Emma, Buzz, and Baby Girl

February 25, 2013  

A tragic event in Tucson leads to the formation of a new family

By Michelle Ziemba

It all started on a very tragic day in Tucson, Arizona – January 8, 2011. I was at home on a Saturday morning and my trauma pager went off. I happen to be the Director of Trauma and Emergency Services at The University of Arizona Medical Center. The page said “mass shooting with at least 10 gunshot victims”. I went into work due to the scale of the event, and found out our local Congresswoman was one of the victims.

Well that incident set off a whole series of events. Our Trauma Center was cast into the spotlight and all sorts of people came to add to the memorial growing in front of the hospital. It was that following Tuesday I went down to the hospital front lawn for media interviews and ran across two dogs lying on the grass. Two pit bulls, one wearing sunglasses. I looked at them and laughed – it was just what I needed in the middle of such a somber event. I am a huge animal lover. I had to put my dog down two years before that and getting some puppy love was the best fix. I had not been without a dog for so long.

The big boy, Buzz, looked sort of familiar, and it turned out that he had been the Tucson Lifestyle cover dog the previous year. Baby Girl, the boxer pit mix, was found abandoned in the dog park and Dave, who belongs to Smiling Dog Rescue , had rescued her. He told me Baby Girl was up for adoption. I flipped him my business card and told him I wanted to adopt her. It was time for a dog again. I was a bit hesitant, as I had heard all the “big bad pit bull stories” and had seen some nasty dog bites in the ER, but always knew it was the owner who was the issue, and not the dogs. All animals can turn on you and they just need respect.

I continued to meet Dave, Buzz, and Baby Girl at the dog park to play with her and get to know her better. I did a couple of home visits with her as well, but she missed Buzz and Dave and things were not going well. Through Dave and his love for his dogs and dog rescues, I would go to dog rescue events. At one such event I ran into Emma. Emma came in from California and she was the sweetest little dog. I told Dave if it doesn’t work out with Baby Girl, Emma would be Plan B. I had another home visit with Baby Girl and she howled and paced the whole time. I then broke the news to Dave that I thought Baby Girl needed to be with him and Buzz. I also thought Dave was having a hard time letting her go. I was heartbroken, as I really wanted Baby Girl. Dave suggested that I try Emma, and he knew the girl who had Emma. I then decided to adopt her.

I got Emma and was so happy to have a dog again. Emma was perfect for me, and so happy to be adopted. Emma needed some play time and play dates so I would meet up with Buzz, Baby Girl, and Dave. The dogs got along great and had a blast playing together. Dave and I got to know each other better as well.

Fast forward two years later, and I guess you can say I have now adopted Buzz, Baby Girl, Emma, and Dave. We are all living together, happily ever after, in a house full of pittie love.

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