Welcome to our second interview in our new Dog Treats Interview Series! Today, we have a very special guest who will share her amazing story of rescue pup turned therapy dog! Meet Cupcake, an adorable 5 year Jack Russell Mix who now lives with her Mom, Genevieve in her forever home. Hop over to their blog, Cupcake Speaks, by visiting http://cupcakepetrillo.wordpress.com/.
Dog Treats with Cupcake Petrillo
Love of My Dogs: Hello Cupcake! Thanks for joining us today on Dog Treats! Let’s start with the obvious: what’s your favorite treat?
Cupcake: I love all treats and all foods, both dog and human (Although Mom doesn’t give me more than an occasional lick of human food). I haven’t missed a meal or refused a treat since I moved in 2 years ago. Not once!
LOMD: You sound like you love treats! How did this treat love affair begin?
Cupcake: At obedience school, Mom learned to use Cheerios and tiny training treats so I wouldn’t get fat while I was learning to be a good girl. I get tons of treats spread out over the whole day.
LOMD: Cheerios sound like a great treat idea! Sometimes, we use regular food and give the pups one pellet at a time. They love it and keep their figure too 🙂
When did you get adopted, Cupcake?
Cupcake: Mom found me at an adoption event at PetSmart 2 years ago. I was older than she wanted and smaller than she wanted, but she loved me at first sight. Even though there were 25 other dogs there, she couldn’t take her eyes off me. She tried to look around and be open-minded, but she kept coming back to me. She took me out of the cage, put me back in, took me back out, and put me back in. Then she said, “I’m taking her home. This is my new dog!”
LOMD: Love at first sight! There’s nothin’ better 🙂
Will you share with us your story before you came to live with your Mom?
Cupcake: I used to live in a shelter in Georgia. I even had some puppies when I was there. My puppies were adopted, and I was afraid I would live there alone forever. One day some nice people found me and brought me to NJ. I lived in foster care with some grownups, some kids, and some other rescued foster dogs for 4 months. On the weekends, we’d go to different events, sit in cages, look cute, and try to get adopted. That’s how Mom found me. When she brought me home, I was afraid of a lot of things (balloons, my water bowl, trucks, soccer players, the dark, my sweater, loud talking, and big dogs). I gobbled my food so fast that I’d get sick a lot. I thought I had to gobble it, before the big dogs ate it. Then I realized there weren’t any big dogs. Just me! I got car sick all the time and was afraid to get into the car. The car made me think I’d have to sit in a cage, look cute, and try to get adopted again. Now I know better.
LOMD: It sounds like you had a pretty rough life before you came to Mom 😦 We are super-glad you have a forever home now with all the food (and Cheerios!) you could want.
Why did your Mom choose to adopt?
Cupcake: Mom always had shelter/rescue pets growing up. When her dog Smoki got too sick to get better and went to heaven, Mom was very lonely, because she had Smoki for 16 whole years. She started looking for a new dog right away. It was one week later that she found me. She says lucky for her. I say lucky for me.
LOMD: RIP Smoki. We’re glad she found you; you are both very lucky to have each other! What do you like to do nowadays with your Mom?
Cupcake: These days, I am a good girl (most of the time). I play with stuffed animals, but I never rip them anymore. I sleep in Mom’s bed at night, and I wait nicely on the couch when she’s not home. She brushes my teeth and combs my fur every day. I get my nails trimmed and my ears cleaned once a month. I love people and other dogs. I love getting dressed up and having my picture taken, and I have my own blog to tell people about my life as the pet of a children’s author. http://www.cupcakepetrillo.wordpress.com
LOMD: Sounds like you and your Mommy are stars! You guys are an awesome pair! What else do you enjoy?
Cupcake: I have SO MANY favorite activities. I love taking a ride in the car and then walking in the park. It smells wonderful there! I love cuddling on the couch. I love playing with my stuffed animals, squeaky toys, balls, and IQ puzzle. I love working at the Veterans’ Home and making people smile and talk and remember when they were young.
LOMD: Wow, you work at the Veterans’ Home? How cool!
Cupcake: I work at the Veteran’s Home every other Saturday. All the veterans smile when they see me, and then they pet me, hold me, and give me treats and kisses. About once a month, I work at the library listening to kids read stories. They like reading to me because I don’t judge them if they make a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. My picture has been on a calendar and they showed pictures and videos of me on Good Morning America and Eyewitness News.
LOMD: So you really are famous then, too! What has been your proudest moment since you came to live with your Mom?
Cupcake: I was super-proud when I graduated from obedience school. Obedience is tough! Then I was proud all over again when I passed the CGC test and became a certified therapy dog!
LOMD: You have accomplished so much since coming to your new home! You’re an inspiring example of a rescue pet who has gone to do wonderful things with your new life in your forever home!
Why do you think dog rescue is so important today?
Cupcake: Mom says there are SO MANY sweet, lonely, loveable, wonderful pets at shelters and rescues that she wishes she could take them ALL home. Sometimes they’re too old and too small, but end up being perfect anyway (like me!). Take it from me, shelter life is not fun. It’s scary and cold. Foster care is better, but a forever home is warm and safe and happy all the time.
LOMD: You certainly are one lucky pup! We agree with you; sometimes we’ve wanted a certain dog (young, certain size or breed) and have ended up with something completely different 🙂 We have never doubted it because we think it’s really all about the connection!
Would you like to share any history about your rescue group?
Cupcake: The nice people who found me in the shelter were volunteers from Purrs and Pups. They gave me the name of Ka-Ka, but Mom changed it to Cupcake right away because I am so sweet.
LOMD: Speaking of names, Cupcake is very fitting for you! Once you were renamed, were you always a “cupcake”?
Cupcake: When I first came here, I pulled and jumped and zig-zagged on my leash. Mom said I was trying to trip her and kill her, but it was only because nobody ever taught me how to behave. She took me to obedience school every Saturday and practiced with me every day. Soon, I learned to have good manners on my leash. Mom was also a little afraid that I’d bark all day or chew the furniture or bite people or be naughty and get us evicted. None of that happened (well, maybe I was a tiny bit naughty at first).
LOMD: We’re glad you’re a good walker now, Cupcake! We think it’s a pretty common thing rescue pups have to get used to because most of them were never properly cared for. Kudos to your Mom for taking you to all your training and taking the time to help you become such a star rescue pup!
Cupcake: Mom says I am her good little girl. I cuddle with her a LOT because I love love! She takes me everywhere with her, and I make her proud. Because of my job, we meet lots of nice people with lots of nice therapy dogs like me.
LOMD: We think your Mom is right! We’d like to thank you for all the wonderful work you do! Where can we go to learn more about you and your service as a therapy dog?
Cupcake: My therapy dog friends all work with me at http://www.therapet-inc.com.
LOMD: Awesome! Are there any dog rescue groups in your community you’d like to point us to?
Cupcake: There is a shelter called John A. Bukowski Shelter for Animals near our house. Long ago, Mom got a dog named Sandy from there. She said Sandy was the best dog in the world. I’m sure she means besides me. Mom brought me to that shelter, NOT to live there, but to get my picture taken with Santa and the Easter Bunny. She also brings some of my leashes and collars and outfits there when I am finished with them. She says they take good care of a bunch of dogs and cats who are waiting for real homes.
LOMD: I’m sure Sandy is 2nd best to you, Cupcake! Thank you so much for interviewing with us and sharing your fabulous story! We are so glad your Mom saved you and now you are giving back to your community.
In closing, please share with us one final thought about doggy rescue and adoption.
Cupcake: I would like to say that right now, right this minute, there is a sweet, loving, cuddly, energetic dog sitting in a cage, wondering if she’ll ever be “the one” for somebody. Not only would bringing that dog home change her life forever, but it will change your life forever as well.
Be sure to visit Cupcake and her Mom, Genevieve at http://www.cupcakepetrillo.wordpress.com!