Recently, I received a phone call from Julie Buckland, a wonderful animal lover who works at the Albuquerque Animal Services Department. She told me that a four-month-old puppy had been admitted as a stray, found on the streets of Albuquerque. The puppy, upon examination, was deaf, was blind in one eye and had limited vision in the other eye. I came down to the Eastside Shelter the following day and met Murphy, a bundle of white fuzz with one side of his face brown and the other white. We took Murphy home and enjoyed the zaniness that puppies deliver, discovering in the process that Murphy saw fairly well with his better eye and was able to avoid bumping into most obstacles. We brought Murphy to a recent book signing, and there he met his forever family....two young professionals from Albuquerque who fell in love with him and ended up adopting him. We received a video of Murphy playing with his canine sibling and apparently it was love at first sight for the two dogs. Chelsea and Josh were willing to take on the challenges of having a disabled dog, but quickly realized that Murphy was determined to live life fully, whatever his disadvantages.

I also was notified of an elderly golden retriever named Nathan, surrendered to the shelter by his prior owner. Nathan was completely blind, had arthritis in both hips, had terrible hot spots on his lower half and was in pain and depressed. Board member Melanie Scholer contacted a friend at Golden Retriever Rescue and Kathleen offered to take Nathan, sight unseen. I took Nathan from the shelter, brought him to a park where he delightedly rolled in the grass, and then to the veterinarian, where I met Kathleen. Nathan turned out to be only about ten, his hips could be treated, his hot spots were clearing up and he had learned to navigate his environment despite being blind. Kathleen loves his mellow and zen personality and everyone is hopeful he will soon go to a loving forever home.

Each rescue is important as it means that a dog gets to live, love and enjoy life again, and that people's lives are transformed by this canine friendship and affection.

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