By Janet McAfee

These 2 adorable Miniature Pincher/Chihuahua puppies arrived at their forever homes in Canada on March 19 after a 3-day road trip from the Loving All Animals Coachella shelter.  March 23 was National Puppy Day in the United States, but these little “Canucks” celebrate every day now on Vancouver Island.

Life didn’t start out so great for them when they were born as part of an unwanted litter.  Their litter mates found homes and Doug and Patty were relinquished to Loving All Animals, the rescue group I work with.  They were housed in a large enclosure in the LAA office where every visitor fell in love.  They played together, tumbling in puppy joy, and barking to get even more attention.  They also pooped and peed a lot and went through lots of puppy pads and towels.  Many thought they might want to adopt them, but the goal was to keep the special siblings together.  Canine sibling love is something special to experience.

Canadians Georgia Knight and Natalie Popham visiting the shelter while attending the annual Thermal Horse Show.  The young equestrians live in British Columbia in Canada.  The ardent animal lovers reside next door to each other in the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island.  They arrived to spend time with Doug and Patty several times, bringing family and friends who also attended the horse show.  Finally, on February 24 they made it official and with friends present they signed the adoption applications for this special pair.  Natalie selected Doug (now named Marcel), and fortunately Georgie preferred Patty (now Phoebe).  The best friends see each other almost daily and promised LAA the little siblings would get lots of quality time together.


However, they had to return to Canada before the puppies turned 4 months old, the age when they can receive the Rabies vaccinations required at the Canadian border.  They also had to be spayed and neutered which is a California legal requirement for dogs and cats adopted from rescues and shelters.  Their good friends Kylie and TJ were returning to Victoria at a later date and were happy to drive the little passengers to their new owners.

On March 16, supplied with food and plenty of toys, the dogs left in separate pink and blue crates donated by a Loving All Animals board member.  American businesses discovered it’s good business to be dog friendly, and most hotels now welcome canine visitors.  The puppies slept during most of pleasant trip including their naps on TJ’s lap.

We caught up with the puppies at their happy Canadian homes.  Natalie reports, “Marcel is laying outside now in the sunshine with his brother Golden Doodle.  These puppies are so well behaved, Marcel already knows the Sit command.  They both come together to the Barn to see the horses in their corrals and also have a pen inside there.”

Georgia tells us, “We love these puppies!  Phoebe gets along so well with our 3 black Labs.  She likes Jack the best and bites his lips while he just calmly stands there. Phoebe is already almost house trained!”

Doug and Patty are two of the lucky ones during the current puppy and kitten crisis in most American states including California.  Sadly, our public shelters are overwhelmed with most intakes now 4 months or younger.  During the pandemic, spay and neuter were not considered essential services and some veterinary clinics closed due to staffing shortages.  The animals born then are now giving birth to more little ones and there are simply not enough homes for all of them.  The results are tragic for the suffering animals and costly to public taxpayers.  PLEASE GET YOUR DOG OR CAT SPAYED.

Natalie tells us, “There are very few animal shelters in this region of Canada, and they usually only have about 4 or 5 animals.  I have never seen a stray dog or cat here.  Canadian law does not require animals be spayed, but we just go ahead and get it done.”  Georgia’s mother Trudean adds, “Please consider going to a shelter when you want to adopt a puppy or an adult dog.  We saw so many strays in the streets during our visit there and it was heartbreaking we couldn’t help more.”

Meanwhile, we celebrate the adoption of these two puppies.  Phoebe and Marcel’s message is ADOPT DON’T SHOP.  Natalie and Georgia will be back at the Thermal Horse Show next Fall and bringing the puppies along. We look forward to their visit!