Photos Steven Krause
They were running loose on Craig Avenue, rambling through the Springs like Rastafarian midgets, waves of dreadlocks draping their diminutive forms, looking for handouts and love.
No one knows exactly where they came from, who owned them, whether or not they were a matched pair of what dog people call a “toy poodle mix,” but they were rescued from homelessness by Pets Lifeline.
One had a microchip imbedded beneath its skin, but it came up blank when scanned, indicating it may have been registered at a fly-by-night company no longer in business.
Either way, the playful but pathetic, peripatetic pups were seriously bedraggled and perfect candidates for a Valley of the Moon magazine makeover.
Who better to do the honors than Pets Lifeline adoption specialist and canine aesthetician Shoshana Brown, a master of animal makeovers and an artist with shampoo, a blow dryer and electric clippers.
They had been monikered at intake as “Clint” and “Scottie” by Pets Lifeline staff—names are commonly changed by adoptive owners and apparently no one thought of “Ebony” and “Ivory”—and despite their disheveled appearance and obvious lack of recent care, they were, says Pets Lifeline executive director Nancy King, “just as sweet as can be.”
Once out of the beauty booth the poodle pair were instantly transformed, fluffed into entirely new personas, and both were rapidly adopted.
Newly named “Fig” (formerly Clint—the dark-haired guy) and “Harry,” the two found permanent homes in Sonoma and Guerneville.
Alley Oxenhandler, a Sonoma schoolteacher, took home Fig (whose age is estimated at “6-ish,” while Denise Rodriguez, a Guerneville resident, got custody of Harry, aged between 4 and 5.
The dogs were joyfully reunited for a makeover photo shoot at Pets Lifeline, and both indicated a passionate interest in staying in touch.