about dog rescue. That was just the beginning…..

Pen - 8 September 2016 - forever

Ollie - 19 November 2016 - forever