Since I began volunteering 3 months ago, I have become quite attached to a number of the dogs at the shelter. One of them is Jody - she's my best girl and I adore her.
Jody is one of a kind – I have never met another dog like her and I doubt that I ever will. When I first met Jody, I was hesitant to walk her because she was a "red dot dog" (meaning her level of difficulty was significant...). I had only been promoted to a “red dot” walker a few days earlier and I thought she looked a little rough for me. I walked up to her kennel door and smiled at her as she jumped up and put her paws against my hands. She licked my fingers and wagged her tail – all the while giving a smile that said, “C’mon, you know you wanna!” I looked at her walk card and saw that she hadn’t been out in a few days. I immediately went to grab a collar and a leash!
The moment I returned, there she was waiting for me. I entered her kennel and was immediately covered with kisses of gratitude. She jumped up and put her paws on my chest and licked my neck and my face. She certainly had lots of energy to burn – hey, wouldn’t you after being cooped up for days? Seeing how excited she was I feared the walk would be difficult, but the first thing I noticed when we got outside was how her demeanor changed from jumpy, impatient dog to calm, confident, and completely at ease dog. All she needed was a chance to get away from the barking and howling and smell some fresh air. She moved along beside me like she belonged there and she looked back at me and gave me her biggest goofy smile.
Not only is Jody a fine lookin’ gal – she’s also a smart one. She sat for me, laid down, gave me her paw – she’s a natural on the leash! I couldn’t help giving her treats because she was just doing everything right (and c’mon, just look at that face!). She looked to me for instructions and I gave them happily knowing that she knew I was in charge.
Jody and I walked together for an hour on that first day – we played fetch (although she preferred ‘keep away’!) and she even let me take toys from her mouth or drop them when I asked her to (with a little persuasion, of course)! We jogged together, we cuddled, and we relaxed in the shade. She happily chewed on a stick while I ate my lunch and when I finished she was ready for more affection. She gave me kisses while I gave her hugs and by the end of the hour I knew that Jody was one special dog.
Every dog has it’s faults – Jody has hers too. She’s a big girl who likes to play rough and at times she doesn’t know her own strength! For this reason, Jody would need to be in an environment without younger children. She does get along well with other dogs, but she prefers the company of her human friends.
Jody is looking for her forever home – and if you take a chance with her, I’m sure you’ll love her as much as I do. She needs a kind, gentle, but firm handler who knows that things worth having are worth the time and work that you put into them. And believe me when I say that Jody is worth it.