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2011 August--October
Southern California

You are looking at Scarlett when we found her August 10 and arranged for her to board at a no-kill shelter until we could find a foster, adopter, or return home to California for her (left), and Scarlett on October 12, four days after we retrieved her from the shelter and brought her to live in our home (right).  The no-kill shelter had deemed her unadoptable after her third day there, so she was largely unsocialized and not walked during her stay there, facts we had not understood until our return to California October 5.  We immediately removed her and brought her to our home.  How great and fast a change comes from a grateful canine's heart when they are given love and a chance for a real life!

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SECOND UPDATE, 2011 Oct 16 Sunday:
Scarlett will have a home!  She has earned a forever place in our hearts, and just as she was doing that, we were led to some wonderful people in Texas who can give Scarlett love, understanding, care and guidance, fun, and -- ready for this -- a larger mellow male bull terrier with whom they are sure she will bond!  Her education (and ours from her) and life with us will continue for a few more weeks, and then she'll fly with us to Texas, and we'll walk into her new home.  

Here with us, she has become a lovely canine family member. She carries our grocery bags when she's not carrying her stuffed animal "puppies" tenderly everywhere or snuggling up to our mellow seniors (a male shepherd "Ford" and a small female terrier mix "Tilly") -- yes, she worships them!  Examination shows that her oddly splayed left front foot was crushed by something early on in her life.  It slows her a bit, but not much; enough, though, that she won't be a long-distance hiker or runner.  From what we see, she'll be very happy to walk with family, run around a yard after a ball, and spend most of the rest of her time snuggling and snoozing and daydreaming.  She lets us do anything with her, even set her down in the bathtub and give her a scrub, inspect her ears and teeth, and just about anything.  She is so happy these days.  What a love she is!

Our Chip-In has $150 now; we need to give $750 as her 'dowry'.  If you'd like to contribute, go to her chip-in site or pay with PayPal on this website; we'll know it is for Scarlett unless you specify otherwise.  On Wings Of Care  is donating all of her care and transport and then some.  We consider that small payment for all the love and learning she has already given to us! We will miss her, and as the time draws closer, well, you know, ouch, don't want to think about that right now.  Thank you all for your encouragement and help.  Love Never Fails!  We'll post more photos in the coming days and weeks.  Would have had some great ones yesterday on a short hike in the local foothills, but the camera jammed. But there will be more!

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UPDATE 2011 Oct 11:  Out of "prison" finally, Scarlett has shown herself to be a gentle, social, and extremely intelligent and responsive animal companion!  She has endeared herself to her temporary canine and human pack and made many new friends.  And we have learned so much about what she and her kind have to give to humans, and why humans are able to make these impressionable, intelligent dogs behave so badly.

Enjoy these photos and videos from Scarlett's first taste of freedom and a real walk in the local foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains!  And her wonderful behavior with her new canine friends and temporary foster family.  We have found her to be gentle, social, and extremely affectionate.  She greets all humans enthusiastically. We have put her in a variety of canine-social situations, and we find that if she is met aggressively or comes across a dog barking at her from behind a fence or door, she does not cower but goes toward the scene.  She does not bark, but she is not afraid or disinterested.  Yet she came away on our command, and she never started the aggression.  At no time did her behavior frighten us or look as if it were out of her conscious control.  We've known shepherds and other breeds of dogs who were less well in control of themselves.  And with dogs who are not aggressive toward her, well, take a look at these videos for yourself!  She just met these two canines Ford and Tilly two days ago, and the first time they were together face to face was on this walk this morning!  No problem at all.  In fact, on our return, when Tilly growled disapproval at Scarlett's accidentally stepping on her, Scarlett cowered and begged forgiveness -- and later brought two stuffed animals to Tilly to try to win her over!  

Oh, the stuffed animals -- that is the sweetest thing yet  She loves to have her "puppies" near her and carries them tenderly.  What can we say?  Mother love needs an outlet.  And it sure makes for a sweet dog.  If our own lives and schedules could be different, we'd love to keep her.  We hope to find some special human(s) who will appreciate how special Scarlett is, and they will find an unforgettable love, devotion, and spirit from their canine companion for years to come.  

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By the way, we received a rejection letter from Best Friends Animal Society.  They said they are too full to take her.  We wrote back and asked them to reconsider, based on how social and adoptable she is showing herself to be.  But no, they said they could not.  

Here are photos and video from today.  These beautiful photos were taken by Kari Kochar, a local professional photographer who heard about Scarlett and wanted to meet her and take her photos.  In a very rushed 15 minutes in a busy area of the local foothills, Scarlett behaved beautifully and Kari caught her joy!

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Here's the original story:
We got the desperate plea on August 10 when we were almost 2000 miles away and knew we wouldn't be back to California for at least a month. We receive many desperate pleas every day for animals about to be euthanized, and we can only respond to a small fraction of them. Why this one, and when we were nowhere near to act in person? I have no idea. There seems to be something bigger than our own minds at work sometimes, and whatever it is has a way of taking over our lives once we admit to ourselves what it is we really want to do with our lives and our energies.

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See videos, more photos, and read more here!