Saving Coco


Sophia Kim

Photos by SOPHIA KIM DBHS sophomore Sophia Kim retells her experience in rescuing a stray dog and enduring multiple hardships of securing the animal a perfect and loving home.

Sophia Kim, Staff Writer

Never would I have imagined that fostering one stray dog could take me on a three month journey full of pain, happiness, and guilt.

It all started last Oct. when I was on my phone and came upon a snapchat that my friend posted. It was a picture of a stray female black chihuahua named Coco, with a caption asking if anyone wanted to take her.

She mentioned that she was unable to take care of the dog, and that it would be taken to the shelter soon if no one stepped up. I realized right away that if I didn’t take action, she would be taken to the pound, only to be euthanized without a second chance in life. Making false promises with my mother that I would find a home for her within a week, the dog ended up at our house the following day.

The one week we imagined for it to take to find her a home gradually became months. I started my search for the “perfect home” online, posting ads on multiple websites. The definition of a “perfect home” for me was a dog-lover that would treat her like a family member, who lived in a house with a backyard, and often took her on walks. With high hopes, I took pictures of her in cute dresses and posted her photos on advertising websites like Craigslist, RadioKorea, ClassifiedAds, Oodle, Puppyfind, and Recycler.

I received a few phone calls from people of interest, but ended up rejecting them all. Many people who called me were animal hoarders with five to six dogs in their homes, while others told me that she would be living outdoors, which isn’t suitable for small dogs.

On top of posting online ads daily for months, I visited Albertsons, dog parks, and Petsmart with her, hoping to find a good owner there. Most of the people I talked to would all wish me luck, but they didn’t want to take her in. I decided to visit Petsmart every weekend, as it was the place I wished to find the perfect owner at. However, one day the manager found out about what I was doing and told me to leave. While I was waiting in the parking lot for my mom with Coco, one of the rescue ladies partnered with Petsmart came dashing towards me, yelling at me that my actions were illegal.

After I stopped going to Petsmart, afraid of getting arrested, I decided to stand in front of Albertsons multiple times a week in search of an owner. It was about the second month and I was getting worn out. I was ashamed to see students that I knew walk into the store as I stood in front of the market with a dog, desperate to find an owner. One night, I did find a lady who showed interest, and she also seemed to have the perfect home for Coco. However, when I got home, the small piece of paper with her phone number was nowhere to be found and I was flustered. After two months of pain, I couldn’t believe that I lost the key to Coco’s happiness.

The lady did tell me to join a Facebook group called Diamond Bar Buzz where I could be able to find a potential owner. I was hoping to find the lady on the Facebook page, but instead I came upon a different lady who showed interest. It was Christmas Eve and my father wouldn’t tolerate keeping Coco any longer, so I decided to give her to the family.  I explained the pain that Coco went through and how she needed a loving home to repair her heart. After I left her there, I came home with an empty heart. The few months I stayed with Coco really left a big imprint in my life. It was hard to let her go, but I just hope that she is happy with her new family and stays safe.