In 2006, our friend Rags was living in a kill shelter, with an uncomfortable and heavily matted coat that gave him his very fitting name. He sported an off-center jaw and some missing teeth, so the shelter staff thought he was living with a cleft palate. But it only added to his charm … Rags’ tongue dangled out of his mouth just a bit, and his crooked jaw gave him a “smile” that probably saved his life. Beth Middleton – who happens to be one of Tiki’s biggest fans – found him on Petfinder and rescued him immediately.
In a stroke of strange luck, Rags developed an ongoing sinus issue shortly after his adoption and required some x-rays, which showed he had survived being shot in the head at close range – likely within about 5 yards. The 22-caliber bullet damaged his palate before lodging safely between two cervical vertebrae. Over time, about a third of his teeth required removal, which created the notorious hanging tongue as it is today – most definitely his “mark of distinction.” Rags still has bone and metal fragments logged in his tissue, but Beth is proud to report he has no problems eating. Despite experiencing something so frightening, Rags has a wonderful personality and has been one of our daycare favorites for years.
Beth says Rags was active right from the start – so much so that she thought he might’ve been possessed. He relished racing with other pups in the dog park and was famous for jumping 4-foot fences in Good Dog’s daycare facility. As he’s aged, he now prefers to find a soft spot to rest and “patrol” the surrounding activity. He also likes to sneak up behind people and give a good ear lickin’.
When Beth does her marketing work from home, Rags serves as her officer manager, stress reliever and comic relief. He gets a good walk twice a day and usually sleeps on the floor of the office, muttering little “yips” in his sleep and thumping his tail. Occasionally he’ll try to join the conversation when she’s on the speaker phone with clients.
Beth says Rags is “perfect due to his imperfections,” and we couldn’t agree more. Rags taught her that our quirks and imperfections are what make us special and lovable – and that goes for humans as well as dogs. She lovingly refers to him as her “bulletproof boy” and “the cutest dog in the world,” though she sometimes secretly admits Tiki could give Rags a run for his money in any beauty contest. We want to thank Beth for not only rescuing Rags, but for making him a part of our Good Dog family … We are lucky to have you both in our life!
A collage of Rags created by one of Beth’s friends, from a photo when Rags was about 18 months old.