Teamwork and Friendship

Posted by Pia

The story of a dog named Georgie, the strength of a friend and some good, old-fashioned teamwork.

Hello friends! It is the end of a long, emotional few days -- but ones that have me reflecting on the value of our fellow creatures, humans included. My recent adventures began with efforts to secure the safety of one previously unlucky dog whose time was up at a Los Angeles municipal shelter. It is these efforts that have served to remind me of my connection to other humans and the power of collaboration.

Georgie, a gentle Rottweiler-pit bull mix, was slated to be put to sleep one morning early this week. I had been circulating his photo and plea for adoption for weeks, but no one had stepped up. Many rescue groups wanted to help but were too overwhelmed with multiple animals in the same circumstances.

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The overfilled shelter kept Georgie longer than most animals since the staff fell for his cute face and sweet demeanor.

1 The overfilled shelter kept Georgie longer than most animals since the staff fell for his cute face and sweet demeanor.

They also felt for him, as the many scars on his face and body spoke of a difficult life. Like all of us, shelter staffs have their favorite animals, and certain ones in particular pull at their heart strings.

2 They also felt for him, as the many scars on his face and body spoke of a difficult life. Like all of us, shelter staffs have their favorite animals, and certain ones in particular pull at their heart strings.

The shelter staff even photographed Georgie in a cute red sweater to help showcase his sweet demeanor. As is the case with so many, Georgie was brought in with no tags or microchip, and no one came to claim him.

3 The shelter staff even photographed Georgie in a cute red sweater to help showcase his sweet demeanor. As is the case with so many, Georgie was brought in with no tags or microchip, and no one came to claim him.

My dear friend Adrienne got my email and understood the gravity of Georgie’s situation and how few hours he had left. We got to work emailing everyone who might be able to help, and in less than 24 hours we secured the basics we needed to save this sweet soul’s life! This is Adrienne as a little girl -- already spilling over with love for the animals!

4 My dear friend Adrienne got my email and understood the gravity of Georgie’s situation and how few hours he had left. We got to work emailing everyone who might be able to help, and in less than 24 hours we secured the basics we needed to save this sweet soul’s life! This is Adrienne as a little girl -- already spilling over with love for the animals!

I met Adrienne through rescue work, and she shares my drive to help those who cross our paths -- the ones who have no hope but for us -- and Georgie was just such a one. Georgie had a friend in Adrienne, and so did I. Here's another early shot of Adrienne practicing to care for many real dogs in the future.

5 I met Adrienne through rescue work, and she shares my drive to help those who cross our paths -- the ones who have no hope but for us -- and Georgie was just such a one. Georgie had a friend in Adrienne, and so did I. Here's another early shot of Adrienne practicing to care for many real dogs in the future.

Here's an interesting little factoid: It turns out that Adrienne worked for Martha years ago as a style assistant on her mag! Small world for sure. Here's another early shot of Adrienne revealing her love of critters...and big hats!

6 Here's an interesting little factoid: It turns out that Adrienne worked for Martha years ago as a style assistant on her mag! Small world for sure. Here's another early shot of Adrienne revealing her love of critters...and big hats!

The shelter sent Georgie for neuter surgery, and I had the honor of picking him up for his first trip outside the shelter in over a month. This was our first in-person (well, dog-person) meeting! He was still a little groggy from surgery. He was much smaller than I thought he'd be -- and cute as a button!

7 The shelter sent Georgie for neuter surgery, and I had the honor of picking him up for his first trip outside the shelter in over a month. This was our first in-person (well, dog-person) meeting! He was still a little groggy from surgery. He was much smaller than I thought he'd be -- and cute as a button!

We were both pretty exhausted from our respective days, but that did not stop me from talking his ear off about all the amazing people who answered Adrienne's call and mine to contribute to his rescue!

8 We were both pretty exhausted from our respective days, but that did not stop me from talking his ear off about all the amazing people who answered Adrienne's call and mine to contribute to his rescue!

I told him about the kind donation that Tim Youd of Margo's Bark Root Beer (margosbark.com) made to cover his temporary boarding. After 98 pounds of me lifted 52 pounds of Georgie into the car, off we went!

9 I told him about the kind donation that Tim Youd of Margo's Bark Root Beer (margosbark.com) made to cover his temporary boarding. After 98 pounds of me lifted 52 pounds of Georgie into the car, off we went!

I told him about other friends he had out there in the world. 
Like Ellen, Amy, Molly, Andrea and Jay to name a few!

10 I told him about other friends he had out there in the world. Like Ellen, Amy, Molly, Andrea and Jay to name a few!

Upon arriving at the place where he would board for 2 nights, Georgie reflected on his new start in life...

11 Upon arriving at the place where he would board for 2 nights, Georgie reflected on his new start in life...

Poor Georgie was pooped out and looking forward to a good night's sleep.Whatever Georgie’s history had been -- you’d never know he’d suffered at the hand of a human or other dogs -- he is sweet and loving and a virtual sponge for affection.

12 Poor Georgie was pooped out and looking forward to a good night's sleep.Whatever Georgie’s history had been -- you’d never know he’d suffered at the hand of a human or other dogs -- he is sweet and loving and a virtual sponge for affection.

After 2 nights of some much-needed rest, we were back in the car and Georgie was on his way to the best treat of all!

13 After 2 nights of some much-needed rest, we were back in the car and Georgie was on his way to the best treat of all!

He was off to meet Yvette, who volunteered to be Georgie's foster mom while he searches for a forever home! The fabulous Kris Kelly Foundation (thekriskellyfoundation.org) reached out for foster help, and Yvette answered the call! Georgie would have a loving place to spend the holidays! Yvette is pictured here with her rescued pooch, Vargus.

14 He was off to meet Yvette, who volunteered to be Georgie's foster mom while he searches for a forever home! The fabulous Kris Kelly Foundation (thekriskellyfoundation.org) reached out for foster help, and Yvette answered the call! Georgie would have a loving place to spend the holidays! Yvette is pictured here with her rescued pooch, Vargus.

And here is Georgie snuggled up at Yvette's! She said she offered him lots of toys, but he did not know what to do with them. Poor guy probably never had a toy before :( Perhaps you live in the LA area and want to provide a toy-filled home for this sweet guy? He loves other dogs!

15 And here is Georgie snuggled up at Yvette's! She said she offered him lots of toys, but he did not know what to do with them. Poor guy probably never had a toy before :( Perhaps you live in the LA area and want to provide a toy-filled home for this sweet guy? He loves other dogs!

Georgie needed an advocate, and for whatever reason, he crossed my path. I was trying to help him, but as my efforts were not yielding any results, I felt discouraged and so very sad for Georgie.  I sent a final plea and soon found I would not have to give up on Georgie!

The despair that threatened to overwhelm my efforts was replaced by the strength of good friend -- the kind of strength that keeps us on-task and moving toward our goals. Adrienne provided me that strength, as she often does, and I love her for it. She helped me assemble a team of people to help Georgie, each one providing a step in his journey toward a forever home. Thanks, my friend!

So I guess today, while I am sharing the story of one very resilient dog, I am also writing about friendship, dedication, and teamwork. While I can’t ignore the fact that Georgie is only one of many who need and deserve help, I am no less grateful we were able to save this sweet soul!

This holiday season, I urge you all to take time to think of the friends, family, colleagues and others who support your love of animals. Convey your thanks to them, whether it’s your landlord who allows pets, your vet who takes extra care with your furry kids, a local rescue who helps needy animals in the community, or the guy you see each say diligently feeding the pigeons. Let them know you appreciate them.

In a world that does not always value our fellow creatures, these friends are true gifts -- to humans and non-humans alike!

Happy holidays to all of you and your 2, 3 and 4 leggers!
May 2010 be a year full of kindness and compassion for every soul on Earth.

In kinship,

Dr. Pia Salk

P.S. If you live in the Los Angeles area and are interested in adopting Georgie, contact The Kris Kelly Foundation.

Thanks also to Margo's Bark Rootbeer

Comments (5)

  • Dr.Pia I don't know where you find your strength to endure these emotions seeing these dogs that have been abused and need homes..I could barely make it through the pictures, it tore me up...I feel so insignificant because I lack the ability to do what you do...I have such pain when I see and read this...I realize a lot of my issues are from my childhood and what I witnessed...so I can only express and help through my art contributions.
    Thank You Dr.Pia for all that you do and all the people involved in helping these animals.
    I pray Georgie gets a loving and deserving home.
    May Your Holiday be Happy!

  • Good Morning F & S and all my friends at the Daily Wag

    I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. May your hearts be warm with the blessings of Christmas.

    Zoe and Ann

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    I just love this time of the year. There is a tree right here in the house and it’s all mine. No cats to worry with it. No squirrels climbing on it’s branches. The birds on the tree are just sitting there; wonder where their songs have gotten off to? Colorful presents under the tree. And lots of treats for me. Christmas is really a good time of the year. Mommy and daddy have plenty of places to visit; I have to stay home and due my duty as the keeper of the tree. It would be wonderful if everyone could be this happy and pleasant throughout the entire year. The best to you two, and everyone else out there, during this holiday season. Merry Christmas from Kirby Bear.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Dr Pia, I absolutely love you!...do you know that?!

    I love your kind heart and compassionate soul which emanate from your written words and your actions. You have been given a gift. Keep using it! The world could be a so-much-better place if we had more folks like you leading by example. I am v-e-r-y delighted and pleased to know you!

    A blessed Christmas to you and to all you hold dear.

    =^..^=

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Once again, you have done a wonderful blog about an animal who needed help and how much you and others did to help him. Georgie is one lucky dog to know you and the other helpers. I thank you from the bottom of my heart again for all of the wonderful things that you do for all animals. You are a very special person!!! Good luck to handsome Georgie and may your future be the best it can be. Happy Holidays to all! Love, Jan & DDR

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