Miniature dog's plight opens hearts in Phoenix

By Scott Craven

The Arizona Republic

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 22 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Andre has learned to step slowly and carefully, following nearby voices to guide him through a world he can no longer see. But despite what happened to him a few days into the new year, the dog still leans into the human touch and seems happiest when held.

"When I talk or sing a little, he stays right with me on my heels," said Powers, Andre's No. 1 caretaker. "He just had his first bath, and now he's snuggled up with a blanket, falling asleep on my lap."

Andre's struggles are not quite over. His eye infection flared last week, and he is back on antibiotics. Powers also must continue treatment for Andre's diabetes and make sure the dog puts on some needed pounds while getting exercise.

Powers hopes to have Andre well enough for a picnic arranged for the many fans who contributed to his cause or could not see him at the fundraiser. She also wants Andre's fans and the 1,000-plus visitors he's had on his Facebook page to know that the miniature pinscher is in a safe place.

Andre is still tiny, weighing about 9 pounds. An underdog, to be sure. But one person gave him a chance, and then another, and then another. Word got around, and soon hundreds of people were donating thousands of dollars. And instead of being a dog that cost $5,000 to save, he became a dog that raised $12,000 extra for injured and abused animals down the line.

"It's amazing how a tiny little spirit can touch so many hearts," Powers said. "I want to reassure everyone he is well-cared for and loved. Everything he needs, he will get. He will have the best possible life from now on."

Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

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