Toccoa, a stray dog still shy of his first birthday, was scheduled to be put down April 1. Instead, on April 17, he went home with Dierdre Cannon, who wasn't really looking for a pet when she arrived at Pet Fest, sponsored by the Westport-based group T.A.I.L.S.
Cannon, who lives in Norwalk, said she went to the event because she needed a puppy fix. "I go and I play with the dogs, and I can deal with not having a dog until I felt ready to have a dog," she said.
"We were just looking around at the dogs," Cannon said, "and he was front legs up on the pen, just jumping straight up and down with his ears flopping. And I'm like, "That dog is crazy. That dog is so insane.' And we just happened to be walking past the pen, and he just grabbed onto my boyfriend's shirt and pulled him to the pen and just started licking him. And from right then and there we knew he was coming home with us. So he kind of chose us."
T.A.I.L.S. President Dorrie Harris hopes that scene will be repeated about 100 times this weekend at the T.A.I.L.S. Puppy Palooza , which also offers adoptable cats and kittens. Just as in the April event, her organization has transported about 80 dogs from Georgia kill shelters to Norwalk.
Harris sadly admits that because there are so many dogs are in shelters in Georgia, only the best make it north. "They really, really are great dogs," she said. If Toccoa is any indication, that's true, as Cannon says he was "phenomenal from the day we got him."
Toccoa, who was named after the town he was found in, was very easy to train, and knows all of his commands. "He's been a fantastic dog, couldn't ask for a better dog, especially one that was rescued."
The Puppy Palooza runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Best Friends, located at 528 Main Ave.
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