'Puppy' settling in at new home

Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 11:49 p.m.
"Puppy," the dog who captivated the hearts of golfers and staff at Ironwood Golf Course, has found a new home.
The once skittish dog began coming out of her shell Monday, said Sylvia Hollifield, the dog's new owner. Hollifield adopted Puppy on Sunday and brought the Labrador retriever mix to her new home - the Hole in the Wall Ranch at 2751 NW 156th Ave. - where she is making herself comfortable.
"She's doing great," Hollifield said. "She's eating good, wagging her tail and she's strutting around the yard."
Hollifield said she brought her other dog, Ty, out to the golf course Sunday on a leash and that Puppy ran right up to them and let Hollifield put a leash on her and jumped in her truck. In previous attempts to put a leash on Puppy, she had run away.
Puppy showed up at the course three years ago as a squatter, but golfers, staff and volunteers had grown attached to the dog, often buying her food and treats.
When asked if she would change the dog's name, which course officials had engraved on a medallion for a collar they bought her, Hollifield said no.
With acres of land and nine horses, two other dogs and a cat as her new family, Puppy will have a "posh" life, Hollifield said. She also said that any of the golfers or staff at the course are welcomed to come out and visit Puppy.
"She's going to be my companion and she's very happy as a house dog," Hollifield said.
But Puppy didn't say her goodbyes to the golf course without leaving something for people to remember her by. Bill Iwinski, the course manager, said that Puppy ran across wet cement at the 15th hole, forever leaving her paw prints embedded in what will be a new golf cart path.
"She left her signature behind," Iwinski said. "She left a goodbye to everyone and she'll always be in our hearts. I think those prints will become a landmark in Gainesville."
After the dog snarled at some children recently, course managers decided last week it was time for the pooch to be adopted or go to the pound. Iwinski said that although he's happy the dog has a new home, Puppy will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
"I'm thrilled for Puppy - this is the happiest ending," Iwinski said.
Deborah Ball can be reached at (352) 374-5036 or balld@gvillesun.com.

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