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Best Friends: Tari Dower
Get to know Tari and her ‘sweet’ companion
best friends Tari Dower

Tari Dower, Monroe, talks about her best friend Sweetie, a 2-year-old schipperke-poodle mix. 

Dower had always wanted an inside dog. After getting her own place in Monroe, she saw an ad for puppies and decided to check them out. When she met Sweetie, she was in a corner shaking with long, matted hair. Dower said her friend looked at her and said, “That dog needs you.”

Dower brought Sweetie home and the puppy was frightened to death — everything gave her anxiety. She didn’t hear Sweetie bark until after having her for about a month and it took a while before Sweetie would even feel comfortable enough to play with toys. 

“It was like she hadn’t had the chance to be a dog,” Dower said. 

With help from the kindergarten class where she works as an educational assistant at Parkside Elementary in Monroe, the name Sweetie was chosen. 

Best Friends is a weekly feature designed to highlight a local resident and his or her pets. To suggest someone for the series, contact Marissa Weiher, photographer, at

Describe Sweetie’s personality. 

She’s a lover. She’s just the most loving dog. She’s never growled or nipped at anyone. She has a very sweet disposition to being friendly and loving. 

What do you like to do together?

We go on lots of walks. She’s a very good lap blanket. As soon as I sit down in the evening, she’s sprawled out on my lap. She loves to be loved. She loves car rides. My friends all love her. She’s just very friendly. All the neighbors know her. She kind of belongs to the whole neighborhood. 

We walk the trail. She’s up for just about anything. She loves all dogs — whether they’re big or small — she wants to meet them all. 

What has it been like having Sweetie in your life?

I have kids that are all grown and she’s filled up my life. She’s just filled up my heart. It’s nice to come home from school where I have a lot of social interaction all day and know there’s another happy face waiting to see me. She’s just great company and is very important to me. She’s filled a void of companionship in my life.