My column in Laguna Beach Indy: A Rescue Who Turns Heads

You can read the original article online at: http://www.lagunabeachindy.com/2013/09/08/rescue-turns-heads/

By Joe Cockrell, Special to the Independent

I love dogs. I’ve had a canine companion for most of my adult life, including an Australian Shepard named Libby that I rescued five years ago. In 2012, I was recruited to move to Southern California from my native Iowa for a position in higher education. With such a big move, I thought it might be best for Libby to wait until I got settled into my new life in Orange County. After I was established with my new job and moved into a pet-approved apartment in Laguna Beach, I was ready to bring Libby out to join me in our new home. But, in an unexpected turn of events, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and Libby would become a vital distraction for her during the first few weeks of chemotherapy. My father had little doubt that the affectionate dog was making a huge difference in their lives, and suggested that they adopt Libby and keep her there permanently. “Libby is her rock. It’s amazing how that dog helps her through it,” he told me. Libby had a new purpose in life.

Photo by Nik Sarac Local resident Joe Cockrell discovered his rescue dog, Chiquita, prefers a scooter to taking long walks because of a birth defect.

Local resident Joe Cockrell discovered his rescue dog, Chiquita, prefers a scooter to taking long walks because of a birth defect. Photo by Nik Sarac.

Not long after, I saw the cutest video on a local newscast: a small dog who could ride a doggie scooter, made from an old skateboard. The adorable video clip made me instantly smile, but the pup was not on the news because of her unique talent. Somebody had abandoned the six-year-old Chihuahua mix in Los Angeles and she needed a new home. Scooter included.

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Meet my new sidekick Chiquita

chiquita the skateboarding dogLast week I saw a story from NBC-4 in Los Angeles by Christina Cocca about a cute Chihuahua that loves to ride on a skateboard. But her adorable talent was not the reason she was in the news – it was because somebody had surrendered her to the Baldwin Park Animal shelter in LA, and the 6-year-old sweetheart needed a new home.

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