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Mr. Winkle: Abused Dog to Adored Calendar ModelAired October 11, 2000 - 1:57 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we teased our animal of the day and Lou referred to him as Mr. Winkler. It's Mr. Winkle. Our apologies to Henry Winkler, the other actor in Hollywood.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Fine, I am sorry. At least I didn't say that the Noble Prize was worth $900 million. Here we go.
OK, here is Anne McDermott on Mr. Winkler.
ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cute toys, but wait, that's Mr. Winkle and he's for real.
Lara Jo Regan, who owns Mr. Winkle, says some mistake him for a cat or koala, but he's all dog. Or is he an alien? or a bedroom slipper?
LARA JO REGAN, MR. WINKLE'S OWNER: Oh, that's great.
MCDERMOTT: Regan, a Los Angeles-based photographer, says Mr. Winkle is her best friend and favorite subject. Mr. Winkle has lots of patience for posing, and now he has his own calendar. Look for it on the Mr. Winkle Web site.
REGAN: I felt that I really had to share him with the world.
MCDERMOTT: And the world, it seems, has been waiting for Winkle. They ogle him. They e-mail him.
REGAN: My name is Katie and I'm in the 6th grade.
MCDERMOTT: Katie e-mailed Mr. Winkle to let him know that, even though she loves her own dog, she chose to write a school paper on Mr. Winkle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you see him up close, you fall into Winkle-mania.
MCDERMOTT: Now, Winkle-mania has its downside. All those baths and those blowers. And then there's Clark the cat, who's getting a little bit jealous of bunking with a superstar. It wasn't always this way. When Regan found Mr. Winkle a few years back, he was abandoned, abused and she took care of him. REGAN: Just a minute, just a minute, almost ready.
MCDERMOTT: But she never could get that tongue of his to stay in his mouth. The vet says it's just too big, which makes mealtimes a merry mess. And then there's that lurching gait of his, probably a reminder of those ugly early days. But there's something rather gallant about this stoic little creature and his determination to run with the big dogs. What does Mr. Winkle do for Miss Regan? He makes her happy.
REGAN: Forget Prozac. Just look at Mr. Winkle.
MCDERMOTT: Is there a Mrs. Winkle somewhere out there? maybe a litter of wee Winkles somewhere down the road? Maybe, but Regan doesn't seem to care. After all, there is only one Mr. Winkle.
Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.
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