By Marcus Harrison Green
“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.” Those words were written by novelist Dean Koontz, but they were lived by Amy Nova after here dog Booker was abducted from Columbia City’s Royal Room on the evening of October 14th.
Booker is back at after a public, heart-wrenching search and in appreciation for community support to bring Booker home, Novo is producing a free, all-ages concert, pet food drive for the Rainier Valley Food Bank and fundraiser for the Rainier Valley Food Bank on Tuesday, November 10th at The Royal Room.
Nova is there every Tuesday night to watch her boyfriend Delvon’s soul jazz band perform. But that night, she says, she took her eyes off Booker for just a moment. When she turned back around he had vanished.
The next few days were sleepless ones as Nova embarked a one-woman “dog-hunt.”
“For four days I was up every morning on social media blasting out messages about him and seeing if anyone found him. I did not actually sleep because I was on a mission to try and find him,” she says.
In addition to her social media campaign, and plastering pictures of Booker on every shop window, lamppost and tree in and around Columbia City, Novo, who lives in Northeast Tacoma, combated early morning traffic for four days straight to motor down to the area in search of Booker, who is a Chihuahua and Terrier mix.
The South End community began to take up her cause as many shared her social media post about Booker on their Facebook and Nextdoor groups. Several also provided her with tips, one led to her thinking she had found Booker, only to be disappointed to find out it wasn’t him.
She says she became extremely worried by the fourth day of his disappearance, as most animal shelters only keep strays for a maximum of three days before putting them up for adoption.
This spurred her to stand out in front of the Royal Room with photos of Booker asking anyone who walked by if they had seen him.
It was then that several community members told her they were ninety-nine percent sure Booker was being held at the Seattle Animal Shelter.
Nova and her boyfriend rushed there, and upon seeing Booker immediately broke down in tears.
“He’s so spoiled, but he’s always been spoiled,” she says from The Royal Room, with a silent Booker sitting by her side in his miniature rain jacket. “We bought him a Rotisserie Chicken breast the day he came back and let him sprawl out in the middle of our bed while we fell off the sides.”
Nova says that Booker is still adjusting to life back home, as this latest episode had been one in a long line of traumatic incidents for her dog. She originally got him last August from a shelter in California where he was days away from being put to sleep.
Booker, whom she and her boyfriend named after both Booker T of the soul group the MGs, and jazz trumpeter Booker Little, has served as a needed companion at times, as he has been a loving presence while she’s battled medical issues during the last year.
For most people a social media post exclaiming “Thank you, we’ve found Booker!” would be enough of a show of gratitude to the South End community that helped save her dog. But this was not enough gratitude for Novo, who says when she gets an idea in her head she attacks it at 250 miles an hour.
This Tuesday everything comes full circle, as she’ll be throwing “Found Fest” at the Royal Room. The event will feature three different bands including Booker’s dad’s band, the Delvon Lamarr Trio, and will serve as a pet food drive for the Rainier Valley Food Bank and fundraiser for the Seattle Animal Shelter. Though it’s free, attendees are encouraged to bring pet food to donate to the animals of low income families.
“If it wasn’t for the community helping me throughout this whole thing, there’s a good chance that he would be gone. So I chose to do a community party and at the same time have live music and bands, and this venue is the most amazing in the area,” she says.
While she wants the entire community to come and have a great time, she’ll be especially pleased by the sight of one particular individual grooving to the music. She said, “Booker will be sitting on his little Seahawks blanket and pillow, and relaxing as he always does.”
Found Fest starts at 7pm Tuesday night at the Royal Room in Columbia City (5000 Rainier Ave S). Event free, suggested donation of pet food for Rainier Valley Food Bank. All ages from 7-10pm.