Friday, August 27, 2010

Not left behind....A tribute to the rescuers of Katrina

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.

So thank you to all of the wonderful and brave people who dedicated their time and effort helping all the people and animals that were so devastated by Hurricane Katrina. 


Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Oh he is beautiful! What a great rescue these people did. How wonderful. Our first dog my husband and I got when we were first married was a golden. Sampson. He went everywhere, even to Germany, with us. We had him for 12 years. I loved that dog. He gave me such comfort when I was so far from home. Dog stories always get to me!

simpledaisy said...

What a beautiful pooch!
We have 2 rescue dogs...not from Katrina...but one from a local shelter and one from a family that was just going to let her loose far from their house!
I LOVE animals and can't imagine the pain these animals suffered. Thank goodness for the rescuers!!!

NanaDiana said...

Thank you for taking on the reponsibility of raising someone else's "baby". I'm sure have been greatly rewarded with unconditional love and the joy that goes with having a pet.

Red is a beauty! His circumstances were not his owner's fault..the ones that make me angry are the ones who tire of the "fad" of owning a pet and discard it like last years hottest fashion.

I hate to see any animal suffer-so I am glad that you eased the homesickness and suffering your Red must have experienced. Diana

Drawn to The Sea said...

To be plucked from Katrina's wreckage by reassuring strangers with huge hearts, & to find wonderful new families who welcomed them into their own hearts... Red & his pals are certainly blessed by the universe. Everyone involved in the salvation of Katrina's lost animals is a very special soul.

Love to Red :-)

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I loved reading this story about how you came to own Red. My son and many of our friends went to help after the Hurricane, but I must admit that I'd never really thought about the animals. I'm so glad to read that there were people out there that did. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story and book.

Tootie said...

I love your story! It brought tears to my eyes. How nice that you adopted Red, he looks like a great companion. People like Red's rescuers and you, make this world a wonderful place to be.

Beach House Living said...

Amazing how you managed to have Red learn to like the water now. Those are some amazing people that helped the animals.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Bless you for adopting Red and bless those who rescued him. What a wonderful story! You have brought tears to my eyes...tears of joy for Red.
After the hurricane, I put together a community bake sale and it was a huge success. I put two boxes out and when people purchased bake goods they could choose if their contribution would go to the Red Cross or to Best Friends for animal rescue. I was able to send a very generous check to Best Friends because of all the wonderful cupcake eating people in this community! I also do work for an animal rescue group here and they took several of the animals from Katrina. So, as you can see, your story really hit home with me. Bless you and Happy Birthday to Red!

shari @ little blue deer said...

I agree! I have really enjoyed watching the Katrina special on CNN and seeing all of the people (like you) who were so helpful! Lovely, sweet blog here, happy to be your newest follower!

Faye said...

This post has brought tears to my eyes. I was so worried about the pets that had to be left behind. I'm so glad many were rescued. I will have to get that book. Thanks for the post.

kimberly @ craftyland said...

I saw a documentary on the 4 legged victims of Katrina.. makes me cry every time! Red is so lucky to have found a new home, along with all the others who were saved by Best Friends. A truly touching story!