Little Paws of Love, Inc.
This is Lazzy's story, the inspiration for the creation of Little Paws of Love Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) rescue organization. In November 2012, I received an email with a plea for help for an abandoned Shepard dumped in the Florida everglades. I've received these emails regularly for months and the stories were always so sad, some unbelievably horrific. Some didn't even live to survive finding a new loving home. This is a cruel and selfish world we live in today. This email was different. In addition to being abused and abandoned, Lazzy was being attacked by other dogs. He was very submissive and didn't fight back. He was hurting and starving. He had to be trapped to get him to safety and get him the vet care he so desperately needed. Just before he was trapped, he was hit by a car - his back legs were injured. We also learned later that he was used as target practice for some idiots and their BB guns. He has the BB's lodged in his head to prove it. The vet said they could stay and no longer cause him any pain. I went immediately to pick him up. Well, he was so pathetic looking, it just broke my heart. I brought him home, gave him his medicine and a good hand fed meal, and slept on the floor with him for the night.
I believe he knew (though cautiously) he was now forever safe. He had to be hand fed. He had to be carried outside to go to the bathroom, all 45 (though should be 60ish) pounds of him. He feared everything. It was going to take a long time to gain his trust and the process was not going to be easy...not for a busy working family with two kids who never had experience with a dog with - what we call special needs (mental, not physical). Day by day we gained his trust. He had his safe place in our home...on a chaise lounge in our family room. His back was to the wall so he knew no one could come from behind. He cowered with every noise and anyone's movement. Guests at our house...forget it. He ran into a corner. Day by day he improved.
He was so affectionate and gentle and appreciative. Next step, a loving home for him, since our intent was only to foster. He was posted on petfinder and sure enough we found the absolute perfect couple for Lazzy. A stay at home retired couple whose beloved pet had recently passed and was looking for a new family member to love and spoil and treat like a king. Very nice people. They came to pick Lazzy up and I knew they were perfect and had the patience Lazzy needed. The couple sent me pics of the toys and treats and special bed they got him. I missed him but was so happy for him. He so deserved this.Two days later I got a call that Lazzy had gotten out and they were unable to find him. It was 9pm and dark. Off to Margate we went and searched up and down a maze of canals behind people's houses calling him and praying that we didn't get shot at or had the police called on us. The new family was also looking and unfortunately was attacked by another dog in someone's backyard and had to quit the search and tend to their bites. Oh Lord help us. Could this be any worse?
About an hour later, we found him in a canal hiding under a boat dock. He ran to us. Gathered him up and took him back to his new home. Just a fluke. New parents promised to keep a better eye on him and put a second lock on the door. Lazzy was special needs and we knew it would take time to adjust. His new parents were committed. All good.Two days later (which happened to be the day I was having 30ish people to my house for a holiday party) another call. Lazzy got out again and they couldn't find him. Unfortunately, we could not go and look for him until the next morning. Worst night ever for me (needless to say). When the sun rose, my entire family went to search for him. Up and down the maze of canals again, fortunately in the daylight this time. Two hours later, just before giving up we found him across a canal, anxiously wagging his tail and barking at our sight. Just a few hundred feet down, the canal ended. We all ran, me hysterically crying, to the end to meet Lazzy, the dog we mistakenly tried to place in a new home - not realizing he had already selected his family. One of the most amazing moments of my life. He jumped in the car and we went "home".
A few weeks later we took in Hope, who instantly took to Lazzy and taught him doggie friendship. Didn't know it would work but we thought we'd try. Ok, maybe not "we". Vinnie wasn't exactly on board with another dog. I bypassed that family discussion and brought her home anyway. If you look up "match made in heaven" anywhere, you will see a picture of Lazzy & Hope. She is an amazing pup, sweet and affectionate - and worships Lazzy. Unbelievable. Please browse the pics with the hope you will all understand this amazing bond. Lazzy's story taught our family about the realities of these abused and abandoned animals and more importantly how dedication, love and compassion can change lives, not just for these sweet animal souls but for families like ours, who maybe were getting through life day by day but not actually enjoying and LIVING life by helping others. Adopt a rescue dog. I promise it will change your life. If you can't adopt, consider fostering. If you can't foster, consider donating to our group so we can help as many as we can. 100% of your donation will go to the animals in need. All other expenses of this organization are personally funded. If you can't donate, how about dedicating some of your time to go help abandoned dogs by feeding and loving them. If you don't have that kind of time, how about spreading the word to others NOT to buy a dog but rather adopt a rescue. Please.
- With love,
Founder of Little Paws of Love Inc.