On Friday, October 13 I was driving to an appointment when I saw a little dog with an injured paw at Figueroa and 88th. Nearby a blue pit pull on leash was dragging its owner down the street. Sensing doom I (who normally drive like a timid grandmother) executed flawless U-turn into oncoming traffic, returned to the little dog. She ran on three legs while pit bull attempted to close distance between them. “Oh, no.. oh, no.. !” I heard pit bull owner crying out as he tried to steer his dog away. Fortunately he succeeded.

Sweet little chihuahua terrier mix (pics above) was wearing a blue collar with no tags. To make the long story short I took her to the local ASPCA where hopefully her owner would claim her. She trembled with fear as kind attendant loaded her into a cage. “I will do everything possible to get you home.” I promised her. Almost immediately her photo appeared on the ASPCA website. I checked it daily, called the shelter regularly for status updates, and continued to visit both her and the neighborhood where I found her.  It seemed unlikely that someone would post “Lost Dog” signs and not check the local shelter but you never knew.

Over the next few weeks mysterious details emerged: the little darling (who I now called Rhoda – sort of a shortened version of “Figueroa”) had metal plates in her injured paw. Someone had paid for very expensive orthopedic surgery but had neglected to have Rhoda either spayed or micro-chipped. Since surgery had not worked Rhoda would now likely need a paw amputation. How had she ended up wandering the streets of one of LA’s most, um, blighted neighborhoods? Feel kind of judgmental typing that but if you go there you will see what I mean. Anyways, I returned home from a shoot this past Friday night to discover that Rhoda’s photo had vanished from the ASPCA website. Praying someone would answer at this late hour I called the shelter. A gentleman requested Rhoda’s ID number and then informed me that a kind soul had adopted Rhoda!

Naturally fellow animal lover Kianna Dior and I had to toast this happy turn of events. Throughout this experience I developed tremendous admiration for the staff at the South LA ASPCA. In the past I never thought of the animal shelter as a kind, nurturing environment but they are doing great work there. Please join me in making a donation if you feel inclined. I’ve been sending $5 here and there because that’s what I can afford right now and I do believe that every bit helps.

By the way, California has become the first state to require that pet stores sell rescue animals only. Hallelujah! Thank you, Governor Jerry Brown. I shed a tear when I read the news on October 15 and genuinely felt proud to be a Californian.

Hope everyone is having a pleasant Monday. I just finished a 3-day shoot for a private collector and will be spending today posting new material and catching up on blog comments.

XO Tanya



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