BY JANET McAFEE
The small badly matted dog huddled at the back of her kennel. Her kennel card at the San Bernardino City Shelter listed the 3-year-old dog as “fearful”. She was so scared that the kennel staff was unable to bring her out when someone requested a visit with her. Finally, they wrapped a towel around the struggling, frightened animal and brought her to the visiting area. Who would adopt this forlorn, terrified little creature?
Kyla Paradise took the small canine into her arms, and the dog melted with relief becoming instantly calm. The rescuer and the rescued sensed that everything was going to be okay. Kyla Paradise is a volunteer extraordinaire with Loving All Animals in Palm Desert, helping them rescue and adopt dogs for the past 5 years. She was on a shelter run that day rescuing several dogs for the organization’s adoption program.
Andrea Neyses, a shelter volunteer, provided more information about the pup’s background. The city was contacted by concerned residents who spotted the dog alone in a backyard fending for herself. A check of the home revealed there was no resident. In an often repeated tragic story, another heartless human had moved away leaving their faithful pet behind. A San Bernardino police officer scaled the fence and took the abandoned pup to the city shelter. There were signs of neglect in addition to the horrid matting on her coat. She was missing hair on her tail and rear body, she was very thin and needed treatment for worms.
Kyla recalls, “I just knew right away this dog was staying with me. The way she looked at me that first day, I knew she was mine. Of course I offered to foster her. I thought this pup needed a strong name, so I named her Albe after my grandmother Albertine who was one of the toughest women I’ve ever met.”
This little dog had better be tough. Despite surviving two crises, in the backyard and at the shelter, Albe was about to experience yet another life threatening ordeal. No one could have anticipated what would happen next.
Loving All Animals received a somber phone call from the veterinary office that Albe passed away during her spay surgery (normally an extremely safe procedure). However, during the phone call there was a sudden commotion in the background, and the vet quickly returned to administer to the pup. After they pulled her breathing tube out, the lifeless dog suddenly regained consciousness, sat up on the table, and began breathing on her own. It was a miracle. The following day, the dog happily ran and played in Kyla’s back yard as though nothing had happened. Today she is in great health with no residual effects from this ordeal.
While some hesitate to go to public shelters fearing they will be too sad or too overwhelmed, Kyla Paradise reports her experience doing so to be a journey of love and triumph. “I love going to shelters to get the dogs out! I look forward to saving a life, or two, or three on every shelter run. We try to see beyond the matting and the fear to see the gem of a dog inside waiting to emerge.” When you rescue a dog, your heart will soar with joy during the “freedom ride” home as the grateful dog wags its tail and you might even get a grateful kiss.
Today, Albe is part of Kyla’s happy 3-pack of dogs, all of them rescues. She loves to bring various objects to her doggie bed in her den……lemons, candy wrappers, assorted twigs, and jewelry (including Kyla’s missing ring). Kyla laughingly recalls, “My grandmother Albertine liked to collect all sorts of things. In a funny way, this pup continues to remind me of her”.
For more information about fostering, volunteering, or adopting contact Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000, www.lovingallanimals.org. Visit the wonderful adoptable animals at the San Bernardino City Shelter at 333 Chandler Place, San Bernardino, (909) 384-1304, or view them on www.petharbor.com and type in “San Bernardino”. Albe is truly a miracle dog, a poster dog for rescue. When you can adopt a pup as adorable and happy as Albe at a shelter, why would anyone go to a breeder or pet store? Enjoy the tremendous love and gratitude only a rescue dog can bring.