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2013 March 11
Southern California

We wrote two months ago about two little dogs we scooped up from the high-kill animal shelter in Devore, California at the close of their last day and last chance for adoption before being euthanized.  (See "Last but not Left", 2013 January 06.) We named the white poodle-terrier mix Jasmine and the dark-colored one Coco.  Coco was pregnant, but the veterinarian found complications that caused them to recommend spaying her immediately, which we did.  We also had Jasmine spayed. We began networking to find them permanent homes, while in the meantime bringing them back to health with an excellent raw-food diet with supplements.  

Jasmine was easy from the start. She smiled constantly. There is no place in the world she'd rather be and nothing else she'd rather do than hang out as near as she can be to her human. Her foster Dave found the right human within the first two weeks, and Jasmine -- now affectionally called "Minnie" -- soon became the happy companion to her forever human companion Teri Jo.  Teri Jo had been wanting a dog like Minnie for companionship to her and her other older white poodle mix "Pearl."  The three of them have been inseparable since the day they met!  

Coco seemed like she might be more of a challenge. She seemed happy, and she was perfectly behaved -- quiet, obedient, as nice as could be. But she never quite smiled.  We wanted to see her face light up and her whole body wag with joy! Little did we know how those smiles would finally come to be... 

A few days after her spay surgery, even before her stitches were out, Coco suddenly became a different dog. Instead of keeping to herself and wanting just to sleep, she became outgoing and reached out especially to Dave's female german shepherd "Bali." It wasn't long before the two of them became special friends, playing together endlessly and then falling sleep side by side on Bali's dog bed. We had been concerned that when Jasmine left to go to her forever home, Coco might mourn and feel terribly lonely. But she did not mourn, not in the least. Just the opposite: Coco completely bonded herself to Dave's two shepherds Bear and Bali. The three of them play chase all over Dave's large yard and on their hikes in the local foothills -- Bali in the lead, massive Bear chasing his girl as best he can, and Coco chasing behind or heading them all off at the curve. Coco's exhuberance and joy became almost constant. And when she wasn't with Bali and Bear, she was Dave's shadow.

We were still actively networking to find Coco her forever home, when one day Dave told us that Coco reminded him of his dear departed dog Sheba, that she was doing the same things and acting the same way Sheba had, except that Coco was young and agile. Incredulous, we asked Dave several times: "Are you serious? Do you really want to keep her?" Each time he answered as if it should have been no surprise: "Oh yes, absolutely. She's most welcome. I don't think Bali or Bear could stand to see her go, and I really enjoy her!  She's absolutely perfectly behaved and a wonderful companion to all of us." Miracles never cease. Coco found her own forever home! Looking back, it would seem that it was all meant to be.

So enjoy these recent photos of Jasmine and Coco, and the videos of Coco playing with Dave's two shepherds. In one of these videos, you'll see a fourth and even a fifth dog, who came with friend to visit. In Dave's family, the more dogs the merrier! Watch these videos with your own dogs and see if the joy isn't contagious!  

And one final P.S. to this story: In networking to find homes for Coco and Jasmine, we were able to make arrangements to help transport about 20 small dogs out of high-kill shelters to responsible rescues, fosters, and homes in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. We even found a rescue who was willing to take Coco and her pups! Now that we don't need to place Coco or her pups or Jasmine, we're able to fill those "spots" with other dogs. We'll be flying these dogs from southern California in the coming weeks!

(Read about Bali's rescue story here, and Bear's rescue story here.)