There is this wonderful book called....Not Left Behind. It covers the story of some of the Best Friends team as they rescued and cared for over 4,000 stranded dogs, cats and other pets in New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The remarkable photographs show how the frightened but resilient pets were given back their lives by compassionate volunteers who would not leave them behind.
I have one such couple to thank who embodies the spirit of this book. They drove to New Orleans from Miami, on their own with some friends and two boats.... to help rescue stranded animals. When they left New Orleans a week later, there were three homeless dogs they rescued that they didn't have the heart to leave behind. All three were sick and had no identification as to where they came from. They found the three of them together, scared but friendly, wandering the streets in a deserted part of town. There was a golden retriever, a yellow lab and a scruffy little mixed terrier. So their hearts told them to bring them back to Miami where they found a vet who nursed them back to health... they posted their photos on Petfinder, hoping to find their owners but when nothing turned up - they found homes for two of the three. They kept the little mixed terrier and named her Scruffy as they thought she was so frail and a bit ugly - no one would want her.
The Yellow Lab found an awesome home and is now living with his family in a big waterfront home in Miami Beach and my husband and I were lucky enough to bring home the golden retriever who was estimated to be about 12 - 14 months old. We kept the name his rescuers gave him which is Red and to keep track of his age, we make Katrina his birthday. So on this 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina - we are so grateful to have him in our lives.
When he first arrived with us, he was petrified of the water, even the pool, for obvious reasons. But now, we can't keep him out the boat. Last year, as a thank you to his rescuers, we bought the book and gave it to them with a photograph of Red pasted inside along with a note, as if it was written in his words telling them how grateful he was that they didn't leave him behind.
Here is Red, five years after Katrina... in The Keys - on alert looking for pelicans.