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Happy Tail: Former shelter dog turns model for new kids’ bike


chihuahua beagle adoption photo

Read Dezzi Mae’s story in Sarah’s own words.

It’s not every formerly stray pup who is memorialized on adorable kid-size bikes. But stop in at any Toys”R”Us store and you can see a cartoon of Dezzie Mae the dog decorating the Avigo 12″ girl’s Dezzie Mae BMX bicycle.

Not long ago, Dezzie Mae was at the City of Dothan Animal Shelter in Alabama when a local adoption group called Save A Pet pulled her from the crowded facility and gave her a second chance. Mae, as she was called then, was transported to New Jersey and found a home with the Wheelers, thanks to her listing on Petfinder.


Avigo 12″ girl’s Dezzie Mae BMX bicycle. (Photo: Toys”R”Us)

“My daughter’s biggest wish was to welcome a Chihuahua into our family,” Sarah Wheeler says. “But after doing a lot of research, we decided that a little Chihuahua would not be a good fit for our family with three small children.”

When the Wheelers saw Mae’s photo on Petfinder, she seemed a happy compromise: She was a Chihuahua/Beagle mix and would be big enough to hold her own with the kids.

Wheeler’s daughter renamed her Dezzie Mae.

“She has been a wonderful addition to our family and even brought new life into our 13-year-old male Yellow Lab,” Wheeler says. “Recently my husband was able to honor our adopted pup. At work, he partnered with a bike company’s product development team to create the Dezzie Mae bike using this photo of Dezzi. … Not too shabby for a dog who journeyed from Alabama to New Jersey, only to become a model on a successful toy company’s product!”

Previous Happy Tails:

New home gives an old, blind Chinese Crested something to be thankful for

nippy Border Collie became a “perfect” show stopper

calming cat helps one woman’s epilepsy

fearful dog finds confidence in a loving home

life was all he knew until a road trip changed everything

a marriage, a Jack Russell finds his soulmate

Dog vs. puppy? One adopter finds out love is ageless

energetic Corgi becomes a model neighbor

seriously ill kitten is saved by her adopters’ TLC

her Pit Bull is killed, fate sends a new best friend

almost sent him back, but patience — and training — paid off

lonely cat is reunited with her foster home soul-mate

rescued pit bull helps a daughter through a time of loss

Pekingese poster child for senior-pet adoption

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