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Monday, Oct 23, 2017
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Sebring amateur showbiz dog still wows people

SEBRING - Every morning Prozac the dog goes for his morning walk, eats popcorn and greets alley cats with a wet kiss. He's the most popular guy at the Palms of Sebring. Has been for the last four years. On an average day he gets more than 20 hellos and countless double takes. Prozac is a retired amateur showbiz dog who is living it up with his owner Drene Countryman and his best friend Glossie Girl the cat.
"He's my Prozac," Countryman grinned. "He makes me happy." Countryman got Prozac, a miniature pinscher, when he was 6 months old. On one of his first visits to the veterinarian, Countryman was told he had that "it" factor. "He's a star," Countryman explained. She entered him in local dog shows throughout New England, and Prozac won seven out of eight competitions. Countryman taught Prozac how to jump through a hoop, and from there he took off. He learned to roll over, stand on two feet and beg, go through a kitty cat tunnel and jump 3 feet high onto a stool, and sit. "He's loving and smart, smart, smart," Countryman said. Prozac, 7 years old, or 49 years old in dog years, is enjoying his retirement. At the Palms, he entertains Countryman's friends with his star quality personality. Countryman takes Prozac for a 30-minute walk every morning in a church parking lot near the Palms. As a treat for behaving well, he gets to eat his favorite food, popcorn. "He loves it and it's low calorie," Countryman said. Countryman has had dogs her whole life. Most of them were big dogs, but when she retired from her 35-year elementary school teaching career in Randolph, Vt., she wanted a smaller dog as a companion. That's when she found Prozac. "He's the greatest," Countryman said.

Highlands Today reporter Aiyana Baida can be reached at (863) 386-5855.

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