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A New Life in the Big Easy
April 11, 2012
Nearly a year ago 29 small dogs—Yorkshire terriers, miniature poodles, and Maltese—were removed from the home of a “breeder” in Maryland and taken to the county shelter. There they languished for 5 months while the county and the breeder engaged in a legal tug-of-war over custody of these tiny souls.
Believing that we were better equipped to ensure the continued physical health and mental well-being of the dogs, the Washington Animal Rescue League offered to take in the dogs while the case wound its tortuous way through the court system. And so in mid-October, 22 pint-size pups arrived at WARL, with another rescue organization taking in the rest. Although there was no guarantee that the League would ever be able to make these precious pups available for adoption, we felt we had to do what we could to provide them with quality care while they waited for the fate to be decided.
Finally, in February 2012, a judge dismissed the case filed by the breeder to reclaim the dogs. WARL was allowed to make them available for adoption, and all have found new, loving homes…one of them in New Orleans, LA.
Ribbons, as she was called at the League, was adopted by Carla Maul, who, following Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of that city’s hospitals, began commuting to Washington, DC, to work in the cardiac surgery facility of the Washington Hospital Center.
After the death of two beloved pets a couple of years ago, Maul and her husband swore off having any more animals as the pain of losing them was so severe. Eventually, however, they decided that it was selfish not to open their hearts and home to new family members. They adopted Duke, a 2-year-old Catahoula, and Princess, a 7-year-old miniature poodle. But, somehow, their family was still incomplete. Duke craved a playmate and Princess wanted someone her size to lay around with. So the search began…leading eventually to WARL, where Maul met Ribbons.
“I knew just by looking at her that she needed to go to her forever home with me,” says Maul. So after finishing her work for the week, she picked up the 5-pound poodle, now named Dutchess, grabbed her bags, and headed to airport.
Since then, life in the Big Easy has been a love-fest for all involved. “Dutchess jumped out of the carry-on into my lap, licked me right on the lips, then jumped on my husband, kissed him, and pretty much took over everything from there, Maul says. “She has more personality than most dogs put together. She loves to run around 100 mph and attack random towels from the shower. We haven’t figured out yet what the towels have done to her to make her so mad but it must have been very bad.”
Dutchess has also found a BFF in Princess and a protector in Duke, who even suffers her stealing his treats. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a better life. The three dogs play with other canine companions daily at the dog park and dine alfresco with Maul and her husband at local restaurants. “We didn’t know how high Dutchess could jump until the first meal when she jumped on the table right into my plate,” recalls Maul. “Needless to say, she is now learning table manners.”
Even bedtime is a family affair, with Dutchess making a run for her special spot on a certain favored pillow by Maul’s husband’s head.
“Dutchess has been the perfect addition to our family,” says Maul. “We can’t thank WARL enough for bringing us together.”