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  • Writer's pictureDiana McDaniel Hampo

Hot Springs History and Puppy Love

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

On Park Avenue there's a handsome little building that's home to Tootsie's Pet Boutique. I love the history of the building, the architecture and Tootsies, all for different reasons.

My dad, I Granger McDaniel designed this unique building back in the 60s. It was a branch for Arkansas Bank and Trust. The design is classic I Granger with the flat poured concrete roof and gorgeous cantilevers. But it's the rock wall in front of the building I love the most. Dad wanted to use

tufa from Hot Springs National Park but that was impossible. So, he

used a dark volcanic stone that looks and feels very much like tufa. And the grace of that particular curve was one of dad's signature. You'll see it in so many of his buildings including the Weyerhaeuser building on Whittington and Oaklawn School. My mom always said that ABT branch was one of her favorite "Dad Buildings." I understand why.

Now there's Tootsies, owned by Kristy Russell. She carries all kinds of wonderful and unique dog products, she offers grooming and DIY bathing. Here's the thing about Kristy, she's so in love with dogs and it shows. I can't tell you how many times I've walked in and found her having long heartfelt conversations with dogs as she grooming. If the dog is anxious, she takes her time. If he's sad (one day I walked in a she was grooming a tiny sad

dog for the owner's funeral) she's encouraging and understanding, like a doggy counselor.

Pretty soon they are opening fancy Doggy Suits for over night boarding. There will even be a Harley Davidson themed sweet along with Paris and one with an Ocean vibe.

Of course Kristy can't stop taking in strays. If a dog with a litter of puppies has been dumped on the side of the road, she drive 50 miles to rescue them and nurse them back to health. When I visited today she had 11 dogs for adoption. Fortunately she's started a non-profit

and they are having a big Dog Celebration next Saturday, September 5th with all kinds of food and fun. I hope you can stop by and help support this great mission. I think the non-profit is called Who Rescued Who? Or if you've been thinking about adopting she's got some wonderful fur babies, little to big, looking for a home.

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