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DOG PARENT FAMILIES

Kyla Ballesteros with Tiberius Kyla thought her two lovely Rottweilers, Nero and Wizz, were enough for her. Then, a friend of her sister’s took in a stray Pit Bull who was found on the side of a road. Turns out the stray Pittie, Tiberius’s mom, was pregnant! Kyla’s sister talked her into going to the friend’s house to see all the puppies, and when Tiberius was placed on her lap, “it was love at first sight,” Kyla says! Now, Tiberius is Kyla’s co-pilot. “In my neighborhood everyone recognizes him and not me. I buy better brand name food for him than I do myself, and I don't cook for myself, but won't hesitate to buy him some steak or ground beef and happily cook him a delicious meal!” On the weekends Tiberius goes everywhere with Kyla. Her entire SUV is dedicated to Tiberius, but she says that he prefers the middle row where his blanket and toys are. Kyla says they like to frequent the outdoor cafés and go to PetSmart® where everyone knows him and gives him belly rubs. Her father took exactly 2 days to warm up to Tiberius. Now, Kyla says, “Dad is just smitten!” They swim in the pool together and keep each company. Kyla makes donations to pet charities in Tiberius’s name, and everyone in her family knows she signs cards with both their names. “I couldn't love him more if I tried.” photo by Portia Shao of Positive Vista Photography

Anastasia and Rafael Torres-Gil with daughter Crystal and dogs – Coco, Leon, Peanut Lee, & Brownie Coco was Anastasia’s muse to change her career from lawyer to dog couture designer (www.myfavoritecouture.com). Anastasia’s Louis Vuitton purse had worn out, so she transformed it into a dog hoodie, which spurred her to created more dog designs for Coco. She now donates 25% of her company’s proceeds to the Santa Cruz SPCA, and the rescue dogs model the outfits to facilitate their adoptions. Anastasia, her husband Rafael, and their daughter Crystal met Coco on a donation visit to the Santa Cruz SPCA. “She looked like a cross between Yoda and a wild-haired raccoon.” The staff told her the dog was a “Porkie” (a Pug/Yorkie mix). “Since we have a pet mini pig at home, I knew it was destiny to adopt her.” She was told Coco was a “special needs dog” due to her age and her seizure disorder. “I always say that we especially needed her.” They adopted their other three dogs, Leon and Peanut Lee (Chihuahua/Terrier mixes) and Brownie (a purebred Chihuahua) from the Santa Cruz SPCA as well. Brownie—initially a skinny, frightened dog— improved rapidly. Soon he gained weight and rested in Anastasia’s arms comfortably. The dogs have been treated like family ever since. Each Sunday night, they make a pot roast with carrots for the dogs. In addition to their diet kibble, they get some of the roast and juices. “So, do I treat my dogs like my children? ... Crystal says, ‘Mom offered to make me and Coco matching prom dresses earlier this year. I think she was kidding, but these days you never know.’”

102    Fall 2011 | The American Dog Magazine

Profile for The American Dog Magazine

THE AMERICAN DOG MAGAZINE FALL 2011  

MAGAZINE - FALL 2011

THE AMERICAN DOG MAGAZINE FALL 2011  

MAGAZINE - FALL 2011

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