Brave Heart

From dumped, to darling, a rescue dog finds his true calling

The very first people to buy a ticket for the Afternoon Tea Pooch Party on June 4th in Los Angeles are coming with their adorable dog Yuuki, who joined their family in a very special way. On their wedding anniversary day, Kelley and Naomi rescued a fuzzy, brown eight-week-old puppy who had been dumped on a friend’s property in Victorville, California. Naomi first spotted the pup huddling alone in a gusty, pouring rainstorm. They named the terrier-sheepdog mix Yuuki, which means “brave” in Japanese. Kelley and Naomi are training him to become a therapy dog for children and senior citizens. Over the past three years, they have taken Yuuki on many adventures all over California.

Christmas photo of Yuuki at Ocean Beach Dog Beach, San Diego

Christmas photo of Yuuki taken at the Ocean Beach Dog Beach in San Diego.

I am thrilled to be welcoming them to the Pooch party on June 4, which will kick off the Dog Film Festival in Los Angeles June 5th at the Crest Westwood theater, at the start of a cross-country tour which has been made possible by a grant from the Petco Foundation and continuing support from our Founding Sponsor, Halo. For all the dates and destinations — and to get your tickets early for what will be sold-out events — please visit  I can’t wait to meet Yuuki and his family!

—Tracie Hotchner

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