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Denise Muto

Tiny Tara, came to live with us in May 2001. I had been looking for a Papillon for a few months and decided to check PCA/Rescue after attending a Pet Expo where I heard about little Betsy and how she had been rescued from a Puppy Mill. I filed an application but didn't allow my hopes to get too high as there were only a couple of dogs available in California at that time and both had adoptions pending. Two weeks later, there she was her cute little face smiling at me from cyberspace. My heart melted and as I read her description "she is a Velcro dog who will insist on sleeping in your bed", I knew I had found my butterfly. A couple of phone calls to Donna Goodman and the next day I was on my way to San Diego to meet Tara. A week after that and we welcomed her to her new forever home.

Tara's story isn't as dramatic as some of the dogs who come to PCA/Rescue, but it is sad just the same. She wasn't born in a puppy mill, she was born into a championship line by a reputable breeder; she wasn't lost or abandoned she was given up by her owners. I have never been sure of their reason for giving her up, however her behavior at that time told me that while she had not been mistreated or abused she was starving for love & affection. She wanted to be petted, but would cower whenever I tried to touch her or pick her up, yet time after time she would come back to me ears perked, tail wagging only to shake in fear when I tried to give her what she was asking for. This went on for the first two months. Then one day I was sitting reading the paper and she jumped into my lap, curled up & went to sleep. I sat like that for over an hour tears running down my face afraid to move I didn't want to scare her away. Now she is a regular lap sitter and even curls up with my husband at night while he is watching TV. It is taking some time, but she is slowly coming out of her shyness. Taking her to a very basic obedience class has helped enormously. She loves going to class and has started to "make friends" with the other dogs and their moms. She loves going for a walk and riding in the car, although getting her harness on is still a bit of a struggle. She understands that no harness means no walk-no ride. And she loves to chase her ball but I still have to say "let go" 2 or 3 times before I can throw it for her again. Tara is a sweet little girl who is living up to her reputation as I can't get an inch away from her because she is stuck to my side and oh yes--I now have a little fur ball under the sheets at night while I sleep.

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