Leo’s Dilemma


Another “Tail” from the Shelter

As I walked up Newland Street and reached the area of the Santa Ana River I once again heard those canine voices reminding me that I was getting closer to our shelter and would once again have the opportunity to visit some of my favorite friends.

dog-collage-for-leo-2Once in a while I only have a few visits with one dog or another because they are happily adopted out and their memories of the shelter are only fleeting images of the past.
That makes me very happy, because as much as I love seeing them and learning about their personalities so I can describe them to you, I am joyful that they are out and enjoying life as well as bringing devotion and love to a new owner.

Several months ago I talked about our little Leo; a sweet little dog with a large and happy personality. Unfortunately, no one has stepped up to take him home and he is still at the shelter, biding his time.


Leo has taught me a few lessons though and I have to thank him.

He manages to make the most of his life and is in fact “growing where he is planted.” Of course the highlight of his day is when I or another volunteer approaches his pen and greets him. He is ecstatic with joy! He does what I call “the Leo dance” and lets you know that he is happy to see you.

Last week I noticed that he truly needed a brushing so I wore my small waist purse to the shelter and packed a brush.

Leo and I walked the Edison Access Road and then sat down at the curb to share some cuddle time and a good brushing. It became apparent that he had not been groomed in a very long time because he looked at me like, “What in the world are you doing?” But that was quickly followed by a look of pure ecstasy on his little face and a rapturous closing of his eyes.

Leo is a gem—a small, brown, stocky little guy who reminds me whenever I see him that it is best to make the most of what we are given and to be grateful for every kindness.

He also does something that is quite rare. When I return him to his pen, he walks in happily as though he is grateful to have at least shelter and food.

So much I would like to see this little man have a lot more. I would love to see Leo in his own home with people who he can teach to love life as he does, to find joy in the smallest thing and to reflect the joy he has in his heart.

Please come and visit Leo at the shelter, take him for a walk, share his story, and think about bringing this happy little man into your home.


oc shelter info

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Having lived these good many years, (71 to be exact), has given me the opportunity to reflect on what I value most. Family, good friends, and the precious pets that have shared my life  have enriched me as a person. I’ve evaluated what is most important to me and what lessons I’ve learned, and what I’ve determined is that I want to leave this world a better place for having lived here. It is one of my deepest desires to be able to help those who have no voice — because animals have always played an important role in my life. They were constant friends when the world around me was changing.  One, (a small parakeet named Petie), accompanied me when as a child my family moved across country twice, (New York to California and back again)-I can still see Petie in his small travel cage sitting on my lap as I explained to him where we were stopping for the night and feeling that his company as well as my dear parents were all I needed to feel safe and secure. My pets were with me in good times and bad, often being the consistent non-judgmental voice my heart needed. Although I spent my working years as a commercial artist, both teaching the craft at a local college and in my own studio, it seems that in my later years it is by painting with words that I am now able to reach out to people, and it is my joy to do just that. I hope my stories help to connect people to kindred souls that wear fur on their faces but are just as capable as we are to feel great love in their hearts.  Rescue animals particularly deserve another chance at a happy life and it is my honor to bring their stories to light and hopefully be the catalyst that joins two different species on their journey. The connection we share with our pets is like no other, There is no need to be anything other than who and what you are. No amount of money or privilege will impress them as much as your kindness and attention. I do know that in the final analysis, life is good and most people honestly want to do the right thing. If that includes opening their home and heart to another living being, then my purpose is accomplished. I hope in some small way I can contribute to that greater good. Bio- Born in Middle Village, New York- 1945 Mother to a wonderful son, Michael who truly would be a cherished friend even if we weren't related--and fortunate in meeting my kind and thoughtful soulmate, Burt, in later life- I am blessed indeed. Retired teacher/ Orange Coast College/ former owner and operator of a commercial art business in Huntington Beach, California.
 Lucky to have had the opportunity to work in the art field where I was often quoted as saying, "You mean I am being paid for something I love to do?!"

 Interests: travel, enjoying local points of interest, movies, volunteering at the Newland Animal Shelter and writing about the wonderful personalities I have been honored to meet there, both human and furry-faced, and generally enjoying the retired life.


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