Otis is my dog, so don’t expect this to be objective. But it’s not just me; many consider Otis the most significant Duggleby in the family. He certainly has the most compelling story.
“Oti’s” life began when some geniuses in Kentucky bred his father and underage mother, expecting to establish a “puppy mill” for purebred Samoyeds. When they couldn’t sell the pups, the couple began to neglect, then abuse them. Otis was the “alpha” who tried to protect his four siblings, so he received the brunt of the mistreatment. After four months the would-be breeders got tired of feeding them, and dumped pups and parents at the door of a local humane society.
Their saga almost ended there. Otis and most of his brethren had acquired pneumonia, conjunctivitis and virtually every worm and insect pest a dog can attract. At half normal weight for their age, the shelter considered the pups beyond help and were ready to euthanize them. Enter Northern Illinois Samoyed Assistance (NISA), a Chicago area rescue group who learned of their plight. NISA quickly scooped up the motley crew now dubbed the “Kentucky Five”, and pulled them back from the brink with care from volunteer veterinarians.
Otis’ mental health was another story, thanks to his abusive owners. It took several months with saint-like foster “parents” to convince the wary pup to give people another chance. We adopted him as a loveable, albeit rambunctious one-year-old. My daughter Katie led him through a manners course, and he’s a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen, and has since been a therapy dog at nursing homes.
Otis has been the star of St. Patrick’s and Independence Day parades, and featured in three Land’s End apparel catalogs, a two-page spread in NISA’s annual calendar, and an independent film made by a friend of mine. Shouldn’t he be the dog of choice if you ever need a canine model? Golden retrievers shouldn’t have all the fun, and Otis works for wieners– almost. Send him an “arrooo” through firstname.lastname@example.org and give him time to respond; he paws the keyboard rather slowly. Read about his human “angels” at www.nisasamoyedrescue.org and just try to log off without itching to take one of these fluff monsters home!