Meet Monique Russo
Monique moved to San Diego, CA after retiring from 23 years of law enforcement service in CT. She has adult children whom are now in college and one is in the Coast Guard. Monique has always had a canine companion for as long as she can remember as she was raised with several pets.
At present, Monique has a yellow Lab named, Jagger, who is the sole survivor of their Lab family. Jagger's father, mother and brother have all past on now. They were all part of Monique's family as they raised Jagger's parents and then they created the pups. Monique also has a Plott Hound Boxer mix named, Bodhi. Bodhi was rescued by CT volunteers off of a pound's kill-list in Georgia. He was then transported by volunteers to CT to be rehabilitated in one of CT's prison programs. These programs have been very successful because while the offender is rehabilitating the dog, often time, this helps to rehabilitate the offenders. As part of Monique's previous career, she worked a lot with the K9 officers and their training. She worked closely with multiple Labs who are specialized in smelling out drugs, bombs, and illegal cell phones within the prisons. Monique also worked with many German Shepards that were primarily used to control offender movement and crowd control. By choosing to adopt Bodhi at about 2 years old, Monique has a very positive remembrance from her previous career. Some of her offenders prior to being released to her on parole helped train Bodhi and rehabilitate him in the prison. This program is called the Pup Program. These offenders were very proud that Bodhi went to a staff member. They were very fond of Bodhi and it meant a lot to them that Monique trusted them to do right with him. Bodhi shows Monique everyday his gratitude for the life he was sparred and the new life he has with her. Bodhi also reminds Monique everyday how we as a society can do better with and for the offenders who are motivated to change their lives and want to help themselves and work hard to earn their way into these specialized prison programs. He reminds Monique every day to appreciate her life as he appreciates every day of his in a life that was almost too quickly and unnecessarily extinguished. Monique's newest pup is a Pit Bull named, Savana, who is another rescue that she was initially fostering. She was on the kill list at an LA pound and was pregnant when she was dropped off there. All her puppies were adopted but she was not. Too much time in the pound expired and Savana's number came up. Chewslife.org thankfully stepped in and Savana was placed with a foster family. Savanna went through two previous foster placements prior to coming home with Monique. She immediately came right to Monique and started kissing her hands and face. Once again, Monique knew she would not be fostering but would be adopting. Monique's two rescues have had some challenges but with patience and some reading up on dog training 101, they are now a very tight knit family. Her Lab has found his own little special way to embrace them too. Her three pups coexist with a degree of harmony now. They have taught Monique as much as she has taught them.
Dog walking, playing with dogs, and helping to train them has always been an interest and passion for Monique. She is very grateful that at this point in her life she can work with dogs and their families in such a beautiful location as Southern CA. For Monique, it really does not get much better than that.