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Toba's Story

Toba is a yellow lab that Bridgett and Shirley found on a search and rescue mission in the Garden district of New Orleans. This is an area not affected by the floods, but nevertheless, many dogs were trapped in their homes because their owners were not allowed to take them when they evacuated. Toba was lying on her couch, her tail barely able to give a faint wag every so often. She looked weak and in shock. They gave her a quick assessment and decided to make a stretcher out of the blanket she was lying on. There were large pans filled with water, but no food. The door to her first floor apartment had been blown open and it was evident that she was using going outside to go to the bathroom and then coming back in to wait for her owner. They put the make-shift stretcher in place and she suddenly hopped off the couch and followed them out to the van, limping all the way. She and Shirley bonded and they didn't have the heart to put such a lovely dog into the shelter, so they had the volunteer vet check her out and got permission for her to sleep in my van with them every night.

A few days later Shirley and Dave returned to the apartment to see if they could locate any information on her owners. When they pulled up, they noticed a K9 officer's vehicle parked out in front of the apartment. They walked down the terrace toward her apartment and were greeted by Sheriff Nick, who exclaimed, "Do you have her?" "You mean the yellow lab? Shirley replied. "Yes, that's my tenant's dog, Toba, and she weathered the storm with her owner, but her mom had to leave her behind when the evacuation took place." Shirley opened the back of the van and Toba hopped out and greeted her old friends with a wagging tail and a big kiss. Everyone celebrated the reunion. Sheriff Nick invited Shirley and Dave back to his place a few streets away and they exchanged contact information and stories of dog rescue. Nick offered to hold onto Toba for a few days while they continued the rescue efforts and Shirley offered to care for her until her owner could be located and then to fly her to her owner when she was located. Nick took her to the vet and got her health certificate for traveling so she could come into Massachusetts, as required by the Dept. of Agriculture. Long story short, they decided to fly her back with rather than expose her to the other dogs who have been in the sludge. Also, the rescue teams still on the ground would be hindered with a dog in the van as it would require them to keep the A/C on and use up the precious gas. So she came home with with Shirley and Dave and is being quarantined in our quarantine area. Shirley notified the Dept. of Agriculture that she was being brought into the state as a privately owned dog and not a rescue. Normally, a quarantine is not required by private citizens who bring individual dogs across the state lines, but they decided to go the extra mile so that there would be no questions as to her status. Shirley and Dave will hold Toba until her owner is ready to take her back. This is a really nice dog who would be a wonderful asset to any family, but she deserves a chance to reunite with the woman who she knows as Mom. She may need hip surgery as well, but that will be determined as soon as her quarantine is up and she can be seen by a veterinarian.

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