Part I: Shelter dog Santana arrived at the shelter at the mature age of 8 years old. His person became ill and had to surrender her beloved pooch to our care. Santana was understandably shocked to find himself in a loud, stressful environment after all his years in a home. Initially he was too scared to leave his kennel. He lay there depressed, unwilling to venture outside. Volunteers would go inside his kennel to try to comfort him. It was heart wrenching to see such a sensitive pooch in the shelter setting. After days of this, a few hearty volunteers even carried him out to the front of the shelter for a change of scenery. Eventually, persistent volunteers were able to coax him out into the park for a short jaunt. He was still reluctant but he became a bit more animated over time. However, staff and volunteers wondered what chances Santana had at finding a life outside the shelter. He was an older pooch, overweight and part pit bull, not a winning combination alas.
Until, one Sunday afternoon, a lovely young couple came to look at dogs. They were looking to rescue a worthy dog and asked staff to identify those dogs in particular need of a home. They pored over the list, spent several hours meeting various dogs and then, miraculously, settled on Santana. Our big soft boy was going home! Volunteers and staff couldn't have been happier. We have since heard that after two weeks in his new home that Santana has regained some of his canine spirit and he ran around the house with doggie glee!
Part II: Shortly after Santana was adopted, another large, sensitive pit bull mix was left in the night kennel. He was quickly dubbed "Carlos ." Like Santana, Carlos was initially very shut down in his kennel. He sat dejectedly, not moving, not barking, and just looking. Out on his first walk, he shook with fear as he was pulled from the kennels. Outside, he kept stopping by parked cars, likely hoping for a way out of his current circumstances. In the park, Carlos would stop and have to be lightly pulled to encourage him to continue. He was very easy to walk but clearly was unhappy. Fast forward a week or two. Carlos is still at the shelter, but he's adjusting and exhibiting more animated behavior. He's eager to head out on walks with volunteers and likes to sit in the park and be pet as he breathes in the fresh air.
Carlos has even been introduced to several female shelter dogs and has done very well. He's keen to sniff and interact with them in a non-pushy way. It's a true pleasure to see Carlos looking a bit happier and secure. He hasn't found his forever home yet but he seems to be coping a little better with shelter life. We can't wait for the day when this dear sweet boy heads home for good. He deserves the best!