BOOKS: Two Bobbies: A true story of friendship and survival

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2010:

Two Bobbies: A true story of friendship and survival
by Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery
Illustrated by Jean Cassels Walker
Walker & Co. (175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010), 2008. $16.99,
hardcover. 32 pages.

No one foresaw the nightmarish devastation to people,
property and pets wrought by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.
Many and perhaps most of the people who evacuated New Orleans–just
as a precaution–imagined they would return within a few days, if
not hours. Someone left behind a brown dog named Bobbie, chained to
a porch. Somehow the hungry and thirsty dog yanked the chain so hard
that he freed himself. Not known is how Bobbie came to be the
inseparable companion of a white cat whom rescuers eventually named
Bob Cat: did they know each other first, or just become buddies in
the crisis?

Rescue came late for Bobbie and Bob Cat. Overlooked for
nearly four months, Bob and Bobbie wandered the deserted city,
evading dog packs who claimed what remained of neighborhoods damaged
by floods or wind where homeless animals could survive.
Still dragging the chain, Bobbie and his Bob Cat eked out a
living on the streets slick with spilled oil. Finally they scampered
onto a construction site where kind and caring workers fed them,
then handed them over to the Best Friends Animal Society, whose team
was the last maintained in New Orleans by national organizations.
Bobbie and Bob Cat were housed separately, but Bobbie
wailed, barked, and howled. He would not be separated from his
friend Bob Cat–not without raising as much fuss about it as any dog
could. That’s when the rescue team discovered that Bob Cat was
blind. As authors Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery explain, “Bobbie
had been Bob Cat’s seeing-eye dog.”
A search for the animals’pre-Katrina caretakers proved
unsuccessful. Best Friends placed a condition on their adoption:
they had to go together. Bobbie and Bob Cat, now deceased, were
eventually rehomed to Oregon, where they lived comfortably with
another dog.
Two Bobbies, an American SPCA Henry Bergh book award winner,
is truly a magnificent story of friendship, survival, and love–and
is a true story, first reported to the world by newscaster Anderson
Cooper. It is an irresistable dog and cat story that should be in
every humane education department’s library, to help teach
compassion, caring, and kindness.
–Debra J. White

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