I recently received this updated photo of the first dog I ever rescued. The note that arrived with the photo said “Kayla is doing fine! We just had to have her knee replaced. She is recovering well. Otherwise, she is a happy, healthy dog!”
Kayla’s Story (the synopsis*)
In NYC in July 2006, Snickers and I met a homeless man named Benedict with a six month old puppy named Kaos. He had stolen her from a dog fighter and was managing to take excellent care of her, considering they were living in the streets. In August, I took them to my vet and got her shots updated, rabies tag, checkup, etc. and then applied for her city license tag using my contact information (so she wouldn’t get taken away from him as a "stray"). People who followed my blog sent donations to help pay for that visit. People from the neighborhood sort of adopted Benedict and Kaos – giving them dog food, etc. In November, Bettina, one of their neighborhood angels, bought them a plane ticket to Florida (where Benedict had family) and a pet taxi trip to the airport. Another good neighborhood friend, Mary, donated her dog’s kennel for Kaos to travel in. A few days later, we heard from Benedict that he and Kaos were safe and warm in Florida, although apparently still homeless.
About three months later, February 2007, I got a call from my vet’s office. They had just received a call from Miami Dade Animal Services, trying to locate Kaos’s owner. (She was still wearing her tags, so the trail led to me, luckily.) Benedict was nowhere to be found**. My blog followers and my sister Debbie came to the rescue – everyone started spreading the word – and we were able to find volunteers in Florida to claim Kaos from the shelter for me. First, we boarded her at a vet for a few days to make sure she was healthy and then she was fostered by Jeanette in Orlando while I began the search for a home for her.
A friend in Pennsylvania asked to adopt her, so Kaos said goodbye to Florida and was transported, through a series of volunteers, to Ami in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, that home didn’t work out and Kaos went into boarding in PA. She stayed in boarding for THREE MONTHS. (Thanks again to donations from my blog followers – especially my sister, who footed the majority of the PA boarding bill – for making this all feasible.) Everyone kept sharing Kaos’s story and a new adopter was found, this time in New Jersey. (And to think, all this sharing and networking was pre-facebook!) Kaos made the trip and her new mom Erin loved her tons, but this home didn’t work out either. However, Erin introduced her to Rick & Colleen and, a couple weeks later, Kaos was finally adopted by her FOREVER FAMILY… 14 months after I’d first met her as a homeless street dog in NYC. She was renamed Kayla, which fits her temperament much better and has been living the good life down the shore for almost six years now! It was a long, involved journey, but it put her in the right place at the right time to meet her perfect forever family.
*All the original blog posts and photos are online in my previous blog.
**Ten months after Kayla found her forever home, Bettina heard from Benedict. He was alive and back in NYC.