Despite otherwise warmer and encouraging weather recently, last Thursday and Friday were cold, icy, rainy and grey here in the Mitten. So we brought our outdoor time indoors at the shelter on Friday, which provided the perfect opportunity to learn a little more about some absolutely fabulous dogs.
First up was Jeni. Last Monday was the first day that I took Jeni out for a walk, during which I quickly learned that Jeni is terrified of the world. She is most definitely a poster child for one of my all-time favorite sites, FearfulDogs.com. I overheard a number of folks describe her as “shy.” But she is not shy, she is fearful. An automatic door to the shelter opening in front of her sent her soaring several inches up into the air, after which she gripped the pavement as though gravity itself might fail her.
Even with me moving slowly, speaking softly, crouching down and offering treats (which she did take), all of Jeni’s body language told me that the world is a scary place for her and she’d just assume grow a turtle shell and hide inside it. I walked her maybe 50 or 60 yards before it was abundantly clear that she was stressed, uncomfortable and desperate for some sort of safe space.
On Friday, I brought her into the shelter’s “community room” where we had a blanket, some toys and a few staff members eating their lunch, one of whom was Jeni’s regular caretaker who she appears to trust more than anyone else. She regularly took treats from me and happily begged for some fries and fast food items from the other folks in the room. After reading this post on belly rub body language, I am however curious to know if Jeni was truly comfortable at the moment the above picture was taken, or offering this body posture up for other reasons.
Jeni is an affectionate, young girl with a gentle demeanor and a stunningly beautiful polychromatic coat. She was found as a stray with a jerry-rigged hunting harness on so tight that you can still see the impressions from it in her fur. Jeni has the potential to be a wallflower-turned-starlet if given the chance to move at her own pace and build some confidence in a calm, patient home where she has oodles of choices available to her and gentle, empathetic souls to support her along the way.
Next we have Ginger. And while her name may be Ginger, her aesthetics and personality are more representative of Brown Sugar. In a word, or three: This dog rocks! She is mature, playful, chill and affectionate all at the same time. I’ve noticed that one of the regular dog walkers frequently walks Ginger and seems to have her out longer than some of the other pups, and I can totally understand why. She’s every person’s dream dog. She’s got a fantastic range of facial expressions, she’s a breeze to handle and seems perfectly happy doing pretty much whatever you want.
While we were hanging out, she played an enthusiastic game of fetch with some rope toys, galloped after treats as I rolled them across the floor and mellowed out on a blanket next to me before heading back to her kennel. This girl could probably plug right into any type of home or environment and be wildly successful. Here’s hoping she lands the new home she deserves.
I got very few clear pics of Pumpkin because she’s fearful and mostly deaf. This sweet 10 year old gal was recently relinquished by her previous owners who could no longer care for her. And she is now seemingly lost and wondering which way is up. Not more than five or six pounds, this sweet, old soul is desperate to find a quiet, easy-going home where she can resume life as the mellow Pappy-Pom Boo Bear that she is. She walks on leash like a champ, despite nearly being blown away by the slightest of breezes, and she’s happy to sit on your lap as long as she feels safe. I am definitely a “little dog” rookie, and this special gal tugged at the heart-strings a bit.
Miracle . . . more minutes logged
I mentioned Miracle in the last post, and can’t help but share her again after the fun time I had with her before heading home on Friday. She is a big goofball and loves to gallop after toys like a puppy. She loves tug and fetch and has a lovely soft mouth while playing both.
I did however realize very quickly that the heavy hand that haunted her previous life still looms large in Miracle’s world as she ducked and crouched in fear when I accidentally swung a tug toy in the air above her. This beautiful soul needs a special person who understands that intimidation should never play a part in the human-animal bond.
These four fab ladies are all available for adoption at Cascades Humane Society in Jackson, Michigan. Speak now, or forever regret not finding that special girl.