Sunday, April 27, 2014

Three Loreto Dog Tails

In response to my recent Blog on the Baja Bark Fundraiser  ( I received an offer of a Guest Blog from Kristen (who is a member of the Loreto Bay Volunteers with a particular interest in animal rescue).  She wanted to share several stories about Loreto street dogs finding new lives with Loreto Bay Homeowners.  While I am not a pet owner myself, I am very aware that many in the Loreto Bay community are, and I thought that learning more about a few of these "dog tails" would further highlight this part of our Community. 

"As my dog and I walk around Loreto Bay and along the beach, we often meet Homeowners with their dogs.  Many of these family pets have been brought to Loreto from the States or Canada, but a few of these dogs have been fostered or adopted directly from the nearby streets.  Here is the “tail” of three lucky street dogs that are “Living Loreto”.

Scruffy was found tied up to the chain link fence at our local dog shelter, Segunda Chansa (see Drew’s Blog written about Patrick  Patrick took him in, had him bathed, neutered and vaccinated and hoped for a quick adoption.   Scruffy was lucky to be fostered temporarily by two Loreto Bay Homeowners, Jaymi and this guest writer. 

During the time we had him we went on frequent walks on the Beach, where Scruffy could often be seen making friends with every dog and person he met.  Eventually he caught the eyes of Brian and Denny, two other Loreto Bay Homeowners who, after a lot of campaigning by other local dog lovers, eventually agreed to adopt Scruffy.  Brian and Denny live in Sausalito CA and often fly back and forth between there and Loreto Bay.  Now that Scruffy is flying with them so often, Brian and Denny have started tracking his flight hours and say that he may soon qualify as a “gold status” frequent flier.

Scruffy literally became a "Poster Dog" as the mascot of our first Baja Bark Fun Walk and Run held on April 6.  He walked in the race with Brian and Denny and posed with the winners and major sponsors on the medal stand.  From street dog to living the good life in Loreto and Sausalito, here’s to Scruffy, Brian and Denny.

Loreto Bay Homeowners, Tony and Lynne found Oso (or maybe Oso found Tony and Lynne) when they were standing outside a Loreto Restaurant with a group of friends after dinner.  This is Oso's adoption story in Tony's words: 

Six of us were standing outside Domingo's steak house on April 11, when we realized we'd been joined by a silent, bedraggled seventh. Barely able to stand (and then on only three of his four legs), he had a dreadful scab covering most of his forehead, fresh scars above and below his left eye, and an all-too-prominent ribcage.

Two more things were instantly clear - his chances of seeing another dawn were very slender, but what he wanted more than anything else was some sign of affection.  Ten minutes later he was in Lynne's and my small car, heading back to Loreto Bay. Once there, he silently inhaled a dish of dog food and then collapsed on a blanket in our side yard while we decided what to do next.

Next morning we took him to see our local veterinarian, Dr. Dassia, who was as shocked by his appearance as we'd been.  An initial examination revealed that while Oso (he'd now acquired that name over breakfast) was in bad shape, there was hope.  Dr. Dassia's best guess was that he was a street dog who'd been hit by a car and then attacked by another animal.  The impact injury to his left hip made him reluctant to put weight on his paw, but there was no evidence of a break, and the scarring on his face, while infected, had fortunately missed his eye and didn't seem to have fractured his skull. 

Dr. Dassia prescribed some painkillers for his hip and antibiotic shampoo and pills for his infected face.  The effects were miraculous.  Within 48 hours the shampoo had dissolved the most of his facial scabs, his infection had cleared up, and he was gingerly putting weight on his injured leg.  A full body shampoo brought up the color in his red-gold coat, and regular meals were beginning to cover his ribs.

Best of all, his loving nature toward both Lynne and myself was becoming more and more apparent - as well as towards our other Loretana rescue dog, Peluda.  Unfortunately, Loreto's two dog refuges, Animalandia and Segunda Chansa, are both overflowing, and our northern home is far too constricted for an addition who will probably approach 25 kilos when his weight returns to normal.  So we've decided to get Oso the necessary shots and take him back to a no-kill shelter in Santa Paula, CA, where his sweet nature and elegant appearance should earn him the forever home he so richly deserves.”

Last week, there was a knock on our casa door.  We opened the door to a dog in the arms of our Loreto Bay friends Maureen and John.  The poor dog looked like a down on her luck Rastafarian, with long, dirty dreadlocks.  Our friends wanted some advice on how to help the poor dog that had followed them and their own Canadian rescue dog down the beach.  Armed with Dr. Dassia’s phone number Maureen and John went home to see what they could do for the dog.  As the dreadlocks were snipped off, the little dog became recognizable as a poodle mix.

Off they went to Dr. Dassia’s office, where she clipped the rest of the little dog’s hair, treated her for fleas/ticks and vaccinated her.  Meanwhile, the Maureen and John pondered the future of the newly named Playa.  After considering the limited options available, they decided to adopt her themselves and last week Playa left for Canada with her new family, flying in the cabin, proudly wearing her new blue parka for protection from what's left of the Canadian winter. She too will be returning in the Fall to Loreto, joining Scruffy and the growing number of other rescued animals who have received a new lease on life from their adoptive families and become the canine version of Snowbirds.

These three dog “tails” are just a few of the wonderful stories about dogs and cats that have been fostered and adopted by Loreto Bay residents.  If you would like to walk dogs, foster puppies or dogs, meet the dogs at Segunda Chansa and Animalandia that are available for adoption, or volunteer at a spay and neuter clinic, please contact this Guest Blogger Kristen, Loreto Bay Volunteers’ Animal Coordinator ("

These are just three of many stories of Loreto Bay Homeowners who have opened their hearts and homes to stray dogs (and a few cats!) that have now become an integral part of their lives here, and where they spend their summers.  Over the almost 10 years since the beginning of the Loreto Bay development, Homeowners here have joined with other animal lovers from the Loreto community to dramatically reduce the number of stray and abandoned animals that used to be a common sight in town . . . bringing another meaning to "Living Loreto"!