2017-09-01 / Community

Carina Noelle brings joy all year

By D. K. Christi

Carina Noelle changed her owners lives.Staff& | staff@swspotlight.com Carina Noelle changed her owners lives.Staff& | staff@swspotlight.com

  Donna Riccio  saw the puppy photo of Noelle, who looked like a little teddy bear, and fell in love. The love affair between the two became mutual after Riccio took her home to become the first pet Riccio and her spouse shared in 27 years of marriage.

 “I always grew up with pets,” said Riccio. “My husband, Joseph, is allergic to cats and we were always traveling. A pet didn’t fit our lives.” They added the Carina, Italian for “pretty,” to the name of the puppy already called Noelle.

“She brought change to our couch potato lives,” said Riccio. “It’s like having a baby. When she gets up, I take her for a walk.” The little dog’s long tail swishes rapidly back and forth across the floor with excitement when she sees her owners.

Noelle is a Mi-ki who weighs 7 pounds and is about a foot tall with blond and tan hair. According to the United Kennel Club, which recognized the Mi-ki as a distinct breed in 2016, this type of dog originated in the 1980s as a small, calm and quiet-natured long-haired breed.

A mixture of papillion, Maltese and Yorkshire terriers, plus Japanese chin and shih tzu started the original breed. The small Mi-ki has an exceptional temperament and a gremlin look, with a long, silky coat.

The UKC recognizes the Mi-ki as a distinct breed rather than a mixture. The American Kennel Club is slower to acknowledge popular designer dogs, concerned that their traits are not yet consistent.

“Noelle is smart, funny and full of personality,” said Riccio. “She’s very loving … and she finds a way to communicate by touching us to say, “I need to go outside.”

She sleeps in her own room, which has a television. “At first, we put a gate in the doorway to lock her in at night,” said Riccio. “She slept in her own white dog condo with a bed.” Now, Noelle has the freedom of the house with a second sleeping hut in the living room and toys nearby.

Noelle picks up toys to play with Joseph Riccio. She goes to Donna Riccio if something troubles her. At night when it’s time to turn down the bed, Noelle picks up a toy for a bedtime game of chase with Joseph. “She makes us laugh,” said Donna Riccio.

Noelle’s charming personality is recognized in the neighborhood. She has a boyfriend, Riley, and a best friend, Chloe. “When we visit, the dogs play together like children,” said Riccio.

Noelle spends her time with her owners and friends rather than visiting dog parks where she is a bit too small to feel safe. She does enjoy the pet store.

 Our Best Friends

If you have a dog that you think is particularly wonderful, contact us at info@swspotlight.com and he or she could be the next dog featured in this column.

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