Dog injured by car fills space in family’s heart

January 3rd, 2013
Posted by | Posted in Adoption 717 views

Laguna Beach, CA – For the past few days, Liana Korber has had a shadow.

If she’s on her computer, Nala is by her feet under the desk. If she’s in the shower, Nala’s trying to find a way in. If she’s in her bed not ready to get up, Nala’s there licking her face.

Korber, 17, is one of four family members Nala has gotten to know really well since they adopted her just before Christmas Eve.

Nala, better known as Hope, was rescued the day she would have been euthanized.

The 2-year-old shepherd mix was at the Orange County Shelter after having been found injured 10 days earlier on an Orange County road. With a broken right hind leg after having been struck by a car, the young shepherd couldn’t drag herself to safety. So a good Samaritan did. But the dog was frightened and in pain. She snapped at the person’s hand, nicking the skin. That landed her in a 10-day quarantine at the shelter out of public view.

On the last day, a shelter volunteer sent out notices to shepherd rescues. Tiffany Norton, director of the Coast German Shepherd Rescue, responded.

But Nala and the Korbers wouldn’t be united just yet. After her rescue from the shelter, Nala underwent surgery at Alicia Pet Care Center. As she recovered, her story was reported in the newspaper.

At nearly the same time, Patty Korber, Liana’s mother, was shopping at Fashion Island the same day someone fired dozens of shots into the air in the Macy’s parking lot. Patty Korber was heading toward the department store when she was greeted by a stampede of people fleeing Macy’s. Laden with bags, she ran with them.

A few days later, Tim Korber, Liana’s father, saw the newspaper’s local section. On the front page was the reported arrest and photo of the man suspected of being the Fashion Island shooter. Korber took it to his wife. But Patty Korber’s eyes fell on a photo beneath that story.

“I immediately saw the face of a dog that was so cute,” she said. “I turned to Page 7, saw an even cuter photo, and then I read the story. Liana was next to me and I showed her the photo. She immediately said, ‘Mom, we should adopt her.'”

Patty Korber, a Newport Beach-based obstetrician-gynecologist, wasn’t so sure. The family had just lost their Australian shepherd of 16 years in November. With her son at college, she thought her daughter would enjoy some company. So she began the adoption process. She filled out a form online, spoke with Norton about the dog and welcomed a home visit by one of the rescue group’s volunteers.

The next day, she was told they were approved. With high anticipation and Christmas cheer in their hearts, the four Korbers piled into their car to see the dog for the first time. Possible adopters are not invited to see the animal until they’re approved to prevent premature bonding.

“She was immediately affectionate with me and my daughter,” Patty Korber said. “Those eyes and that face – she just looked like ‘take me home.'”

In just a few days, Nala – named by Liana after the character in “Lion King” – has become the star of the Korber home. She’s closely bonded with Liana and Patty. Dad Tim, 52, and brother Shane, 20, home from Georgetown University, are also getting love.

“I feel really loved,” Liana Korber said. “I feel like a mama bear. The month or so that we didn’t have a dog, our home seemed really empty. Now, she jumps at my door, opens it and jumps in the bed and licks my face.”

~ Courtesy of Orange County Register

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