They say dogs and their owners look alike. That’s why when I adopted last Saturday, I picked a dog with hair issues and bad eyes.
Captain Quinn, the family’s new dog, has absolutely gorgeous hair. It will need to be brushed like mine. I’m so nearsighted, I would be legally blind without glasses or contacts; my canine is missing one eye. He may not have been our first choice, but he has turned out to be the perfect choice.
When our long-time pet, Olive, suffered kidney failure and needed to be put down in September, my husband and I and our three adult children suffered. Perhaps the member of the family that suffered most was our other dog, Shadow.
On walks, Shadow would look behind her and wait – maybe thinking that we had forgotten a member of the pack. Our mixed-breed rescue seemed to be growing more and more anxious, so in December I actively started looking for a dog we could rescue, a companion for Shadow.
Just go to a pound, right? No, it’s not easy if you want a small dog. I found a real cutie and was set to adopt, only to learn that it had already been adopted.
I returned a week later and was told a second dog I liked had just found a home, but then I saw a real cute small white dog. I tried to adopt it but was told it would not be available until a few days later.
So, I showed a few days later at 11 a.m., only to learn it had been adopted at 8 a.m.
I visited the Pacific Palisades Sunday adoption and found a dog that was cute, but they looked at Shadow and said the two dogs would never get along. Who says? Who are the canine “experts” who determine this?
Luckily, I didn’t have small children, because apparently no one wants to give a dog to a family with small children. Better to keep those dogs in cages and living in a foster home than trying a home where the dog might feel right at home, being one of a “larger” pack.
I was also not prepared, after owning a dog most of my life, to go through a house visit and different hours of visitation just to see if the rescue dog would be okay living at my home with a fenced-in yard.
The clincher was going to the L.A. Animal Shelter and offering to adopt a small dog, only to be told that I couldn’t because the dog was going to an adoption event. If it was not adopted at the event, I was told I could check back.
Instead, I went to Santa Monica and then to Culver City, where luckily the woman told me to try Wallis Annenberg PetSpace adoptions in Playa Vista.
Oh, my! If you have never gone, you should visit this place – even if you aren’t in the need of a “new” cat or dog. Kids can have birthday parties there and we were told that workers from nearby buildings often come and spend their lunch with the animals.
In May 2019, Wallis Annenberg was honored by the Humane Society, which wrote: “She also has poured her lifelong appreciation for the human-animal bond into the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista—a one-of-a-kind destination devoted to facilitating rescue animal adoptions, funding education initiatives and academic research, and providing fun for visitors.”
Animals come from L.A. County Centers, which include Agoura, Baldwin Park, Carson/Gardena, Castaic, Downey, Lancaster and Palmdale and from the Living Free Animal Sanctuary that rescues, rehabilitates and finds permanent homes for healthy cats and dogs scheduled for imminent euthanasia at local shelters. They transport animals from area partners to Annenberg PetSpace for adoption opportunities.
Beautifully clean, the facility is like a luxury apartment building. I jokingly whispered to my daughter, “Don’t show them a picture of our house, I’m not sure they’ll let the animal ‘down scale.’”
We played with two different dogs while we were there, but Quinn, who is now Captain Quinn, won our hearts. While we were playing with a second dog, Quinn’s room was next to where we were. He kept jumping up to the window, trying to see what we were doing – sort of saying, “Pick me.”
We adopted that day. I paid with a credit card ($80), signed a contract and brought Quinn home.
According to Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, “Our adoption policy is welcoming and supportive of adopters from all walks of life. Our goal is to make it easy for you to start your new life with your new pet soulmate. To be approved to adopt one of our animals, you will need to be at least 18 years of age and demonstrate that you are willing and able to provide for your new pet’s needs by signing our adoption agreement.”
Captain Quinn had been fixed and microchipped, his teeth were cleaned, and shots had been given to make sure he was up to date. The records were sent to me and I gave them to our vet at the Palisades Veterinary Center on Via de la Paz.
Additionally, at the PetSpace adoption site is The Pawlor at West Coast Grooming Academy, where students can learn how to groom dogs. The Captain had just been groomed, with a free grooming promised in six weeks.
The Annenberg PetSpace is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.