Time for another round-up of Shelter snapshots:
1. Hawt Dogs & Hot Dogs. Dedicated volunteers donated money, PR and time to help mount the “Hawt Dogs & Hot Dogs” mega-adoption event on July 24th. Sleek, pointy-topped white catering tents sprang up in front of the Shelter, while café umbrellas sprouted in the fenced-in play area. Balloons and banners announced the event and a full complement of volunteers and Shelter employees flung up the Shelter to highlight the dogs and cats needing new homes.
Long-term dogs, our “Diamonds in the Ruff” were available at special adoption rates, and hot dogs donated by our local James Coney Island franchise were available (donations encouraged) as snacks. Sixty-nine animals left the Shelter on Saturday, including 14 foster animal placements and three animals transferred to rescues. About 10 of our long-term animals found new homes.
2. Overheard at the Shelter. A college-age girl, with her parents in tow, was looking for a dog—preferably a Chihuahua. The dog had to be under 5 pounds. When I asked about the severe weight restriction (a necessity since our average Chihuahua weighs in around 8 pounds), the girl said that her Sorority in Austin didn’t allow any dog over 5 pounds.
A vision of Paris Hilton and her little Chi flashed through my head, and I couldn’t stop myself from asking if the girl realized how challenging it would be to care for a dog while she’s in college. “We’ve got four dogs!” the girl replied. When I asked if she realized that Chihuahuas are prone to house-breaking difficulties, her mother snapped, “We’ve got a 21-year-old Chihuahua and he never has accidents.” In my experience, it’s the rare Chi that is truly, fully housebroken. We didn’t have anything that small (fortunately) and so I turned the family over to a different volunteer before I really said something snarky. The last thing a college-age kid in a Sorority house needs is a dog. As I passed by the girl’s father, he said, “Thank you,” in a low, grateful voice that let me know he and I were in agreement.
3. Pyrenees-Anatolian Shepherd Mixes. Both the Great Pyrenees and the Antolian Shepherd are common big dog breeds in our part of Texas, used primarily to guard goats and sheep. Our local Craigslist generally has at least one listing for “Great Pyrenees-Anatolian Shepherd mixes". Recently, a young Anatolian mix came in as a stray at the Shelter. You could tell from the dome of his head and the fluffy coat that Rufus (his kennel name) was a Pyrenees mix.
Great Pyrs and Anatolians are just too damn smart, and they do poorly in the Shelter, quickly becoming despondent. This big, young guy had closed down with depression. He had lost weight and was suffering from abscessed areas near his dewclaws. Two volunteers gave him a much-needed bath and spent an hour combing out his tangles. Although Rufus perked up, he wouldn’t eat any canned food. I was transporting for an Off-Site, so the Coordinator decided to take Rufus with us. Our goal was to find him a foster home. We had to drag him into PetsMart and I was concerned the managers would think we were bringing a sick dog to an Off-Site. The dog flopped down into his crate, and stared dimly out into space.
However, a couple came by and were immediately smitten. They offered to foster him, and after filling out the paperwork , the husband had to pick up the dog and carry him to the parking lot. He spread his army fatigues across the back cargo area of his SUV, explaining he was a former Green Beret. Then he hefted the dog into the rear cargo space, patted him softly and said, “Now we we’re off to Best Friends [a local Veternarian’s office] before they close. Thank goodness for those who step up to help dogs like Rufus.
Photos courtesy of the MCAS Facebook page, located here