Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Leon was adopted Friday shortly after our walk. As some of you know I'm getting ready for an unexpected trip to Atlanta, so I just cannot remember which "potential Leon owners" I may have talked with as I brought him in. I'm sure he will do well as he is a wonderful dog.
I along with some of you have been concerned that it has taken longer than we've come to expect for Tanner (red bone coon hound) to find his forever home. Among the volunteers, he is close to "Vincent" status as a favorite, but apparently hound breeds are harder to place. So, Tanner is now in doggy foster care at home with a family, still awaiting permanent adoption but getting lots of love and attention in the interim. The organization handling this is a wonderful local rescue group of volunteers called "All for Dogs". I emailed them my write up on Tanner and they responded very promptly; they agree that Tanner is great and will likely find his forever home soon. I'm very impressed with this group and with what the volunteers accomplish on very little.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Some days there are more dogs needing a walk than volunteers. I was trying to make up my mind between dogs and I noticed that Leon had a whole pile of volunteer's notes on his kennel: "Good listener", Knows what I'm thinking", "Communicates with me" "Knows all commands", etc. Was this a dog or a therapist? Well, it has been a lousy spring in Sunriver, so perhaps a walk with a four legged therapist would be a good idea. Leon is a beautiful five year old yellow lab. He is great on the leash, sits, goes down, etc. immediately on command, however what really impressed me occurred as we were returning to the shelter from the open desert area. Al called on my phone and since I had put it in an inside pocket, I had to deal with removing my gloves, getting the phone, all while holding onto the leash. Leon must have sensed that I was struggling because with no command from me, he stopped his walk came around to my side sat down then laid down at my feet the entire time I was talking to Al. During this time several volunteers with dogs walked by us and Leon did not budge. Once I put the phone away and we resumed, everything returned to a normal walk. What an incredible dog!
I usually go completely through the dog area to see who has not yet had a walk before selecting my walking buddy, but Miles was in the first kennel I came to and was so cute, that he was the one. Miles is a year and a half old beagle in love with the world and everything in it. I took him first to the exercise area, but he spotted some of the shelter staff so headed straight for the fence to visit. On our walk he was so interested in sniffing every single thing we likely made less than 100 yards in 40 minutes. As I watched him enjoying every inch of ground, he reminded me of someone who loved to read set loose in the New York Public Library. As we made our way "slowly" back toward the shelter and encountered other volunteers walking dogs, Miles was just overcome with joy at seeing them. Miles still has a lot of puppy in him, so he will need more training, but he has a good start on the basics and is totally lovable. He is way cuter than this photo.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Marley was adopted today. As you know, adoptions are confidential but I DO know that his new family has property and a dog that looks just like him; so there is a very good chance that he is on his way to becoming a working herd dog. Good luck Marley in your new career!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
There are just no ordinary days at the Humane Society. As I did a walk through today to see who had not yet had a walk, I noticed Marley, a year old "mostly Kelpie" (Australian herd dog). He likely had not yet had a walk because he would not come out of his kennel. One of the shelter staffers got him on a leash for me. He was so very timid that it was a struggle to get him to walk as far as the exercise yard, where he sat under my legs for about 15 minutes, then moved to sit as close to me as possible for another 15 minutes with his head planted firmly on my lap. He appeared to be happy just sniffing and watching all the comings and goings of the passers by. I eventually convinced him to go for a walk and it was interesting to watch his breed behavior start to come out. Every few yards he turned around and made eye contact. Like all the dogs I've walked, he responded with a little spike of energy when I talked to him or petted him during the walk, but he is the first one that seemed to take responsibility for maintaining regular contact via his eyes. This is apparently a trait of this breed, not only herding using eye contact but staying in extremely close communication with their person. I think Marley will get a lot more confident; I found out after our "walk" that this was just his third day at the shelter. He is going to make someone a wonderful friend.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Just when you think you're beginning to be able to predict some breed behaviors, you encounter a dog like Tanner. Tanner is about 99+% Red Bone Coon Hound, so I expected "a dog on a mission". I have found that the hunting breeds (dogs-on-missions) I've walked are often so driven by scent or sight that their DNA just takes over when they get to go for a walk. I use the shelter-recommended leash wrap around to make them easier to manage since most of them are large dogs. None of this was true of Tanner.
Tanner politely waited for me to put on his collar, no jumping around. While we were still in the dog area (lots of barking) a little boy and his Mom wanted to pet Tanner; even though this was going to be his first walk of the day, he still sat on command while the little boy petted him. He waited patiently for me to open each door, no pulling; I did not need to use a wrap around leash on him. Early in our walk, two large crows flew over us and Tanner absolutely flattened on the ground, he was really afraid of them. Since I like to let the dog set the walk agenda, we stayed under trees and near fences probably because of Tanner's fear of birds. Tanner is a little odd for a coon hound but a wonderful dog.
Annie was adopted today while I was at the shelter and it is truly a match made in Heaven. As I was determining who needed a walk today; I noticed a large heavy set man standing by Annie's kennel. We said hi, he did not need assistance so I continued what I was doing. When I next saw him, the staff was assisting in getting Annie up into the front seat of his car, the car had a handicap tag so I believe he had some mobility impairment. Annie, a totally "stop and smell the roses" dog who would never consider hurrying or pulling on her leash has found her perfect home.