Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Note: Yes, shelter dog Jelly was named after by own Jelly. I couldn't resist once I saw those cute ears
Because her name is Jelly and she is a dog and she is loved. Because she was a scared, submissive stray at a high-kill shelter and was rescued by the local Humane Society. Because she needed a foster home away in a quieter environment and she came into my house where she slipped on the hardwood floors and feared the stairs. Because she would turn over on her back, legs in the air like an over turned bug desperate to flip over every time someone knocked on the door. Because she won over her foster dad who was wary of dog hair by not shedding AT ALL for the first two weeks of her stay. Because she was not my first foster dog but she was the one I couldn’t give back. Because the day we signed the adoption papers she let it all go and shed buckets of hair which covered the floor and furniture. I’m not kidding.
Because she is short-haired, squat and has a small head and I’ve had a life long affinity for long-haired, lean shepherds but I adopted her anyway. Because she would only pee in the backyard for her first six months in our home -- never on her many outings. Because she refused to go in the lake or any body of water for over a year before her little feet left the ground, finally, in pursuit of a stick on a hot day. Because she inspired her dad, a man in his forties, who grew up an only child with distant older parents to feel love and care for another being. Because despite his inability to express the affection I sought in our relationship, he used the word “adorable”, for the first time, to describe Jelly when her lip got caught on her teeth as she looked up at him. Because she has weathered the joint custody after the breakup, in two nearby cities, back and forth every Thursday for over four years now. Because we call each other daily to discuss Jelly’s antics and ask endlessly, “What’s she doing now?”
Because she licks my legs every morning after I get out of the shower, licks the salt off my face after a run in the hills, licks the ropey scars on our next door neighbor’s forearm each time she greets him and she simply “cannot hold her licker.” Because she rides in my truck with her chin resting on the open window and turns her head to watch the dog on the sidewalk like a man’s gaze follows a woman walking by. Because she ever so politely takes the hamburger (without bun) proffered by my mother, her grandmother, who picks her up during the day for company while I’m at work and takes her to the drive through for a snack. Because she’s afraid of loud noises and the two big scary cats next door.
Because I tell her the story of how she came to live with me softly at night as she’s nudging off to sleep and she seems to be listening. Because she snores, farts and yelps in her sleep at the foot of my bed. Because she has many names: Gelatin (formally), Jel, Baby and most recently Jel-Ling as she’s part Shar Pei and thus needed to have a Chinese name as well. Because she’s the only “child” I’ll ever have.
Because she’s there, in the family photograph, taken three months before my father’s death from a brain tumor, smiling up at the camera with us all, captured forever in that impossible moment. Because I was only one of my three siblings without a partner to provide solace during my father’s illness and Jelly gave me great comfort.
Because she pokes her head out of the dog door, sleepily, happily celebrating my return after a long day at work. Because her enthusiasm and joy is undiminished and it buoys me every day. Because she is loved and she is a dog.
Please, excuse this indulgence... Tis the season to be thankful and as you can tell I'm so grateful my little Jelly is part of my life. I wrote this piece a couple of years ago but wanted to share it as an expression of the joys that come with adopting a shelter dog.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Border collie mix Malcolm arrived at the shelter with a HUGE growth on his right back leg. Animals with odd and unexpected maladies pass through the shelter doors and this was surely one of the more obvious. Poor pooch didn't seem to be phased by the growth, he was happy to go running in the park with a volunteer or rolling in the ice plant (a favorite activity) but we assumed it didn't bode well for his general well-being.
Well, surprise. The biopsy report came back and it was declared to be a benign growth. Good news indeed. However, this introduced a few challenges. The shelter was willing to pay for the surgery but a foster home had to be secured before the surgery could take place. Foster homes have been hard to come by lately due to all the financial upheaval. Volunteers were not deterred. We put out the word that a deserving dog was in need. It was heartening to receive responses from several people offering to assist. In the end, a very kind woman came up to meet Macolm. She has several rescue dogs of her own and a large plot of land which would ideal for exercising a border collie who loves to run (don't they all). She agreed to foster Malcolm after the surgery. Yippeee. We're very pleased to report that the surgery was performed and that Malcolm has settled into his foster home. He has been described as "a treasure" by his foster mom, Jill.
Thanks to Kate, shelter staff, Pam, Anthea, Cindi, Suzanne and Jill for their efforts on behalf of Malcolm. He is now available for adoption through Home at Last Rescue.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
So, occasionally a dog arrives at the shelter who is such a mix of mixes that it's hard to pick out a dominant breed. New girl Rainey presents such a challenge. She's a happy, friendly girl with lots of character. As for her heritage? Shepherd? Hound? A pinch of pit? Shar-pei? Any educated guesses or wild speculation?
Curious what others would think, I posted this question and pictures on Craig's list and asked for input. Less than twelve hours later I had received the following responses:
* I would say the dog is a shepherd by the ears I would think GSD and APBT I have seen pictures of purebred pits with that color combination on breeder sites. But, I can safely say a type of Shepherd and APBT mix.
* German Shepard, Pit Bull mix....width of the face is the pit, and the heart shape shading on the top of the head is shepard....Good Luck.. ps shepard's hold their front feet out like that, often crossing their paws..used to work in a Veterinary Hosp.....and we used to play name that breed often, but now you can do a DNA test on dogs....
* looks like greman shepard dobermen mix -- no pit doesnt have the pit eyes or muscle, has long legs and dobe body with short hair coat i got a lab,dobe ridgeback mix
i think it's dobe gremenshepardridgebakmix short coat just what i see im pretty good with finding out different breeds
* I say it's a shepard and cattle dog.
* Could have some Akita in it? Or Beauceron or Malinois?
* german shepherd and boxer with a little great dane thrown in? should be a loyal and very smart family member!
* My guess is a mix of German Shepherd and Pharaoh Hound. Just seeing the ears on your dog brought the image of the Pharaoh Hound to mind.
* I'm no expert but that dog has a Boxer face and Kelpie ears. Just a thought!
* I have a dog that looks just like the one in the pic, she is a Pit bull-Pharaoh hound cross.
* Looks like there is some Great Dane in this dog. My guess is German Shepard and Great Dane mix.
* Hmm hard to tell without being able to feel the texture of the coat. Looks reminiscent of Rhodesian ridgeback... maybe even shar pei.
* my guesses are pitbull, german shepherd, possibly some boxer and/or great dane! A true "Heinz 57" :o)
* Really I don't see any pit in her. I would say cattle dog and malinois. Pits don't have faces like that and their ears are not that prick.
* She is cute though, Reminds me of one I had 13 years ago, he was Akita mix looked a lot like her but with more hair.
* pit/shep good luck
* What does it matter - hes a beautiful mix.
* Your pup looks like a typical GSD/pit mix. I have seen a few where both parents were known, and while the puppies varied in looks, a few looked just like the dog in your ad. I think GSD/pit is a safe guess!
* Hi there, I'm sure that dog has some Belgian Malinois and probably Boxer. Are you adopting? If so you'll need some good training help and will have to keep the dog occupied. Malinois are very intelligent and need tons of mental and physical stimulation. Good luck!
* Ears, coat, color and jaw/face bone shows boxer in there. To be sure you can do DNA test.
Note: I'm kind of partial to the Malinois Shepherd theory. Check out these images:
BTW, Rainey is a lovely dog and she's looking for a home! Read more about her here.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Big, goofy, brindle-and-white boy wants to meet playful girl pooch for romp in dog run and exchange of slobbery dog kisses. Gorgeous, stately brindle gal with lots of class looking for strong silent type to sweep her off her four feet.
It can happen and it did! Larry and Athena had a brindle-blast playing in the shelter dog run today. They wrestled, they ran, they sniffed, they licked. It was great fun to see these two doggies at play.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Two of our favorite dogs left the shelter this week! After waiting oh-so-long both Hendrix and Ollie found their forever homes. What a thrill. We haven't had a pit bull adopted in several months (sigh). Let's hope this is the start of an upward trend. Both of these stellar pooches would have been adopted some time ago if we had dressed them up as shepherds or pugs ;-)