Judi was having a rough time. In 2015 she lost her beloved mom, who’d lived with her for 34 years. Over the next 12 months, the Weisbarts lost 7 friends and family members. Judi’s mom died with her cat Ninja on her lap. When her mom’s body was taken from the house, Ninja “let out a blood curdling scream and, after, refused to eat.” 3 weeks later, Ninja died. 3 months later, the Weisbarts’ Lhasa Apso Macho died.
The only ones left in the Weisbart home in Santa Barbara, CA, were Judi and her husband Harry. “It felt weird,” Judi says.
Last April, following the fires and debris flow in Santa Barbara, Judi adopted a puppy from a shelter in Camarillo, CA. Charlie was a “sweet dog, but he barked. The barking bothered Harry’s ears.” Judi posted the pup on Craigslist. In 2 hours, 6 people wanted him. Judi gave him to a mom and her 6 year old daughter. The mom had lost her car in the floods, which also took the life of her employer. “The trauma she’d suffered was obvious. I was meant to give Charlie to her. He helped her with her fear and sleeps with her at night.”
But my sister’s dear friend Judi missed having a dog. “I wanted something to love and care for,” she says.
Judi and Harry enjoyed Shabbat dinner in LA with Harry’s oldest and best friend, Gary Jacobs and his wife Sylvia. The couple had a little white rescue dog. Judi was inspired.
She told Harry she wanted to return to the same shelter where they’d found Macho. “It was 102 degrees out, but Harry’s a good husband. He agreed to go.” In the heat, the shelter “didn’t smell so good.” The only available dogs were pit bulls and chihuahuas.
Judi told the woman in charge of the shelter she’d like a Lhaso Apso. The woman snapped, “You and 20 other people. Stand in line.”
Judi and Harry walked out. In the parking lot, they saw a woman holding a little white dog. Judi asked about it. The woman was from L.A. She found the dog running in the street and took her home. She had a vet check for a chip. Negative. Nor were there any reports about a lost dog. She’d been with the woman for 5 days, but the woman couldn’t keep her.
Judi asked, “You drove 40 miles just to drop off this dog?”
The stranger nodded. “This was the closest no kill shelter.”
Judi asked to hold the dog, who promptly licked her face. Harry asked if she pooped or peed inside. Nope.
Judi asked, “Can we keep her?”
The dog’s temporary owner beamed.
The Weisbarts headed home. In the back seat, their new pooch didn’t utter a whimper. A vet guessed the dog at close to 3 years old, a mix of poodle, maltese and maybe cocker.
The Weisbarts’ newest occupant understands simple commands—“down” and “bed.” Her comprehension of where to poop or pee’s a tad lacking. Judi’s philosophical. “Nothing’s perfect. We often need to take on challenges to truly bond with a pet. I hope to have her trained very soon.”
Judi told her girlfriend about her “new baby,” deeming her another “miracle dog.” Her friend said, “It’s beshert.” (Yiddish for “meant to be.”) Judi agreed and named her latest charge BeBe, for Beshert Baby.
Way to go, Weisbarts, on taking in a rescue dog. Wishing you lots of licks, oodles of wags, and plenty of properly deposited poops.