“I gotta say, at first, I thought to myself, I’m a grown adult with some constitutional rights left, I don’t need no family adopting me as a pet.”
Eloi shifts in the canvas director’s chair. The crunch of the fabric is caught on the lavalier mic.
There’s a shot of Eloi, white t-shirt and stained jeans, walking between kennels filled with barking pitbulls. He growls at one, sounding nothing like a human man, and the dog whimpers.
Voice over plays.
“When I got out 6 months ago an came to work at Villa Lobos, I couldna been happier.”
Shot of Eloi playing tug of war with a pit-hound mix in a pen. Eloi has a tight grip on his end of the rope toy between his teeth.
“What better place for a low country werewolf with no pack who’s prone to getting into it?”
Dramatic music fades in. There’s a cut back to Eloi being interviewed, the camera zooms in on his face as he looks off and lets out a big sigh.
“I love those dogs. I do. But I think I’m ready for the next stage in my life.”
B-Roll of New Orleans residents walking through the kennels of Villa Lobos, playing with dogs and taking selfies.
Interior shot of the Villa Lobos office. Tia Maria Torres is sitting at the messy desk, glasses at the end of her nose, sleeves cut off a white T-shirt that says “Racism is the Pits.”
There’s a knock at the door.
Eloi walks in timid, head low, avoid eye contact.
Shot of Tia crossing folding her hands together as Eloi sits down.
“The Bernard family called. They’ve confirmed the adoption interview.”
“There might be a problem though.”
“Oh yea, what’s that?”
“They’ve little girl, Shirley, apparently she came home with a kitten a few weeks ago.”
“Now, that doesn’t mean it won’t wok out, but we just have to be cautious.”
Cut to Tia Maria being interviewed, the levees sitting up high behind her.
“I’m used to Pitbulls, who normally get along just fine with cats in the right home environment. Actually to be honest, I’m used to a lot fo things that don’t involved placing a grown man who also happens to be a parole in a family home.”
Shot of Elio working alongside the other employed paroles at Villa Lobos, hosing down the concrete floor of the kennel area.
“But we here at Villa Lobos, we’re ll about second chances. And when the Bernard family called asking about our newest canine addition, I had to at least tell Elio about it.”
Shot of Tia in a different sleeveless t-shirt and cargo pants taking to a well dressed parole officer.
“It’s unprecedented to be sure. But you know, the New Orleans correctional department is having the hardest time reintegrating werewolves and shifters and even fangs back into regular society. Being that they have so many… abnormal needs.”
Tia nods. “Yea. Yea.”
Cut back to Tia’s interview. “We’re very grateful to New Orleans Law Enforcement. They’ve brought us Eloi in the fist place, and I have to say along with being one of our hardest workers, he’s great with the dogs. I mean… really really great with them.”
Shot of Elio walking underneath a highway underpass with a massive grey pitbull, who is off leash.
“It’s not so much tricks as he’s just a good listener, you know.” The grey pit sits still, tail wagging looking up at Eloi. The producer says something off camera.
“Sure, yea I can show ya.” Elio turns to the pitbull. “Boy, go get me one.”
The dog trots off a short distance away and returns with a big stick, dropping it at Eloi’s feet.
“Thanks. Can you get me something interesting this time?”
The dog trots off again, goes behind a piling and comes back with an orange safety cone. Halfway back, Elio yells out “Now you can’t take that, it’s government property.” The dog turns around and put the cone back. Sniffs around farther off in the distance then ons up with a beat up yellow CD walkman.
“Alright that’s good.” Eloi picks it up and the dog lets out a quick bark. “Babyface?” He pops open the walkman, “Well damn, it sure is Babyface. How’d you know?” The dog barks again. Eloi laughs.
The producer says something again off camera.
“Oh he said it smelled like, well I probably shouldn’t say on the TV.”
B-Roll of the New Orleans skyline, the sun going down and coming back up.
“The Bernard family is showing up today for the meet and greet.” Tia Maria Torres walks up to an outdoor seating area alone. Voice over plays over as a small family walks up next taking a seat.
“I’ve done a lot of family matching and special cases in my life. I mean, I used to train Tigers. But this might be the weirdest adoption I’ve ever done.”
Tia leans forward, “So can you tell me a little about how you got to this point?”
The mom is holding a 5 year old girl with short hair. The girl’s face is buried in her mom’s shoulder.
“Well, our family has been adopting rescues for years. But now that my small business has taken off, all my extra time for care has gone into taking care of Shirley. As much as I’d love to adopt a dog, what we really need is some extra help around the house.”
Cut to drone shot of expansive waterfront home. Shot of Shirley playing with a tiny pink wheelbarrow in the backyard.
Cut to Mom being interviewed.
“My name is Tony Bernard and I own a successful jewelry and pottery design business, recently featured in Own magazine.”
Shot of Tonya in the kitchen with Shirley.
“My husband George is stationed in South Korea, so for now it’s just me and Shirley in this big house.”
Shot of Shirley in her room, showing the camera man drawings push pinned to the wall.
“And this is a wolf, but the kind that is sometimes a person, because regular wolves don’t know people are nice.” She hold up a crayon drawing of a wolf with human hands for feet. “Momma says we’re gonna get a new friend like this to help me garden.”
Shot of Tonya being interviewed. She shrugs.
“I know we coulda just hired some help, but I’ve got 3 extra bedrooms and well. You could say with George gone, Shirley and I just need an addition to our family, or our pack I guess.”
Shot of Tia talking to Tonya and Shirley.
“I have to ask… it doesn’t bother you at all to have a strange man, a convicted felony as well, in your home?”
“Well it was non-violent wasn’t it?” Tonya shifts Shirley to a more comfortable position.
“He was arrested for possession of marijuana.”
Tonya laughs, “Well, so was I my freshmen year of college and I know Oprah.”
“Well as long as that doesn’t bother you, would you like to meet him?”
Pan over to the Villa Lobos building, Eloi walks out, hands in his pockets. He cost over and sits down next to Tia.
“Hi there. You can call me Tonya, and this is Shirley. Shirley honey say hi.”
Shirley gets out of her mom’s arms and walks over to Eloi.
“You go wolf.”
“What?” Eloi looks aaround.
“Momma says you go wolf and you live with us and help. And I need a wolf to dig for my vegetables, so you go wolf and dig me a hole.”
“Sorry. You please go wolf, sir.”
Dramatic music plays. B-Roll of outside of Via Lobos plays as music fades out.
Opens back on Shirley.
“Momma says you go wolf, so you go wolf and dig me a hole.”
Tia laughs. “I guess she’s the pack leader. Just like my daughters.”
Tonya looks uncomfortable. “Yea, she’s … a hellion.”
Eloi stand up and backs away. “Ok, miss. Hang on, I gotta think to do it.”
Shirley crosses her arms. “Ok.”
Eloi walks out to a patch of ground next to the parking lot. He jumps and turns quickly into a large grey wolf, circles, sniff the ground, then starts to dig. After making a stable hole, he heads back, stopping to pick up all his clothes, and carrying them in his jaws back to the seating area.
Shirley yells, “Good boy! You did it!” Eloi walks up and sits in front of Shirley. She scratches his big ears and he wags his tail.
Tia looks at Tonya. “Well, I guess we should schedule a home visit?”