AC 1:Big Black Dogs

After today, I have decided against being the crazy cat lady. I want to have a big, rambling mansion in the country-side, with a huge fenced yard. Then I will adopt only Big Black Dogs and name them all after demons. What, you don’t dream of having your own hell-hound pack?

I’m going to be blogging about my experiences at the Animal Control on a somewhat random basis. I don’t go up there every week, but when I do go, I’ll share it here.

Why? Because, think about your opinion of the Animal Control, and of kill shelters. If you are like most people, it’s not positive. I’ve heard a lot of crap thrown at the department, and the people working in it.

Well, hate to shatter that illusion, but the people at the AC work their butts off, they live and die by the animals in there, and most of them go far beyond the descriptions of their job. And the dogs themselves deserve some recognition and attention.

Today was the last day (hopefully) of training at the Animal Control. Short on time this morning, so the tally was three black dogs and a Basset Hound.

The first girl was a huge black Great-Dane cross. She almost didn’t get walked, because she was cowering in the corner of her kennel. When she did come over, she was growling very quietly and the trainer wanted to move on. But Nallah sat down next to the gate and started sniffing my hands. Once we get into the kennel? Absolute love-bug. 75lbs of overgrown puppy trying to crawl into my lap while I tried to get a collar on her. The walk around the yard bore suspicious resemblance to a kite. Nallah is STRONG!

A complete 180 for the next dog, a tiny lab-mix puppy who enthusiastically licked my hand the entire time I was trying to get the collar on, and then decided she didn’t want to leave the kennel. Fine then. One fat puppy, lugged out of door. The rest of the walk was spent primarily killing the leash and fall face-first off of curbs.

The Basset was probably 90lbs…on 8 inch legs! Leverage! Between her and Nallah, I got a work-out.

The last black dog was the most heart-breaking. She’d been sitting in the corner of her kennel all morning, her head against the back wall. She’s a pretty little thing, but absolutely terrified. So I went in and crouched against the wall. She finally came slinking over, and just glued herself to me. She also wouldn’t leave the kennel. I opened the gate and she headed back for the wall. Sooo…I lugged 40lbs of dead-weight all the way out of the shelter. Once we were outside, she was fine, and ran around. Constantly came running back for love. The moment we started to head back in, she collapsed on the ground and played dead again. 40lbs of deadweight all the way back into the kennel. And then she collapsed on my feet and begged me not to leave. Poor girl.

Today’s lesson: Just because the dog is in the back of its kennel, terrified, doesn’t mean it is a lost cause. The kennels are noisy, scary places, full of weird people, dogs and smells. Some of the shyest dogs are the sweetest ones you’ll find. Give’em a chance, ok?

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