Tale of two pets: A happy ending for Dale the cat, and hope for a home for Carol the French bulldog pup

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Carol has had a rough go. At just 11-weeks old, she could use some positive vibes, and a forever home, in 2021. Photo/Rob Halpin, MSPCA-Angell


“Pardon me,” Asia, the immortal tabby, cleared his throat and stamped his right-front paw on little sister Nickel’s shoulder.

“Oh-oh,” the orange-and-white girl whispered. Whenever her big brother excused himself he didn’t really mean to apologize. He intended to complain — about something.

“Where are the press releases?” he demanded. “Gabby’s supposed to write her next column about Dale, the tuxedo cat, and Carol, the French Bulldog puppy. I don’t see the press package anyplace.”

“We put them in the new pigeon-holes,” Twila said 

“Pigeon-holes?” Asia fumed. “Pigeon-holes?”

“We switched over to pigeon-holes because the files kept falling over. Plus, we like anything about pigeons.”

“Long story short,” Nickel explained. “I stuffed Dale’s story in the ‘Happy Endings’ cubby. And I put Carol’s information in ‘Suspense.’ Gabby needed a new system, so I adapted the one Herbert Coleridge and James Murray used for the Oxford English Dictionary,” Nickel said, adjusting her Cat Eyeglasses before they slipped down her nose. “OK, I didn’t really adapt it. Charlie, the black cat, built it for me.”

“Oh my paw,” Asia said. “Does Gabby know?”

“I know, and I’m keeping an open mind,” Gabby said. “I’ll start with Dale’s story.”

“Is that to keep us in suspense?” Asia said.

“Yes,” Gabby said. “And because Dale’s story hits home.”

“Dale was supposed to stay in the house,” the Peke-a-Poo diva began, staring at Twila who famously went missing for two days after she waltzed out the front door. “And no one knows why she thought that would be a good idea,” Gabby muttered. “But at least, she went out in warm weather. Dale snuck outside on Oct. 20, when the East Boston temperatures were dropping like rose petals. To keep warm, he crawled under a car hood. 

“That turned out to be a bad idea. He touched the car’s hot engine and wound up with burns. According to Rob Halpin, spokesman for MSPCA-Angell, people heard howls coming from a parked car on Monmouth Street in East Boston. Inside the engine block, Boston Animal Control found Dale.  

No one recognized him from the neighborhood. Police couldn’t find a collar or a microchip on him, so rescuers brought him to the MSPCA’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center. After a few days observation, the veterinarians realized the 10-pound kitty’s medical battle had just started.

Happy ending for Dale, the escape artist. Photo/Rob Halpin, MSPCA-Angell

While the doctors worked on the wound five weeks, the staff focused on finding his guardians. Victoria Odynsky, manager of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center, felt sure somebody must be missing him.  

“He’s really friendly and social so we know he once had a home — and we’re hoping that by drawing attention to his plight, an owner may step forward to claim him,” she said. 

Dale would need several surgeries to make him good as new but did make it home for Christmas, Halpin said. 

Turns out he is a bit of an escape artist.” He won’t sneak out again, the family says. “They are keeping him under lock and key. They were so grateful to find him again.”

“Mew,” Twila said. 

“Happy ending,” Charlie said. “Now how about some suspense?”

Gabby sighed.

“I don’t know how Carol’s story will end,” Gabby said. “I hope happily, but here’s all I can say so far —

Carol the French bulldog pup is looking for a forever family. Photo/Rob Halpin, MSPCA-Angell

“Wait,” Asia said. “Who’s Carol?”

“Carol is a French Bulldog,” Gabby said. “Like Gatsby Perkins and Judge.”

“Sorry,” Asia said. “I didn’t have a chance to read the notes because Nickel hid them in the PIGEON-HOLES. 

“May I continue?” Gabby said. “Carol also needed emergency surgery in Boston. She went into the operating room on Christmas Eve, and if she pulls through, MSPCA-Angell will look for a new family to adopt her. She’s only 11-weeks old.

“She needs the operation because she broke her left elbow, the front one, according to Halpin, and doctors planned to implant a steel device to hold the bones together while she heals. The doctors think she hurt herself playing.

“Playing?” Charlie said.

“She plays hard,” Gabby confirmed. “You can check out her moves in the video below. And please don’t fall in love and start begging mum to adopt her. Full house here already.”


“He likes a rough girl,” Asia said. “Charlie.”

“Well, he’s got me,” Gabby snapped. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to be unpleasant, but I’m coming to the sad part. Carol’s family couldn’t deal with the surgery and the upcoming several months of recovery. She will be adopted out sometime in January, according to Halpin, if all goes well — meaning she’s not going to be in pain.

“After her surgery, Carol will require strict exercise restriction for several months — and a re-check and X-rays in eight weeks to ensure her bones are indeed healing,” Halpin said. 

“And for anyone — except Charlie, Asia, Nickel and Twila — eager to adopt Carol, contact adoption@mspca.org for more information.

Carol’s surgery and after-care are expected to top $5,000,” Halpin said, “and the MSPCA is soliciting donations to offset the cost of the operation.  Anyone interested in donating can do so by clicking here.


Margo Ann Sullivan is a freelance writer and columnist, and brings you stories from the pet universe as dictated to her by Gabby the Dog – and her menagerie of personified pets. You can reach her at thegabbydog@gmail.com