Meow! Meow!!!!!! And snuggly purrs Zoey!
Friends, I have a special guest that I am so excited about this week to kick off Read Humane! Everyone – meet Zoey!
Zoey is the star of her author, Linda O. Johnston’s book HOUNDS ABOUND. My mom told me that in HOUNDS ABOUND Zoey is the protagonist Lauren Vancouver's own rescue dog.
Zoey, I am so glad you came to talk with me today.
Zoey, mom bought some dog biscuits for you and they are over there on the table so please help yourself! We kind of have something in common because I was adopted from my local humane society and I heard you are a rescue dog. I think more people need to think about adopting pets like us so I’m hoping this chat with you will help them see how great we can be.
Hi, Missy. Thanks for inviting me to speak here--and I’m looking forward to those biscuits. Can you see my tail wagging?
Yes, I’m a rescue dog. In fact, I was brought to my best friend Lauren by her good friend Matt Kingston, who works for Los Angeles Animal Services. He made the right decision in introducing us.
And I can’t agree with you more. People do need to think about adopting pets like us. Surely anyone reading this can tell how wonderful we are, and there are others who need homes who are wonderful in their own ways, too.
So my mom said you are a border collie, Australian shepherd mix. I heard dogs especially border collies are really brave and good at keep other animals in line. Is that true?
I like to think so. I’m especially good at keeping Lauren in line, although she’s a human. She brings me to her special shelter, HotRescues, a lot, and I get to meet the other animals she has rescued and is trying to find homes for. I know they’re jealous of me, so I try to be nice to them... most of the time.
Being how brave you are, were you scared before you were rescued?
I’d never admit it to Lauren, but... well, yes, I was a bit scared.
Can you tell me a little bit about what happened?
I was running around the streets of Los Angeles when some guys in a van from Los Angeles Animal Services picked me up. I’d been pretty much living by myself on the streets before that. I’m not sure what happened to my mother or my two siblings, but we were what I’ve heard people call strays. I’m also not sure how old I am, but I wasn’t a puppy when I was caught. I’d been smart about finding food, but sometimes it was hard. There were some nasty people out there who tried to capture me, as well as other dogs who fought me for some of my food. There are even coyotes in Los Angeles, and I had to growl and snap at them now and then to keep them away from me. Fortunately, I’m big enough and fast enough that they didn’t hurt me.
I didn’t like being rounded up with other strays and taken to a shelter, but I was found nearly immediately by Matt, who must have seen how special I was. I know I was lucky. Lauren is a great human to be my friend and food provider.
Penguin Books is doing this really great event called Read Humane. What did you think when you were asked to be part of this wonderful endeavor?
I was really happy that our story HOUNDS ABOUND was chosen. In fact, though, this isn’t the first time Lauren and I have been involved with Read Humane™. We were fortunate enough to have her first Pet Rescue Mystery adventure, BEAGLEMANIA, also chosen for a Read Humane program. That’s the story where I became her friend... although I shouldn’t necessarily mention that since we didn’t know each other through most of the story. I’m proud for myself, and on Lauren’s behalf, to be part of Read Humane. The stories chosen are all great and about animals and their humans, which I, of course, identify with. Plus, Penguin Group (USA), the publisher who started Read Humane, is amazing. They’ve not only published those wonderful books, but they have also donated money to the Humane Society of the United States.
What do you think people should know most about rescue animals?
Rescue animals are proud, sometimes so proud that we don’t let our feelings show. But we’re in hard situations through no fault of our own, and we need to find the best homes possible. The best humans possible. We may each show it differently, but we’re all capable of giving huge amounts of love to our people, especially those who’ve saved us.
What advice in general would you give to someone who is looking to adopt a rescue animal?
There are shelters in nearly every area. Go visit some close to you and see about the type of animal who appeals to you. You can even check out their websites first to see if they have some of their residents posted for you to look at in advance. You may just fall in love in an instant, at your computer or in person.
The person who chronicles our adventures, Linda O. Johnston, volunteers at a great shelter in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles--where Lauren’s shelter HotPets is also located. She is a dog adoption counselor at Pet Orphans of Southern California and is always thrilled to see people and dogs fall for each other fast. Of course, there are also online groups who help to match people and pets by showing pictures and telling people where to find the animals shown, places like Petfinder. You might fall for a pet who’s profiled there, too.
The main thing? Just do it! You’ll not only change your own life by adopting, but you’ll be changing, and maybe even saving, the life of the animal you fall in love with.
Is there anything specific they should know about border collies and/or Australian Shepherds?
Heck, we’re the smartest dogs ever, didn’t you know that? Both of my main breeds are the best, and my combination is unbeatable.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
If you’re a human, you should Read Humane, of course. In particular, you should read the books featured in the Read Humane program. And read all the Pet Rescue Mysteries, since they feature me. Well, and Lauren, too, of course. And other animals she rescues.
Thank you, Missy.