For the Love of Shelter Dogs*

Lil Bear, TomTom, & Dallas
March 16, 2009, 12:41 pm
Filed under: General

It rained here all weekend, so I only got to the shelter for two hours on Saturday. It was enough to meet some new dogs though! As we walked the aisles, we noticed some new faces, some old faces, and some long-timer faces.

We took out Lil Bear first. He’s a black, white, and brown Aussie mix. He’s a sweet sweet boy, but whoever owned him before over-fed him a bit. He’s not terribly overweight if you feel his sides (you can still feel the ribs, you just can’t see them), but if you just look at him he really does look like a little bear! He’s a chunky little boy. We had him out for a while and spent some time loving on him, and he’s a real sweet boy. It was raining pretty hard, or I would’ve brought my camera and taken pictures. I’m hoping to get to the shelter tomorrow (Tuesday) with my camera (it’s supposed to stop raining later today!) so I’ll try to post pictures on Wednesday.

After Lil Bear we took out Tom-Tom. As we walked by his cage and noticed his name, both of us stopped and looked at each other and said “Not another Tom!” There was a Tom at the shelter over a year ago (a shepherd mix), and we were remembering him. We absolutely loved the first Tom (I called him TomTom). He was energetic, kind of crazy, and loved us (in a not-so-polite way). We always tend to adopt the crazy cases, so we decided to try to teach Tom to not jump and not “love” us or other customers. We succeeded in teaching him to ‘sit’ but he was a stubborn boy and kept trying to jump. He was also a lap dog! If we sat down in a chair, he’d come over and jump into our laps and relax. It was really sweet. After a few months at the shelter, he became kennel-stressed, and started acting aggressive toward other dogs. He’d go nuts if they walked by his cage, and he’d spin around and bark and whine and yelp like he was hurt. All of us volunteer tried to get him out as often as possible, but we were only there so often, and he spent most of his time in the cage. I had a breakthrough with him about a week before he was euthanized. We were out in the front pen and another volunteer walked a dog up to say hi. Tom ran over to the fence, and I followed him. I’d started watching the Dog Whisperer recently, so I tried to be calm-assertive and own the fence. I didn’t know if it was working or not. Tom started getting worked up, and I tapped between his ribs and his back leg with my foot. He jumped and looked at me, then looked calmly back to the other dog. I was amazed. It worked! The other volunteer and I spent a few minutes talking while Tom sniffed his new friend, then I took him back inside. I was so excited. Unfortunately, the shelter just couldn’t keep him any longer (it had been almost a year since he’d come to the shelter) and the next weekend he was euthanized. I could feel it coming. Every time I saw an employee walking the aisles that I didn’t usually see, I’d follow behind him/her quietly, pretending to look at the kennel cards. I saw her go up to Tom’s cage, jot something down, and walk away. I knew that was it. I’d had him out already, so I walked by and slipped him a treat. When I went by an hour later, his kennel card, the colorful signs that adorned his cage, and Tom himself were all missing.

So when we saw this new TomTom, we were astonished. Of course, he looked almost nothing like the first Tom. He was a smaller, lab mix who looked like he may have a little pit in him, but not much. He also seemed a lot calmer than the original TomTom. We took him out (just couldn’t resist) and realized that he had pretty much the same attitude as the first Tom, minus the awkward “loviness” and kennel-stressed attitude. This TomTom is playful without being crazy and sweet without being awkward. He’s everything we wanted the first Tom to be, and everything we tried to teach him to be. So, needless to say, TomTom is a new baby (a dog that we fall in love with and take out whenever we’re at the shelter). He’s also shedding, so we spent most of our time with him brushing and scratching him. He enjoyed the attention, and I’m sure it felt good to get all that itchy hair off!

It was almost time to go and we were trying to pick who our second to last dog would be when we saw Dallas. H’s a purebred Akita, and he’s huge! We couldn’t resist taking him out. The purebred dogs we get are usually small-breed dogs, so a large-breed purebred is an opportunity we can’t pass up! We took him out back under the covered area because it was raining. The shelter recently took down a few dividers in the small kennels out back to make them bigger for customers, so we took him in one of those. It was great. We played with him for a while. He’s a mouthy boy! He doesn’t bite or nip or anything, but he likes to put his mouth around your hand or arm and just stay there. It’s strange. He tried to jump, and since he’s so huge I lifted my knee to block him. He could’ve easily knocked me over! When he ran into my knee he backed up, play bowed, and started to hop around. It was so cute! I’m pretty sure he won’t be at the shelter for long.

I’m hoping to get to the shelter tomorrow, and blog again Wednesday!


1 Comment so far
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The weather should be nice tomorrow, St. Pattys day! I heard 70’s by Thursday. Tom Tom sounds sweet.

Comment by Angela

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