The History of How Cuteodyssey Came to Be
was created because of my dogs, Ulisse, Penelope and
Telemaco and my first blind and deaf foster dog, Ricky, who
then became my own dog. I owe everything to all the rescues
that rejected my application, when I applied for one of
their dogs. These rescues are dear to my heart as their
rejection pushed me to get a dirty, messy pound dog from the
Downey shelter. That dog was Ulisse, my first dog. I drove
for the first time to La to pick up this dog that I never
met. Driving back from LA, I looked at him and realized how
hard his journey had been to get to me. He walked many
streets and roads and avenues to come home to me, like
Ulisse in the Homer's Odyssey did, that is why I called him
No one can understand how hard is to live all your life
without love and without compassion but I knew, because I
grew up without it all my life. Self worth was low in my
life until I met Ulisse. I was a stranger in a foreign land,
waiting to find my home. Ulisse did not come to me to find
his home, he came to me to help me find mine. I found my
home in the USA, when I met him. It is true home is where
Your heart is and my heart belong to my babies, my dogs.
They gave me what I have been searching all my life. I was a
gypsy looking for a place to stay and some stability. I
traveled the seven seas, I lived in many countries and
cities but even when I moved here I felt unstable, until I
met Ulisse. I knew that no one could give me stabilty, I had
to find it inside myself, deep in my heart. Ulisse was able
to find the real me and give me back to life. I was dead and
He gave me my life back, I was reborn with his kisses, with
his licks and tail wagging.
I learned what life was about and what made me really happy.
When I first met Ulisse, He did not look like the picture I
saw on the shelter website, His hair was chopped off. He had
a few bunches of hair left. He had an under bite, which then
scared me (now I adore). I then did not know how sick Ulisse
was. The shelter said that I had 5 days to return him. I
took him to the vet, who found out that my first ever dog,
was dying. He had Pneumonia, ear infections, kennel cough,
tapeworm, flea infestations, skin disease. He was kept in
the hospital for a few days but the vet was not sure he
could make it. I begged my boss at work to let me take
Ulisse to work every day as he was very sick. He agreed.
Ulisse would sit on my lap so weak every day. I took him for
a break out and he was so calm and gentle. Finally after a
month he got better.
My boss asked me to stop taking him to work so I asked to
work from home. He agreed to give few days. I could not
leave Ulisse alone for too long, so I looked for a job
closer to home. I found one. I also got him a little
Sister/wife Penelope, another shih tzu with one functioning
eye and one blue eye that was not working properly.
When I and my husband divorced, I had no idea where to live,
had no money and no family here. I searched a long time
until I found a place that would allow me to keep my dogs.
The place was too small and had no yard and my dogs were
suffering there. I became friends with Paul who had a house
near the beach. He helped me try to find a place but
eventually rented a spare room in his house to me. Paul was
a vegetarian like I am and shared the same love of animals,
so the situation was perfect for me, Ulisse and Penelope.
Paul loved my dogs like they were his. He worked from home
so they spent the mornings with him and with me the rest of
the day. We took lots of long walks around the nice, hilly
One day at work a customer/client was moving over here from
Florida with a 3-4 month old shih tzu and wanted to take him
to the shelter as he was too tired to look for a place that
would allow him to keep his dog. My colleagues told him
about me and that I loved shih tzus. He decided to
relinquish his dog to me. Paul said it was ok and fell in
love with him at first sight. He spent the mornings sleeping
at Pauls feet and with me and the pack the rest of the
time. Since the day I brought him home, Telemaco has been my
little spoiled-rotten boy. My cuteodyssey was completed or
so I thought.
After several months I moved to East County to look for my
own house to purchase. While renting I started fostering for
a dog rescue a blind a deaf shih tzu named Ricky. He stole
my heart. I decided to keep fostering the oldest dogs and I
got two more shih tzus, one was 10, who I later adopted and
one was 13, who died a few months later. Paul missed the
dogs and wanted to get his own shih tzu, so he adopted Zeus,
a gorgeous black and white shih tzu puppy.
I decided to start my own shih tzu rescue and Paul wanted to
help me out, so I applied for my 501C3 and now we are
officially a San Diego shih tzu rescue. We fixed up my
property making it more dog-friendly and then we created the
website on which you are reading this story.
I'm gratified for what Ive accomplished, having come by
myself to this country from a tiny, poor town in Sicily,
never having had a dog before, and now I'm a US Citizen and
CEO of a wonderful dog rescue which has saved nearly 1000
dogs since it opened in Jan 2011. It's very rewarding to
help so many innocent creatures!
There will be much more to write but you will have to
you want to check our story on video please click here: http://youtu.be/N0i6bco4fK0e