Lynn Mazzola believes that rescue dogs and their owners have a special bond. As she explains, “Rescue dogs really get it because they’ve been caged and frightened, and now they have found their family, so they just love you so much for caring about them.”
Lynn Mazzola believes that rescue dogs and their owners have a special bond. As she explains, “Rescue dogs really get it because they’ve been caged and frightened, and now they have found their family, so they just love you so much for caring about them.” Lynn knows this kind of love very well because her family has always had shelter dogs, and in the last few years has opened their home to three new rescues – two dogs and a cat. And one of these dogs, Olive, is a deaf and neurologically damaged pit bull – not an easy dog to adopt.
When Lynn, her husband John and their daughter Sadie knew it was time to adopt a new dog, they went to the New Rochelle Humane Society because they have great dogs and are really good at helping find the right fit for each family. The Mazollas worked with the director there, Dana Rocco, who introduced them to Olive, a dog very few families would take home. Rocco knew the Mazollas were a good and very capable match, so home to Rye went Olive. A deaf dog is a unique challenge, and one with neurological issues just compounds the complexities of care. But the Humane Society knew the placement was a good one, and, of course, Lynn and her family have created a wonderfully happy home for Olive. Fortunately, it turns out that Olive is a sweet dog that loves to play and loves to sleep.
Lynn uses hand signals to communicate with Olive when they are in the park or at the beach, and Olive is mostly good about looking around to find Lynn when she is not in her sites. And it takes a village – if Olive is in the park facing away from Lynn, many of the other dog owners will simply help Olive by pointing her in Lynn’s direction.Because Olive was found as a puppy on the streets with her mother, Lynn suspects she was left on the curb once her owners realized she couldn’t hear. While there is no way to know how Olive came to suffer from neurological damage, Lynn thinks Olive was probably kicked on the side of her face and that kick left lasting damage. As a result of the trauma, Olive always sleeps with her tongue hanging out, which is pretty hilarious to see.
Olive’s limitations don’t seem to bother her one little bit. A super friendly dog, Olive gets a sense right away when she meets another dog whether it is one she wants to play with or one she wants to avoid. She has a very keen social sense. Olive hasn’t an aggressive bone in her body and recently wanted to play with bunnies at the vet rather than eat them. She also has an extremely strong sense of smell and has learned how to read changes in air pressure, indicating if a door has opened or closed in her home. So well settled in was Olive after a few years that Lynn and her family thought it was time to rescue another dog – so they took Olive with them when they went back to New Rochelle Humane Society and together they selected their newest family member, Alice.
Alice, a lab/hound mix, was the runt of the litter. A pack dog, she’s extremely affectionate and snuggly, except when at play. Lynn has whistle-trained her so that she can take both dogs to the park at the same time. Alice is a puppy, so the training is ongoing.
Olive is the alpha of the pack and has taught Alice some pretty amusing traits that a dog of her type wouldn’t ordinarily have, like tugging at the hind legs of other dogs, a terrier and ratter trait, hardly lab-like.Olive and Alice are so lucky that the Mazzolas found them – and the Mazzolas feel lucky to have found their dogs. Rescuing is its own reward.
If you have a rescue story to share, contact RyeRescues@gmail.com.