Lucky Dog: Jessie


When Boxer Rescue LA (BRLA) volunteer Jan W. walked into the Camarillo Shelter one cold and rainy Saturday afternoon in April, she had no idea the Boxer she was about to save was going to change so many lives.  Jan fell in love with Jesse the Boxer the first second she saw her.  Jesse, a beautiful young golden fawn, was shivering in her cage with her eyes squeezed shut.  It was almost as if she was trying to hide from where she was, not believing that the family she knew for the last three years had actually dumped her in that cold, lonely shelter.  When she heard Jan calling her, she opened her eyes slowly and sniffed her hand.  Jan crouched down and continued to talk softly to her.  Within minutes, little orphan Jesse climbed into her lap.  Jan laughed, kissed her on the top of her head and quickly took her out of the shelter and brought her to BRLA. 

Woodie Wade was excited when he drove up to BRLA that sunny Friday afternoon.  He and his partner Mateo adopted their special girl Mutza from BRLA in July 2002.  Woodie’s wasn’t there to adopt another Boxer for himself.  He was there to adopt a Boxer for a very special group of children.  Woodie is the Chef at an orphanage called, “Casa Hogar Sion” (www.friendsofelfaro.com) in Tijuana, Mexico.  The Orphanage is a safe haven for children who have been abused and neglected.  At Casa Hogar Sion, children are loved and cherished.  Woodie loves the children at the orphanage and was so excited to deliver such a special gift to his extended family.


Woodie, Mateo and Mutza’s grandparents Osa and Geert Jensen (repeat adopters and in the BRLA family) met several Boxers, but when Woodie met Jesse, something in his heart knew she was the one.  Jesse was so calm and loving and Woodie knew she would immediately fit in with everyone at Casa Hogar Sion. 

Jesse and Woodie bonded quickly.  Woodie knew the more they spent time together, the harder it would be to drop her off with the kids.  Woodie also missed his Mutza girl. Mutza was staying with Osa and Geert until he and Jesse left for Mexico.  On the day they left for Mexico, Woodie stopped in to say goodbye to Mutza.  It had only been a few days since she saw him, but she missed him so.  Woodie gave Mutza a big kiss and Boxer hug and told her he’d be back soon.

The closer Woodie got to the U.S./Mexico Border, the more excited he got.  The kids were off from school that day and kept leaving him messages on his cell phone saying, “DONDE ESTA WOODIE CON NOSOTROS NUEVO PERRO.”  (Translation:  Where is Woodie and our new dog?!!)  When he finally pulled up, the kids were waiting by the gate.  Just as Woodie imagined, it was love at first sight:  For the kids and for Jesse.  In less than five minutes, Jesse brought a special calm and love to those children no words can express.  Every child wanted to be near her, to touch her, to kiss her.  Jesse wanted to be near them too.  She was in heaven.  Little orphan Jesse found her forever home.

The day Woodie was set to drive back to Los Angeles, he got a call he never in his wildest dreams expected.  Mateo was calling to tell him his beloved Mutza was dying of bloat.  Through tears and on a speaker phone, Woodie whispered goodbye to Mutza as she passed in Mateo’s arms.  Here is an excerpt from Woodie as he reflected on events a few days after her death:

This week has been such an interesting time for Mateo and I.....Feeling so many emotions with bringing Jessie to her new home and then knowing when I was leaving the Orphanage I had a five hour drive ahead of me in to say a final goodbye to my Mutza Girl at the VCA Animal Hospital.  I left Jessie at the Orphanage Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. and Mutza passed in Mateo's arms at 10:30 a.m. that same morning.

Jessie is so loved and adored every minute of the day.  Head Master Arlene says she has to take Jessie up to her dorm room so Jessie can have a time out from the kids and nap. 


We made a lovely curb memorial for Mutza and all of our neighbors came over to toast Mutza Rella Mateo Wade:  The Good Will Ambassador to Lowry Road in Los Feliz.  Mutza's granddad Geert brought a poem about life and seven of us took turns reading a paragraph each.


When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears;
Be happy that we had so many years.

I gave you my love.  You can only guess.
How much you gave me of happiness.
I thank you for the love you all have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.

So grieve awhile for me, if grieve you must,
Then let your grief be confronted by trust.
It’s only for a while we must part,
So Bless the memories within your heart.

I won’t be far away, for life goes on;
So if you need me, call and I’ll come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near,
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear
All my love around you, soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile and a “Welcome Home.”

Woodie and Mateo miss Mutza every day.  Jessie is still flourishing at the Orphanage and the kids adore her.  Woodie has been busy producing and hosting his new children’s cooking show, WOODIE’S KITCHEN.  Woodie and his sidekick puppet “Mutza” have a blast teaching kids how to cook and the importance of good nutrition.  Woodie ends each episode by saying; “OK, UNTIL NEXT TIME… DON’T FORGET TO PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!”


Woodie’s Recent Dream:
I had the most vibrant dream last night for the first time since Mutza passed.  She came to me like an angel in doggie heaven and told me it was time to no longer mourn, but celebrate all that a Boxer gives to his/her caretakers.
She informed me that it was time for me to rescue another Boxer on July 7.  Before she left my dream, she told me that our new Boxer’s name would be Osa after Mutza’s grandma who watched over for her and loved her during the last four days of her life.  Now every morning when I wake up I talk to my Boxer Osa and tell her that I’m here and I’m coming for her very soon….
Woodie and Mateo:  See you at BRLA on July 7.  Osa can’t wait!

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