Santa’s hardest-working “reindog” to deliver gifts to shelter petsby Pima County News on Dec. 21, 2012, under Health, Pima Animal Care Center, Pima County, Southern Arizona, Tucson
He’s been called “Santa’s hardest-working reindog,” but come Christmas morning, Booker the pit bull (and volunteers with driver’s licenses) will deliver carloads full of goodies to the pets at Pima Animal Care Center still waiting for homes.
Included will be 500 cans of pet food, 500 blankets for warm bedding and 100 leashes.
There will also be some 300 cat toys, 200 pounds of Milk Bones, pretty collars and dozens of cans of formula for puppies and kittens.
The items, worth an estimated $5,000, will be delivered at 9 a.m. Christmas morning at Pima Animal Care Center, where Booker was taken after being confiscated in a drug bust in 2010. Although the shelter is closed Christmas Day, it will be accepting this special gift and, as it does on all holidays, continues to provide full service care to the pets in our adoption center.
Dawn Myers, a Tucson paramedic, was looking for a bookcase on Craigslist when she came upon a post about Booker. Myers, who said Booker is so ugly he’s cute, took him to the park, where he rolled in the grass like a puppy. After a successful overnight visit to make sure he got along with the cats, she knew she had a keeper.
They’ve since rescued each other. Six months after she got him, Myers started having seizures from a soccer-related head injury. Booker, who incessantly licks, whines or paws at her to alert her she’s having one, has since been certified as a service dog, helping provide her with more independence.
In October, Booker came down with a lung infection that required an expensive surgery, which was ultimately funded through bake sales, online auctions and social media drives (which is how he ended up with 1,091 Facebook friends.)
After fans asked what he’d like for Christmas, Booker put his reindeer antler headband to good use, posing every day in December for a photo with an item he wanted for the shelter.
“I did not think it was going to be this big,” Myers said, adding her two-bedroom condo is stuffed.
“He’s really made such a connection,” she added. “I think it’s because he went from kind of a scary pit bull to this sweet guy with an expressive face and a compelling story.”
Myers said she remains grateful to the center, because of its work with rescues and fosters to try to find homes for unwanted animals. “In some cities, a dog like Booker wouldn’t have had a chance at all.”
For more information, look for Booker the Pit Bull Service Dog on Facebook.