Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lovely Lowrider

I will admit it - Mercedes always intimidated me because I thought her ears made her look kind of mean and tough. Sure, I'd seen her interacting with other volunteers and being a total sweetie, and I'd read her bio and read all about what a gentle cuddlebug she is. But those ears! So pointy! But today I walked by her kennel trying to decide which dog to take for a walk. She looked up at me and started dancing and wiggling around in a very cute, happy fashion like she really wanted to go for a walk. It was impossible to stare into her big brown eyes and just ignore her. So I decided to get over my prejudice against her because of her appearance and take her for a walk.

Well, the minute I walked into her kennel she completely lived up to her reputation as a cuddlebug. She was super-friendly and danced around and nuzzled against me for pets. She was so excited for this human contact that she couldn't decide whether she wanted to sit up and get pets on her head, or roll over and get tummy rubs. For the first few minutes, she kept switching back and forth in order to get the most pets and tummy rubs she could possibly get.

On our walk, I was very impressed with her polite leash manners. She generally just trots along beside you, and sits very obediently on command. She does have a stubborn streak, and when she gets interested in something better left alone (like the yucky tin can with sharp edges that apparently smelled simply devine), you have to be calm, firm, and assertive. After our walk we spent about a half hour just lazing around outside the shelter, sitting on a bench and enjoying eachother's company. Sure enough, just like her bio and walk notes all say, she is a very gentle, sweet dog who loves affection and pets and simply wants to be near you. When I sat on the bench outside the shelter, she settled between my feet, leaned against my legs, and rested her head on my knee. When I would bend down to plant a kiss on the top of her head, she would gaze up lovingly with those soulful brown eyes. So after our walk and cuddlefest today, I am yet another member of the Mercedes Fan Club. Her cut-off ears do make her look tough, but that's not her fault. I'm positive that if she'd been consulted in the matter, she would have elected to keep intact. We shouldn't hold it against her that someone didn't care how painful it would be for her and cut them off. I'm glad I got past her tough looks and decided to spend some time with her. She is a very affectionate, sweet, gentle dog.

Text and photographs by Alicia D.


Sandy said...

I love love this girl. I love walking her because People take a second look when they see a petite girl like me walk such an intimidating looking dog.

Anonymous said...

I work near Aquatic Park and walk my own two dogs there at lunch everyday.
I kept seeing this tough little tank of a pit bull with her walker and laughed to myself when I saw her wriggling on her back, feet in the air, enjoying an mid-walk belly rub. Finally I was down there yesterday and my dogs were in the car so I could finally meet Mercedes in person.
She is a complete sweetheart!! Without hesitation she enjoyed a scritch on the head and leaned on me. She looked at me like, "What me? Tough? Can you spell marshmallow?"Then she rolled over for a belly rub. She is a GREAT dog.