A Story for Thanksgiving
- From California --- a lesson for rescues everywhere.
I thought I'd pass this along, since it certainly taught me a lesson in
the virtue of patience. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
A little red Cockapoo had been at South Central, in LA. CA. for over 10
days. She came in with a little male, and both were marked as caution
dogs, with a note that said "unsocialized". I know a lot of different
rescues were called on them, and a few came to see them, but either
didn't get them out because of the cautionary notes or due to being told
that the dogs were unfriendly. (I'm not 100% sure this is the case with
the black male -- I know it is with the red female). Not only didn't take
them but didn't even get them out of the runs.
Now, I understand this. Both dogs were past their reviews when I saw them
this past Wednesday, and I did the same thing -- saw the caution note,
listened to what I was told about them from the ACT's (that they had been
snappy and mean), and as with so many other dogs not mean, I didn't even
try to get them out. When there are so many to choose from, it's almost a
blessing for one to be mean, because it's a reason we can choose another.
Anyway, long story short, I was at the shelter again yesterday, and on a
whim, I asked about the little redheaded female. Again, I heard the same
thing -- she's mean, she's feral, and has been biting at the ACT's going
in to get other dogs. Knowing that she had been available a long time,
and that her chances were about up, I had them lasso her and bring her
out. She was very scared, growled a few times when outside, then slowly
let me start petting her. Within a few minutes she let me pick her up,
and we were on our way to the back to start our adoption paperwork.
Moral of the story: Give them all a chance.
If I had listened to how the dog had been (and I don't doubt she had
exibited all those traits before -- she actually tried some again when
the RVT's were getting her ready for me too, once she was in a cage
again) instead of taking the time to try and see how her personality
really was, little Dina would either still be in the shelter, or worse.
Yes, she's skittish. No, I would never place her in a family with
children. But is she placeable -- 100% yes!
In just one day, she comes up to me, she jumps onto the couch next to me
for attention, she uses the doggy door to go out -- she's great! If I
move too fast or too loud, she will run outside -- but then she'll come
The shelter is SUCH A TERRIFYING ENVIROMENT for these dogs. So many come
in and get a cautionary note, which they then lose after settling down
there for a few days. But others just are so scared and confused there,
they never act right -- and they all deserve the full chance. We all know
how the personality of a dog we see at the shelter usually isn't the one
we see once we get the dog home.
These caution dogs need the benefit of the doubt, or at least the benefit
of 5 minutes of sitting down next to them, and seeing if they are capable
of trusting. The ones that are just scared, and not mean, will generally
show you some spark in that 5 minutes of time.
I'll get off my soapbox now, but I felt like I needed to share this
story, because I know many of us had seen this dog at the shelter in the
last week, and like I did the first two times, passed her up without
giving her the chance. Obviously, she was worth the chance.
Cause for Paws Rescue