He was just a lost puppy looking for a loving home. It happens every day right? That's why there are so many shelters and rescues across the country and the world filled with abandoned animals. But this was different. This wasn't just any lost puppy. This was Tampa. He was here to make a difference. I knew it the moment I looked in his eyes. A world of knowledge and love was in the expression on his face. He shined! There was no owner to be found. He landed on my back porch one summer morning and he was here to stay. Tampa had chosen me. And I soon learned I was blessed with something that only happens once in a lifetime.
I'll never forget his first visit to the vet when he was about three months old. My vet admiringly said "He's beautiful and very well behaved. You have done a great job training him." I replied with the truth. "I haven't done anything. He just came this way." From there the journey began with the most courageous forgiving and intelligent dog I had ever met. He led me to the wonderful world of K9 training and animal rescue. And as we pressed on together towards so many adventures it became very clear that Tampa was the one training me. We became certified together in Search and Rescue. He was a natural genius working in Pet Therapy reaching people who needed his loving spirit. And we worked as partners to help troubled shelter dogs become better socialized so they could find forever homes. Did he ever save a life? Yes. Mine. And he touched so many more during his time here.
There are memories of Tampa scattered all over the eastern seaboard. I'll tell you honestly I strive every day to be more like him. Read his life story and I hope you take along a part of him with you. He would love that
Christie Fletcher is an On Air Spokesperson on QVC and a former Award Winning Journalist and TV News Anchor. In 1998 she won the National Gracie Allen Award for American Women in Radio and Television. Her passion for animals dogs in particular was there since childhood. So as she continued her broadcasting career she also worked towards a longtime dream to become a Certified K-9 Trainer. Tampa the lost puppy who found her inspired many things. They partnered and became Search and Rescue Certified Pet Therapy Certified and worked as a team to help abandoned and abused Shelter dogs find new lives.