Thursday, May 21, 2009
An Old Dog Finds a Safe Haven
Snowy, a 10 year old rough-coated Jack Russell Terrier was surrendered by his owners on April 29, 2009. His owners claimed that a few days earlier he had become terrified during a severe thunderstorm and dashed wildly around, knocking a television off its stand. Here in Houston, thunderstorms are a regular occurrence, so those of us at the Shelter wondered why now?
His owners surrendered him with his gear—pillow, toys, food and such. Snowy ended up in the Blue Room with the “Stray Hold” animals wearing a faded red collar with his rabies tag and a metal “Spiderman” tag embossed with his name and the owners’ phone number.
A family dog, Snowy is fully housebroken, knows sit, come, and shake, and carries himself with calm and quiet dignity. His puppy days are long behind him, and while he has the short-legged blocky body of the classic JRT, he has settled into maturity.
He can still chase a cat and fiercely guard his rawhide chew, but he is happiest sprawled quietly on a rug near your feet. His teeth are ground down from years of hard chewing, but otherwise he appears to be in good health. He’s even heartworm negative—a sign that his owners had given him regular preventive tablets.
But the chaos of the Shelter nearly defeated this stalwart little dog’s JRT spirit—he wouldn’t eat, and he moped. At Off-Site events, he seemed resigned to the fact that his family had thrown him away, but the grief of betrayal had robbed the life from his eyes. Older dogs face longer wait times for adoption, and Snowy had lost his spirit, so he was nearly invisible to prospecticve adopters. However, all the volunteers fell for him, and we made sure he went Off-Site, and pampered him with canned food and baths. It looked like Snowy would be in the Shelter a long, long time.
But Snowy’s fortunes shifted on May 16th when he went home with one of our dedicated volunteers, a woman who (like most volunteers at the Shelter is “dog poor”) but who was willing to see if Snowy could fit in with her pack. She took him home, fed him and made him a comfy bed. That evening, we had a severe thunderstorm—the booming thunder-cracks set my dogs to barking. But the volunteer called with interesting news, “Guess what,” she said, “Snowy isn’t afraid of thunderstorms at all.”
Now, almost a week later, Snowy has settled in to his new home. His foster mom reports that the life-gleam is back in his eye and he even chased one of her cats. He’s reliably housebroken and gets on well with her other dogs. He doesn’t like to be crated (what JRT does?) but he’s doing fine in her “dog room.” I’m happy to report that Snowy doesn’t need to leave his new home to go to Off-Sites. In fact, he’ll probably end up a “permanent foster.” Snowy is indeed a fortunate little Jack Russell Terrier.