My previous blog dealt with stress-free evacuation with pets. One of my dogs, an AKC Chocolate Lab, was six months old when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast and south Louisiana in 2005. The puppy lived in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, which was an area hit incredibly hard. The family evacuated with the puppy but did not have a plan. They were placed in a no pet shelter and the puppy was put on a transport to Oklahoma. Luckily, the family had current tags on the dog, and she was eventually reunited with her family in Texas. However, the puppy had not had any training and was quite active and destructive.
The displaced family was staying with relatives in Texas, and the active puppy was only adding to the turmoil. By January, the family had secured a FEMA trailer and had returned home to New Orleans. By this time, the puppy was getting quite large and getting more difficult to handle. The father was at a loss as to how to deal with the energetic dog in an overcrowded, tiny FEMA trailer.
As a SISCO delivery driver, the father had visited my dad’s restaurant in Thibodaux twice a week for several months. He asked my dad if he could please help him find a home for his dog. My dad offered to house the dog until the family was able to get back on their feet and rebuild. Sadly, for his two small children, the man wanted a permanent home for the lively Chocolate Lab.
Holly has been a member of the family since January 2006. Sadly, age is catching up with her. Gray hair has replaced the once vibrant chocolate coat, and she is moving slower now than ever before.
Unfortunately, her original family took ownership of a dog and did not properly plan or care for her. In her first six months of life, she lived in six different places. Fortunately for Holly, she found her forever home when we took her in. We have provided a loving, stable environment for her. When deciding to become a pet owner, make sure that you are ready for the commitment and plan to have a “furever” friend for a very long time.