Big dogs find puppy love, homes at adoption drive

Published 12:11 am Sunday, February 12, 2012

ROD GUAJARDO / The Natchez Democrat — Caroline Sutherland, 8, plays with a dog Saturday afternoon at the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society’s “I’m a Big Dog Now!” adoption day.

NATCHEZ — When couple Harry and Yolanda Sumpter left the house Saturday to buy supplies to fix their sink, neither of them expected they would both fall in love with someone else.

Taz first caught Harry’s eye from her kennel in the corner of the parking lot at Home Hardware.

“I came out to buy something from the hardware store, then I saw (the terrier mix), stopped by, and I fell in love,” Harry said.

The Sumpters signed the papers, making it official, and added a leash and collar to their hardware bill Saturday afternoon at the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society’s Adoption Day.

“(Harry) went for her first,” Yolanda said. “And when he saw (Taz), it made me want her.”

NACHS Board Member Susan Mingee said Taz had been at the shelter for six months before the spark was lit between the dog and the Sumpters just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Yolanda said she hopes Taz won’t cause any friction in the household with their other pup, Tiny Princess — a Chihuahua.

“We hope (the dogs get along),” Yolanda said. “Cause (Tiny Princess) is so jealous.”

Harry said it was Taz’s figure and demeanor that drew him toward her.

“I like the size, and she seems so quiet,” he said.

NACHS Board Member Linda Kennon said Taz was the 10th dog adopted Saturday with two hours left to go.

And just when Kennon tallied up the number of adoptions, a collie mix named “21” found love — pushing the total to 11 dogs with new owners.

“I’ve been wanting a dog, but I saw (21) and just fell in love immediately,” said 21’s new owner, Deanna Bowser.

“I just had a connection.”

Mingee said 21 had been at the shelter for more than four months and had grown up with NACHS since he was a puppy.

Just like Taz, 21 was overlooked at the shelter by families, possibly because he is a larger adult dog, Mingee said.

Puppies and smaller dogs tend to steal the thunder, Mingee said.

Saturday’s Adoption Day, titled “I’m a big dog now!,” showed off the larger dogs since space for those dogs was getting overcrowded.

“Every dog that gets adopted is really a life saved,” Mingee said.

Three-year-old Hudson Sutherland found all sorts of love at the adoption day.

Even though he was prepped by his parents and told they would not be buying a dog, he couldn’t help giving his father the sad puppy eyes.

“Talk to the boss,” Jeremy Sutherland told his son.

As Hudson turned to his mother, Racheal, she explained to him and his sister Caroline, 9, that Saturday was not the right day — maybe in May when she has a break from teaching school.

“The kids love dogs, it’s unbelievable,” Racheal said.

While the Sutherlands didn’t find lasting love that day, Jeremy and Racheal assured Hudson that they would talk about making the commitment another day. Hudson took the news like a man.

But the next row of kennels over, Yolanda and Harry were still gushing over Taz, fitting her in her brand new blue collar and leash for the car ride to her new home.

More dogs and other pets waiting for owners can be checked out at natchezpetadoptions.org.