Tiny Tina — Shelter

Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Tina the catahoula lab mix, aka “Tiny Tina,” came into my life 15 years ago as the runt of the litter being dropped off at a shelter. All her siblings were a good 10 pounds. She was all of 3 pounds and had parvovirus. I stayed up for nights giving her fluids, syringe feeding her yogurt, and making sure she was clean, dry and hydrated. Tina pulled through like a champ. She remained the size of a chihuahua until she was about 9 months old and then she had a sudden growth spurt, but her growth being stunted and the joints having to bear such quick growth she could never jump. She would forever have to be lifted into a car, onto a couch, bed, anything a normally growing pup could jump on. I did that for her, but she something SO much more amazing for me! See, I have asperger’s syndrome. I have melt downs in which sometimes I will hit myself. With NO training what so ever Tina for years has always come to me in my time of melt down and laid across me and comforted me. She has calmed me and been there for me like no one else in this world has. Let me reiterate, Tiny Tina never had any training as a therapy or service dog yet she instinctively knew what I needed and what to do. I fully believe she has helped me get to where I am today. If I never stayed calm I couldn’t be the successful grooming and boarding business owner I am today. I couldn’t live without her!