Kaluah Ann Cream


Unfortunately, I have been unable to foster much lately because I’ve been more busy than usual with work. However, in the wonderful world of Shelter Dog (and Cat) Rescue, there are always little ways in which you can help. For me, that means helping friends fostering long term when they need to get away. While we can’t commit to foster a dog until it is adopted right now, or even for a one-week spay/neuter recovery, we can surely keep a dog overnight.

All of which is to say, meet our overnight guest, Kaluah Ann Cream! This petite husky/shepherd mix was a staff favorite at the shelter, and sadly, has been there since mid-October 2012, so she needed out before it was too late. In a kill shelter, even dogs who are adorable, healthy and sweet only get a limited amount of time for their perfect person to come along, so I’m so glad my friend, Amy, stepped up to foster Kaluah as the clock was starting to ticking loudly. I learned on Facebook though, the caveat was Amy could not take her last week if she didn’t have someone to take her tonight when Amy had to be away. That was my opportunity to help in the limited way that I can. If you want to foster, but can’t make the long term commitment, please leave a comment below and I’ll let you know of opportunities like the one I just got.


Pardon the garage/woodshop accommodations, dear Kaluah. And thanks for being gracious about it.

As for Kaluah, I’m shocked she has been stuck at the shelter for so long. She’s playful but submissive, sits on command, is crate trained, and hasn’t made a peep in my backyard kennel for the hour in which she has been there. And my friend, Sharon, who took Kaluah home last weekend for an overnight before Amy took her as a long term foster, says she is great with other dogs and even cats. And she didn’t have one accident in Sharon’s house all weekend. Here is Sharon’s take on Kaluah, in her own words: If Kahlua had a theme song, it would be “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. Six months at the shelter have not dulled her enthusiasm for life or her love of people- especially children. Her shiny coat- the colors of kahlua and cream drizzled with caramel, does NOT SHED and is as soft as the petals of new spring flowers. Kahlua loves dog toys, but will improvise if none are available- a stick, blue jay feather or and old banana peel happened upon outside will launch her into laps around the yard, tossing her prize in the air with tongue lolloping and eyes aglitter. Full grown at approx 1.5 years old and 43 pounds, she is the perfect package for your lap, your bed. or your heart.

And here’s a link to Kaluah’s petfinder bio: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/25149415. You can arrange a private meeting or get more info about her from her foster mom by emailing: acanniz@gmail.com

In an hour, I’m dropping off Kaluah at an adoption event at Orvis (Perkins Row) in Baton Rouge, where another volunteer friend, Ann, will stay with her for three hours in the hopes of finding her an adopter. I will take my laptop to Barnes & Noble and work and if Kaluah does not get lucky today, I’ll bring her home with me. Tomorrow, I’ll bring her back to Orvis again for a repeat. If you have a friend looking to add a perfect pet to the family, you can do a small thing too: send them to Orvis today from noon to 3. Or tomorrow, same time. Or have them email Amy and her husband.


The best part about my experience volunteering at our shelter is the opportunity to work on an incredible team. I have never worked with so many big-hearted volunteers who are willing to put the pieces together in big and small ways. All of this helps highly adoptable animals like Kaluah to avoid lethal injection.

Never think for a moment that there’s nothing you can do to help. The smallest of gestures can add up to great stuff. Just think, if Kaluah is adopted today, my one little gesture in combination with the big and small gestures of others could mean a whole new life for a pup who really deserves it.

If you want to help too, but have some challenges, leave a comment below and we’ll figure out how. Even if you live in an apartment, are strapped for cash, have too many pets of your own or very young kids, I promise, we’ll find something for you that will make you feel as good as I do now, knowing Kaluah is safe and sound and on her way to a new life. Maybe it will even be today. Paws crossed…


UPDATE: ADOPTED! Hooray for Kaluah! 


Crates well with others-- Kaluah followed my dog Crespo into his kennel in the car after a nice romp at the dog park. He thought that was hot (see them panting?)

Crates well with others– Kaluah followed my dog Crespo into his kennel in the car after a nice romp at the dog park. He thought that was hot (see them panting?)

Rocco: And the best news of all…



Rocco was adopted today!

It wasn’t by the man who was interested in him all along. It was by a woman named Maxi, who had fallen in love with Rocco on his foster mom, June’s, Facebook page originally, but had decided that her two dogs and three cats were enough, so she would refrain. Even though her third dog had recently passed away, and Rocco reminded her an awful lot of this dog. Two dogs was enough.

And then Rocco ran away in a thunder storm. Maxi was devastated reading about it on June’s Facebook page, as were all of June’s friends.  She hoped, and prayed that Rocco would return, and told herself that if he did, she would offer to make him hers (as Maxi had extensive experiences with escape artist dogs afraid of thunder.)

And he did.

And she did.

I contacted the man who was planning to adopt Rocco and explained the situation. I mentioned that the doggy door he was planning would probably not be a great idea, in case Rocco could bust out of the yard in another thunder storm. I explained that Rocco had an offer from a woman who was retired and would be home with him most of the time. And when she wasn’t, she would secure him in her laundry room with her other two dogs, where he would be safe and sound. And the man agreed that Maxi would be the better home for Rocco. (A win/win because I’m sure he will adopt another of our shelter dogs).

So at 2:30 today, June brought Rocco to the Friends of the Animals adoption event at Orvis and I met her there with Rocco’s health record (which I had kept in my car from running him to vet appointments). Maxi got there first. She couldn’t wait. You could tell.

Now Rocco is settled in at his new home with his two dog sisters who welcomed him with open paws, thank goodness. One of the cats even gave him an approving sniff on the nose. And he’s cuddled up on his new orthopedic bed beside Maxi’s bed, getting ready to live out the best years of the rest of his life.

Rocco? We love you so.


June had a harder time saying goodbye to Rocco than she thought she would. But Maxi said she could visit any time.

Rocco on his new bed in his forever home.

Rocco on his new bed in his forever home.

Rocco: Whoa

It has been a crazy few days in Rocco-land. The good news is, I was able to raise the money for Rocco’s surgery and he had it last Friday. And it went well, though we are waiting for the pathology report on the tumors removed and hoping everything is benign.

The morning of his surgery last Friday. A little early for Rocco to rise and shine, apparently.

The morning of his surgery last Friday. A little early for Rocco to rise and shine, apparently.

The bad news is, two days later, we had terrible thunderstorms here and while Rocco’s foster mom, June, was out, Rocco had a little freak-out. He squeezed himself through a cat door, busted through the screened in porch, and escaped while June was away. She was distraught and searched the neighborhood with friends, but no luck. It was a very sad and restless night that June spent with Rocco on the lam.

We posted signs all over her neighborhood, including in the park near the state capitol where I was starting to think, on day 4 of him missing, that Rocco was gone for good. I imagined him trapped in a drain pipe or caught under bushes by his harness. I imagined all sorts of things I won’t share because the world is sad enough without my horrible fantasies. Although he has a microchip, Rocco wasn’t wearing tags, because he’s a foster dog (and let me tell you, neither June nor I will ever make that mistake again; we’ll have tags made up that say “foster” with our respective phone numbers on them for our respective foster dogs. By the way, read this  article on how to make sure you don’t lose your dog in the first place, and how to get him back if you do).

Most importantly, I posted him on the Lost Pets of Baton Rouge Facebook page, describing his blue harness, his shaved back (he’d had a hot spot and the vets thought it best to remove the hair) and his incisions. And today, after I’d left a lunch meeting downtown, I got a call from a woman named MaryKay. She said she’d seen Rocco outside of her office (which was about a mile or two away from his foster home) but hadn’t been able to catch him. Then she saw his picture and description on the Lost Pets of Baton Rouge Facebook Page, where she’d gotten my phone number. She gave me the address of her office, and I was five minutes away, so I drove right there.

When I arrived, she met me downstairs and pointed to the areas where she’d seen him on the street. “I knew he had to be someone’s dog because of the blue harness,” she said, “But every time I took a step towards him, he ran away.”

Poor boy was still afraid, four days after that thunderstorm. I thanked her and did a lap around the block, calling his name and looking in bushes. I asked a little old  man taking out the garbage if he’d seen a dog and he shook his head. No dog. I turned the corner and asked a middle aged man doing construction on a ramshackle cottage alongside the interstate if he’d seen a dog. He pointed to an alley between the house he was working on and the house next door to it and I said, “Really?” My heart was in my throat. I took a couple of steps in that direction and called, “Rocco!” And guess who popped right out from under that house and throttled me with love and kisses?


There is nothing happier than the abrupt ending of horrible fantasies. I clipped the leash I was carrying in my bag onto his harness and took him to meet MaryKay and say thank you. And snap their picture:


MaryKay, you made my freakin’ day! Rocco’s too! Oh, and you have extremely cool cowboy boots.

Then I gave the boy a treat from my bag (yes, my bag is like a mini-Petsmart), loaded him up in the car and took him back to June’s house. I have a key to June’s house, because part of our deal when I asked her to foster Rocco was that I would help with stuff like getting him to vet appointments and out for walks on her long work days. Fostering is great but it can also be time consuming, as shelter dogs are often sick, and so fostering partnerships like this can be a great way of saying yes when you might otherwise have to say no.

Anyway, neither of us ever knew what Rocco’s journey might entail (repeated vet visits for kennel cough and surgery and then a great escape and great reuniting). But I can promise you that neither of us regret stepping up for him for even one minute.

And the adopter who was interested in him a month ago? Still interested! In fact, this great guy is putting in a doggy door at his house and then wants to have Rocco over for an overnight visit in a few days to see how it goes. Of course, we will make sure his fence is secure, and we’re going to try out Rocco with a Thunder shirt  so that next time there’s a storm, he remains calm. In fact, I wish they would make those for people because next time there’s a storm, I think I could use one myself after this.