And The Cover Dog Winner Is… Scruffy!

Story by Bonnie Craig
Here we are again. We’ve made it through another blistering summer into the relatively less blistering  respite of Autumn. Dogs can trot happily down the streets without cooking their paws. They can enjoy a nice sunbath without immediately overheating, and their people are emerging from their hiding places, finally ready to play outside. It is also time for The Tucson Dog’s 4th annual cover dog contest. It was not an easy decision, but through popular vote, we are delighted to announce this year’s winner, the illustrious and extraordinary, most iconic and distinguished- Scruffy!

In addition to Scruffy, 24 other wonderful dogs entered the contest, and 5 of them were voted runners up. Klink, a handsome gentle giant, was adopted by his people while they were on a road trip. After one of them passed away, Klink became a rock for his remaining person, and often goes to work with her, where he helps to support people with special needs. Good boy, Klink!

Bella, a lovely tricolor lady, has a truly rags to riches tale. Horrifically, she was found tied to a cactus, but luckily she was rescued, and joined a wonderful family, including service dogs for the 1 Veteran Foundation. Way to go, Bella!
3 year old Maddie, looking like a beautiful coyote, is apparently very vocal. Her songs can be heard up and down the street as she enjoys an outing with her people. She does have a weakness for chasing birds and lizards, but really loves everyone she meets. Bravo, Maddie!

Much like her namesake, Cardi B overcame adversity to rise to the top of her game. After being confined to a kennel as a breeder dog and having little contact with other creatures, she was rescued and is now living her best life as the diva she was born to be, garnering attention everywhere she goes, and getting better by the day. Nice work, Cardi!

Milo, a sweet and tousle-haired three year old pup may be a foster fail, but he sounds like a big success to us. He fills his adoptive home with joy and energy for his humans as well as his two rescue dog siblings. Good on you, Milo!

Scruffy is of course a most excellent sport, and is very proud of the runners up, but it is time to talk about him! Scruffy is truly one of a kind. Based on his looks and personality (both irresistible) his person, Audrey Hughes estimates that he is probably a terrier Chihuahua mix. It is, however, impossible to say for sure, because Scruffy is a rescue dog.

Six years ago, while searching for a scruffy dog, Audrey found an excellent candidate on Facebook, available through Pammy’s Second Chance Rescue. She went to meet him at their Petco adoption event and was bathed in kisses when she picked him up. Volunteers commented that it was strange behavior coming from the six month old pup, who was normally more nervous and defensive, barking at anyone who approached. He had been pulled by the rescue along with a sibling and his father from PACC after their family was forced to surrender them in the face of an eviction.

Initially underweight with matted fur, Scruffy cleaned up nicely, but still harbored some trauma from recent life events and was not quick to trust. This made it all the more clear that he and Audrey were meant to be. Of course she adopted him, and he thrived from the start in their home, quickly doubling in weight from 4 to 8 pounds. He became the darling of their apartment complex, a year round trick-or-treater who was always rewarded for his efforts.

He made a big difference in Audrey’s life too. Through what she refers to as Scruffy’s “healing presence” as well as the symbiotic routine they developed, Audrey says her anxiety is 70% better. He is sure to remind her of their routine as well, lest she become remiss. He retrieves his harness for walks and has even learned to ring a bell when he needs to go out to do his business.

These days he enjoys the simple pleasures of life, such as his favorite treat, boiled chicken, and the sounds of childrens’ laughter, to which he is inexorably drawn. At the dog park, he is an instigator, getting everyone fired up and running. He loves to get in Audrey’s car, securely strapped into his harness and seatbelt, where he can safely stick his head out the window to catch all the exciting smells, especially on the way to Mount Lemmon, another of his favorite haunts.

In fact for Scruffy, a perfect day would probably consist of just such a car ride, stopping by the coffee shop to get his “pup cup” fix on the way to the mountain, where he can get out and patrol the creek at his favorite spot in Molino Canyon. Scruffy is truly a ramblin’ man with a heart of gold. His main life advice? Find a family who will take you on adventures. We’d all do well to heed that. Congratulations, Scruffy! Enjoy your adventures!



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *