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COCKER SPANIEL 'LUCKY' LADY FOUND HER.

Byline: DENNIS McCARTHY

Even if you give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn't know something was wrong with the dog, it was still a pretty cold scene that unfolded on Tampa Avenue last Saturday morning near Kittridge Avenue in Tarzana.

A little cocker spaniel was in the middle of the street, turning in circles, not knowing which way to go, and all the motorists driving down Tampa at 7:30 a.m. did was blow their horns and swerve around it.

Only Judy Ross stopped to help, and found the dog was blind.

Where the lost dog was from, and who owns it, has remained a mystery for the vets and staff at Sherman Oaks Veterinarian Group, where the cocker spaniel they have nicknamed Lucky is being kenneled until her owner is found.

``She is so lucky that she wasn't hit and hurt badly by a car, because all the motorists were swerving around her so they could be on their way,'' said Ross, who is the assistant manager at the vet clinic.

``It was a Saturday morning, not a work day for most people, but everyone was in a rush. It amazed me no one stopped to help this poor dog, even if they didn't realize she was blind.''

Ross took Lucky to work with her that morning, and had one of the clinic's vets check her out.

``She was a little dehydrated, but other than that she's in good health,'' she said.

Lucky, who had no collar on, is about 10 years old, and has been groomed recently, so someone was taking good care of her, Ross said.

If anyone knows who Lucky belongs to, contact the clinic at (818) 784-9977.

< When Susan Issacson, director of Beth Hillel Day School in Valley Village, walked into the teachers' lunch room last week to tell her staff that the 56 kids in school wanted to collect used suitcases to help out with the popular ``Suitcases With a Heart'' program for foster care children in Los Angeles County, music teacher Barbara Greenspan sat up straight in her chair.

It was 22 years ago this month that a little 6-year-old foster care boy named Michael arrived on her front porch holding a trash bag in his hand with all his possessions in it.

``It's the one visual thing I remember, that trash bag in Michael's hand,'' Greenspan said Thursday. ``It said all the wrong things.''

Yes, it did - for Michael and tens of thousands of foster care kids in this county through the years shuttled from house to house with everything they owned in trash bags because the county didn't have enough suitcases to go around.

But thanks to the efforts of the Beth Hillel students, service organizations, and kids from other schools in the Valley getting involved in this wonderful program started last year by Gavin Bryan, a cadet in the Junior Police Academy at James Monroe High School, today's foster care kids are no longer showing up on front porches holding trash bags that say all the wrong things.

Michael is 28 now, Greenspan says, and doing great.

If you want to donate a used suitcase or two to a foster child, call (818) 892-4311 and ask for Andrea Wastaferro at James Monroe High School.

< And finally, the 70 member Key Club - Kiwanis Educate Youth - at Kennedy High School is having its annual holiday party for more than 50 foster care kids Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Granada Hills school.

This makes the 20th straight year the members of the service club have played host to county foster care kids with presents and a special visit from Santa Claus.

Short and simple, it's a chance for these kids who have much to be thankful for to reach out and share a little during the holidays with kids who don't have much, said Eileen Le, student president of the club, and Theresa Anderssen-Roon.

Good kids, good program.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Judy Ross of Sherman Oaks Veterinary Group hopes to reunite Lucky, a blind cocker spaniel found in a busy Tarzana intersection recently, with its owner.

David Sprague/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 8, 2000
Words:696
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