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2013 June 11, Tuesday
Ensenada, Baja Mexico to southern California

The transport by car and air took only a day, but the planning and logistics to save these lucky seven took us weeks!  Some tireless true-hearted ladies in Ensenada have been working over hundreds of miles to help rescue young and small dogs in Mexico who find themselves homeless, starving, and in many cases injured from abuse and serious neglect. Mrs. Ana Villaescusa tends these innocents and works nonstop to network for their adoption to caring forever homes in the U.S. We, and many other rescue organizations in the US, receive and help network her pleas on a regular basis. This past couple of months she has pleaded for help with around 10 small dogs, many of them puppies but some pregnant females or new mothers and some adults who had been hit by or thrown from cars.

Three excellent canine rescue organizations across Los Angeles county in California stepped forward to take seven of the dogs. We had told Ana that we would have two days while on the west coast on which we could, and would be happy to, fly any of her rescued animals to rescues around southern California.  It all came together -- including the first and only day of good flying weather in well over a week! -- yesterday. We had planned it for that Tuesday, and had also planned for a rather grueling day of flying on instruments for landing five different airports, because all of the coastal areas of southern California are experiencing the typical “June gloom” this time of year, with heavy marine layers of clouds moving onshore and filling the southland with fog and cloud ceilings between 500’ and 1000’ above ground.  But Monday morning the forecasts showed that the regular low pressure area was going to move a bit offshore -- for Tuesday only, returning to shore by Tuesday afternoon!  It seemed too good to be true, and it also seemed as though the universe had led us to plan everything just right!

As a result, yesterday’s flights went flawlessly.  The dogs were perfect passengers, all of the five groups who needed to be at their respective airports when we landed were there on time, the airport management staff helped them drive to the airplane for easy loading and unloading, and we were back at our home airport before 5pm -- just as the marine layer was creeping back inland and covering our tracks with solid cloud cover!

Many thanks to Marty Kane of Dana Point, CA for meeting us in Carlsbad on our way southward, in order to fill our plane (literally, to the ceiling and sides!) with supplies to deliver to Ana.  Dog beds, toys, hundreds of pounds of dog food, leashes -- there wasn’t room in our plane for even another water bottle when we finished loading her up! Then to Ana and her friend who were there waiting for us at the border, and to airport staff there for helping us unload supplies and load up our precious seven canine passengers.

Here was our plane as we prepared to leave Carlsbad loaded up with supplies from  Marty Kane, and here also are Ana (with Bonny from On Wings Of Care) as we unloaded supplies and loaded up dogs near the border of Mexico.

Next go enormous thanks to the wonderful rescuers in southern California! The folks from Forte Animal Rescue arrived first at Hawthorne Airport and took dear mama dog “Olivia” and her tiny pup “Chiquis.”  We’re so sorry we didn’t get photos of that -- we completely forgot, as were absorbed in the moment!  Oh wait, here are these two little gals in a photo from Ana taken a few days earlier:

Fortunately, we had to wait a few more minutes for our friends from Grace Animal Rescue to arrive, so we remembered to get out our cell phone camera!  Here are Jason and his friend from Grace AR, who took the three german shepherd pups -- “Craig”, “Samy”, and their sister “Ani.”  Cuter pups we’ve never seen! They looked like little soldiers, all of their ears perked straight up and eyes big and curious.  Then up to Van Nuys, where Laura from was waiting to receive our last two girls, “Silvia” and “Hilda.”

All of the people we met took photos while we were having a good time fussing with the dogs, and they’ve promised to send us some.  We’ll post those as soon as we get them, and they’re likely to be much better than these, but we didn’t want to wait to share the good news! 

What great dogs and great people one finds in the work of animal rescue! From all places, all walks of life, all breeds, colors, shapes, sizes, cultures. We all share the love that shines from the eyes of every grateful animal who feels love and kindness, food and shelter, sometimes for the first real time in their lives.  Thank you all!