Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I want to be loved by my dog.... yesterday

Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with so many wonderful shelter pets.... dogs that were adopted / rescued through local county shelters of private rescue groups.

Despite popular belief, that most of these dogs come with behavioral problems, many of these dogs are just the most perfect dogs. They have such stable temperaments, such great personalities, they are dog friendly, potty trained, crate trained, they and much more.

Sometimes though, there are dogs that rightfully so, distrust humans. Can't blame them! What I find fascinating is, what traits people look for in dogs.

Recently, through our involvement with Orange County Animal Services, I have come across the most wonderful dogs. These dogs are the type that don't present themselves well, because they are mutts, maybe because of their colour, their size, their age.... but all to do with their looks.

Further, some of these dogs require a bit more time and patience. Their love has been betrayed, yet they are willing to try again. But our expectation is that they should overcome their past experiences instantaneously and move on. If humans could do this, we would be in a better place, what make us think, other animals don't have the right to distrust?

Rex, a one year old mix breed has been residing at Doglando for a week now. Last week Tuesday, he left Orange County Animal Services to begin training and enrichment to increase his chances for adoption.

Here is a dog that obviously has been mistreated by humans, yet he was willing not to take it out one me, and give me a chance. Over the course of the week, he has learned to enjoy the company of other dogs, he has learned to have his ears cleaned, nails trimmed, he has learned to LOVE hugs and kisses, and cuddle time.

In his few days with us, Rex has come along so well, and we as well. But it took time.

Today we were reminded by one of Rex's visitors, the most valuable lesson of the dog-human bond.... and that is trust.

The family that came to visit with Rex, was quite upset that he did not show any interest in them. They tried to bribe his love by giving him the treats, and hoped for an immediate acceptance, and because he did not respond in that manner, they shunned him away and within minutes lost interest.

I sat back and watched this, and just thought to myself "this is how people make the wrong decision about what dog is right for them." In that moment, they wanted to see a certain thing and they did not, so it was not a matter of making it work out over time and trust... their decision was made. This dogs was too much work, clearly did not show any interest in them, therefor did not love them, and then they said their good byes.

I just could not get over this. What a privilege it has been for us to have been part of him for the last week, and through that, we have discovered what a great soul this dog has. Yet, very few people will get to see this because most want the immediate gratification.

I turned to Rex and whispered in his ears "they have no idea, they are missing out," off we went to play with the dogs.

What a foolish way to choose a dog.

Rex still awaits his forever home. If you know anyone who is looking for a great tempered dog, and has a little bit of patience and time to develop a friendship that will last forever, tell them about Rex. They can come and meet him at Doglando.

Dog Responsibly.

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