The mini-me of Doberman pinschers was curled up in a corner of the latte-colored sofa, trying to take a snooze.
But his "mom," Wilma Berrios, couldn't help herself: "You happy you home?" she asked Tuti, who's actually a miniature pinscher.
One thing's for sure: Berrios is joyous that her "son" was back in Olney yesterday after a 10-day journey in the cold world that would rival any featured in one of those Disney talking-animals movies.
Tuti ran off on Dec. 1 from their home on 8th Street near Louden while Berrios and her family were dealing with family heartache: the death of her uncle and surrogate father, Joaquin Rivera. The North Philadelphia counselor, musician and political advocate died Nov. 29, waiting for medical attention in a hospital emergency room.
He had complained to staff at Aria Health's Frankford campus of pain in his arm and torso, but was told to wait. Rivera's death rocked the North Philadelphia Latino community and made national headlines after his watch was stolen in the ER.
"I'm still grieving," Berrios said of her uncle. "He knew he was loved, but I don't think he knew how much."
Tuti rushed out of the house about 7 p.m., in pursuit of another small dog while Berrios' son and daughter-in-law spray-painted their car with a dedication to Rivera. Berrios was in the kitchen cooking and had taken Tuti's tags off to give him a bath.
The family looked for Tuti until 4 a.m. and filed a missing-dog report the next day with an animal-control center, Berrios said.
Tuti, who turns 3 in March, was seen in various parts of Logan, she said. Animal-control officers picked him up and, after 48 hours, he was selected to be placed in a home by Kathy McGuire, president of the rescue group New Jersey Aid for Animals (www.njafa.org).
Tuti was neutered, as are all dogs rescued by the group, and temporarily placed in a Medford, N.J., home.
But after many calls among a few agencies, McGuire returned Tuti to his real home. "He was all quiet leaving Camden, but when we turned onto 8th Street he started barking and wagging his tail."