Zuko the Dog

One of Donna’s greatest experiences has been adopting and nurturing a rambunctious little puppy, who was so full of life and looking for a home. She was told he was found in the middle of a busy intersection in downtown Los Angeles. She found him in a cage with two other puppies at the West Los Angeles Bundy Animal Shelter (now closed) where he had been transferred to, and he tried very hard to get her attention when she was there. He immediately stole her heart, and he chose her as much as she chose him. He had been such an amazing and dear friend to her and Michael P. Naughton— always curious, always intelligent, always protective, and always so full of life. When he passed away at home with his family by his side at the age of 18 years, 3 months and 3 days old after a battle with canine DM (degenerative myelopathy), Donna claims he took a part of her heart with him.

Donna is proactive in trying to create awareness about the gift of saving a life by adopting an animal from a local shelter. It is an important bond and is so rewarding. Somehow the animal knows you saved them, you know you saved a life, and that is more fulfilling than you could ever imagine. You have just adopted a friend for life.

Donna’s adopted dog, Zuko, has been such an inspiration to her. He has been the subject of photos and stories, and has been her friend, guardian and protector. Donna created “ZUKO THE DOG” website to create awareness about adopting animals from local shelters. To her, there is no greater gift to give.

  • Donna Novak and Zuko 1998
  • The Original Zuko the Dog as a Puppy 1998
  • Our Boy Zuko 2007
  • With Love from Zuko the Dog 2016