January 19th, 2017, was the first night Mocha spent without Hazel by her side. It was also the first night Hazel spent without Mocha. Their family had surrendered them both to the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter in Long Island, and they spent the night in separate cages, crying for one other with their noses pressed against the bars.
Mocha and Hazel’s family gave up on them when they were eleven years old. They said they no longer had “time” to care for animals.
They were both in physical pain: Hazel was very underweight, and they both had leg injuries. Still, both dogs showered shelter staffers and volunteers with kisses.
Mocha and Hazel were, like most dogs, frightened by the shelter environment, but more than that, they missed each other. When Hazel was taken out for walks, she’d stop at Mocha’s kennel and try to get inside. When they were outside together, their whole bodies wiggled from wagging.
When no other rescues in the area wanted to commit to taking in two senior dogs, Elyse Giurco of Long Island’s Road to Home took them out of the shelter so they could be together in a temporary foster home.
Mocha and Hazel were the happiest dogs on earth the day they were reunited. They were each given a bed, but they always chose to sleep in the same one and leave the other one empty. They slumbered in each other’s paws, or they fell asleep curled up, one on top of the other.
During the day, Mocha sat in the sunlight. She had missed it badly while she was in the shelter, and she closed her eyes and raised her nose to the window any chance she got.
She plopped down on her back in the yard and rolled like crazy until Hazel got so excited she ran over and started kissing her. Hazel followed their foster mom everywhere she went, just to make sure she and her sister were finally safe.
Sadly, Mocha and Hazel’s foster mom is unable to keep them any longer, and Road to Home Rescue is looking for an emergency foster or forever family for the sisters. They also both need ACL surgery for their legs, which requires a short recovery time and can be done easily through the rescue.
Elyse keeps thinking about the last time she saw Mocha and Hazel. When she got up to leave, Mocha followed her, and she curled her leg around her rescuer in a hug. She licked her face, and then she stayed there for a while, holding on tight, until Elyse had to go.
Their old family deserted them, and both of these dogs likely spent much of their life without proper care. But somehow, both Mocha and Hazel were inherently loving and good. Their eyes were wide open; they played with unbridled joy. They gave kisses until they turned people’s faces pink. Elyse doesn’t know where they learned that.
Perhaps they learned kindness from each other.
When Elyse promised Mocha and Hazel she’d find them a place to live, no matter what it took, they made a promise too. They promised to share their extraordinary friendship with the world.
Whoever opens their heart and home to Mocha and Hazel will get to be a part of it. At the end of every beautiful day, seeing them curled up on the same bed— gray muzzles and all— will be the greatest gift of them all.
If you are interested in becoming Mocha and Hazel’s emergency foster or forever person, please reach out to Road to Home Rescue at email@example.com.
You can also reach out and follow Road to Home on Facebook. If you are unable to foster or adopt, please consider making a donation to Mocha and Hazel’s medical care.
Header image via Crissy DeAngelo / Road to Home Rescue Support