Babies you are Louisianimals and always will be!
On August 11, 2016, a rain storm came and became stationary over Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas. What resulted was the worst natural disaster in the US since Hurricane Sandy. On August 12, 2016, flooding started in earnest and what resulted was a "no-name storm" that dumped three times as much rain on Louisiana as Hurricane Katrina. People were ill prepared because they had no warning.
Girls - Your story starts here... Somehow you ended up at a shelter in Sorrento, (A little town in Ascension Parish about 50 minutes West of New Orleans) Louisiana called CARA's House.
The wonderful caregivers at CARA's House were ordered to shelter in place by the Parish powers that be because - "flooding would not affect the shelter". Well - it flooded...
Thankfully the caregivers were smarter and evacuated anyway and you ended up at Lamar Dixon in Barn 1. Let me tell you girls... The staff and volunteers were doing everything they could to make sure everyone was as comfortable as they could be and they were tasked with hundreds and hundreds of babies.
The first day I saw y'all I was determined to do what I could do to get you both out! It was hot, humid and dirty. Y'all were in a stall with a dirt (no hay) floor with eight other dogs. All of the babies would get so anxious when anyone came inside the stall and would bark and bark. Y'all did not... you both just sat - so scared but not making a sound. I asked for permission to take you back to New Orleans but I had to leave without you that day. I went back every day to volunteer and walked and talked to you both. I finally got permission to take you. You see, my Cousin, Minnie was working with CARA and she let me foster you both! Thank goodness my client and friend, Del (forever named YaYa Del) said she would help!
We grabbed a crate, blanket, two little collars and two leashes and got the heck out of there. It broke our heart to see how scared ya'll were. Neither of you made a sound all the way to New Orleans. We started looking for your forever home the moment we had you... We called you "girls".
"girls" - Grace & Hope
When we got to YaYa's we let y'all play in the yard while we got your bath ready. You were filthy but y'all both stayed still in the bath. Y'all were so very tired and hungry.We quickly figured out why Grace was bigger... You sweet little girl are a vache! (That is French for Cow!) Your sweet sister was so tired she laid down to eat and when you finished you stuck your big head in her bowl and finished hers. We quickly figured out that Grace is the calmer of the two of you and the more dominant one.
On Friday, y'all went to the Vet for your "well baby" checks and let me tell you - it was no easy task!
Hope & Grace
When we arrived at Crescent City Vet it dawned on me that I had to get you both up the stairs to the second floor. Y'all wanted nothing to do with the stairs so I picked you both up... like a baby on each hip and carried you up! Dr. Hansen was so patient with us. She gave you both a clean bill of health. Grace you were 20# and Hope you were 18#. She determined that you were 4 months ish. Grace you were very good but Hope - you took a little longer because you would not stay still!
I figured out that y'all really like to be held like babies...
YaYa named ya'll..
Y'all spent the next 9 days at YaYa's house. She and YaYa Julia took such great care of y'all. I got to see you everyday and I brought a trainer with me to teach y'all how to leash walk. Here ya'll are taking a break on the first leash walk!
Grace & Hope
I quickly learned that you have to be walked on each side - if not, you just play with each other and not focus on the walk! Y'all got to swim in her baby pool and got to meet her babies -
YaYa's babies... The Weather babies!
Finally I was able to come get y'all! I was so excited to bring y'all to my home... That is the day we found out the someone in New Jersey wanted you BOTH. We had been telling your story on social media and had offers to take one of you but not both and we so wanted y'all to go together.
I hated that y'all had to fast on my first night but on Monday y'all had your spay... They (CARA) - wanted me to drop y'all at the barn on Sunday and they were to have someone bring y'all on Monday morning but we would not even consider that. I was well prepared to drive the hour and a half each way! We headed off very early Monday morning... so early that I had to wake you both. Henri and Isabelle rode shotgun. When y'all arrived they put you in different crates and you both started to cry.
It upset me as much as it upset y'all. Thankfully, before I left they put y'all back together. They insisted that y'all spend the night and I had no other option but to comply. I was not happy about it!
I phoned your Mommy that day and I was so thankful that she spoke to me and calmed all of my fears about letting y'all go.
On Tuesday we left New Orleans early to get y'all... an hour and a half later, I had you back! We had to stop by Lamar Dixon to get your chips. The CARA Staff could not believe how big ya'll had already gotten. Girls - I was holding you both and y'all wanted nothing to do with staying. The minute I put you down you both were pulling toward the car and we got outta there fast!
The rest of the week was spent recovering and learning manners... and me falling in love.
Y'all went back to YaYa's house yesterday and today... you are heading to furrever!
Here are the important things...
Hope - assss inn - Hope you slow your roll, Hope you calm down soon, Hope you go to sleep... etc.
Runs into walls and slams into things. Loves to cuddles and will sleep in your arms. Sleeps under the blanket. Has to be reminded to "go potty". Totally has ADD!
Much more graceful and not a big fan of cuddles. She sits on her sister and is the more dominant one. She likes to sleep under things... finds comfort when something is over her head. Sleeps on top of the blanket, typically with her head on or under her sister. A bit more focused and by that I mean, she is plotting her next move.
Green beans, watermelon and any treat but super excited to see the peanut butter jar! Grace loves chew sticks and Hope will walk away from hers so you have to watch because Grace knows that!
Playing in the rain and sitting in the water bowls.
Grace hates her ears cleaned... Hope is not a fan either but she actually does not fight it like Grace.
Crating in/out... They are both really scared both ways... they are not vocal but the put the breaks on.
Stitches should be taken out on Wednesday the 7th if possible! And - we separate them at feeding time. No food aggression or resource guarding but Grace will eat Hope's food too!
So - Mom & Daddy thank you for loving them! If you change your mind, I will start driving North and I would bet YaYa Del and YaYa Julia would ride shotgun. You have given us a gift that we can never repay and for that we are so thankful.
YaYa Del and YaYa Julia - I owe you both! We are forever bonded by this beautiful experience.
I love you all but WAY LESS than I love my sweet bayou babies. Oh the places you will geaux girls!