A girl named Mocha

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Dog day afternoon. Photo: JH.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021. It was sunny and cold yesterday in New York. But again, not too.

 “I read the news today, oh boy …” You may have read it, too. Enuf said. Let’s get back to basics.

One of the holiday cards we received this year — and for several years previous — was from the Lange Foundation, an animal rescue operation out in Los Angeles. Every year their supporters make contributions for the Foundation’s work and we get a holiday card with a dog story and a photo of the dog. I love dog faces. Real innocence and purity, the likes of which we rarely see in ourselves. My friend Penny and Adam Bianchi send me one of these “cards” every year. They are all very sweet and I’ve framed more than one. This year was a girl named Mocha.

Here is the message that came about Mocha. It’s a sweet one, a movie, and a good one, and a touching one. It’s about victory over the self; real bravery, and a reward for you, dear reader …

December 2020. There is an elderly woman who can be seen daily, walking the streets in South LA pushing an overloaded shopping cart. At first glance she appears to be homeless but a closer look reveals her cart is filled with bags of cat food. She is well known for her devotion to feeding the numerous feral cats in the area.

In April 2020, she came upon two dogs. One had been hit by a car and didn’t survive and the other one was Mocha, still lying besides her dearly departed friend. Mocha was having some trouble with walking and had wounds to be attended to, so the woman called a small, local rescuer who was able to get her into a nearby vet. The vet treated her many wounds and diagnosed her with severe arthritis, prescribing her pain medication.

Not having the funds to keep her at the vet, the rescuer drove Mocha to the elderly woman’s house. She agreed to keep Mocha in her home until other arrangements could be made. She quickly became aware that this poor dog did not have a fondness for cats, so Mocha was relocated to the back yard. Her “arthritis” worsened and by the end of the month Mocha could not walk at all. This is when she came into our lives.

When she arrived at our kennel, we quickly realized that Mocha had a far more serious problem than arthritis and got her in quickly for an emergency appointment at VCA. An MRI revealed that she had a herniated disc compressing her spinal cord and they recommended immediate surgery.

After surgery, this exceptionally sweet and soulful dog went through months of physical therapy and is now able to walk and trot around the block. Oh, how she loves to walk!

It has been a long recovery and though she had a rough time before coming into our care, Mocha is still optimistic about life and so happy to be a much-loved guest here at our Halfway Home Kennel. She has been through so much and deserves a happy ending and hopefully a home for the holidays.

Gillian Lange

P.S. Lange Foundation received a Holiday Gift of life donation in your honor from Adam and Penny Bianchi, which we will use to change the lives of more dogs who need our help.

LATE NEWS: Mocha just found her forever home today with a young woman who fell in love with her goofy personality and gentle nature. Mocha is now able to spend the holidays in a warm and loving home.

Then, having given you the pleasure of a brave Mocha, just a couple of hours ago a friend sent me this video. Here’s the truth, all spelled out in the snow and ice …

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