We weren’t looking for a second dog. But the little doggie featured in this WGN Midday News Adopt-a-Pet segment earlier this month is now part of my family. My husband happened to be watching when I interviewed Karen Ortolano from Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control. “Cindy Lou” looked so sweet and Karen’s description of the ideal home for her hit home with me. My husband had a feeling I would want to adopt her.
Over the years, I know the Adopt-a-Pet segment has made a difference in finding homes for all kinds of animals. It has also provided WGN homes for a few. Former midday anchor Allison Payne adopted a dog from a segment in 2010. And current midday anchor Dina Bair has adopted two dogs. I’m sure other employees have also taken in pets that were featured on TV.
The true test for my family was seeing how Nutty our 9-year-old Shih Tzu would react to sharing his home. Karen brought the puppy over on Saturday to see how she’d do. Nutty was skeptical at first, and he is likely jealous, but he seems to really enjoy having her around.
We didn’t care for the name “Cindy Lou”, though. Maybe because it’s too close to Nancy Loo. We considered a lot of names, with my son throwing in his two cents from college. My daughter suggested Koko (Coconut = Koko + Nutty. Get it?) and that seems to be the winner.
Koko is funny. Her ears look way too big for her head and the way she waddles is amusing. She quickly adapts to situations and she is already better at fetching her toys than Nutty. He always just looks at us as if to say, “Why should I go get that for you? I really don’t want it myself.”
We have no idea about Koko’s true background. We just know that she’s about ten months old and wound up at the shelter weeks ago with a broken elbow. Her limb has been treated and continues to heal. You would never know it because she always looks happy. It’s not clear if she was ever abused. We’ve been told not to crate her since it seems to traumatize her. Koko is definitely some kind of Chihuahua and terrier mix, probably Jack Russell since she’s so fun and playful. And based on her waddly walking style, she may also be part Corgi.
It doesn’t matter. We are happy to welcome her into our family. Even as my husband laments about the extra caring, feeding, grooming and vet costs, I know he also loves being able to rescue an animal in need.
I asked Karen for her input for this blog post. I mentioned how our adoption may not make much of a dent in the overall problem of unwanted animals. She responded, “You’re wrong when you say that one adoption doesn’t really make a difference. There’s an old saying in rescue that adopting one pet won’t change the world, but the world will change for that one pet. And it’s true; I’ve seen it with all five of my own rescue dogs, and you’ll see it with Koko as she learns and grows and thrives as part of your family. Granted, it’s still a sad reality that we lose more pets than we save, but that just makes us work harder to find rescue for the abandoned, encourage spay and neuter, and let people know there are places other than breeders where they can get their new best friends. There are so many amazing dogs and cats in need, but every single one saved is a victory.”
To learn more or rescue a pet in Chicago: www.fcacc.org
For info on adoptable pets throughout the country: www.petfinder.com