Family drives 1,000 miles to Oklahoma to adopt a 'hairless' dog

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - If dogs could talk, one Bartlesville dog would likely now say "Been there, done that and got the t-shirt … and a new home." He would have been speaking of his month-and-a-half stay at the Washington County SPCA.

Before he left for his new residence in Pennsylvania Friday afternoon, the folks at the Washington County SPCA dressed him in a shirt to prepare him for the cooler temperatures of the north.

"It's a little shirt that says, 'Note to self: Keep tongue off frozen hydrants,' 'cause it's probably pretty cold in Pennsylvania than it is Oklahoma," said adoption technician Harmony Tate, just before she slid the shirt over the largely bald, grayish body of Toto, a six year old Mexican Hairless.

His story, yet another one for the Washington County SPCA, began near the beginning of February when his owner left him and another dog, a Yorky Pomeranian, at the shelter, saying he couldn't care for the dogs anymore as he would soon be traveling.

Little did that owner know that Toto, much like his namesake, is a traveler too.

Last Tuesday, the SPCA got a call from Pennsylvania where somebody saw Toto's picture on the SPCA website and expressed interest.

"I called her back and told her he is cute and cuddly and likes to be held," Tate told 2NEWS. The next thing she knew, she heard the people were going to drive the nearly 1,000 miles from California, Penn., to bring Toto back home with them.

According to Tate, 7-year-old Gia Conner had been for some time looking on the internet for a dog and had typed "Washington County" in a search engine and up came the Washington County SPCA site — and its little dog, Toto, too.

When her aunt, Jacque Dwyer, saw Toto was not in Washington County, Penn., but Washington County, Okla., she was unfazed.

"We saw it, realized it was Washington County, Okla., so we decided to get him," Dwyer told 2NEWS. "She saw him and — Boom! — she had to have him."

"We picked (Gia) up from school at noon yesterday and drove straight through," she said.

They
arrived in Bartlesville at around 1 p.m. and were finally able to meet Toto. Standing in the foyer of the SPCA, they laughed and squealed with delight when Tate brought the t-shirt attired canine to their arms.

"He is so wonderful," said Dwyer, cradling Toto in her arms. "He hasn't nipped or bit."

Later when she handed the dog to Gia, the 7-year-old took him and held him close.

When 2NEWS asked Gia what she thought of Toto, her nod of approval and soft smile said it all.

According to staff at the Washington County SPCA, Toto is one of many dogs that were turned over to the SPCA, only to find homes in far away places, one such case being in California and another in New York.

Since 2009, the shelter has found homes for every adoptable animal. That was 2,200 animals that found homes last year, they told 2NEWS.

Tate told 2NEWS that as for Toto, he got a good deal and so did his new family, as a Mexican Hairless is a rare breed of dog.

"I think you can find them for $900. This little guy went for $85," she said, saying the price covered the shots and a micro-chip.

As for the family though, the 1,000 mile journey and costs were all worth it, they said.

Soon, Toto will realize, he is not in Oklahoma any more, nor is he without a home.

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