By SCARLET COLLEY
Special to the Parade
Rozzi, the dolphin dog, he was just a pound puppy eight years ago. But the story I tell on the boat to the little children that love on him is that a little girl brought a teddy bear on the boat one day, long ago.
She held the little bear, which was old and worn and had been passed down from great grandma, to grandma, to mama and now held by this little girl, my Heather.
It was a Steiff teddy bear, mohair, with a growly in his tummy. He was filled with love. Heather held him over the boat to show him dolphins and as the dolphins frolicked and played with Heather and the teddy, the dolphins sprayed and sprayed the two of them with their magic dolphin spray. Suddenly, right in Heather’s arms there wiggled a live Steiff in the form of a little teddy bear like dog.
“Mommy,” Heather said, “he’s alive, he is a dolphin dog!” Really, daughter Heather was working at the humane society for the summer. Each and every day she would call me and ask if she could bring this or that dog home. I always said no, we have two pound puppies already.
Her last day there, she came home that evening crying that she would miss being there, but school was starting. Something was wiggling inside of her hoodie. She looked at me and said “Mama, I promised him I would not leave him all alone, his mother and two siblings had come in and were adopted out right away.” She pulled a photo out of her pocket of a Chihuahua/terrier mix, not a pleasant looking dog.
“This is the mom.”
“Oh boy,” I thought, and then she pulled out this tiny little ball of fur from her hoodie. Little brown eyes looked up at me. I thought it looked more like a little primate of some kind rather than a canine. I was not happy, but he was so tiny, and before I knew it Heather had him named and part of our family.
Rozzi was supposed to be hers, but being a puppy, I did not want to leave him alone during the day, so while Heather was at school, I would take Rozzi along with my Angel (the original dolphin dog) on the boat. Angel mentored Rozzi, who learned from the best.
How Rozzi missed Angel when she retired and then at age 16 passed on. Rozzi took on the role as dolphin dog, and has the uncanny sense of who needs him. I am always curious which person on the boat he will pick to sit with; funny how he finds the non dog lover every time.
He has even broke the ice for people who fear dogs and been in the lap of over 10 people through the years that never ever held a dog. It is fun to watch the family taking pictures to send home, but more is it amazing to see that person loving Rozzi and to see how much our dolphins love him, too.
I can just hear the baby dolphins asking their mommies if they can have a puppy, too. So think about finding that dolphin dog of your heart at the shelter, there are more Rozzis waiting for a home to be loved. Somehow they will find you when you most need them. But more importantly, you will find them when they most need you. Contact Scarlet Colley on Facebook at dolphinwhisper, or call for you dolphin encounter with Rozzi the dolphin dog at (956) 299-1957. One can also visit spisealife.org.