UPDATE 4:42 p.m.: Confirmed with caretaker Colleen Henderson that lil' miss GiGi is home safely and all is well. Thank you to all who helped out!
An itsy-bitsy tan shih tzu -- aka the "chrysanthemum dog" -- is running helter-skelter somewhere in the city after making a mad dash out the front door of her home yesterday.
"GiGi," resplendant in a purple doggie shirt and pink collar, is 6 years old and recuperating from bladder stone removal surgery a week ago. She needs her medication.
GiGi lives on Vine Street in the city; at last glimpse, her neighbors saw her at Vine and North Street heading toward Summit.
Normally, she's home alone with mom, longtime community volunteer Peppi Palmer, to whom she is said to be "joined at the hip," metaphysically speaking.
But Palmer is in the hospital with an ankle injury, so her daughter-in-law, Colleen Henderson, drove up from Ohio to watch over the beloved "baby," who enjoys being gussied up in her cute outfits, playing with squeaky toys and eating homemade, peanut butter dog treats.
(Hear that? It's people saying "SPOILED!" in unison.)
Henderson's theory is that skittish GiGi was well aware mom was not in the house and hearing a car pull into the driveway, was anxious to meet up with mom. Instead it was Henderson at the door with a basket full of clothes for her stay, and when the door opened, out bolted GiGi.
"She booked it, so many people started chasing her -- that freaked her out," Henderson said. "She was running all over; even kids couldn't catch her."
The shy but sweet shih tzu, whose preferred gait is "moseying," became a little pistol, off to ends unknown -- sort of.
'Bold Adventure' for Timid Toy Breed
Apparently, GiGi has been spotted a few times. Kelly Hansen wrote The Batavian this afternoon to say:
"Within a short time, sightings of GiGi on her bold adventure began to be reported. She was seen on Washington Avenue, Bank Street, Summit Street, then she was spotted Downtown. After 4 p.m., she was seen running near Liberty Street by Crossroads House (where Palmer has lovingly volunteered), Ficarella's (Pizzeria), and near the (Mancuso's) Bowling Center..."
So, if you see this spiffy scamp -- "Please do not chase." -- call one of these phone numbers:
(440) 382-0398 (Colleen Henderson, daughter-in-law)
(518) 698-9986 (Andrea Casey, daughter)
OR email the Volunteers For Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter: [email protected]