Naper pet shop gives Plackowskis puppy to replace dog killed in stabbing
By Susan Frick Carlman firstname.lastname@example.org December 19, 2012 3:08PM
Matthew Plackowski of Naperville bonds with his new chocolate dapple dachshund puppy at Petland in Naperville, Ill., on wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012.. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 22, 2013 6:18AM
Tootsie rolled in to the Plackowskis’ household, almost as if she’d always been there.
At just 2 1/2 months, the miniature chocolate dappled dachshund is tiny, trotting about on legs that can’t be more than four spindly inches long. She’ll grow some more, but already is plenty big to fill the hearts of her new masters.
Matt and Artur Plackowski took the puppy home Wednesday from Petland in Naperville, happily accepting her as a Christmas gift from the store’s owners, along with everything she’ll need for the next year.
Their last dog, also a dachshund named Tootsie, was one of two dogs killed in October during a crime that took the life of Justin Plackowska, Matt’s 7-year-old brother, and Olivia Dworakowski, who was 5. Elzbeita Plackowska, Matt’s mother, is awaiting trial on charges that she committed the slayings. Matt and Artur spell the family’s last name Plackowski.
“She was a really nice, energized dog,” Matt, 20, said of the first Tootsie. “Whenever I got tired, she’d jump up on the bed and cuddle up.”
Despite his professed preference for “wiener dogs,” Matt first chose a Havanese from the 100 or so puppies on view through glass-fronted display pens. It wasn’t a good match. He spotted the little dachshund, who promptly nuzzled his stubbled chin when she was placed in his arms.
Sales manager Jacob Friedl knew immediately that Matt had found the right dog.
“Once you have that one dog and that one dog has you ... you just have that look,” Friedl said.
With the pooch picked out, Matt made his way up and down the aisles of the store, filling a cart with food, toys, dog beds and other gear that were also part of the gift, along with a free year of veterinary care at Glen Ellyn Animal Hospital.
He told Friedl he wished there was a more adequate word than “thank you” for the gratitude he was feeling.
“Honestly, I will set you up for her lifetime, and make sure it’s all good,” Friedl said.
Matt also heaped thanks on store co-owner Adam Stachowiak, who had decided the gift would be appropriate after store employee Donnie Pasch told him his friend Matt could use a new dog.
“We’re glad we could help you out,” Stachowiak said. “Merry Christmas.”
Matt said he had wanted a dog for a long time before the first Tootsie came along. In the past few weeks, he’s found it lonely when Artur, a long-distance trucker, has to work.
“When my dad’s out on the road, I want a buddy to hang out with,” said Matt, who thinks Artur could also use a buddy to take with him.
The Plackowskis are putting their lives together again after their overwhelming tragedy last fall.
“We’re holding it in. Every day’s a good one or a bad one, just like everybody else,” Matt said.
Wednesday was a good one.