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Little Lady charms her rescuers

The Yorkie got lost in Arkansas and somehow ended up in a Brandon home.

By ABBIE VANSICKLE
Published April 6, 2007


While waiting for her owner to arrive from the airport, Tampa Police Officer Jeff Kritz cuddles Lady, a 12-year-old yorkie who was picked up at a hotel in North Little Rock, Ark. and brought to Tampa.
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[Times photo: Daniel Wallace]
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[Times photo: Daniel Wallace]
Patsy Perryman reacts to seeing her dog for the first time since Feb. 11 at a police district headquarters in Tampa. Lady was not wearing a collar or microchip when she was picked up from a hotel in North Little Rock, Ark. "This is my little child and she rules the roost," Perryman said.

TAMPA -- The solemn-faced officers walked into police headquarters and, one by one, Lady melted their tough facades.

One seasoned officer gingerly fed her an apple cinnamon cereal bar. Another, a large, tattooed fellow, scooped her up and kissed her. Another made sure she was dolled up with a pink collar.

The scene prompted jokes from other officers. One called from a cubicle: "What is this? Oprah?"

Lady, a 12-year-old Yorkshire terrier, worked her magic on the officers of Tampa Police Department's District 1, just as she had with her owner, who traveled hundreds of miles Thursday to bring the tiny terrier home.

"Did you tell the officers thank you?" Patsy Perryman, 63, of Arkansas, cooed as she cuddled Lady.

Lady just panted, her eyes wide. The officers smiled.

Perryman lost Lady on Feb. 11 at a La Quinta Inn & Suites in North Little Rock, Ark.

When Lady, who had no collar or microchip, vanished, Perryman called local police. She placed a newspaper ad. Weeks later, she got an anonymous call from Florida.

Someone had her dog, they said. Police tried to track down the person, even got subpoenas for the phone records.

Lucky for Perryman, she had a fellow animal lover on her side: North Little Rock police Detective John Desizlets. Lost dogs aren't his forte. He's used to investigating the bigger stuff, burglaries, that sort of thing. But Desizlets is a dog lover. He's got a Lady, too, and the case caught his attention.

On Wednesday, with the help of the phone records, police tracked Lady to the home of a Brandon couple. They said they figured Lady was a stray. Police took Lady and called Perryman, who immediately booked a flight.

She landed at noon, and an officer led her to the police station, where Lady waited with her new friends.

"It's a happy ending," said police Sgt. James Contento.

What's next for police District 1? The search for missing boa constrictors and a cockatoo.

Abbie VanSickle can be reached at 813 226-3373 or vansickle@sptimes.com.

[Last modified April 5, 2007, 22:23:24]


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