‘It makes you feel good’


Fun rerun from Jan. 29, 2010: Steve Smiley and his wife, Anna (pictured), of Brownsmead, have been raising purebred Yorkshire Terriers for 15 years, and currently have 14 Yorkies under foot. “My wife owns the dogs,” Steve joked, “I’m just the hired man.”

In early January, Steve saw an item on the TV news about a little boy in Washington, D.C., whose Yorkie puppy, a Christmas present, was literally snatched right out of his arms on his front doorstep.

“It’s a shame to treat a little kid like that,” Steve told the Ear, “because it would be a lasting memory of his forever that somebody really took advantage of him. It could affect his whole personality forever, you know, and I hate to see a little kid not get a chance to be happy if they can.”

“I’ve got some surplus dogs,” Steve thought at the time, “and I’ll give him one.” He needed help to find the boy, and Mr. Google produced a story by Lindsey Mastis about 8-year-old Andrew “Kofi” Gordon (pictured) and the dog-napping of Luxy. A few phone calls and emails later, Steve spoke to Kofi, his mother and Mastis. “He likes to do that talking,” Anna Smiley said, laughing.

Six-month-old, Samuel (SAM) is a good match for Kofi, Steve says, because he “he’s a smart dog, easily trained and will be loyal to that little boy till hell freezes over.” The puppy is housebroken and already knows a few basic commands. Steve also told the family they could breed Sam, and put some money toward Kofi’s college education.

Sam got gussied up Tuesday with a complimentary grooming by Heidi Fields at Bay Breeze Boarding, and Dr. Larry Goza gave Sam his checkup, and contributed toward Sam’s airfare. “There are lots of nice people here,” Steve said.

Asked if he would miss Sam, he laughed and said, “I love every one of those puppies. See, this is the best part of it — I get to spoil the puppies, and then when they’re gone, I don’t miss them, because I already had the fun with them.”

Steve smiled and added, “It makes you feel good that you can do something like this, you know.”

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.