Interim administrator adopts dog featured at Commission sendoff
Interim Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill, at right, was quite smitten by a rescue dog featured during last week's sendoff for departing commissioner Rose Ferlita.
So much so that he adopted her Wednesday.
A county animal services employee had brought a basenji-mix dog, renamed Della after one of Ferlita's aides, to the commissioner's sendoff Thursday, in recognition of her efforts on behalf of animal issues. Several county employees, including Merrill, lavished affection on the pup during the reception that followed.
Merrill said he waited a couple of days to make sure he wasn't making an impulse adoption, visiting her at the shelter. Her spell still held.
"I went back on Saturday and I just fell in love with that dog," he said.
He said Della will be getting a new name -- Suni. He said the name means antelope in the part of Africa where basenjis are believed to originate, but he said it also means goodness in Korean.
Basenjis are often referred to as barkless dogs because their voicebox produces more of a yodeling sound. They are also known as escape artists. Merrill said he hopes the fact that this one is a mixed breed tempers that a bit, but said he plans to get her plenty of exercise at a new dog park recently opened near his home, which should help as well.
Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Animal Services