I had the chance to chat with the Angelina Leuzzi about her dog Nina who was the Cutest Pet Contest winner. I got to know a little bit more about where she got Nina from and some fun stories about her.
HerCampus ISU: What’s the story about how you got your dog Nina?”
Angelina Leuzzi: I had wanted a dog since I was a little kid. I begged for 7 years, went to so many breeders, pet stores, the whole 9 yards. All teasing because my dad would never let me get a dog. One day in the summer, my softball game was cut short because the other team for fitted. Since we had extra time, my parents said we can go look at this pet store I have visited before called, Happiness is Pets in Arlington Heights. So we went there and by the time I made it around to the end of the store, I saw this little white fur ball. I instantly fell in love with her and spent a half hour playing with her. My parents were still unsure. They kept hemming and hawing. It turned out she was a clearance puppy too. Nobody wanted her because she is half Shih Tzu, half poodle and has 1 pink eye (from the poodle) and one brown eye (from the Shih Tzu). Everyone thought there was something wrong with her because of the difference in eyes. I sat in the parking lot for over an hour refusing to leave without her. Finally, my dad caved in once he went by the window of her cage and she was pawing at the glass towards us. A home is not a home without a dog.
HC: Wow that’s an adorable story! Do you have any other pets?
AL: Nope, just Nina.
HC: Well, since you just have Nina, is she a hassle to take care of or a troublemaker?
AL: Nina definitely gets into her fair share of trouble around the house. The first winter we had her, we had just gotten new furniture in our living room and New Years Eve, we had left her at the house when we went to my grandma’s house and she took it upon her self to eat a very large gap out of the couch. We found out by her waddling out of the room and when she shook off, all the stuffing flew everywhere. My mom was not a happy camper. She is also on her third dog bed in the last year. She has a habit of biting it and breaking the zipper so that she can stuff herself inside between the casing and the pillow part. She really is a great dog though, couldn’t have asked for a better one.
HC: That isn’t too bad! That is pretty common with dogs. What is your favorite thing about Nina?
AL: My favorite thing about Nina is that, though it may sound weird, but she truly appreciates us and is the most loving dog ever. She gives unconditional love for an occasional tummy rub. Anytime anyone is on the couch, she goes to lie by them and is very loving to everyone she meets. She will wait for you by the door of the bathroom and paw at the door. When I left for Ilstu, she climbed up the stairs and went into my room and laid on my bed. She never used to go upstairs either. Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole.
HC: Too cute! Do you have any other cute stories about her?
AL: Nina is famous for liking to take long strolls down the street. And by long strolls down the street, I mean if the door is open too long she will just go out to adventure the neighborhood and sprint down the sidewalk. It’s great and all until the whole family is outside sprinting after her. She will stop and look back to make sure we are following and let us catch up. Then we get close, she picks up again. When she’s tired though, she lets us get her. It’s hard to even be mad at her.
HC: Too funny, she seems like a really special dog. Speaking of special, does she have any special tricks?
AL: She is great at “giving paw” whenever you reach her hand. She barks when you tell her to speak. But her best move of all is when she wants a bell rub; she touches her paws together (like she’s praying) and moves them up and down to beg. It’s adorable!
Also, a big congratulations to our 2nd place winner, Polly the Pig and our 3rd place winner Lilly the Shiba Inu! Thanks to everyone for your adorable entries and we hope everyone had fun voting for your favorites!