This week’s reader rescue story is about Gigi. She was left tied up outside of a market where she sat for two days and nights before someone finally untied her and took her to the shelter. Gigi was adopted by one of our own, i Love Dogs Ambassador Deborah Davidson Harpur. We hope you enjoy reading her story as much as we did.
If you are the pet parent of a rescued dog, we want to share your story, too! For information about submitting your story, click here.
How I Became a Prize Pooch
By Harpur’s Giddy Upp aka Gigi
My name is Gigi, and I am a 9-year-old Rat Terrier. You might recognize me as one of the doggie models for ilovedogsdiamonds.com, or from some of the TV, film and print work I have done. Or maybe you know me because I am a top canine athlete – being among the top dogs of my breed in agility multiple times. I’m a champion they say – a multiple-time champion.
I wasn’t always a champion in the eyes of the humans around me. Someone left me tied up outside a market in Wilmington, Calif., in May 2004. I’m not gonna say who, ’cause it really doesn’t matter. I won’t let them ruin my day again! Anyway, they tied me there and left me. It was cold, and I had to listen to Mariachi music for two days and nights, with kids teasing me and people rolling carts right next to where I was standing, until finally one of the workers took me to the Harbor Animal Shelter.
A volunteer checked me in and put me in a metal box. It had a blanket in it and some food, so that was okay, but I was still scared. The volunteer knew of a woman who was looking for my kind of dog, and that this lady also did volunteer work and would foster dogs as well. The volunteer called that lady and she agreed to come and get me. She picked me up and looked me over. She decided that I was dirty and wouldn’t let me in her car until she gave me a bath, so she gave me one right there at the shelter.
That lady, who I now call mommy, agreed to take me ’cause she wanted a small, fast dog to compete with, so she took me to her house. She says the only thing I knew how to do was ruin the rug. I didn’t know Sit, Down, No, or even the magic word, Cookie. She even tried some of those words in Spanish just in case I knew that, but I didn’t. All I knew how to do was piddle.
She called me Gigi because she said I was a good girl. Plus, the other dog in the house was named PJPupp, and my daddy likes dogs with initial names. My fancy dog show name is Harpur’s Giddy Upp, but no one calls me that unless I’m in a really big dog show, and then they call me MACH 2 C-ATCH2 NATCH – Harpur’s Giddy Upp (and then a whole bunch of letters that don’t make sense except to dog show moms and dads). Most people call me Gigi or little Gi. Some call me Gi-ja-la.
Mommy took me to doggie school and I was a fast learner, because six weeks later I graduated from puppy kindergarten and earned my Canine Good Citizen award from the AKC. The next day, I won my very first blue ribbon in agility. It was on a jumper’s course. All I had to do was jump and go through tunnels. I’m really good at that. I earned my next blue ribbon the following day in Obedience. That’s the only obedience ribbon I’ve earned ’cause mommy likes agility trials a lot better than obedience trials.
Later that year I tore my hock joint and had to be in a cast. The doctor thought I would not be able to do agility again. But after he took off the cast and mommy did what she called rehab (I called it baby dog agility), we were competing again. I became the first-ever Rat Terrier to earn a title in AKC history in January 2006. Rat Terriers had just been admitted. Mommy was very proud of me.
Anyway, since I’ve been in mommy’s house, I’ve learned how to ride skateboards, do tricks, compete in agility, sleep in mommy’s bed and go potty outside. I am a “loaner” dog for lots of mommy’s students. I compete in agility almost every weekend.
I’ve been in magazines (I was a centerfold for Dog Fancy Magazine – not every doggie gets to be a centerfold, mommy says), plays, movies, commercials, calendars, and I am a spokesdoggie for ilovedogs.com and Active Care Dog Food by Breeder’s Choice. And, I’ve modeled dog collars that cost more than my mommy’s house!
As for agility, I’ve been on lots of top dog lists and even though I’m not so sure what that means, it always makes my mom very happy. I have lots and lots of ribbons and trophies, too. What I like best about being adopted is getting to go to work with mommy every day, plus training and dog shows. Oh, and sleeping in the bed. I get to snuggle under the covers with mommy each night.
Mommy likes to say I went from pound puppy to prized pooch in no time. She says that even though she got me on sale from the pound (I cost $35 because it was the adopt-a-thon), she wouldn’t sell me for a million dollars. I know she means it, too.