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Story courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

Odd couple is Home Again
By Best Friends staff

You can't help but fall for Toby and Chula. Toby is an extra-large shepherd and Great Dane-type dog with gigantic ears that flop together on top of his head like a teepee. His best friend, Chula, is a little Chihuahua mix with short, stubby legs and huge, round bat ears that flop outwards in the same way that Toby's flop together. It would be tempting to assume that the pair would be easy to find a home for, but it wasn't the case. But it turns out that a change in venue - a big, faraway change - was just the ticket.

Toby and Chula were surrendered to a Los Angeles city shelter together. Even though they were both incredibly sweet, mellow and absolutely adorable, no one seemed to want them. So the two sat at the shelter. And sat. And waited. Candi Crawford, Los Angeles outreach manager at Best Friends, says that, unfortunately, it doesn't come as a surprise to her that Toby and Chula weren't quickly snapped up at the shelter. She explains, "The shelters here in L.A. are full of both shepherd and Chihuahua mixes, so finding someone who wants a senior shepherd and Chihuahua together here is tough." Toby is estimated to be nine years old, while Chula is approximately 12. Most adopters gravitate towards young dogs and puppies. And it was important to shelter staff that the two be adopted together because they were so close. But those facts, coupled with their breeds, made them a tough sell.

When space for two senior dogs opened up at the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in L.A., Toby and Chula were transferred so they could try their luck in a new place. And they were just in time for the NKLA Adoption Weekend, a three-day adoption event at the La Brea Tar Pits, where hundreds of people would see them and hopefully fall in love and take the pair home.

The two were a big hit at the event. They went on stage with actor Barrett Foa ("NCIS: Los Angeles"). They showed off their legendary ears, and they slept in a pile, with Chula nestling himself onto Toby's back. Barkbox, a vendor at the event, offered a lifetime supply of toys and treats if the two were adopted that weekend. But no one came forward. When the event was over, the dogs went back to the adoption center.

There wasn't much time to be sad about the fact that no one picked them because just a few days later, someone did. They weren't home quite yet, but they hitched a ride north with other dogs from the adoption center to Salt Lake City on Pup My Ride, where they were delivered to Salt Lake County Animal Services. They planned to attend Best Friends-Utah's Spring Super Adoption, where they would be featured dogs.

The two hadn't lost hope; they did the same cute things they'd done at the Los Angeles event. This time, it worked. They were adopted, together, within hours on the first day of the event. Candi credits the move to another community: "Here (in L.A.) they looked like so many other homeless dogs in the shelter system. In Salt Lake City, they were unique." But in both places, they were loved. And when they went home, there were cheers from the dogs' fans in both Los Angeles and Salt Lake City from everyone who met them and was rooting for them to finally go home.

Check out all the animals looking for homes at the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center.

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