A Cinderella Story of Trash to Treasure

posted January 15th, 2008 by
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Story by Pat Atkinson

While Show Dogs Strut, Shaggy Little Lost Mutt Wins Hearts and a Home

While the finest of their breeds pranced and posed at the 2007 two-state dog show in downtown Tulsa, the real winner was a little lost mutt who stole the hearts of everyone and found a forever home.

Surrounded by hundreds of primped, pampered, clipped, brushed, coiffed kings and queens of the dog world, this little dog’s happiness outshined all as she trotted through the Convention Center beside her adopting person, Robert Rudy, who was providing security at the show.

This shaggy tale of a Cinderella story unfolded among the approximately 2,100 pure breds where CC (named for Convention Center) was dumped, but left with a new life and a forever family.

On the first day of the four-day combined specialty show licensed by the American Kennel Club and hosted by the Tulsa Mid-Continent Kennel Club, the little gray and white dog was spotted in the parking lot, lonely and frightened, searching for safety under the scores of rolling homes –- RVs fit for the finest of the breeds and their people.

Ragged, dusty, thin, in need of a bath, a haircut and a decent meal, she was certainly “outstanding” among the spotless beauties vying for ribbons and points. No doubt tossed out on the acres of asphalt like a bit of disposable trash, the waif was taken in and put in a crate as word spread about her through the dog world people and the four-footed stars.

No show star this little shaggy girl, but it’s hard to resist a sweet dog with a grateful smile and happily wagging tail, thought to be a mix of Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens (pbgv) and Lhasa Apsos mixed together with who-knows-what-else.

Robert Rudy, wearing a uniform yellow “Event Staff” shirt and a self-described animal-lover, saw the dog while making his rounds and offered to help with her care-taking and walking.  Once they met, it was mutual love at first sight.

By Day 2, little Miss Mutt was named for the Convention Center, where her new life began.  CC was pronounced healthy by a veterinarian who estimated her about one year old. Others donated food and toys, vendors provided a yellow bone-shaped tag, collar and leash.

And that first night at home with her new family, shaggy CC dined like a princess, sharing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Rudy’s 17-month-old granddaughter.   By meal’s end, both toddler and pup had most of the insides of the sandwich painting the outsides of their faces!  The meal and meeting was a big hit.

By Day 3, CC was outfitted proudly in a vendor-donated bright yellow coat, custom-embroidered with “Special Event,” matching her person’s official shirt.  She was dressed for the Ball and having the ball of her life.

By Day 4, her shaggy rags were clipped and groomed, courtesy of her new show friends.  All day she happily wagged her way alongside Rudy, smiling up at perfumed Rottweilers and Mastiffs, offering kisses to the tiny, fluffed Pekingese, Poms, Yorkies.

On the last day of the big show, the dog world elite gathered outside Ring 1 for the final showdown.  The best of their breeds, showing off, posing on table-tops, striking the winning stance, performing with a twitch of the leash, perfection in the dog world.

By late afternoon, hundreds of winners had rounded the inside of the white picket fence at Ring 1 with their professional handlers — top dogs, selected by serious-faced judges handing out colorful rosette ribbons in front of signs announcing First, Second, Third, Fourth place.

Show dogs strutting their stuff. And then there was one.

In a class of her very own, CC and her person – unmistakable in their bright yellow Special Event outfits – were introduced over the speaker system as they entered Ring 1 both wearing the biggest smiles of all.  

Once around the winner’s ring they went, little Miss Mutt prancing alongside Rudy’s long strides, heads held high, CC’S furry feet barely touching the carpeted path, her whole back half swinging side-to-side keeping up with her tail.

Applause and cheers accompanied this rags to riches real life story.  It doesn’t get much better than a little lost dog taking home the gold.

And as the day faded and this fancy dog show closed, a grateful little unwanted Cinderella dog and her kind Prince headed home to share a PB&J dinner.

CC has settled in with her new family, sharing space with a bossy tabby named Psycho, a couple of “big” senior citizen dogs (all furry residents had been dumped and adopted), a few horses, and a visiting granddaughter who’s about her age and loves to play.  Those two will grow up together.

A sweet, true-life fairy tale that ends just like all the best ones ever after.

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