Tuesday, January 31, 2012
There were lots of visitors and volunteers at the shelter today so by 1:30 just two dogs had not yet had a volunteer walk. Lucy, a three year old Catahoula Leopard dog looked so happy and enthusiastic, she was my choice for today. She is a medium large dog, I guess around 50 pounds but solid muscle; so I was pleasantly surprised that she pushed into her collar then immediately sat when I told her to, as I opened the back door to her kennel. Once out into the hall she pulled me practically in skid mode all the way to the exit door. Hindsight I should have picked up a no-pull harness, but she was desperate to get out to a potty area so we were off!!!
Once in the exercise yard and after everything was taken care of, we did some fetch to burn some of her boundless energy. She likes fetch and is quite good at it; she also likes sitting and coming on command for treats and pets. As we started our walk into the open desert she continued pulling even when I wrapped her leash to prevent it; she is so incredibly strong for her size that she just pulls along because she does not know another way. This is just her fourth day at the shelter and it is obvious that while she is smart and eager to please, she has had no leash training.
When we were returning to the shelter, I glanced up and saw another volunteer with a dog approaching and, in the process, tripped. Lucy shrieked, raced back and sat next to me, wagged and began nuzzling my face. What a wonderful little nurse!
As we approached the shelter Lucy was reluctant to return, but she did cooperate. She is such a sweet dog and she will be so devoted to whoever her new family happens to be. Hunting, devotion and protectiveness are some of the characteristics of this unusual breed.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
At about 2:00 on a sunny Thursday afternoon all of the dogs had been on volunteer walks, so I chose the beautiful and quiet Bear as my walking pal. She is five, mostly German Shepherd and at the shelter due to a death in the family. As I opened her back door she came to greet me and stood patiently while I put on her collar - an extra large! She was eager to get going on our walk but stayed close, waiting for me to open each door as we walked down the hall and left the shelter. Our first stop was the exercise yard; after the standard sniffing and potty routine we played fetch with a tennis ball. She is really good at it, as well as "sit and shake paw"- for a treat of course.
Once on our walk I was happy to see that she is excellent on the leash; she has that lovely German Shepherd lope but she controls it to stay close to you with no coaxing needed. On our way back I thought I'd give her one more fetch game. The main exercise yard was occupied so we used the agility yard which has agility equipment and many tennis balls. After a few tosses I told her to run out for a catch and I threw one in the air; it landed on top of an atrium like object. She had a moment of confusion then methodically began picking up every tennis ball on the ground and rejecting each one. It then occurred to me that she was looking for the ball with my scent on it. I think she is as smart as she is beautiful.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Dougy is now awaiting adoption in home foster care sponsored and coordinated by "All for Dogs Central Oregon", a wonderful all volunteer rescue group. A big exuberant puppy like Dougy can take a longer time to get adopted and a home environment is more comfortable than the shelter in these situations.
I hope to resume my dog walking soon, but Al has had some severe back problems - starting Christmas morning! He at last has a pain med that is working and will start PT next week so things are looking up.
Hot news from Meredith:
I think Dougy is in my classes that just started. They have had him for five days. Nice dog, great family! It's an older couple here on Awbrey Butte.