Meet Poki, my own personal
Happy Tail

Poki picOn February 23rd, 2009, I met my third dog, mistaking him for one of the many sweet dogs I typically rescue. I had no intention of keeping him, as he was going to be adopted out to a good home, like all of our rescue dogs. As usual, my heart was beating with excitement to meet my latest rescue mission, a Shih Tzu (my favorite breed).

Poki arrived, a totally matted mess with dirt & debris built up on his precious ears, and a long snarled coat. A young couple purchased Poki, but they got divorced, the wife left Poki behind. The husband, who never wanted Poki to begin with, left this adorable little pup on a screened-in back porch in sub-zero temperatures and sweltering heat for over 9 months. Poki was underfed, in need of exercise, tender strokes, and loving voices. The husband's concerned mother-in-law contacted Poochie Pals.

As soon as I got home with Poki, I called my groomer, who took him right away and told me to return in 2 hours. I didn't recognize him when I came back to pick him up - in his place was a much smaller dog. The groomer showed me a complete coat of fur that came off in one long piece; it was like looking at an animal carcass. She explained that he was so matted she had to shave off his fur, and once he was cleaned up, we realized that he also had an ear infection. I would have to arrange for a vet appointment next.

When he entered my home, Poki sniffed around and met my own two adult Shih Tzus, Fuji and Snorky, who are 5 years old and have been with me since they were 8 weeks old. Fuji and Snorky didn't know what to make of this odd-looking visitor with a solid black body and a little white "goatee." He is shorter and longer than both of them, almost dwarf-like, but amazingly cute.

I cooked all three guys a feast of boiled chicken, ground burger, garlic and barley,the house smelled aromatic. Poki was in heaven, licking his chops. I couldn't imagine giving him up for adoption as I watched him begin to bond with my dogs, as well as with me.

Now nearly 4 years after rescuing Poki, his health has improved greatly. He has become a natural part of our family, adoring his older brothers. He sleeps in bed with us every night and has learned to accept more love then he ever dreamed of. If I could have a 100 Shih Tzus, I would. But since I can't, I'm dedicated to finding loving families (not just "owners"!) for them and all of the deserving dogs in need of new homes.