March 4, 2024

A rescue canine named Rue not solely modified her adopter’s life but in addition impressed a full of life musical that celebrates pet adoption.

About 10 years in the past, animal management officers discovered the tiny Chihuahua combine wandering the streets of West Virginia. The extraordinarily underweight stray landed in a high-kill shelter earlier than a volunteer drove her to the nonprofit Badass Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, New York.


She was nonetheless drained from the journey when author, director, producer, and puppet artist Stacey Weingarten—who had been “stalking” Rue on regardless of considering she wasn’t fairly prepared for a canine—attended an adoption occasion and lifted the pup into her arms.

“She fell asleep in my arms,” Weingarten informed The Dog People. “I used to be like, ‘This is it.’”

Weingarten spent a number of days lining up references and submitted an utility. After a house go to from the nonprofit, Weingarten obtained the inexperienced mild to undertake Rue.

Rue, a former stray, turned out to the proper canine for artist Stacey Weingarten. Photo courtesy of Stacey Weingarten

A Second Act for Rue

Rue appeared utterly calm because the pair rode the subway residence.

“I had by no means had a canine that was all my very own—that was one hundred pc my duty,” stated Weingarten, who’s in her 30s. “She was the primary dwelling creature that I needed to hold alive and completely happy. I’m not good with crops. For the lifetime of me, I couldn’t hold a succulent alive. So I used to be nervous about her.”

As it turned out, she had nothing to fret about. Badass Animal Rescue gives recommendation and sources for adopters in a Facebook group, and her mother and father shared ideas as effectively.

Rue tailored effectively after a transition interval. For the primary month, she tried to tug inside doorways each time the 2 walked round New York City.

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“I can think about {that a} shelter of any sort was essential to her a month earlier,” Weingarten stated. “She was attempting to tug me into bodegas and townhouses—something that appeared prefer it had a doorway.”

Stacey Weingarten loves her rescue canine, Rue, a lot that she created a “musical fairytale” about pet rescue referred to as “Rescue Rue.” Photo courtesy of Stacey Weingarten

The Stage Is Set

The sensible, cuddly little canine “skilled” Weingarten to provide her treats each time she carried out an lovely trick: sitting on her hind legs, which is simply too cute to withstand.

Without coaching, Rue began leaping into Weingarten’s little journey bag—or any bag—completely happy to accompany her new mother on adventures. But her favourite pastime proved to be snuggling on the sofa or in mattress.

That’s precisely what the character Rue needs for in an early scene of the play “Rescue Rue,” a musical impressed by the little canine’s gotcha story that Weingarten presently directs on the DR2 Theatre by means of January 30, 2022.

The scriptwriter referred to as on her “puppet artist” experiences with The Jim Henson Co., “Sesame Street,” “Johnny and the Sprites,” “Avenue Q,” “Crank Yankers,” and “The Muppets” to create “Rescue Rue.”

“The motive that I needed to do a household musical that celebrates canine rescue was that after I obtained Rue, I couldn’t imagine that there was this excellent canine ready for me that was primarily on doggy demise row,” she stated. “And then the extra I met individuals at canine parks or different rescue occasions or when my brother went to undertake, the truth that in addition they discovered these excellent matches was one thing that, to me, was actually inspirational. Because they’re on the market.”

One of Rue’s mates is a candy Pit Bull named Pumpkin. Photo credit score: Jeremy Daniel

The Drama Is Real

In “Rescue Rue,” the character impressed by Rue is kicked out of her residence, and meets mates and enemies on the streets and within the pound till—with assist from her “Fairy Dogmother”—she finds a loving perpetually residence.

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“As Rue embarks on her journey, she finds at every stage just a little little bit of what could possibly be a cheerful ending, or what may not be a cheerful ending, when she’s in a brand new state of affairs,” Weingarten shared. “In the very finish, she realizes that lastly attending to be together with her perpetually mother when she’s adopted is definitely far more of a brand new starting, as a result of she’s primarily beginning a brand new chapter in her life.”

Though the play is geared towards youngsters and their mother and father, Weingarten doesn’t sugarcoat the truth that canines and cats in shelters can face euthanasia. A candy, misunderstood Pit Bull named Pumpkin helps illustrate the hazard. (Spoiler alert: Don’t fear! Pumpkin will seem within the play’s sequel, “Runaway Rue.”) Weingarten’s philosophy is to by no means speak right down to youngsters.

They care not nearly placing on a superb present, however they really care in regards to the mission of animal rescue.

The puppets are designed and constructed by Muppet alum Andy Hayward. As in “Avenue Q,” there is no such thing as a try to cover the puppeteers.

Due to Covid security precautions, the performers put on masks throughout every efficiency, however for the reason that focus is on puppets, it’s much less distracting than in the event that they have been sporting canine costumes to painting the animals.

Weingarten feels the solid is unimaginable.

“Because the mission is so tightly wound into what the present truly is, I feel nearly each single person who’s on our staff has pets,” she stated. “They care not nearly placing on a superb present, however they really care in regards to the mission of animal rescue.”

The solid of “Rescue Rue” consists of proficient actors who love pets. Photo credit score: Jeremy Daniel

Happy Endings, and Beginnings

Weingarten, who will rejoice Rue’s tenth adoptaversary/Gotcha Day on February 11, hopes “Rescue Rue” helps each kids and fogeys contemplate adopting their subsequent pet.

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“For individuals to remove that there are perpetually mates at their native shelters could be implausible,” she stated. “Dogs are such fantastic creatures, and so they’re so full of affection. At this level, I can not think about not having Rue in my life for the final ten years now. She’s made issues so a lot better. It feels just like the least I can do to try to give again for what she’s given me.”

“Rescue Rue” is really helpful for all ages and runs by means of January 30, 2022 on the DR2 Theatre at 103 East fifteenth Street in New York City. Performers will probably be absolutely masked throughout performances. For extra data, go to: or

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