Wookie offers a whole lotta love

We always had miniature poodles growing up. The first two were white but my mom insisted on a stain-hiding darker shade after that. “White dogs are impractical. They need constant cleaning,” she’d complain, as if we were talking about wall-to-wall carpeting. Maybe so, but I get a kick out of dog food moustaches. pet-Wookie

It’s probably obvious, but I took Wookie’s picture for her newspaper debut right after her supper. Not only is she rocking a fresh and fabulous dog food moustache but she’s got a groovy gravy goatee to match! Her foster mom was horrified and suggested Miss Wookie pose for me again following a thorough face scrubbing. I declined. I doubt I’d capture a better smile than one worn by a dog after a good meal!

Wookie has been joyfully staining her whiskers as a welcome consequence to fine dining ever since she checked into Happy Tails Rescue (HTR) in June. Luckily, she fit the criteria – albeit just barely. Attached to that dirty face is a big girl for a small dog. Foster mom calls Wookie her plus-sized model.

HTR specializes in the rescue of pint-sized waifs. Wookie is more like a keg in comparison. A keg of what? is the next question. She’s definitely a happy hoppy medley of a few different brews. We’re guessing her to be one part spicy Shih Tzu or frothy Maltese, two parts heady Lhasa Apso and a dash of tree-dangling sloth! The sloth reference makes perfect sense considering her instinctive passion for climbing onto your lap no matter how high off the ground you’re perched and, of course, her sloth-like love of sleeping in!

But, unlike your average sloth, Wookie has more than three toes per paw and doesn’t eat leaves. There’s really no mistaking she’s a dog even if she’s a lazy lollygagger before noon, an avid limb climber after noon, and strangely oblong at all times.

Wookie was a stray when Toronto Animal Services – West Region scooped her off the streets earlier this summer. Her rescuers could see, beneath a thick coat of matted fur, that she was quirky yet cute and guessed her to be roughly three years old. She definitely had adoption potential despite her striking resemblance to a discarded mop. That’s how she got the name Wookie, thanks to a diehard Star Wars fan working at the shelter. However, any Star Wars fan will tell you that tradition dictates a Wookie must be shaven as a rite of passage into adulthood. It proves that one has the strength and courage to face the elements and overcome adversity without the protection of one’s fur. At least, that’s how they explained the need for a buzz cut to Wookie. She also endured a spay operation and the removal of several bad teeth.

With the makeover complete, she was placed in the adoption room with great anticipation. But Wookie didn’t cope well in her new surroundings. She may have been fur-less but she wasn’t fearless – she was absolutely terrified. The shelter staff knew just who to call to put the happy back to her tail.

It didn’t take long after arriving at her HTR foster home for Wookie to begin proudly comparing herself to the sun in our galaxy. After all, she’s clearly bigger and no doubt brighter than her dog-mates. It only stands to reason they should orbit her in awe on a daily basis. Nobody has the heart to tell her such adoration lives only in her imagination. If anything, the other dogs (and the cat) tolerate her Wookie ways. One minute, she assumes they should share her boundless puppy-like energy and be willing to play on her command. The next minute, those same orbiting planets should know when to patiently wait their turn if she’s lapping it up with her foster mom. Lhasa Apso enthusiasts would just giggle and tell you Wookie has a classic case of Lhasa-tude!

So maybe Wookie is a bit self-centered but when this sun goes down, she still wants to keep you cozy and warm whether you want a living, breathing, snoring heat source stuck to you or not. There’s no need for a hot water bottle when you’re sharing the bed with Wookie. But you’ll want to hang onto your alarm clock. She’ll sleep until noon wrapped around you like a melting marshmallow otherwise.

Given her around-the-clock sunny disposition, it’s surprising that Wookie hasn’t found her forever person yet. The gals at HTR wonder if it’s something to do with her being more like a big bossy marshmallow than a wee little gumdrop.

I know not everyone likes marshmallows, but there’s so much more to marshmallows than meets the eye! That’s because it’s an entire experience. It starts with an inviting campfire that everyone gathers around like planets orbiting the sun. You feel the cool night air at your back and the comforting warmth of the fire on your face. But the best part of all is competing for the stickiest marshmallow moustache.

Wookie is an approximately 3-year-old Lhasa Apso mix waiting to melt your heart like a campfire marshmallow! In the meantime, she’s keeping the planets aligned at Happy Tails Rescue, www.happytailsrescue.ca.


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