By Janet McAfee

In December, 2019, this column featured the story of a lovely but shy German Shepherd dog who languished at the San Bernardino County Animal Shelter at Devore.  It was a sad but all too familiar story of a relinquished dog’s family moving and unwilling or unable to take her with them.  She watched and waited at the shelter for five months while the friendlier dogs who greeted visitors with wagging tails were adopted.  I learned of her plight, and this column found her a wonderful home last year.  Now we hope a new potential adopter will read about Chrissy’s need for a second holiday miracle.

The last week in December, 2019, a dog loving Coachella Valley couple picked up a CV Weekly Magazine from a news rack while purchasing tires.  They fell in love with the Shepherd’s photo and sad plight, and drove to San Bernardino on Christmas Eve to adopt the dog they named Chrissy after the holiday.  However, her happy ending was short lived.  Tragedy struck a second time when Chrissy’s beloved human dad, Dennis Wayne, passed away from cancer in July.

Chrissy’s human mom, Sherry Franks, was heartbroken.  Chrissy was the perfect dog indoors, but chewed through a tether in the yard and escaped.  Sherry is frail and unable to walk the lively 50 pound three year old dog.  Without an adequate fenced yard, Sherry sadly contacted me for rehoming help.


The Humane Society of the Coachella Valley (HSOCV) and their wonderful shelter manager, Jon Nimitz, came to the rescue.  They agreed to take Chrissy into their large private no-kill animal shelter in N. Palm Springs.  This December, 2020, Chrissy watches once more as people come to meet and adopt other dogs.  She loves the staff and volunteers who walk her daily, but they are no replacement for a home of her own.  She dreams of being home for the holidays with a loving family like she had with Sherry and Denny and their older Labrador dog.

Jon Nimitz tells us, “Chrissy is a great dog.  She walks well on a leash and gets to exercise every day at our dog park with the volunteers.  We typically give adopters a ‘trial adoption’, often up to two months, and accept return of the dog if it doesn’t work out.  HSOCV goes above and beyond to ensure the well- being of our dogs.  We practice full disclosure about the dog’s positive traits as well as any issues it has.  When someone comes for a scheduled appointment here, I can show them several dogs as our big dogs are in large outdoor enclosures.”

Sherry Franks thinks about Chrissy every day, and prays she will soon get a home.  She tells us, “She adored Denny, and after he became ill she was always by my side.  She was perfectly house trained.  She loved both of us.  Chrissy is one of God’s angels.  I make a small donation monthly to the HSOCV, and I hope others will also do so.”

Chrissy is a healthy dog young.  She is spayed and fully vaccinated.  Adopters need to be physically strong enough to handle a large dog that still has “puppy” energy.  Chrissy seeks a home with indoor/outdoor access and a fenced in back yard where she can run and play.  She may be reserved upon meeting new people.

Given another second chance, this sweet dog will soon transform into the amazing loyal dog she was meant to be after a few days in a loving home.  They say good things come to those who wait, and may that be true for Chrissy after four months at the HSOCV.  There is nothing so special as the grateful heart of a rescue dog who instinctively knows you saved her.  Christmas is a time for miracles, and a waiting dog still dreams of the miracle of a loving family.

Call the Humane Society of the Coachella Valley at (760) 329-0203 for an appointment to meet Chrissy.  Please make a tax deductible donation to this nonprofit organization that houses over 70 homeless dogs and cats,  You may also mail a check payable to the HSOCV to P.O. Box 6059, La Quinta, CA 92248.  Chrissy says, “Thank you everyone.  Please share my story and help me get a home for the holidays.”