There is talk of a weather dog over at Inside the Times. For those of you who don't know who Unbekannt referred to in his comment about Puffy here is an article to catch you up.
Puffy Little Cloud / Retired "Toast of El Paso' leads dog life
El Paso Times
She was deemed adorable, glamorous, cooperative, professional and sociable.
And like many celebrities, she was considered bitchy. In the canine sense, that is. She is Puffy Little Cloud, KDBC-TV’s former weather dog who now enjoys a leisurely retirement in an idyllic Upper Valley setting with Frank and Jeanne Jordan. Frank, a KDBC consultant and the station’s retired director of engineering, adopted Puffy after her original owner, Howell Eurich, killed himself in late 1982.
Today, Puffy wiles away the hours with the Jordans and their other Lhasa apso, 11-year-old Bhutan (named after the Himalayan country, but pronounced “button”). Formerly a pampered grand duchess of El Paso media, Puffy now leads a dog’s life. She is permitted to lie on the den sofa, but other furniture is off limits.
At the television station, she was indulged with coffee and cookie breaks. She dined on Jerky Treats. These days she eats Purina High Pro, canned Alpo and occasionally, table scraps.
“She probably eats more now than she did,” Jeanne said. “As a TV personality, she had to watch her weight. Now she eats as much as she wants, whenever she wants.” Puffy was born that runt of a litter in May 1978. Her owner, a local veterinarian, did not register the Lhasa apso because she was not of show quality.
The vet agreed to put her up for adoption through the El Paso Humane Society with the stipulation that she be spayed. Howell Eurich and Gail Gordon, both KDBC employees at the time, adopted the dog and began featuring her on weather segments in evening broadcasts. Puffy donned raincoats when precipitation was forecast and sunglasses when hot weather was predicted.
Her wardrobe grew, and a special closet was constructed at the station. Puffy became famous. She was the bridesmaid when Howell and Gail were married. She was the subject of a feature and four color photos in National Enquirer. A San Francisco news service sent releases to 2,000 radio and television stations about Puffy’s illustrious career.
More than 50 stations, including one in Hong King, called KDBC to interview Puffy’s peers. During the height of her popularity, she received 50 pieces of mail daily, including marriage proposals, like the one from Ernie, a lonely Shitzu from England.
She also received a letter from Benji. The National Humane Society nominated Puffy for a Patsy Award, the animal kingdom equivalent of the Oscar. When Howell and Gail left town on vacations or business, they often asked the Jordans to care for Puffy. Two years ago in November, Howell called Frank and asked if he could bring Puffy over for a few days.
The couple was in the midst of a divorce and Gail had moved to Wisconsin. “He made up some cock-and-bull story about how busy he was at work,” Frank said. “But later we found out that wasn’t true…He needed an excuse to bring Puffy to us.”
Howell, with Puffy cradled in his arms, rang the Jordans’ doorbell early on a Tuesday morning. “Generally, he would never stop long enough for a meal,” Jeanne said. “But that morning, he had breakfast with Frank.” Howell studied Puffy with unusual interest that morning.
“He made some comment about how much she like the yard,” Frank said. “When Howell got ready to leave, he knelt on the floor with her.” Jeanne also noticed the special attention. “It was a very emotional goodbye,” she said.
Howell went to KDBC to tape a commercial. He then went home, started his car in the condominium’s garage and died of asphyxiation from carbon monoxide fumes. Puffy was an instant orphan. But the Jordans immediately took her under their wing, officially adopting Puffy with the help and approval of Howell’s children and the Humane Society.
“She was right at home,” Frank said of Puffy’s adjustment to new surroundings. Life changed dramatically. No more wardrobe and silly hats. No more elaborate grooming sessions. No more lavish public appearances. No more TV cameras.
Though sophisticated in many respects Puffy has a lot to learn about being a dog. “She didn’t understand the concept of the doggie door at all,” Jeanne said. “It took her two days to learn how to go through the flap. We lured her from the house into the back yard with turkey meat.”
Once accustomed to lacy pillows, Puffy now sleeps on a piece of wool blanket spread over a square of carpet. She plays with an old black sock and chases birds in the yard. Once, she cornered a neighbor’s duck, but the Jordans rescued the bird after they heard its frantic quacking.
Puffy’s gold coat, tipped with the shocks of black, has grown thicker and shaggier with less brushing. The 15-pound dog will be 7 years old in May. That’s 49 in human years. By all indications, she is a happy and well-adjusted pet. It looks like sunny days ahead, but Puffy is making no predictions.