By Janet McAfee
In 2018, a stray Shepherd puppy showed up at the gate of a residence in rural Sky Valley. Unable to find an owner, the resident called her friends Luanne Parks and Brad Anderson who drove there to pick up the cute little fellow. Luanne previously fostered for Loving All Animals animal welfare organization. LAA agreed to take in the puppy when Brad eagerly offered to foster the 2-month-old. After vetting, the puppy was soon adopted by a family.
In 2023, the family contacted Loving All Animals to report they might have to return the now 5-yr-old German Shepherd/Malinois dog due to allergies. There were conflicting stories about why they could not keep him so many years later, but Loving All Animals is here for the animals and always willing to take them back. The magnificent dog returned to Loving All Animals on June 23, 2023.
Eva Fisher fostered him for a short time, reporting he was a wonderful well-trained animal who got along with her dogs. Eva selected his new name, Enzo Ferrari, and we agreed this great name would promote his adoption. Brad Anderson, his previous foster dad, stepped forward again to foster Enzo when Eva had to leave town. Brad reports, “Enzo is the perfect dog! He does well with my small dogs and large dog, he is so calm and gentle. He keeps himself occupied, hunting for lizards with my other guy. He unstacked all my firewood, looking for my reaction. Enzo is a working breed, intelligent, protective, and engaging.”
The year 2023 is a tough time for homeless animals, particularly the big dogs who linger in shelters. Sadly, German Shepherds are one of the primary breeds peering out from the rows of public shelter kennels. Brad and Enzo attended Loving All Animals adoption events where Enzo happily greeted visitors with a wagging tail. He was promoted on petfinder.com and on www.lovingallanimals.org. Enzo’s handsome face was featured on Facebook, Instagram but no one called for him. Enzo was unfazed and continued enjoying his days at “Brad’s pad” while the months passed.
There was a dramatic increase in stray and relinquished dogs and cats in 2023. There was a lack of spaying and neutering services during the pandemic, and the kittens and puppies born then are now giving birth to more animals than there are enough homes for. Rescue adoptions slowed down over the summer.
In November. Ernesto Rosales was amazed to see a photo on Instagram of handsome Enzo with Brad Anderson. He has known Brad for several years through his work as Chairperson of the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District and Brad attends their public meetings providing expertise on insect control. Ernesto tells us, “There are no coincidences in life, and I know how kind Brad is.” Ernesto and his wife Alba Cruz Rosales are avid dog lovers who recently lost their senior Pit Bull and senior German Shepherd. Alba emailed Loving All Animals and included photos of their two young rescue dogs.
It was a magical meet and greet on November 10, 2023. We introduced Enzo to his prospective siblings, Lelo and Bubba, in the Loving All Animals yard. They greeted Enzo with kisses which he reciprocated and then the trio engaged in happy play. Dogs know our intent, and Enzo wisely greeted Alba and Ernesto with a wagging tail and kisses. In another curious coincidence, Alba attended LAA’s 2018 fundraiser at the Palm Springs Air Museum donating a gift certificate from the family’s restaurant, the Pueblo Viejo Grill. Enzo enthusiastically jumped into the back seat of his new family’s car knowing he was going home forever.
Ernesto recalls, “When I saw Brad’s photo, read the dog’s story, and saw the name Enzo Ferrari I knew this was our next dog. We are an ADOPT DON’T SHOP family. Enzo is the perfect match for us and he plays all day with our other two. We thank Loving All Animals for their process and thank Brad for fostering.” Alba sent great photos of Enzo on neighborhood walks and on his indoor exercise routine on a treadmill. She tells us, “Enzo is such a great addition to our family, and he is happy every day at our home!”
More big dog foster homes are needed to create more happy endings for large breed dogs, most of whom are calm and gentle like Enzo. Call Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 and fill out their volunteer form at www.lovingallanimals.org and specify large dog, small dog, or kitten.
Enzo hit the adoption lottery going to his forever home with the Rosales family. Sometimes the best things come to those who wait the longest.