Sunday, January 18, 2009

favorite people

Little Kinzie went to her new home this weekend, and a special friend received a bottle of red wine to help celebrate. Every foster family deserves a good neighbor like Carolyn, and good neighbors like Carolyn deserve so many thanks for their good deeds. She lives in the cottage behind our home and has become an integral part of introducing brand new BR dogs to the Good Life.

Carolyn greets the first morning sun on her front stoop each day with coffee in one hand and arms draped around the resident dogs, fosters included. As you can imagine, they all adore this quiet daily ritual. She keeps her cool when newbies sneak their way in and pee on her carpet, and she laughs out loud when they explode around the yard, kicking up debris in every direction. She patiently shepherds pit-bull-shy visitors past the menagerie and doles out treats in exchange for new manners. She always cheers when they finally leave for their forever homes; No tears, because their leaving means the cycle is about to start all over again with a brand new dog. (Oh no!)

Kinzie was from a cruelty case and hadn't been handled much in her past life, so it was a happy day around here when she finally climbed into Carolyn's bed for a morning snuggle and - siiiigh - relaxed like a real dog for the first time.

But the wine was meant more as thanks for putting up with the not-so-fun part of this project: Tip-toeing over the "gifts" they leave on her front walk. And with Kinzie, the ungodly wake-up calls that came when she finally earned open-door privileges to the yard. It took us a few days to realize that she was up with the dawn, dashing out the doggy door before anyone was awake and demanding that Carolyn get up out of bed and start the morning ritual NOW! That, and her overly-enthusiastic greetings at the back gate - armload of groceries be damned. It's not always fun to navigate that kind of attention and energy.

Dozens of dogs have graduated from Carolyn's little cottage charm school. Her home has become a virtual revolving door for homeless pit bulls on their way to new lives and dozens of lucky dogs are better for it.

Ledy Makes a Change: Best Friends Scores!

Legal dynamo Ledy VanKavage is an attorney and pit bull owner who's big on defending the breed and keeping people honest about dog owner rights & responsibilities. She's got a can-do attitude, loud infectious laugh and she's usually got her fingers in a thousand different projects; everything from teaching cops to chill out on breed profiling to helping cities develop dangerous dog laws that keep the focus on the right end of the leash. Busy Ledy. In short, she's a great person to have on our team, AND she's just moved away from the ASPCA to accept a position with Best Friends. We expect this means pit bulls will be getting even more help in the near future. Congrats Ledy.

Below. We ran into her getting her shoes polished up at Chicago O'Hare. She howled when I took this photo (Sorry Ledy - it's just too good not to share) She was on her way to a police training and explained that cop culture smiles on shiney shoes. Whatever works, girl.


Boris said...


Chiming in with a big play bow & tail wag for your hospitality (not sure if I ever got up early?). You go way beyond what's written here in also having to put up with those "Alpha B....'s" around you.

Ledy - really adding to the name Best Friends!

I'll check back, Boris

Thoughts said...

Carolyn sounds like one neat lady. What a great resource and it seems she has a special effect on the dogs.

Great picture by the way!


Anonymous said...

Carolyn, you are a true angel. Keep up the good work. Don't you wish you could just keep them all???

Anonymous said...

I burst into tears to read that that doll-baby Kinzie finally got a home! Bless all those who loved that hurting little sweetie to get her ready for a REAL life.

Bravo BR gang!!!!

Anonymous said...

That's so cool what Ledy is doing. I am a law student about to graduate and would love to work in animal law/lobbying. However, it seems like a hard field to get into. Hopefully, once I get some experience I can transition to that type of work. And who wouldn't want to work for Best Friends??