Top Dogs

We honor the Top Dogs of Huntington, from the cute to the clever to the just plain cantankerous. It’s our hope that these stories lead you to treasure the top dog in your own life a little bit more.
By Katherine Reasons-Pyles

Much has been said about the merits of man’s best friend. Though dogs have been known to chew up a shoe or two, they are always there to comfort us in our sadness. And while their barking may keep us up at night, they are endlessly loyal; in fact, one could argue that each bark is a promise to protect us from any who wish us harm. They hang on our every word – of course missing the occasional “No! Bad dog!” every now and then – as if each phrase were a bit of divine wisdom. There’s no doubt about it: dogs are special. But then there are those that possess even more loyalty, even more intelligence, even more beauty than we ever thought possible, those that emanate a certain uniqueness when you pass them on a walk at your favorite Huntington park. In an effort to honor these dogs – and perhaps to encourage us to cherish our own a little more – we at HQ began our search for the top dogs in Huntington. After receiving nominations from animal lovers throughout the Tri-State, we narrowed down our list. The top dogs range from large to small, purebred to mixed-breed, well-behaved to, well, not so well-behaved. We feel that these dogs best embody our region’s remarkable love for animals; they represent the canines we love, those we admire and those we’ve lost along the way.

The Super Sniffer: Miss O’Leary

This 12-year-old yellow Labrador is as sweet and affectionate as you’d expect a beloved family pet to be.

But once she steps onto the scene of a suspicious fire, Miss O’Leary goes from man’s best friend to arsonist’s worst enemy. Trained to recognize 92 different accelerants at a fire scene, Miss O’Leary is one clever canine. “She was the Huntington Fire Department’s first arson dog, and she’s still the only accelerant detection canine in the fire service in the state of West Virginia,” says Captain Steve Ellis, Miss O’Leary’s handler. “She’s worked fires all over the state, as well as many in Kentucky and Ohio.”

Named after Catherine O’Leary, whose barn fire famously caused the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Miss O’Leary was partnered with Ellis in 2000. She hasn’t left his side ever since.

“She stays with me 24/7,” Ellis says. “She works with me, she comes home with me – she even goes on vacation with me. When people see us headed to a fire scene, they always say, ‘There’s Miss O’Leary…and that guy that drives her around!’” Any time arson is suspected, Miss O’Leary’s services may be called in. Undeterred by sirens and flashing lights, she walks straight up to the site of suspected arson and immediately gets to work, alerting Ellis as soon as she detects an accelerant. Ellis says Miss O’Leary’s hard work does not go unnoticed. In fact, her important role has even made her a bit of a celebrity, meeting other famous folks like George W. Bush and the USA Softball Women’s National Team.

“She has all the luxuries of being a certified law enforcement canine,” Ellis says. “We get to go all kinds of places most dogs don’t. Someone said to me once at a hotel, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t allow pets.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s a good thing! I wouldn’t want my canine partner to get fleas!’”

The Crime Fighter: Nero

Nero, a 4-year-old German Shepherd, dedicates every day of his life to making the streets of Huntington safer. A member of the Huntington Police Department’s K-9 Unit, Nero works alongside five other specially trained dogs, including another German Shepherd, a Dutch Shepherd, a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix, a Bloodhound/ Redbone mix and an English Springer Spaniel. However, Nero has already risen to the top in the few years he has been with the Huntington Police Department: he is the most productive member of the K-9 Unit, uncovering more drugs and apprehending more suspects than any other dog. Nero came to Huntington from Wisconsin, where he was trained in narcotics, apprehension and tracking.

“With most dogs, if you throw a ball into tall grass, they’ll look for it for a while, but they’ll eventually give up. But our dogs, Nero included, have a drive to hunt that does not stop,” says Sergeant Levi Livingston, K-9 supervisor with the Huntington Police Department. “His nose is always to the ground; he is always hunting. And to be able to track a person whose trail is 20 or 30 minutes old and then apprehend that person, or to be able to detect narcotics in a car and get drugs off the street, to be able to use a tool that helps in so many different ways – all of that is rewarding.”

When Nero is not on the clock, he goes home with his handler, Officer Kyle Patton. Patton and Nero have been paired for all three years that Nero has been with the Huntington Police Department; Patton places his trust in Nero, and there is no question that Nero’s loyalty belongs first and foremost to Patton. The two train together, work together and relax together.

“When we get home, we’re not working anymore,” Patton says. “He’s one of the family when we’re at the house.”

Nero and the other dogs of the K-9 Unit work tirelessly to make our entire city a safer place to live. And although the majority of us can only thank them from afar, they without a doubt deserve our appreciation.

Most Well-Behaved: Percy

Percy, a 5-year-old Border Collie, hasn’t saved any lives or caught any criminals, but if his owner George Topping told him to do so, we’re willing to bet he would. Percy knows the commands “sit,” “down,” “off,” “out,” “roll over,” “shake,” “come,” “drop it,” “car,” “inside,” “sidewalk,” “left,” “right,” “upstairs,” “downstairs,” “no,” “too rough,” “good dog,” “bad dog,” “toy,” “bed,” “bath,” “Ritter Park,” “hug,” “stay,” “slow,” “fast,” “potty,” “grass” and “table” – just to name a few. Walking without a leash is a no-brainer for this rescue dog, who knows that when Topping stops walking, whether at a busy intersection or in the middle of a hike through the woods, that means it’s time to sit.

“He is so well-behaved that when people see him with me in public, they just assume he’s a service dog,” Topping says. “He stays at my left just like he’s attached, and he sits whenever I stop. I’ve taken him with me to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Kenny Queen Hardware and even once to the mall. He’s very gentle with kids; when we go to Pullman Square, he loves being invited to play. He’s just a very good dog.”

Percy, whose hobbies include car rides, hiking and trips to Ritter Park, is as treasured by Topping’s parents as he is by Topping himself, and one of Percy’s favorite things to do is spend the night at his grandparents’ house. Without Topping around to dole out commands, Percy gets to rule the roost.

“He doesn’t listen as closely to my parents as he does to me,” Topping says. “They’re your typical grandparents, and he’s just a regular grandchild.”

Most Athletic: Larry &Lucille Krasnow

Lisa and Michael Krasnow’s greyhounds are retired racers who have accumulated a large fan base over the years, consisting mainly of people who drive past them every morning at Ritter Park. When greeted, the pair responds with a friendly, “Ha-roo! Ha-roo!” While Lucille is most commonly seen with a branch (the bigger, the better) in her mouth, Larry is most recognizable for his “shoes,” which he wears due to injuries on his feet. The two walk side by side four times each day.

“As working greyhounds, they didn’t have a lot of the normal experiences most puppies have,” Lisa says, explaining Larry and Lucille’s strict walking regimen. “They lived in a crate, being released a few times a day to exercise. They didn’t have a house or any type of bond with a human. So after we got them, we continued to give them a lot of structure and routine because that’s what they were used to, and we just added that human element over time.”

Five months after Michael and Lisa adopted Larry, they knew it was time to find him a friend. Racing greyhounds are not used to human interaction, but they are very comfortable around other dogs. Enter Lucille, a young greyhound who had broken her leg during race training. Lisa says Lucille and Larry clicked instantly.

“With the addition of Lucille, Larry slowly came out of his shell,” she says. “It took a while, but he finally realized that he was home. They’ve been together for nearly seven years now. They are partners for life.”

Larry and Lucille’s hobbies include long walks in the park, outsmarting child-proof locks and “singing” when the telephone rings. “Callers are usually surprised to say the least,” Lisa laughs. “The songs usually last 15 to 20 seconds. They start as soon as the phone starts ringing, but they don’t stop when the ringing stops; they stop when they are tired!”

Most Creative: Hogan

Likened to “an old codger” by owner Chris Michael, Hogan may be crotchety now, but he wasn’t born that way. This English Bulldog was destined for greatness; before he was even born, a local advertising agency was named after him – well, named after his breed at least. In 1999, Michael, a lifelong fan of bulldogs, had a decision to make: he could accept a job offer in Indiana and buy a bulldog with $1,500 he had set aside for that very purpose, or he could use that $1,500 to start an ad agency in Huntington, W.Va.

Twelve years later, Bulldog Creative is one of the most successful ad agencies in the region, and Hogan is a healthy 8-year-old pup. It turns out that Michael didn’t have to go without owning his dream dog for long. Over the years, Hogan has developed numerous fans, including clients and employees of Bulldog Creative. But his biggest fan of all is Michael’s 11-year-old son Andy.

“There were many days where Hogan would chase Andy across the yard, down the street and throughout the house,” Michael says. “Today, Hogan’s spunk and vigor have been replaced with snores and slumber – wherever and whenever he feels like it. Hogan still will go outside with Andy, and now 4-year old Jack. But as the boys tear down the street, Hogan will go as far as he wants, lie down in the middle of the road and nap until he is ready to move again. He has even been known to bark at neighbors’ doors until he is allowed inside, where he will hibernate on their floor or couch until he decides it is time again to move.”

Michael says what he admires most about bulldogs is that they are loyal, committed and creative – all things that Bulldog Creative strives to be every day. But what he admires about Hogan in particular is his independence.

“Hogan is very independent; he knows what he wants, and he goes after it. Mainly what he wants these days is to sleep and to eat – as much as possible.”

Cutest: Ginger

Ginger, owned by Huntington Quarterly publisher Jack Houvouras (Wonder how she made the cut?), is a dog that could have made our list on looks alone. Houvouras says this adorable three-pound teacup Chihuahua came into his life shortly before his father passed away and helped him through that very difficult time.

“Having a puppy to take care of makes you think about more than just yourself,” Houvouras says. “Being responsible for the life of such a tiny animal teaches you how to be less selfish.”

Ginger’s favorite activities include sleeping, eating, air travel and begging. Not a small dog who thinks she’s big, Ginger is very aware of her small stature and is afraid of most things, relying on Houvouras for protection wherever she goes. But even having Houvouras as her bodyguard doesn’t prevent Ginger’s adoring fans from stopping to say hello.

“Wherever I take her, people stop me and say, ‘That is the cutest dog I’ve ever seen,’” Houvouras says. “Whether we are in Huntington or Florida, she literally stops people in their tracks.”

While not traditionally a fan of small dogs, Houvouras says he couldn’t help but fall in love with little Ginger, and keeping her safe has become one of his top priorities – even if that means occasionally being teased about his tiny dog.

“I was walking Ginger at the park one day, and a woman stopped and said, ‘You must be very secure in your masculinity to have that dog.’ In my deepest voice

I replied, ‘You’re damn right I am.’ I’ve taken a lot of ribbing for having this small dog, but I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world.”

Houvouras explains that there’s more to Ginger than her good looks.

“Whenever I come home she is always so excited to see me. She jumps into my lap, climbs up my chest and starts licking my face frantically. That’s the great thing about dogs. The love you give is equal to the love you receive. You can’t always say that about people.”

The Sweetheart: Oliver

Comforting those in the final stages of life is a gift wholly embodied by this fluffy Bichon Frise named Oliver. Oliver has participated in the pet handler program at Hospice of Huntington for the past two years; he visits nursing homes every week, invoking joy and fond memories for hospice patients throughout the region. And his owners, Nancy and Ray Bean, couldn’t be prouder.

“He is my sunshine,” Nancy says, “and many others see that light also. If I’m ever feeling down, all I have to do is go out with him and watch him with the patients; it just raises me up. At Hospice, the motto is ‘We Light the Way Home’ – I think Oliver is a beacon of that light.”

For hospice patients who have recently had to give up pets of their own, the familiar warmth of a dog is often the best way to bring a smile to their faces.

“Animals can bring out things in patients that people cannot,” Nancy says. “They can melt away those feelings of fear and loneliness. We stopped in to see one patient who hadn’t shown any desire to talk to anyone, and I put Oliver up on the bed with her. She started petting him, and I could hear her calling him Cottonball. All of a sudden, she said, ‘Would you mind if I sang Amazing Grace?’ And she sang to us – every verse, every word, on key. She said, ‘I love you, Cottonball,’ and made us promise that we’d come back to see her.”

Lisa Floyd, director of volunteer services at Hospice, says Oliver – along with the other dogs who are part of the pet handler program – makes a tremendous difference in the lives of hospice patients.

“Our pet handler dogs reach out to our most vulnerable population – those in nursing homes,” Floyd says. “These are the people who really need compassion, and the dogs bring that to them.”

Best Digs: Annie

Annie, a 3-year-old Golden Retriever, was found wandering the streets of eastern North Carolina before she was rescued and adopted by Selby and Donna Wellman. And today, Annie’s life is a far cry from her homeless past. She now has three homes to call her own: the Wellmans, who have houses in Huntington, W.Va., Cary, N.C., and Naples, Fla., take Annie with them everywhere they go.

“Annie is a great traveler,” Donna Wellman says. “She just wants to be with us all the time. We had some shyness issues when we first got her, but she has overcome all that. She is just wonderful.”

Annie, who “still has a lot of puppy in her,” loves long, brisk walks with her active parents. From Ritter Park in the snow to the beaches of Florida in the summer – and all seasons and locales in between – Annie loves nothing more than to be on the move.

Although Annie is certainly special to Donna and Selby, the Wellman family’s love for animals extends well beyond their own pet. It is because of a $250,000 donation from the Wellmans that Little Victories Animal Rescue Group was able to build its new indoor shelter, named in honor of Donna. The shelter currently houses 60-75 puppies and small dogs, ensuring that dogs throughout the entire region – not just sweet Annie – have a place to call home.

“I’ve loved animals since I was old enough to remember,” Donna says. “As a tiny girl, I would bring animals home to my parents. Luckily, they had a love for them, too. It’s in the family. My husband and our kids feel the same way. We’ve had animals since the day we were married.”

And now, thanks to the generosity of the Wellman family, Annie is not the only dog in town with a new home and a fresh start.

Most Intuitive: Moose

Moose, an 11-year-old Cairn Terrier belonging to Marla and David Tolley, is a little guy with a big personality. He shares the Tolley home, albeit begrudgingly, with his younger sidekick Kerwin, a dark gray dog of the same breed.

“Cairn Terriers are scruffy, earth-loving, alert and intelligent,” Marla says. “These are not lap dogs or a dog to stuff in a purse and look pretty – these dogs live to dig, chase, sniff, hunt and play. They are tenacious and stubborn and rowdy, and they have such an independent spirit.”

But it’s not just Moose’s strong will and funny personality that earned him a spot on our list. Marla says that even before he was officially hers, she knew there was something special about him. Passed around in various foster homes after his elderly owners had to give him up, Moose was rescued by the Tolley family when he was 9 years old – and he brought with him a unique gift.

“Moose used to repeatedly nudge a spot on his owner’s leg with his nose,” Marla says. “When it was checked by a physician, she found out it was advanced melanoma. Then, later on, Moose began nudging her husband’s stomach in the same way, and a colonoscopy revealed that he had a polyp on his colon. Moose was also a tattletale pool alarm; if a child ventured too close to the pool during family cookouts, he would faithfully sound his alarm.”

After settling into his new home with Marla and David, Moose’s strange behavior around a female visitor led to an early announcement from the family friend that she was pregnant. He followed her from room to room, sitting at her feet as soon as she sat down, as if he were protecting both her and her future child.

“Compassion is definitely there,” Marla says. “He really does have an understanding of people’s unspoken needs and hurts. On the other hand, he can be the most stubborn, bull-headed thing you’ve ever seen. He’s an old man now, and he’s been down a rough road, moving around from house to house. But he lives the comfortable life now. He knows where he fits in our home.”

The Gentle Giant: Chloe Anastasia von Truffles

With her wild mane and rugged frame, Chloe Anastasia von Truffles may seem intimidating. However, though she is certainly powerful, Chloe is one of the gentlest souls on our list. She is a Bouvier des Flandres, a breed originally used in Belgium for herding cattle.

“People are usually pretty shocked when they first see her,” says her owner Cynthia Rogers. “They’ll just stare at her, or they’ll tell me her name should be Sasquatch or Chewbacca. And normally her hair covers her eyes, but when you see those eyes you see right into her soul. She is such a gentle girl.”

Chloe enjoys long walks, especially in the snow, and is a superb soccer player whose favorite position is goalie. She is also fond of watching television, particularly the Animal Planet channel. When she hears the theme song for The Planet’s Funniest Animals, she races into the living room to ensure a good seat near the TV. Rogers says Chloe’s love for wild animals even carries over into her own backyard.

“One evening she kept running back and forth between our house and the creek, barking at me like, ‘Mom! Come over here!’” Rogers recalls. “I finally walked over to the creek, and there was a baby raccoon all alone. Chloe and that tiny raccoon played together for weeks. She was so proud of herself for saving it.”

A gentle spirit runs in Chloe’s family. Rogers’ parents, Joe and Jeanie Rogers, own an all-black Havanese named Kris Kringle whose sweet personality has earned him numerous fans at The Woodlands, Wyngate and other retirement communities. After a long day of showering retirees with love and affection, Kris loves to come home and cuddle up next to Chloe’s warm belly.

Most Fashionable: CeCe Sheils Boston

Local art teacher Jordan Boston says she never thought she’d be the type to dress up her pet. However, when a little fashionista named CeCe entered her life, that all changed. CeCe, a Chihuahua-Yorkie mix, owns close to 20 outfits, and nothing makes her happier than to be all dolled up.

“I never thought I’d be the kind of person to own a small dog, but when I saw CeCe, I just melted,” Boston says. “I had to have her. It was winter when I took her home with me, and I felt so bad for her because she couldn’t stop shivering. I bought this little red sweater to keep her warm, and I guess that’s how it all began. She was just too stinkin’ cute in that little outfit.”

Boston says CeCe’s fashion sense has evolved over the years. Although her Yorkie whiskers may look more like a miniature grandpa than a fashion diva, CeCe enjoys

playing up her feminine side. Her outfits include closet staples like dresses and ruffled sweaters, which she will occasionally pair with her favorite Juicy Couture jeans, as well as other special-occasion outfits for holidays and themed parties. CeCe rarely goes anywhere without her rhinestone collar.

“Her appearance sometimes is very gruff, but she likes to accessorize with her rhinestones and ruffles,” Boston says with a smile. “I love seeing those scruffy whiskers paired with one of her frilly outfits.”

A true girl’s girl, CeCe’s favorite activities include cuddling and play dates, as well as sneaking off with Boston’s makeup brushes and shoes.

Best in Show: GCH Bolero Gentle Gisele of Briarcliff Pointe

Jean and Bob Cline were not looking for a show dog when they brought home Ellie, a Standard Schnauzer whose official name is GCH Bolero Gentle Gisele of Briarcliff Pointe. But when Ellie was a little more than a year old, the Clines began to notice that something was special about her.

“We went to the national specialty show,” Jean recalls, “and we were looking at how Ellie compared to the other dogs. We started thinking, ‘Our dog is a good dog. Our dog could do this!’ Really, none of this was planned; we just kind of fell into it.”

Today, Ellie is officially a Grand Champion, having won multiple dog shows in the year and a half that she has been participating. She is one of the highest-ranked Standard Schnauzers in the nation. In December, she will participate in the Eukanuba National Championship, and she participated in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last February. Jean handles Ellie in the ring, and Bob and Jean groom and train her at home. Perhaps what is even more amazing than Ellie’s unexpected accolades is that when she gets home, she’s just like any other dog.

“She runs around, she gets in dirt, she chases chipmunks and all that stuff,” Jean says. “People are always surprised when they find out that she’s a ‘real dog.’”

And when it comes to Ellie’s fans, no one can compare to Bob’s mother, Betty Cline. Betty keeps treats for Ellie in her bedside table; and although she is certainly happy to see Bob and Jean when they come to visit, it’s mainly because they bring Ellie along. After every show, Bob and Jean call Betty as soon as they know the results.

“Betty and Ellie have had a special relationship since we first brought Ellie home,” Jean says. “Ellie is incredibly loyal to Betty, and Betty is so very attached to Ellie. Ellie is her baby; she is so proud of her.”

The Comforters: Koop and Satcher

It was the year 2001, and Ken and Sharon Ambrose had just lost their son Paul in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In that time of indescribable grief, some friends and coworkers at St. Mary’s Medical Center, where Sharon was C.O.O. at the time, were determined to help the couple find healing. Enter two Labrador puppies, one black and one yellow, which the Ambroses would name Satcher and Koop in honor of the two surgeon generals with whom Paul worked very closely.

Larry Napier and Darryl Dowling, two St. Mary's operating room employees at the time, occasionally bred their Labradors, resulting in beautiful puppies each time.

“They gave us the pick of the litter,” Sharon recalls. “It was quite a gift. We picked Satcher right away, but they were just all so cute. When I saw Koop, the runt of the litter, I said, ‘Oh, Ken, can’t we have two?’ So, that’s how we ended up with two dogs!”

And the compassion for the Ambroses from the St. Mary’s staff did not stop there.

“A day after we got them, I was at work and I heard my name being paged to the operating room,” Sharon says.

“I thought to myself, ‘Oh my, what’s happening now?’ I got down there, and there was everyone, surrounded by baskets and baskets of toys and treats. They had all gotten together to throw us a ‘puppy shower.’”

Today, Koop and Satcher mean the world to the Ambroses and even more to each other.

“They mean everything to us,” Sharon says. “They are wonderful companions; they are with us all the time. And they are always together. They are always touching, even when they sleep; they rustle around on the dog bed until they are right up against each other.”

Sharon says the surgical staff still checks in on Koop and Satcher, especially Tammy Nimmo, director of surgical services, who was very involved in arranging the thoughtful gift.

“Sharon and Ken are wonderful people,” says Nimmo, “and they deserve the best. Nothing will ever take the place of their children, but those dogs helped heal them.”

Most Mysterious: Nevada

If you’ve ever seen Nevada walking at Barboursville Park, chances are you’ve wondered why she looks so comfortable surrounded by all that wilderness. Nevada, owned by Joseph Fitzgerald, is only 10 percent Alaskan Malamute; this strikingly beautiful “dog” is actually 90 percent gary wolf.

Fitzgerald, who searched the entire country for a wolf-Malamute mix, says he has never owned a better-behaved pet than Nevada. When it’s time for her daily walk at Barboursville Park, she slips her head into her collar and waits patiently for the adventure to begin.

“She sits, heels, lays down – she does everything on command,” Fitzgerald says. “I’ve had some people tell me she’s more well-behaved than their kids.”

Still wild at heart, Nevada will occasionally let out a chilling howl – but it’s most likely just because she’s been promised a treat. However, if you’re a groundhog, squirrel, mouse or mole, beware: Nevada is always on the hunt.

“She is still very much a hunter,” Fitzgerald says. “I like to let her hunt; it keeps her happy.”

But when it comes down to it, Nevada is completely content with her domesticated life, complete with an air-conditioned doghouse to keep her cool in the summer. Fitzgerald says he’s become her new “wolf pack.”

“When I turn her loose from her leash, she will run ahead of me, but she’ll keep looking back to make sure I’m still there,” Fitzgerald says. “She always stays close enough that she can see me; she has to keep an eye on me.”

The Big Lap Dog: Beau

Don’t let his size fool you: Beauregard Poindexter Williams III – but you can call him “Beau” – is really a big softie. This Great Dane mix entered Steve and Mary Williams’ lives five years ago, when Mary’s sister Jeanie Bartlett caught a big black dog jumping into the bed of her truck as she was filling up her gas tank.

“He had been hanging around the station for three days before my sister-in-law showed up, and I guess he had decided that that day, he was going home with someone,” Steve says. “I had been wanting a dog, and Mary had been wanting one that was a rescue. Jeanie called me with the perfect sales pitch.”

Steve found out later that Mary and Jeanie were coconspirators and that “the perfect sales pitch” had been concocted by the two of them in case Steve dared to object. But as it turns out, Steve was more than happy to adopt the persistent stray, and as he says, “we’ve been bonded ever since.”

Now that Beau has found his “forever home,” his hobbies include watching football with Steve – with as much of him on Steve’s lap as possible – and sunbathing. Beau has the demeanor of a small pup and the loyalty of a son; he may be a 90-pound behemoth, but it is on appearance alone. Frightened of fireworks and thunder, Beau’s favorite place to be is safely by his dad’s side. But in spite of his less-than-large character traits, the Great Dane in him does come out every once in a while.

“He checks up on the raccoons that live nearby,” Steve says. “Every evening, he goes outside to see if they’re there and to give them a friendly warning if they’re up to no good. Sometimes, if the raccoons start to act up in the middle of the night, he goes over to remind them that it’s nighttime, and it’s time for them to be in bed and to be quiet, because we have a noise ordinance and they need to be careful.”

The dogs described on these pages are without a doubt unique. Some are extraordinarily smart, some are uncannily social, some are simply experts when it comes to being silly. But their most redeeming quality may be one that they all share – one shared by dogs across the Tri-State. The quality that makes these and all dogs so very special is their innate love for their masters. It’s their ability to trust, to love, to make us laugh even at their own expense that earns them the title of “man’s best friend.”

Actress and animal lover Gilda Radner might have said it best:?

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.”

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