Created: Friday, 21 March 2014
My wife walks into my office one afternoon about a week ago with that look in her eye, and her cell phone. What she was about to show me was going to rock our world for the week and be one of the best things that could happen to us, even if it meant losing some sleep.
In Chino Hills, our community has embraced a place called "The Orphanage." It's a no kill pet shelter located near a McDonald's on Chino Hills Parkway. It went from an underground business that was in the local paper's each week with it's ongoing legal battles with the city to becoming part of the identity of the city. It originally started out as a means of helping citizens who have changing situations find new homes for older pets. Then it grew into a death row pardon rescue organization. They literally step in at the last minute and adopt dogs and cats from shelters that are about to get put to sleep. The success of the organization has caught on, and now they are getting calls to save batches of puppies that the pound just doesn't want to put down.
About a week ago someone drives up and drops off a box full of puppies next to their animal transport. They were discarded like an old pair of roller skates at the Goodwill dropbox. Three girls went up for adoption last week. A white one, blond one and a black one. The white one found a home last weekend, and the other two needed some place to chill until the following weekend. That's what was on my wife's phone, a picture of them.
These two dogs are sweet as can be and just a ton of fun! My twin daughters were going through highs and lows of hearing if they got into the colleges they've been actively applying to. The decisions started coming down as the puppies first showed up. Some people do drugs, drink, or engage in wreckless activities to relieve stress. My daughters chose "puppy therapy" to keep them grounded.
My wife suggested not to name them as we were driving them home. I said "Okay, why don't we name the blond one Almond and the black one Joy?" It was simply a joke, but the names stuck and they started to respond to them. The next test was the two dogs we own. They are also girls and not always the most welcoming to new dogs. The puppies are actually very good with other dogs. They knew how to keep their distance and show respect. After a few days my dogs actually kinda liked them.
They are also way, way too smart for their own good. The black one, Joy, has figured out how to use the doggy doors and defeat most of our puppy proofing measures. They are about the happiest puppies I've ever seen They are also getting a fan club. We have batches of people showing up at our house like walking zombies. When people found out we had puppies they just started showing up in droves. They are way, way, way more popular than we are.
I was able to get a few nice pics of the dog, though they did want to test my skills of puppy photography Their favorite game is called "Cowabonga" which is when one runs at full speed and jumps on her sister's back. It's a good thing their bones are made of rubber. For the most part their housebreaking has been working out well. They seem more than anxious to please and catch on very quickly. There have been remarkably few "accidents" to clean up.
The most obvious question is why don't we keep them? A couple of reasons. First puppies are no brainers to find homes, especially ones as wonderful as these dogs. Second, if we were going to adopt a dog from the Orphanage it would most likely be an adult. During Christmas eve and day we ended up walking the dogs the Orphanage had on hand. There was one I took out and ran with because I could tell it has been a long time since the dog has felt feeling of running. Seeing it come alive again just killed my desire for having a puppy, especially a purebred one. During a photo shoot about a month ago I ran into one of the dogs I walked at Christmas. I remember this dog had a cataract in one eye. A family with a little boy were the new owners. The family told me they had her for about a month and got it from the Orphanage. They just seemed so happy. I love the feeling of dogs being reporposed instead of euthanized.
I've owned purebred dogs we've got from breeders, and I've owned dogs that we've got from the pound, or have been literally found on the streets. I can tell you it's a night and day difference. Almond and Joy for example have been in three different homes in one week. They want something more permanent. They will be at the Orphanage available for adoption on Saturday. They are such wonderful dogs that whoever gets them can consider themselves lucky. But there are some other really wonderful dogs and cats at the Orphanage that I'm sure you'll really like. I can't keep them all, but what I can do is give them a home for a week and take photos of them and help tell their story. Could you do me a favor and share the story of the Orphanage with others? This is a remarkable place and the more people who know about it the more likely these dogs and cats will find homes. It's a mostly volunteer organization and they love visitors.
2587 C Chino Hills Parkway,
Chino Hills, CA 91709