Initiative: Rescued Bestie Feature, in collaboration with The 13 Project
Featured Canine: Callie, 7 y/o herding mix
Rescue Facilitator: Northeast Animal Shelter, Salem, MA, & Save a Sato
If there is one dog in our neighborhood that can get Oscar's grumpy old bones running, it's Callie. A pistol of a little black & tan girl, Callie pretty much has 2 speeds: frozen (eye's locked on a target), and flat-out running. Though her exact breeding is unknown, she exhibits the classic belly-crawling creep and ankle-nipping dart and dive so characteristic to herders - her body-type backs that up, with a compact, agile frame, and the most lovely, medium-length "sport coat". I've always gotten a chuckle from her perky pigtail ears, which look as though they must surely be tied on by ribbons of some sort - Pippi Dog-stocking style.
Unlike Oscar and his completely ill-suited-to-snowstorms short hair, Callie looks perfectly at home in the moody climate of Massachusetts - you'd never guess that she was born in Puerto Rico...
Callie is a "sato" - that's slang for "street dog". Roughly 3 years old when she was rescued from scavenging in alleys and sleeping under vehicles, she had already had at least one litter (determined by vet exam). She was taken in by a compassionate non-profit called Save a Sato when she hung around the same back door long enough to be lured inside.
Headquartered in Puerto Rico, but partnered with a handful of select shelters in the Northestern United States, SAS is "dedicated to easing the suffering of Puerto Rico's homeless and abused animals... rescuing satos from the streets and beaches, giving them medical care, food and shelter, and plenty of love". The dogs are cared for in shelters around Puerto Rico, until they can safely be transported north: Thanks to a clever "escort" system through American Airlines, SAS is able to pair their furry cargo with random travelers to the island - the dogs simply become additional checked baggage on return flights home! SAS covers the airfare for the dogs, and their staff takes care of all dog-prep and documentation at either end of a flight - volunteer travelers need only stand as liasons for the animals from port to port - it's a marvelously efficient arrangement...
As for Callie - she may still dream of breezy sunsets on the beach, and rummaging through dumpsters without the confines of a collar and leash... but at the end of each day in this life of hers, I'll bet she also thanks her dog-stars for a warm bed, effortless meals, a terrific family, and bestie beasts like O-Town, who live for a good game of chase, just for the fun of it.