The Great Escape of Houdini (the dog)

Minnows and dogs just go together.

Last week, we got an email from the fabulous (and minnow-y) designer who helped us with the Rocket Dog Rescue redesign, and lots of other projects. It read like this:

I am hoping you can help me. I know you have connections at Rocket Dog and I hoped you may be able to ask them on my behalf for help.

2 months ago someone dumped a small dog into our neighborhood. I saw him when I pulled up to my house and immediately could tell he was lost. No collar, his tail between his legs, he was terrified. I tired to get him, but he was too fast. I roamed the street for an hour and finally went home. There he was sitting on my porch as my wife came home. He ran off, of course, and I have been chasing him since. I put out flyers and received dozens of calls. I figured out his roaming schedule and decided to set a trap. I drove back and forth all day hoping I’d catch him, but nothing. He figured out how to get the food without triggering the trap. He knew when I would come and go. Needless to say, he was getting fat and I was getting tired. I told myself I would have to stop pursuing him by Friday and said a long prayer. As part of my last ditch I bought a better trap, went to KFC for chicken nuggets and set the trap one final time. Sure enough, I caught him! He’s now at the Berkeley shelter and being evaluated. We named him “Houdini”.

Now I’ve been talking with a dozen rescue groups to try and find him a foster home and NOBODY will take him because they are all full! I’ve offer medical help. I’ve offered to hire a trainer. NOTHING. He is fading FAST there. They said his chances of getting adopted are slim to NONE. He’s changes of euthanasia are HIGH. He needs to be socialized and to feel safe. He likes other dogs. Being under pressure and stress at the shelter he is now growling and unapproachable. He just sits in the corner. They haven’t even bathed the poor guy after a week of being there.

Do you think Rocket Dog can pull him, foster him and rehabilitate him? They are my last chance.

Needless to say, a few emails, a few texts, and a bit of logistical rigamarole later, Houdini is in the safe arms or Rocket Dog Rescue, where he will be evaluated, nurtured, and cared for until he can find his forever home.

It feels great to have our networks come together in this way. We have been pretty immersed in Rocket Dog Rescue for the last few years, and because they do the amazing and admirable work they do, we have invested in their success. But their work hadn’t yet touched our lives this personally. In this unique moment, when Kathy, a lover and protector of dogs (and a minnow), came upon a dog in need, Rocket Dog Rescue swung into action to do what we know they always do, what we’ve been helping them to do, and it felt magical.

Kudos to Kathy, who couldn’t leave a helpless dog out there alone in the world, no matter how inconvenient it was for her. And kudos to Pali (“the dog whisperer”, according to Kathy) for giving her life over to the welfare of dogs in need, and for inspiring so many other people to do the same.

We have long since been proud to be the pro-bono web team of Rocket Dog Rescue, and to help facilitate the wonderful work they do. But we are all the more pleased, proud and grateful now that their work has touched our lives so personally.

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Pali & Houdini

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Houdini getting a well-deserved rest

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Kathy and Houdini, reunited at the shelter.

UPDATE June 1, 2014: A few short days after Rocket Dog Rescue accepted Houdini, he was adopted at a weekend adoption event. Renamed “Virgil”, he has already found his forever home.

Houdini / Virgil and his new girl!

Houdini / Virgil and his new girl!