By Janet McAfee

Take a look at this fabulous little dog and her proud “parents”. Teca’s name was created by combining the names of Ted and Carol Rosen, a Coachella Valley couple who adopted this rescue dog last year. A treasured member of their family, Teca changed their lives in ways they never expected.

Last year the couple’s 14-year-old Shih Tzu, Mitzi, who accompanied them on a trip in their second home state of Oregon, died suddenly. They had just loaded up their van and were heading home. Five minutes later Mitzi took a deep breath and died on Carol’s lap, and she held her precious pet for the remaining six hour drive home. Heartbroken and missing canine companionship, the Rosen’s contacted Loving All Animals and asked them to look for a dog similar to Mitzi.

When the Rosen’s arrived back home in the desert, Loving All Animals’ Mobile Mutts program brought 2 dogs rescued from the San Bernardino City Shelter to their home. They thought about it overnight, but could not get the little gray dog out of their minds. Carol recalls, “When Teca came in, she just looked up at me and we had a connection”. Teca magically connects with her expressive eyes. Several people told them Teca looks like a Havanese. Now beautifully groomed, Teca is a stunning and engaging animal.

Ted and Carol could not be happier with this little dog, “She’s so well adjusted. I don’t know how many times a day we look at her, and are thankful we have her”. Teca is very affectionate, and Ted reports, “She loves to lay against my chest and just fall asleep”. When company comes, Teca sits on the back of the couch guarding her “pack” of humans. Like many owners, the Rosen’s think their dog is the best pet in the world.

Ted reports Teca lowered his blood pressure and his stress level. Ted used to take sleeping pills every night before Teca entered his life, but no longer needs them since Teca lovingly lays her head against his every evening. Teca clearly loves both Rosen’s, but is definitely “daddy’s girl”. Carol adds, “She makes us laugh. She brought greater communication between the two of us. She takes our mind off any problems we may have.” Teca is a part of their daily routine, including trips to the dog park, driving in the golf cart, and watching television.

Scientific studies confirm the Rosen’s experience that dogs improve one’s health. Their presence lowers cortisal, a hormone associated with stress. Dogs lower the risk of cardiovascular problems including strokes and heart disease. Exposure to animals early in life improves your immune system. A University of California study shows that a dog in the house protects your children from a virus that causes the common cold. Dogs bring us health and happiness!

Carol advises more people to consider adopting a pet. “Older people should not think getting a dog is a burden. Having a wonderful pet like Teca adds years to your life!”

Ted has advice for anyone thinking about getting a rescue dog. “The animal doesn’t have the problem, it’s usually the people who owned it. When you go to a breeder they have a profit motive, they want to sell you something, and you have a choice of one or two. I wanted to make sure the match is right, and Loving All Animals’ Mobile Mutts program gave us lots of options”. Those options include going to the shelters in a doggie decorated limousine and receiving emails of many available pets.

Teca inspired Ted to get involved in getting homes for more shelter dogs. One of his goals is to increase adoptions by helping folks with less income to adopt a pet. Ted was recruited to be on the Board of Directors for Loving All Animals, and is now passionately committed to ensure that wonderful animals like Teca get into loving homes.

A rescue dog is much more than a companion. They bring joy into your life. They improve your physical health and psychological well being. Rescue dogs have the wisdom from once being homeless, yet joyfully carry on in the present with love and gratitude.

Visit your local shelter to meet your new best friend. Our Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms has a large number of adoptable animals. The San Bernardino City shelter (where Teca came from) has a steady stream of Havanese and Havanese mixes, and is less than an hour from Palm Springs. You can reach Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 or for assistance adopting a rescue dog or cat.

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