Rita was a real wild child when she showed up at the shelter, and her reputation initially kept some volunteers at bay. But she’s made a lot of progress, and many skeptics have become fans as Rita has showed us the great dog under the rough edges.
We suspected that this spirited young lady would have a lot of opinions to share, and she doesn’t disappoint in this hard-hitting expose.
BACS Dog Blog: Rita, you’re known as one of our more energetic residents. Is that fair to say?
Rita: I prefer “enthusiastic” to “energetic”. I know I look like a handful when people walk past. But I’m just a human-lover who hopes that everyone enters my kennel. I admit that I can get carried away sometimes, but once you get me on a leash and out walking I’m not any more energetic than the next dog.
BDB: It does seem like you’ve been able to tone things down since you first arrived at the shelter.
R: I’m merely a product of our instant gratification society. When I see a person, I immediately want to be with them. Period. And I was certainly very up-front about it when I first came to the shelter. Maybe even obnoxious, if you listen to what some of the other dogs were barking (my hearing is fantastic, FYI). But if you can’t go two hours without checking Facebook, why criticize me for following my impulses?
However, I am learning that it takes patience to get what I want. It’s hard for me, but I feel the improvement. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Have you read my updated bio? I had no part in that. It’s totally unbiased.
BDB: I see you’ve started BAD RAP class. How is that going?
R: It’s been a fantastic experience, and I can’t thank Lisa enough for taking me. To be around all those other dogs and people is great fun. And I love the challenge. Any dog can ‘sit’ when it’s just you and your handler. But to do it when all those eyes are on you and the chips are down – that’s when you know you’re a top dog. There are quite a few dogs who can’t handle the pressure. I crave it.
And I also want to thank BAD RAP for allowing me to attend. I’m proud of my heritage, but I know I’m not the pittiest dog at the shelter. My father may have been some sort of lab. I don’t know. He was the proverbial rolling stone. Mom didn’t really bark about him too much.
BDB: Can you tell us about your previous home life?
R: Obviously it wasn’t a disciplined-laden environment. You’d be amazed at some of the stuff I got away with. Fun at the time? Sure. But in retrospect, not the way a young dog should be brought up. That’s all in the past, though. I’m looking towards the future.
BDB: Wasn’t it scary to be dumped at the shelter?
R: Are you kidding? It was exciting! I was ready for a change, and had been considering about busting out of my yard. Before I was dropped off, I had even been looking for low spots on the fence where I could make a jump for it. So coming to the shelter has been a big opportunity for me.
BDB: Even though you didn’t know anyone?
R: You want to know the difference between humans and dogs? Apart from thumbs and better table manners? Humans fill all ambiguity with pessimism. As soon as anything is unclear, you can count on a human to assume the worst. Dogs aren’t like that. Any new situation is an opportunity for something fun and exciting to happen. Since coming to BACS I’ve met all sorts of new people, learned tricks, barked at a lot of other dogs, and I even got to go skinny-dipping in the Aquatic Park lake. I know I’ll get adopted eventually, but I’m going to make the most of my time at the shelter.
BDB: As a dog, don't you actually skinny dip every time you swim by default, since you don't wear clothes?
R: Will you just let me have my fun? And I still had my collar on, if you want to get picky. I only went belly deep. Have you taken a good hard look at that lake? I’ll never turn my nose up at my water bowl again, I’ll tell you that much.
BDB: Any advice for dogs that have just arrived at the shelter?
R: Don’t run from the bath. Just take your medicine, it will be over more quickly that way. And Kongs are for licking, not eating. That’s a mistake you only make once.
BDB: Well thanks for your time today, Rita. I see a volunteer coming your way, looks like you're getting a walk. And good luck with an adoption, we hope you find a home soon.
R: Thanks! And I know this guy. He usually keeps treats in his pocket. Gotta run, I'll see you around.