Lola’s Story: Our Diamond In The ‘Ruff!’
aka “Best Supporting Actress”

Lola Portrait

My husband and I did not take the decision to get a dog lightly. As a matter of fact, there were some zany and difficult dogs in both of our pasts, and we knew what a commitment it would be to have a successful and truly fulfilling relationship with a canine family member, but we were craving it. When we decided as a family that we felt it was a good time to consider bringing a dog into our home, we knew for sure that we wanted to adopt. In most cities, let alone Los Angeles, there are far too many wonderful animals that need a home, so we knew that with some legwork and shelter scouring, we would surely find the right fit for us. And with some divine providence, we indeed did.

It was a cool and sunny fall Saturday on Hallows’ Eve in 2009. Most people were anticipation getting ready and going out to Trick or Treat later that evening, but we were excited about eating our breakfast as quickly as possible, and driving around the city to the various shelters to hopefully find our new addition to the family. After a few hours of touring different shelters, we met a couple of potential candidates, but somehow, we still didn’t feel we had found just the right match. Our “friend” was out there somewhere, and we were willing to wait until we met him or her.

By this time, we had gone to about 4 of the 5 local shelters, and were becoming a bit tired and hungry. We decided that we would go home and eat a late lunch and mull over what we had seen earlier. Sitting around our dining room table eating pizza, we wondered if we should call it a day; perhaps let our pursuit rest for the week and go back out the following weekend to check out the final shelter -but, no. Something didn’t feel right to me about waiting until the next week. I told my guys that we had nothing to lose; just one more place, and if we don’t find the right dog for us, we’ll give this a resting period and revisit our quest again a little later down the line. They agreed, and off we went.

Lola at Play

When we arrived at this last shelter, things seemed to be winding down a bit there. The later part of the afternoon was approaching, and people were in full preparation mode for Halloween, so we felt like we had good opportunity to visit with the animals in a fairly relaxed way. We went up and down several of the isles and saw quite a few large dogs, not quite right for us. Then we came around an area toward the rear of the shelter, where there was a small group of kennels put together. I began walking past rather quickly, as there was a very loud, very aggressively barking beagle in one of those kennels; however, my husband and son’s attention was pulled to the rear of that same cage, and so they called me back. “Look at that one there, hon” my husband said as he pointed to a frail but, absolutely stunningly beautiful black and white, tiny dog. I came back to where he was standing. Out from the shadows stepped our girl, her big, bright, brown eyes inquisitively looking into mine with her quiet and peaceful demeanor in the midst of the crazy barking of the other dog. “What great energy!” -we all instantly fell in love, and knew that she was the perfect match for us. When we went to the office to inquire, the staff told us that they has just brought her in a couple of hours prior. She was a street pick-up and they didn’t know anything about her, except that she was quite young. She was also very malnourished, weighing only seven pounds. She wasn’t actually even available for adoption for several more days, as the shelter likes to give time for an owner to claim a lost dog. Wow! What were the odds? Well, like I had said before, “divine providence”. We felt that she was meant to be part of our lives, no question. We crossed our fingers. And while reaching into the freezer for a treat later on that night, my husband started singing the tune “Whatever Lola wants..” -and it stuck.

Tuesday morning, when she would finally become available if she hadn’t been claimed, couldn’t come fast enough. We hoped until we couldn’t hope any more, that she would be there and would be able to be part of our lives, indeed. When Tuesday arrived, my husband and I took the morning off to go to the shelter together. We got there too early, and since the shelter wasn’t open yet, we decided to take a walk in the surrounding neighborhood to pass the time. When we arrived back at the shelter and went in to look for the little black dog that had stolen our hearts, we couldn’t find her. The kennel where she had been kept was empty! We raced to the office and asked where that little black dog was. Had she been taken home? Had someone adopted her just moments before us? They then directed us to another area, this one specifically for small dogs, where we found her in the very last kennel. Ah, she was even cuter than I remembered her! Well, she would be ours, after all. Our girl. Our Lola.

Lola and the Sun

I can’t share what a tremendous ride it’s been to have Lola in our lives. She’s had her share of issues, like food/yeast allergies (thankfully cleared up through diet), and a scary two weeks of a mysterious paralysis of her hind legs/lower back when we feared she might never walk, let alone run, again (again, thankfully, she recovered) -not to mention her extra set of ribs! Well, she’s our special girl. She’s a shamelessly lazy sunbather and nap-taker, and a joyfully willing participant in all the adventures she goes on with her family, as she hates to be left out. She’s the perfect mix of friendly and submissive, and her little sighs are always loaded with emotion. What a neat girl. She’s a complete foodie weighing in at a healthy eleven pounds now and hangs out in the kitchen with us while we shoot. We thought we should introduce her to you, so you’ll for sure see her make an appearance in our vignettes. She symbolizes hope in the concept of  “perfect timing”, and something that’s “meant to be”. Nothing happens by accident. It also just goes to show that when we adopt an animal, we may not only be saving a life, but finding a brilliantly shining gem, simply in need of a good ol’ polish and some TLC.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


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