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Life after the stage: Chihuahuas find new homes

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | 5:38 p.m. CDT; updated 7:29 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Killian and Justin Kramer hold their newly adopted dog Maude, left, and Tito. Maude, a former foster dog at Columbia Second Chance, was the understudy for the Stephens College production of "Legally Blonde: The Musical" and was adopted by the Kramers when the show finished its run.

COLUMBIA — Life after the stage might not be as glamorous, but it is far more stable. Chihuahuas Gertie and Maude have been adopted.

In late April and early May, Stephens College put on a production of "Legally Blonde: The Musical." Gertie, who played the main character's Chihuahua, "Bruiser," and her understudy, Maude, were foster dogs. Both pups were fostered by Stephens College senior Allison Frisch and would be ready for adoption once the show ended.

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Maude, who is between 2 and 5 years old, was adopted by Killian Kramer, an admissions counselor at Stephens. She and her husband, Justin Kramer, assistant director of football recruitment at MU, have been wanting to get another dog for a while, Kramer said.

Killian Kramer got Tito, a 7-year-old Chihuahua, when she was a senior in college. But until the show, they had not found the ideal canine fit for their family.

On May 3, Kramer took her husband to see "Legally Blonde." She recalled that at intermission, he turned to her and said, "Well? Don't you want to meet them?" She was shocked at the suggestion, but they went to meet the pups and fell in love with Maude.

Having two dogs in one house has not been a problem. Kramer described both dogs as laid-back and said they are really getting along. Kramer said she and her husband refer to them as roommates.

Tito had an MU football dog bed that he used to lay on, but when Maude arrived, she claimed it. Tito let it go and just trotted away.

"Tito is the first to give up what he has for someone else," Kramer said.

On May 5, Frisch came over to the Kramer house with Gertie and Lily, Frisch's dog, for one more get-together before they went their separate ways.

Although Kramer had never met Frisch before adopting Maude, she said Frisch did a wonderful job training them.

Meanwhile, Gertie was adopted by Katie Shay, a junior vocal performance major at MU and a high school friend of Frisch. She had seen Frisch's Facebook posts that linked to her blog about training the Chihuahuas. Shay went to Frisch's pet-friendly dorm room to meet the dogs for the first time.

But she wasn't sure if she could afford having a dog.

On May 2, Shay met the pups again after the performance of "Legally Blonde." She realized how much she wanted to adopt Gertie, who is 4. The next day, she sat down and figured out how much money she would need to commit to adopting a dog. On May 4, she called Frisch and said, "I'm adopting her."

Gertie lives with Shay and her parents at their home in Columbia. Shay and Gertie will move to an apartment this summer.

Her new owner said Gertie prefers to spend her days lying on her back waiting for someone to come pet her.

"She's a bit of a diva still," Shay said. "She doesn't mind being spoiled."

Frisch said she plans to visit Gertie and Maude in their new homes over the summer.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.


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