Favorite Walk: She loves the park to look at the ducks.
Best Tricks: She smiles.
Arrival Story: This was just after Hurricane Katrina. I had lived in New Orleans and was heartbroken. Everyday I read about all the homeless and dying animals in New Orleans. It was too much. I had re-homed one little dog that I found after the storm, but it wasn't enough. I felt that I had to do more...something in memory of that terrible storm and all that was lost. So, I began looking to adopt. I came across a little pound in Georgia. The lady who ran it had posted an email to a rescue group for this puppy who was due to die in just a couple of days. Her shelter routinely killed all dogs once a week, due to a severe stray dog problem in that poor, rural community. This particular dog had a story, and it was so sad. The dog control officer was driving down the little two lane highway that ran through the town and came across a dog lying in the road. It was a female, and she was dead. When the officer looked up, she saw the dog's mate running into the woods. So, she took off after him. Before she could catch him, she stumbled upon three puppies...three feral puppies. The family had been traveling together, as a pack. Well, it was getting very cold, and now the mother was dead, and the father had run away. The officer got some food from her truck and tried to get the puppies to come to her. Only one came...Lumina. And the officer said she started crying. As she lifted the puppy into her truck she did something she had never done before. She promised her life. Later, she was able to catch the other two puppies, but they were sick with dehydration and hunger. They were put down. The lady kept Lumina in the pound for the full week...writing one rescue group after another...begging. I read her post...and waited to see if someone would help. No one did. So, on the last day of Lumina's life, I wrote that I would take her. I got in the car and started driving. It took about six hours to get there, and by then it was close to midnight, and I was lost. When I finally found the tiny pound, it was dark. I thought I was too late. Just then, a truck pulled up. The officer (who lived down the street) had seen my car. She had taken Lumina home with her and now, brought her to me. She couldn't believe it. She thought that the morning would see the puppy's death. She placed Lumina in my arms, and tore her papers up. She just said, "Take her." I think everyone (including the lady's two little girls) was crying. Lumina came home that night.
Bio: I almost gave up on Lumina. At first, she had dog aggression issues. She snarled and bit at her new sisters, who were all much smaller than her. Because of my fear that she would seriously hurt one of the other dogs and because of her destructiveness (chewing, tearing things apart, knocking things over), she spent most of her time all by herself in her crate. I tried looking for a home for her, or for a rescue, but didn't find one. And one day, I just stopped looking. That was about the time I started watching The Dog Whisperer. I was driven by compassion to rescue Lumina and so many other dogs. What The Dog Whisperer gave me was hope that I could turn things around with Lumina. So, I tried. Day after day after day, taking baby steps, I domesticated her. Two years after she came home, she went to the park for the first time. Before that, she was afraid of everything (her own shadow, even) and couldn't even walk down the driveway. A year later, we moved to a new house, and I am happy to say that she spends all day with her sisters, has full run of the house, has playtime outside, and only sleeps in her crate at night. She is so gentle now that her best friend is my one and a half pound Chihuahua. They play all the time. They take naps together. And Lumina is like a mother; she is heartbreakingly gentle. When I named Lumina, I whispered to her that one day, she would walk in grace and bring a great love to this home. She has fulfilled her destiny.
I have happy news!!! My mommy has decided that this is my forever home! Lately, she has seen a change in me. I've been so gentle with my little sisters, and I've been trying my hardest to do the things that mommy's been trying to teach me (like sitting politely, not jumping on the furniture, not stealing treats, sitting before I go outside -or even if I just want something). I still like to chew on stuff, and if I get frustrated, I might tear up little things around the house...but I'm trying with my whole heart to learn. Mommy says that I'm one of the best of all the other dogs at not barking...(BIG SMILE). But more than anything, when Mommy looks into my eyes, she sees that I love her, and that's enough.