In 2012, Lou Rauschenberger walked into Humane Society Naples where he met HSN volunteer Nancy Peterson and Karla, a one-year-old resident of the shelter. Karla was a shy dog who Nancy had taken into her care in hopes of finding her a forever home and as fate would have it, that forever home was with Lou.
Lou, who served as a Marine in the Pacific Theater during World World II, was a proud patriot of his country and a man who loved his animals. He lived alone, his family having passed away, and Nancy took it upon herself to follow up with him and Karla to see how they were adjusting to their new life together. What Nancy discovered was a man who also needed rescuing and a years-long friendship formed. For the nine years that followed, Nancy spent time with Lou, running errands together like grocery shopping, doctor and veterinary appointments and enjoying happy hours across Naples.
A time came when Lou could no longer care for Karla and Nancy took responsibility for finding her a new home. She is with a family now who has two dogs and a cat rescued from HSN, spending time in Naples and summers in Pennsylvania.
Lou passed away in April of this year at the age of 97, having one last visit with Karla and Nancy to say goodbye. Nancy told HSN, “Without Karla, I would have never met him and my life would not have been blessed with his rich friendship.”