Friday, April 27, 2007

Today's Rescue - Rita

Remember sweet Rita in South L.A.? What a special dog she is. Championed by a shelter volunteer and rescued by Much Love after years of abuse and a close call with the euthanization needle, Rita is now looking for a nice, new owner and a place to call home (see April 1 and 2 posts).

I went to visit her in Van Nuys yesterday afternoon where she's boarding with trainer Linn Boyke (a Cesar Millan protege) and fitting in quite nicely with the rest of the pack. In fact, she loves the pack. How a former bait dog can love other animals is really beyond me, but she is perfectly happy hanging out with a dozen or so of Linn's dogs, doling out kisses like some kind of matriarch. It was nice to see.

The challenge now is finding Rita the right person to take her in. Initially, she's a bit of a hard sell because truly, she's had a hard life, and it shows. Her face is covered with scars, all the joints on her legs have been rubbed to a hard callous, and after an untold number of forced pregnancies, her nipples droop like little empty balloons off her belly.

But what a soul! What a sweetheart! When you hear of a person described as having "a good personality," you might automatically presume that that person, in fact, possesses very few actual winning attributes. But that is certainly not the case here: Rita is calm, very responsive to love and attention but not needy, happy around people and other dogs, and just plain sweet. If anything, as Linn says, she needs to be a little less submissive, and a little more confident.

But it's obvious she's rehabilitating well, and every new day is a good day free from abuse, free from neglect. Now she just needs a true dog lover to see her for who she is and give her the permanent home she so obviously deserves. She really is one in a million.

For more information on Rita, contact Much Love Rescue at

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