Happy Tail: Help comes in a tiny package

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Katie Laribee was at rock bottom.

“I had moved to Tennessee, moved here with a husband and a whole bunch of dreams, and then my marriage came to an end,” she says.  Old friends and family were over 12 hours away. “I was alone and lower than I had ever been before. I decided I needed a reason to get up in the morning,” she says. Adopting a pet seemed to offer a solution.

Rod Stuart weathers colder temperatures in his bright little sweater.

Rod Stuart weathers colder temperatures in his bright little shirt.

Katie is allergic to dogs — at least most dogs — but she wanted a companion. “I decided to search for hairless breeds and I found this amazing Website — Petfinder.”

She typed in her search criteria and up popped a list of Chinese Crested Dogs. When she saw Rod Stuart’s photo, it won her heart, and she contacted Freetown Animal Sanctuary, which had listed him on the site. The sanctuary is located in Lebanon, TN.

“I drove three hours and, when I finally pulled up, I saw Rod for the first time,” she says. “I expected him to be standoffish. Instead he ran up to me, jumping up and down, as if he was waiting for me. I immediately knew he was meant for me.”

All the way home, Rod just kept his eyes on Katie as if he were memorizing how she looked. Katie had never had a dog before, so she says that over the next week or so, Rod trained her. “He taught me when he needed to be walked and fed and where he liked to sleep,” she says. Rather than coming home to an empty house, there was someone waiting to greet her — enthusiastically. He even sing/howls to her in his inimitable doggy voice.

The pair of them have become best friends. ” He makes me laugh and is the brightest part of every single day,” she says. “I may have adopted him, but he saved me.”