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Tippol, the January POTM

Tippol is a very interesting girl. She is only 10 years old and has already done more traveling than many people do in a lifetime! Tippol’s mom found her and adopted her in Africa and brought her back to the States when she was just a pup. Since then she has been on the go with her mom whenever possible. A few years ago, Tippol and was visiting Haiti when the earthquake struck! She made it through okay but we are sure that if Tippol could talk, she would tell you it was quite the experience. When circumstances don’t allow for her to travel with her mom, Tippol comes to stay in the Country Club. When she’s visiting us, she loves getting attention and has a great time playing and cuddling with the Care Providers. Tippol is a very good guest. She minds her manners and always seems to be relaxed (probably because, as a world traveler, she has seen it all). We love having Tippol come visit and hearing all about her adventures. That’s why she’s a perfect Pet of the Month!

Also, check out these stories we got from Tippol's mom. She really is quite the adventurous pup!

Tippol  Tippol outside

How I found Tippol
     I used to work at a youth center in Cape Verde, west Africa. After a pretty lonely Christmas day, my first outside of the U.S., I agreed to go with the local boy's basketball team to another part of the island on 26 December 2004. As we sat for coffee and breakfast on the beach, following the 2-hour drive, we all noticed a brown ball of fur curled up in a small hole in the sand, which was somehow filled with grass.
     After a few minutes of staring quite curiously at us, my little Tippol sauntered over and begged for scraps of food and played with the boys. After a few minutes of play, she wandered over to me, sat on my feet and decided to nap. I swear, I knew then that she was going to be my pup! We looked for other dogs nearby, hoping to find a mother by chance, or even a child looking for her puppy but after a half day no one showed up.
     The boys lost the game but they were still fierce negotiators, so they convinced the driver of the bus taking us back to our tiny village to let us board with tiny Tippol wrapped in a sweaty t-shirt. She fell asleep on my lap, resting comfortably for the entire 2-hour journey and has slept with me almost every day for the last ten years!

Tippol and the Great Outdoors

     When Tippol was a pup she was rather busy and would chew anything she could if she didn't have enough exercise. I wasn't a runner at the time but after our first jaunt through the forest of our little island country, I knew that I had found our sport! A few years later, I registered us for a fundraiser race for the SPCA. Instead of the slow 10-minute pace from our daily runs, Tippol, never one to pass by a chance to be the head of the pack, pulled me the entire 5k distance. Afraid to let her leash loose I held on and hoped I wouldn't pass out! As we came across the finish line I heard someone say "congratulations"; we'd just come in first place in my age category and hers!

World-class Traveler

     When she isn't being a matronly diva, Tippol is one of the kindest and most affectionate dogs you'd ever meet. Maybe she's paying me back for rescuing her from her nest on the beach in West Africa but I'm grateful for her every day! She's been my best friend and travel companion in Haiti, Cape Verde, the U.S.A. and Uganda, having traveled through Portugal and Amsterdam a few times! But the best is when I first brought her to the U.S. We had both survived the 48-hour journey (the airport LOST my dog and had put her in the cargo hold by accident; we missed our flight and had to camp out in the airport another 24 hours) and when the U.S. Customs officer went to verify the contents of the crate I had just imported he jumped back in horror, yelling, "wow, is that a hyena?" Her brindle coat is definitely unique but I tend to think she's way too cute to look like a hyena!


     I was separated from Tippol following the earthquake in Haiti. I had just come home to the States and missed the earthquake but she was left behind with a friend in our apartment building in Port-au-Prince. My friends say that she started acting strange right before the first tremor and they didn't know what was wrong. Every tremor thereafter, she'd run around in circles! I didn't make it back to the country for one week and couldn't get back to my house right away, so she stayed with a house guard for one whole month! When I was able to make it home I felt like someone had just given me a new heart!

I have a dozen great stories about my superdog but I think I'll stop here :-)