Puppy love: Young dancer donates prize to Fairfield K-9
Updated 12:38 pm, Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The Tomlinson Middle School seventh-grader danced her way to a second-place finish in the recent competition at the Gaelic American Club, and chose the department's new K-9 unit as the recipient for her $700 winnings.
All participants chose a charitable group, O'Connell said, in case they won. Asked by Police Chief Gary MacNamara why she decided Ruger -- the department's recently acquired German shepherd -- would be her beneficiary, the young dancer quietly replied, "I like dogs."
O'Connell has been dancing at Fred Astaire Studios since August, and danced the cha cha in the competition.
Wells explained the many different things Ruger has been trained to do, and O'Connell was given a thank-you gift of her own -- a special dog tag and a small photo book showing Wells and Ruger in action.
"This is the first ever," MacNamara said of the book. "Nobody else has a book like that."
Both Wells and MacNamara said what O'Connell did was special to them.
"A lot of people have donated money to the K-9 unit," MacNamara said, but "it's real neat" when a youngster thinks of the canine cop.
"This is very special," Wells said to O'Connell. "You did a great job."