Thursday, February 05, 2009
Another Great Weekend at Best Friends and the Story of Tina Louise
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful striped pit bull named Tina Louise. She found herself in the midst of a hurricane down in Louisiana when she was just two years old. Some people tried to help her, so they brought her all the way to Santa Cruz, California to the SPCA. The nice people there said that she was a very sweet girl, but she was having big problems with other dogs. So they called a place named Best Friends, and Tina Louise made the long journey to Utah.
I first saw Tina Louise on the world wide web. I fell in love with her smile and knew we must meet. When I took my first trip to Best Friends in November of 2008, I met Jeanne and Robin, volunteers extrordinaire. I told them I wanted to meet the stripey dog with the ten million megawatt smile named Tina Louise, and they were ecstatic, because not many people asked about her. That is when we took our first walk together. I made a promise to Tina Louise that I would take her on a sleepover when I returned. For no one had EVER taken Tina Louise on a sleepover in her couple of years at Best Friends.
I tried to get back to Best Friends over New Years, but had many roadblocks in the way. I cried so hard when my trip fell through, because my spirit needed it so badly. But, I knew I'd make it soon. When I did finally arrive back at the Lodges, I immediately asked one of her caregivers if I could spend the night with Tina Louise. She wasn't sure if Tina Louise was on the sleepover list, and for a while there, our night together hung in the balance. When I finally go the go-ahead, Jeanne and I hugged and jumped up and down. We were to drive up that afternoon, right up to Tina Louise's run, to pick her up, because she can't even walk down the road of Dogtown without getting upset.
Tina Louise jumped right into our car, then crawled up into my lap, showering me with kisses and love. I had to push her gently back into the backseat and encourage her to stay there until the car stopped, that we would have lots of time to cuddle once we arrived. On the car ride into town to pick up food, Tina Louise looked contentedly out the window. She seemed to really be taking in the view. I think she loved the red cliffs, and all of the pretty scrubby trees. When I got out of the car, she jumped into my passenger seat to shower my husband Adam with love, as if to say, finally the car stopped, now we can cuddle!
When I got back in the car, it was as if we had been separated far too long, her tail wagged furiously, wagging a swath so wide, she hit herself on her sides! She showered me with affection.
Once back in the room, she jumped right onto the bed. She looked into my eyes, crawled into my arms, and smiled her trademark grin. She looked at me with so much love and happiness, as if to say "thank you so much for choosing me, I've waited so long to spend a night with you, and I can't believe someone finally picked me!"
Tina Louise army crawled in whatever direction we happened to be in the room, and if we went to sit with her, she immediately crawled right into our lap, so happy to be held.
After we ate dinner, the three of us went on a walk. Tina Louise was very curious, but anytime we stopped, she would run back into our arms to get a hug and a kiss. Then we would trod on our way. She was very curious about the deer, but she responded well when we told her to keep moving.
Before bed, she was so content. Every time we touched her, her heart began to pound, and she would pant with excitement. She finally fell asleep between us, on her back and into contented sleep. At around 6 am, I stirred slightly, and rolled over and put my hand on her chest. I must have hit the cuddle switch because she immediately started nuzzling and kissing me and almost crushed me with her love. She was so gentle with all of the treats I bestowed on her, and when I gave her a little rawhide chewy, she let me stick my fingers in her mouth without a peep. I kissed her face, her ears, and even picked her up and she didn't mind any excuse to be touched.
I can't say enough about Tina Louise. I think she has a bit of a 'wild child' reputation, and living in the very last run at the Lodges with a red collar dog limits her exposure to volunteers. But Tina Louise is the most loving and affectionate dog I have ever met. She is bursting at the seems with love and happiness, and she would relish and love the opportunity to spend any time with a volunteer, especially a sleepover. I do think Tina Louise would love children, however she doesn't realize her power when she crawls into your arms to cuddle. Tina Louise would make someone the perfect, loyal, devoted affectionate dog, and she would be forever grateful to have a person to love and call her own.
Please, go meet Tina Louise, take her on a sleepover or outing and get her away from the hustle and bustle of Dogtown, and see what a truly amazing girl she is.