For the Love of Shelter Dogs*

Lorenzo, Bunker, Charo, and Prince
February 18, 2009, 6:01 pm
Filed under: General, Photo Day

Yesterday was another Photo Day. I didn’t take as many photos, but I love most of what I took. I only photographed Lorenzo, Charo, and Prince, and none of Charo’s pictures turned out! She was a little afraid of the camera.

I took Lorenzo out first. He’s one of my “project dogs.” I tend to fall for the untrained, crazy dogs who need training and lots of help. Lorenzo was one of these. The first time we took him out (his first day up in the adoption room), he spent most of the timing jumping up on us and biting our arms and hands. It was strange, and we said we’d never take him out again. Well, I just can’t let a project go. So I took him out a couple weeks ago and tried the Dog Whisperer technique (“biting” the neck with my hand) and it worked wonders. He learned very quickly that I didn’t want him to jump up. He also learned “sit” quickly, and now he’ll sit for a treat or a toy. He’s really a sweetie, now that he knows I don’t want him jumping up. I can pet him and love on him and he doesn’t try anything. It’s nice. He’s also very photogenic!



I took Bunker out next. He’s another project dog. I didn’t photograph him (he’s still a project in the works). He does the same thing Lorenzo used to do – jump, nibble, gnaw, and be kind of crazy. We had a huge breakthrough with him a couple weekends ago (used Dog Whisperer techniques, and we taught him to sit), and he was great last week – no jumping or nibbling or gnawing, but yesterday he had a bit of a set back. I had him out and he was doing very well. Then these people drove up in a big rumbling pickup truck and he kind of freaked out. He was friendly and wanted to say hi to them, and then when they left he “reverted” and started jumping and gnawing again. He doesn’t gnaw to hurt me, actually I’m not sure why he does it, but it’s really annoying. I corrected him and he was a little better before we went back inside.

They brought up new dogs yesterday. Charo was one of them. She’s a little terrier mix. I walked by her cage and she stood up on her back feet, folded her front legs to her belly, smiled, and wiggled. It was so adorable I just couldn’t resist taking her out! So I did, and I tried to take her picture, but the camera scared her. The best one I got of her:

Charo is a little lap dog!

Charo is a little lap dog!

I took Prince out next. He’s a new dog too. He’s a pretty big dog – not huge, but about the height of a tall Lab. I expected him to try to bust out of the kennel when I opened the door, but he didn’t. He didn’t move at all. He just looked up at me like “Please, don’t hurt me?” I closed the door and read his kennel card. Stray, about 2, a Yellow Lab mix. I opened the door again and bent down. He didn’t move that time either. I went into his cage and he shied away. I bent down with my side to him and held the leash out. He sniffed it and pulled away. I slid it over his head and led the way out to the front pens. He walked pretty well (most of the scared dogs cower and we end up having to carry them or take them back to their cages). I wanted to photograph him (sad scared doggy eyes make wonderful pictures) but he was afraid of the camera. I took a couple anyways.

Sweet Prince

Sweet Prince

I spent a little time with him out front, but he wouldn’t come anywhere near me and he cowered every time I walked up to him. I put the leash on him and took him to the small pens in the back so I could just sit with him in a small enclosed space. The poor boy was shaking the entire time he was outside. Whenever I put my hand on him he’d shake worse – and I mean real shaking, like he was vibrating or something. Eventually he laid down next to me and I petted him for a while. I hugged his head and that calmed the shaking a bit. Every human that passed by us (either right by our door, or through a few different fences) he would perk his head up as if he was thinking “Are you mine?” He looked so pathetic. He’s another project dog, because most people don’t want the shy dogs. I love the shy dogs.

I took out a few other dogs – Ringo (a pit/shepherd mix with scars from an embedded collar/leash around his neck and leg), Max (a little submissive terrier mix), and Peabody (a Collie mix who inherited the impulse to herd everything – even my feet). No one got adopted (that I know of) except for a sweet puppy.

I’m hoping to get to the shelter again either tomorrow or Friday, and if not one of those days, definitely over the weekend! More updates then!


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