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A Volunteer's View
A Growing BOY ... Sometimes we get things wrong. Sometimes we misread a behavior. Sometimes we judge too fast and never bother to look beyond a first impression. This is one of those times for me.
Boy was rescued from the pound where he was due to be euthanized. He is a big dog. When he first arrived he was very attached to his brother. His appearance is somewhat menacing. He would frequently 'drool.' I didn’t walk him for a long time. After getting familiar with him, I started walking with him. After walking, I promptly put him in his kennel. Some time passed by and I felt more comfortable. I began letting him in the play yard but didn’t take much time with him there either, although he had really calmed down quite a bit and his ‘drooling’ had greatly decreased. (One theory that came to light about that was that he had never been separated from him brother and it was probably anxiety driven.) Days went by and just more of the same. I gave him some ‘atta boys’ and a little pat here and there. When I would pat him on the head, he would pull back a little and just look at me.
A family came by to look at our orphans. One lady stopped in front of Boy. She talked quietly for a moment with him. He immediately became calm among all the other dogs barking. I had not noticed anything like this from him before. It stayed in my head.
The next day I let him out into the play yard. I sat down to see if he would come to me. He did. For just a moment, but he did! From that instant we have been building a bond. We share a little time everyday now. He even gives me hugs and will put his head on my shoulder.
I tried to figure out what had been wrong with him. Well, even a quick evaluation would reveal it wasn’t what was wrong with him, it was what was wrong with me. He was taken from his home, went to the pound, brought to the shelter, and had to find his way there. Wow, what a lot to go through. Things take time and sometimes we need someone to help us find our way. With the help of all the volunteers, he is learning and growing. I see such a change in him. He is a work in progress and I know he is going to make it! At the end of the day, he is one I hate to leave.
Lesson to myself, it wasn’t that he didn’t want love and affection, he just had to learn to receive it. Learning not to jump to judgment is a lesson I need to remember everyday. Dogs are unbelievable. They are always teaching me. I suppose I just need to learn to receive.
Boy would make a great indoor/outdoor dog. He is very clean. (He is nice, but can still get from zero to sixty if he needs to catch a cat.) He would probably be best as an only dog. Same for his brother Bud. Bud is also coming into his own. He has been learning tricks and has become a friend to a volunteer’s young daughter. They have developed quite the relationship. He is gentle and carefully interactive with her. Either dog would make a great protector for their human. It would be nice if they could be given a chance.
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