Adopted by Linda Kay – Oakland, California – August 12, 2012

Her face kept popping out at me every time I scrolled down the Petfinders webpage. Her name was Lucky and she had a You Tube video. I finally watched it and watched it over and over. Her story was an amazing one of surviving against all odds as a street dog in Iran and from having her back legs shot (and losing two of her dog buddies to those bullets) to end up for adoption in the US.

My beloved dog Bo had died just two weeks earlier following months of failing health. For over 26 years my home had been graced by the presence of dogs and cats and it was now empty. Still I wasn’t sure if I was ready to commit so soon. But Lucky had a compelling story and I seemed to be drawn to dogs with hurt legs and goofy ears. And many years ago I had been to Iran as a young back pack traveler. I submitted an application and was contacted by Farah who gives her all to finding homes for the Iranian rescue dogs that make their way to the US through the rescue organization Vafa. I soon met Lucky at her foster home – she was having fun running with other dogs and paid me only passing attention when treats were being handed out. But I thought she was a good match for me. I have a pet business and take groups of dogs on off leash runs on the trails in the hills above Oakland. I wanted a dog that could go with me. I was sure that we would eventually have that special bond I had had with my past dogs.

It didn’t take long for Lucky, now named Leila, to work her way deep into my heart and for her to be as loving and totally goofy with me as she was with her foster mom and with Farah. With my business we get to spend lots of time together. She is the athletic director on the trails – getting the dogs to run and chase her or be chased by her. She picks up pinecones or balls and tosses them in the air, then bats them around like a soccer player. When done, she leaves them for the other dogs. In the car she lets every other dog know who’s the boss and it isn’t me. Back home she finds a comfortable place to rest – a chair, the couch, my bed, a rug and, sometimes, her bed, if it isn’t full of my shoes she puts there.

Besides the trail or a comfortable chair, her favorite place is the Persian run restaurant downstairs from our apartment. They love her there and often give her scraps. On our morning and evening walks she pulls me to go by the restaurant and then sits in front, hoping. She can be very stubborn and becomes a thousand pound dog when she doesn’t want to move. Speaking of weight – she is an athletic 72 pounds now – exercise and a good diet work. She was carrying a little extra baggage when she arrived in the US.

Bo was my travel companion when we lived in Europe; Leila is my travel companion here. She has been to Lake Tahoe to roll in the snow, to Sonoma, sneaking moments to run up and down the halls of the lovely Sonoma Mission Inn (don’t tell), and next we are off for a week’s road trip to see family in Phoenix, making stops in dog friendly Carmel, San Luis Obispo and LA on the way. We’ll be sure to post pictures on Facebook.

Like going down the aisle and wondering if you picked the right one, Leila with her goofy ears and all turned out perfect for me and I think she is pretty happy with me. If only I could do as well with as with Vafa and!

Thank you all – in Iran and here in California for caring for her and bringing us together!


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