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Helping homeless pets one mile at a time

Posted: May 16, 2009 9:21 p.m.
Updated: May 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.

To follow Michelle Sathe and Loren's road trip visit Sathe and Loren are traveling cross-country to promote dog adoptions.

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Editor's note: Signal Feature writer Michelle Sathe will be taking a seven-week sabbatical to promote homeless dog adoptions. She is taking a rescued pit bull, Loren, along with her as a companion and mascot during their cross-country trip. The Signal will be following Michelle and Loren's trip every Sunday with a column on their latest adventures.

Turning 40 can make people do wild things. Switch careers. Move to another state. Buy a Harley. For me, the milestone is an opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime and spread a message near and dear to my heart - increasing the adoption of homeless dogs.

My original plan was to take my Staffordshire mix, Buster, for trip across country and write a book about it after my 40th birthday on May 10. (All my literary friends immediately said, "Oh, like Travels with Charlie!" Well, I've never read the Steinbeck book, but it seems about time for an update).

Then I got to thinking - what if I took one of the 90 dogs I see every week while volunteering at The Brittany Foundation, a no-kill dog rescue in Agua Dulce? They could probably use a vacation and it would give me an opportunity to show people how awesome rescue dogs are.

Immediately, I thought of Loren, a 3-year-old female pit bull, a total sweetheart stuck in a tough-girl suit. Loren loves people - she'd rather give you a kiss than get a treat, lay by your side than run around. Yes, she would be perfect.

Loren and I hit the road on May 15 and plan to stay at campgrounds and pet-friendly hotels while exploring regional landmarks and cuisine during our eight-week stint. Ultimately, our adventures will make up the book "Dog Day Afternoons: Crossing the Country With My Favorite Pit Bull." Meanwhile, you can follow our adventures on, which I will update with photos and stories in real-time from the road.

We'll be promoting homeless pet awareness on every mile of our trip, with sponsored "Don't Shop, Adopt!" paw-print and Web site magnets on my truck. Loren and I will also pass out educational postcards on how to help homeless pets, spay/neuter, adopt, and much more to every interested person we meet along the way. Loren will don an "Awesome and Adoptable Bandana" when in public and most importantly, people will get a chance to meet a pit bull in person to learn for themselves just how wonderful they can be.

I'm probably crazy for taking this trip. Like most people nowadays, I'm not exactly financially secure. But, as they say, life is short - and unfortunately, it's even shorter for the homeless pets that are in shelters and rescues across the country. Especially the pit bulls of the world, who not only suffer from a bad image, but the unfortunate distinction of being the number one breed killed today at American shelters.

My goal is not only to have a memorable journey, but to promote the amazing companionship that comes from having a dog. We think we're rescuing them, but they often rescue us - from loneliness, from boredom, from laziness. Get a dog and a whole new world opens up. Follow us and see what I mean.

For more information on Michelle and Loren's road trip, visit Loren is available for adoption once she and Michelle return. For more information on adopting Loren, as well volunteer and donation opportunities, visit or call (661) 713-5240.


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