Ann Hargis & Scruff (PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY)
Dear Cowboy Family:
Meet Stillwater’s luckiest (and most loved) dog, Scruff! Life wasn’t always so good for this little fella. His whole story isn’t very clear, but what we do know is heartbreaking.
In summer 2013, Scruff was a stray. We don’t know how long he was left to fend for himself, but it was long enough to be teased, taunted and abused — by both children and adults. He was shot with BB’s, paintballs and bullets. Three OSU students saw this abuse and rescued Scruff from this horrific situation. They turned to social media to pay for medical costs and to find a loving home. It worked!
These students were able to raise enough money to have Scruff treated by Dr. Lara Sypniewski at Oklahoma State University’s Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital. As he was being treated, these students continued to look for a home for this sweet boy. We actually received a phone call from Dr. Sypniewski to let us know Scruff would be a great fit for Pete’s Pet Posse, the pet therapy program that was just about to begin at OSU. We were eager to be part of the pilot program but were not sure about including a dog in our busy schedule.
We contacted the students and asked to meet this dog they called Scruff. We met him and loved him. For a while, he continued to be shared between students, the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, and by us when our schedules would allow. It was a slow process, but when we had him in the car with us going to Oklahoma City for Christmas, I turned to Burns and said, “I guess he is ours!”
Scruff is now a member of Pete’s Pet Posse and spends his days giving back to OSU — the very place that saved him. He greets students, faculty and staff in a variety of situations. He visits classrooms, the library, residence halls and the Student Union — and anywhere else he is asked to go. He takes daily rides in my golf cart, Clementine, and loves to check out all the new activity on campus. He could play fetch for hours (and often does)! He is also great at keeping the grounds around the Willham House squirrel free.
Part of the beauty of Pete’s Pet Posse is that I can take him with me most days, and he is very much a part of our public lives. Therefore, we are together more often than we ever dreamed. After a busy day, Scruff enjoys listening to Burns play the piano, as they both unwind. Most of the time, Scruff gets his own special concert. Sometimes he takes his time curling up in our laps. Once he has shared all of his love, he’ll disappear as he puts himself to bed to get ready for the next day. We honestly could not love this funny little guy more if we tried.
His spirit could have been broken long ago, but this little dog has learned to turn tragedy to triumph. After all, that’s the Cowboy Way.
OSU First Cowgirl
Watch videos about Pete's Pet Posse on OSTATE.TV.
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Published by STATE Magazine Editor Elizabeth Keys, Winter 2016, Volume 12, Number 2
Uploaded on December 1, 2016