Happy 17th Birthday, Hopi!

_TSM3342-5x7b_TSM3511-5x7Happy 17th Birthday, Hopi!!

May 4th was Hopi's 17th Birthday!

Our old lady Aussie received the special birthday treatment which included a massage, a steak and 2 walks, one with her dog friends and one just for her. Her human friends threw her a surprise dog, fox and bobcat party later for a true party animal experience. There was much digging, whining and peeing but we kept it short, for Hopi's sake, as the old girl's favorite thing these days is cooling her feet and then napping in the shade by her friend Thunder the bobcat.

Hopi, the Australian shepherd, is a parvo survivor. As a puppy she contacted the deadly disease but lived to tell thanks to my two special friends, Shirley Gordon and Dr. Stan Kunin. It was touch and go for a week while Shirley, Dr. Stan and I took turns transporting her back and forth from Veterinary Medical Center to the all night emergency clinic. I couldn't have done it without them because back then I was juggling my L.A Zoo job and Wildworks so all I could do was stop on my way home to Topanga and visit the sad puppy in the hospital. The poor little girl would whine and wag her weak tail as I left and we were so "hoping" that she would get well.  And that's why we named her "Hopi".

Still top dog, Hopi leads her canine pack on daily walks in the surrounding hills. Now fully retired, Hopi was formerly the biggest star of our educational outreach programs where, with the help of children participants, she retrieved cans and bottles and dropped them into the recycle bin.

Throughout her young life her forte was mothering baby wildlife and, being the star that she was, she would ham it up on stage in mock attacks with her fox and serval "children". The crowd went wild to see the playful antics of the famous dog and exotic cat duo.

I see her out my window walking slowly up to the house to let me know that it's time to stop writing and start petting.

From each and every one of us to the best dog ever-


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