PUPPY THERAPY Pets make lockdown bearable

Cabo is bringing lots of love, fun and happiness to the York family. (courtesy of Loryn York)

PUPPY THERAPY Pets make lockdown bearable

By Terry L. Wilson

Some Scripps Ranch residents discovered the best way to beat the stress of the coronavirus lockdown was by adopting a new four-legged member into their family.

Loryn York and her family were among them.

“I have two sons that have been begging us for a puppy,” York said. “Since we were in quarantine and home all the time – and bored – we decided this would be the perfect time to add some excitement to the family by adopting a rescue.”

The York family discovered its newest addition on social media.

“I was on Facebook and saw a picture of the cutest little puppy. She was found under a house in Mexicali with a cluster of other dogs, but she was the only one the rescuers could coax out from under the house,” York said. “We adopted her and two weeks later, she was home with us. We named her Cabo, because we love to vacation there. She is part Labrador and golden retriever, and the vet thinks she may even have some greyhound in her because she’s long, agile and can jump really high.”

Cabo loves puppuccinos, so the family likes to say she went from living under a house to drinking puppuccinos for breakfast.

“Cabo is going to bring lots of love, fun and happiness to our family,” York said.

COVID-19 restrictions closed playgrounds, forcing kids to play indoors, which wasn’t sitting well with seven-year-old Noah Culver.

“He was used to playing with the neighborhood kids at the park, but when COVID started we couldn’t do that anymore; and my son Noah was having a very difficult time,” said his mother, Melissa Culver. “He was acting out and waking up in the middle of the night, so my husband and I decided to get a dog to keep him company.”

Fortunately, the family found just the right solution, complete with fur, paws and a wagging tail.

“Our niece found a German shepherd puppy mix … the two breeds of dogs my son wanted. He wanted a husky because of the animated movie ‘Balto,’ and he wants to be a policeman when he grows up, so he wanted a German shepherd police dog. So, Noah got the best of both worlds with a German shepherd-husky mix,” Melissa said.

“The puppy was rescued by my sister in Arizona for us, and we gifted him to my son on his seventh birthday,” she explained. “The dog’s name is Thor, for the superhero. Thor has been such a huge help for my son, especially during COVID. Once Noah had someone to play with, he started getting better, his attitude improved and began sleeping through the night. Getting Thor was the best decision we could have made.”

Christine King’s rescue came to her door with a fancy name and a unique pedigree, plus a backstory that could have been from a Hollywood movie.

“Our rescue is a Coton de Tulear,” King said. “It’s a breed named for a city in Madagascar. They originated from a group of small white dogs that swam across the Malagasy Channel through alligator infested waters to safety following a shipwreck.”

The King parents received some sound reasoning to convince them that a dog was in order.

“My husband was hesitant to get a dog, so my youngest daughter wrote a three-page proposal making him an offer he couldn’t refuse,” King said.

“I wanted a hypoallergenic dog and it turned out that it was very difficult to find a non-shedding dog. Then I remembered meeting a Coton a few years back. Luckily, I found one in Temecula,” King said. “We adopted him and named him Rusty. He is very smart and wants people to notice him. Rusty is a people person and he likes other dogs, too. Rusty makes friends everywhere he goes. He is a wonderful addition to the family.”

Thor is a German shepherd-husky mix that joined the Culver family, and an especially good companion for Noah Culver. (courtesy of Melissa Culver)
Rusty is a Coton de Tulear, and is described as a “people person” and a wonderful addition to the King family. (courtesy of Christine King)