By Peter BeardPhotograph by Lisa RizzoPublished June 21, 2017 10:54:52A dog owner who took in his first elf pet as a baby was left “stunned” by the reaction.
Peter Beard, the owner of the pet-loving family of five, said the animal, named Tilly, has a “soft, warm personality.”
“I’m just blown away by it.
It’s not a big dog, it’s a small dog,” Beard said.
“I think Tilly’s going to grow up to be a big, big, fat dog.”
Tilly was the result of a partnership between Beard and his wife, Sarah Beard.
Beard said they wanted to give the furry little creature a chance to live a normal life.
“It’s going great,” Beard told The Washington Post.
“It’s a lovely little thing.”
But Beard said he’s had mixed reactions from the community.
“Some people have told me, ‘Oh, you’re a nice person,’ ” Beard said, noting he’s heard from people who think he should be more responsible with his pets.
“But then I get the other side.
I get people who say, ‘Why don’t you give Tilly a home?
She’s a really nice little thing.'””
I don’t think it’s fair to the rest of the community,” Beard continued.
“You’re a family, you want your pets to be happy, and you want to care for them.”
For Beard, it all started with his wife Sarah.
“She just loved the animals, and we had some of the best pets in the world,” Beard recalled.
“And then her husband decided to adopt them, and she was just so happy.”
Tillie was born in 2010, but Beard said the couple couldn’t bring their two dogs to the Humane Society, so he brought Tilly to the National Wildlife Federation for adoption.
Beard’s first elf, named Pussy, had a life of trouble and problems, and the couple had to move to an apartment.
“We had a really rough relationship,” Beard explained.
“Pussy had a lot of issues, and that’s when I decided to do this.”
After a year of training and socialization with Tilly and Pussy at the Humane Association’s St. Bernardarium in St. Petersburg, Beard said she came home a little bit shy.
“I was like, ‘I don.t know, this is the first time she’s shown interest in me, she’s not really like her usual, shy, sweet, sweet animal, she just wants to be petted, she wants to touch me,'” Beard said with a laugh.
“The next year, Tilly started to learn how to sit up and go to her proper place in the cage,” Beard added.
“She learned to sit and sit and stand up, and then she started to like being petted.
So I just kept doing that, and I thought, well, it looks like she’s got some good energy.”
While Beard and Tilly bonded over their love of animals, they also learned a lot about the ways humans can help other animals, including through adoption.
“Tilly’s a very good companion for other animals and, unfortunately, people don’t understand that,” Beard noted.
“If we just don’t care about animals, we’re not doing anything to help animals.
If we don’t make a difference, there’s no difference.
So we just try to help other people.”
Beard said he wants to create awareness about the importance of pet adoption and wants to raise money to help adopt a pet.
“This is a very important time for people to understand that they can’t just give up on the world, they can help animals in need,” Beard concluded.
“So if you adopt, and there’s something else you can do to help, just do it.”
Beards first elf was brought to the national shelter by the Humane Federation, which now runs an online adoption program.
The organization will be accepting donations until May 9, with the goal of bringing in at least 200 animals a day.
“Pussy is a fantastic example of what a little guy can do,” Beard stated.
I can’t do this job without you. “
This is one of the things I think that people should understand about people.
I can’t do this job without you.
I love people, I love animals, I can take care of all of these things and it will all just come out.”