Sugar and Spice and their Courageous Destinies
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans Louisiana, we had no idea how it would impact our
lives way over in Ft Lauderdale Florida. Not too many people know it, but back in 2005 the
Humane Society of Broward County moved literally hundreds of abandoned dogs from New Orleans to
their state of-the-art facility in S. Florida.
We already had two Lhasa's that we adore, Billy Boy and Trooper, but my wife Barbara wanted
so badly to adopt a rescue dog from New Orleans. So off we went to the Humane Society to “Save
a Katrina dog.”
We were given a beautiful female Yorkie. We took her home and low and behold we had a dog
who was so traumatized, whenever we went near her she would try to bite everything in sight. We
tried so hard for the next few days but to no avail. So, left with no choice, we had to take
her back to the Humane Society. Barbara sat in the car in tears while I brought the little
The wonderful people at the Humane Society said because of the volume of dogs from New
Orleans they could not properly process every pet and this little Yorkie should never have been
released. The good news: she would need to go to a Humane Society sponsored special foster home
to be socialized but it may take months before she becomes adoptable. We wanted to help right
I asked do you have another little dog? The Humane Society Director said with a sheepish
smile “not exactly but bring your wife in and we have something to show her.” So I dragged
my wife out of the car and had her wait in the Executive Directors office.
The Director came in with two of the most beautiful Bichon sisters we have ever seen,
and said if we don’t adopt them both, they will, most likely be separated. How could anyone
separate such sweet twin girls? So off we went with our two new children “Sugar and
Spice.” We were so happy to have these lovable girls and they got along so well with
Billy and Trooper.
Spice Girl the smallest of the pack, quickly adopted us and developed this little habit. She
would jump all over Barb and myself and wake us up every morning with a million kisses. What a
fur family. I told Barbara my wife how lucky we were to have four wonderful and loving
But wait, the story does not stop here. Our little Spice girl recently came down with
SARDS, an instant form or canine blindness. We searched the internet and contacted a
renowned Sards expert Dr. Sinisa Grozdanic at the University of Iowa for help. We even had an
experimental procedure performed under his direction with our Ophthalmologist Veterinarian Dr.
Tina Pellicane at Camelot Animal Hospital In Davie Florida.
Unfortunately, even with the best care available, Spice was in the 50% that does not show
improvement. Even with all our efforts, our baby, Spice Girl, was permanently blind.
We were devastated and I even asked how could our Creator be so cruel to make a lovable
sweet girl like Spice go blind? All we could do is love our baby and help her through her
blindness. I went on www.blinddogs.net and learned so
much about how to live and care for a blind dog. We did everything the website said to make her
life easier and as normal as possible.
Spice Girl took it so much better than us, and her positive approach and courage set an example
for Barb and myself. We were saddened, while she took her blindness in stride, never gave up
trying, her tail always wagging and she gave us new hope. Then I realized maybe The Lord did
send little Spice girl to us for a reason, As he knew she would go blind and she needed us to
help her through her affliction, and we needed her to love us back.
Spice is doing so well now, if I didn’t tell you she is blind you would think she has
perfect sight...and oh yes…. did I mention Spice Girl still wakes us up every morning with a
I remember something I read when I was younger that “every little boy has the best dog in
the world." I may be much older now but I do feel like that little boy every day.
Story by Bart Peluso