Xena the Warrior Puppy (Or I’m a Warrior for Puppies)

I had originally planned to post about my bookshelf redesign today, but my plans changed when I logged into Facebook this afternoon.

Here’s the bookshelf before photo. This situation can wait.

See, last month, I began following a severely neglected puppy’s remarkable journey of rehabilitation via her Facebook fan page, and today marks her one-month rescue anniversary. I wanted to acknowledge it by sharing her photo slide show.

And her story.

Her transformation has been absolutely remarkable. Her heroic rescuers have named her Xena the Warrior Puppy, and when you watch her slideshow, you’ll see why. When she was first brought to the shelter, she had no hair on her body, and she was so emaciated, they did not know if she would survive one more day let alone a month. Now she is a playful little girl on the road to recovery in a foster home.

This little girl has come a long way in only one month. She and her kind caregivers deserve recognition. Photo Courtesy of Xena’s Dekalb Fund.

Though, Xena is just one little pup, her story reminds us that there are so many more dogs like her. So many abused, starving, and neglected creatures suffering at the hands of cruel and callous people.

Because I support the Humane Society and the ASPCA, and I also follow a variety of rescue blogs, I regularly see photos of abused or neglected animals like Xena. Each time I do, I cry a little. And then I kiss my rescue dogs on their spoiled heads for an hour.

My beasts may be spoiled, but they walk to raise money for their less fortunate friends through the Race for the Rescues every year. This year the Race raised over $303,000 for 12 animal welfare organizations.

Of course, I do lavish them with Jax and Bones gifts after their walk because I think they deserve rope toy rewards.

Here is Albus with his new Bambi. Jax and Bones donates a portion of their rope toy sales to the Rescue Train.

I’m often reminded of the human capacity for cruelty and also for compassion. There are so many dedicated people caring for the animals cast aside by others, and it’s important to remember that so we don’t focus so much on the suffering and the sadness that we lose hope.

So, that’s me. I’m a lunatic for dogs.

We’re all different, and not everyone was wired to love dogs like I do. I like it that way. I mean, I love that our hearts all break for different causes ‘cuz someone needs to worry about actual human orphans while I’m fretting over every one eyed, three legged puppy mill dog I see.

Speaking of which, tomorrow night, I’m attending the Burbank City Council Meeting to voice my support for a citywide ban on selling puppy mill dogs in Burbank.

More on that later.

And also the bookshelf…..

Fall Means Football and The Race for the Rescues (Or Why We Walk)

Labor Day is rapidly approaching. And even though the oppressive heat isn’t really waning, fall is technically on its way. And while I will defy my strict WASP upbringing by wearing white well after the 3rd, I am preparing for the two events that define fall for me: college football and the Race for the Rescues.

See, I love football. Like, my mood for the entire week is determined by the performance of a pack of 19 year old boys in spandex, love football. So this is basically going to be me until December.

Photo courtesy of someecards.

Not only does football mean yelling at my television for four straight hours every Saturday, but it also means football parties. Be on the lookout for great game day recipes in the coming weeks. And I will absolutely do my best to be a lady and not subject you to my rants about bad play calling and interceptions. I will save those for Facebook where my college friends and I come together to publicly mourn, berate, and celebrate our boys in blue.

The other event that means fall for me? Is the annual Race for the Rescues at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It’s a 10 K benefiting 12 non profit animal welfare organizations in Los Angeles, and I do it with my dogs every year. You can read more about it here. The participating organizations rehabilitate wildlife, provide low cost veterinary care for low income families (including free spay and neuter clinics), and also place adoptable animals in loving homes.

Why do we walk?

Because 400 dogs and cats are euthanized in Los Angeles shelters each week. That means more than 20,000 adoptable animals die in Los Angeles shelters every year. Because approximately 3-4 million animals are euthanized nationwide. Because 60% of dogs and 70% of cats who enter shelters will never find a home. And because I can’t close my eyes and wish those statistics away.

I do not mean to make anyone feel guilty for obtaining their loving pet from a responsible breeder, and I understand that pet adoption is not for everyone, but it is for me. I have adopted four dogs in my adult life and each one has enriched my life immeasurably.

So, October 7, my two red rescues and I are walking in honor of Woodley’s littermate, Peyton, who has brought joy to her new mommy. (That’s a long story for a different post. Just know it’s not advisable to adopt litter mates.)

Peyton was adopted in December and even though I miss her, I know she has a safe, loving home.

And we’re walking in memory of Brady, Hunter, Rocco, Max, and Bella who are all playing together in Dog Heaven.

This photo was taken the last Christmas Brady and I spent together. On December 29, 2007, he lost a long battle with congestive heart failure.

Hunter was Brady’s best friend, and I was by Huntie’s side when he died. Hunter and his mommy have a special place in my heart. Forever.

Rocco was a beloved big brother and family member. He was skilled at unwrapping presents and making everyone smile. He loved his family and his soap operas. We miss you, Mister Roccos!

Bella put up a valiant fight against cancer, but lost her battle last week. Blake, Audrey, Matt, and Kelley miss their beautiful girl. So this is me giving them a huge internet hug because my arms aren’t long enough to reach to Chicago.

Max was by his mommy’s side for so many adventures including a move to Mexico last year. He died suddenly this summer, and now this little angel has real wings to match his amazing ears.

I need to make myself an event shirt to honor the pups. If you have any ideas, please send them my way!

If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to participate, it’s not too late to register! If you are interested in making a tax deductible donation to our walk, you can do so here. Please don’t feel obligated, though. We all show support for the causes we care about in our own ways.

If you or a friend is mourning the loss of a furry family member, Bella’s mommy recommends the book Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant.

Wag on, guys.

I know I owe you all kinds of recipes for things like pina colada cupcakes and pollo con rajas. I haven’t forgotten. I promise!