Joey was discovered by Terry Austen in the East Valley Animal Shelter. He was huddled against the back wall of his cage. A shy dog in the best of times, he hated the shelter, the cage, the people peering at him. He turned his head away from them.
But his hours were numbered. Marketing and self-presentation at all. Even in NORTH Hollywood. Even if you’re a dog.
But Terry recognized what a great dog he was and she saved him.
Terry is the founder of the Amanda Foundation. Amanda means “one who is loved, precious thing” in Latin. She saves dogs that are about to be put down in the shelters. She is also the force behind the dog license discounts that go to people who have neutered dogs. She runs public education programs to make people aware of the importance of spaying and neutering pets.
A friend took me to the Amanda Foundation. I’d been thinking about getting a dog for a long time. She had gotten two dogs from or through the Amanda Foundation. She said those dogs changed her and her husband’s lives.
I looked. The mop dogs (Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Yorkie hybrids) didn’t appeal. They barked. A no go where I live. The bigger labs, retrievers and pit mixes also didn’t work. The CC&Rs forbid dogs over 15 pounds. While you can quibble over a few pounds, who wants to fall in love with a dog that you’d have to get rid of if someone complained.
Not my day for getting a dog, I thought. An Amanda volunteer said there was a new dog in their care that she didn’t know much about. The dog she brought out was Joey.
He was small and quiet. He enjoyed our walk down the block and a roll in the grass, but he didn’t pull the leash or try to get away. The volunteer gave me a dog biscuit that I broke into pieces for him. He had a very gentle mouth.
“If you’re not going to take that dog, would you let me know,” another dog seeker asked as Joey and I walked around the yard.
It was decision time. All choices final. No chance to sleep on it.
I took Joey. It changed my life.