At the Black and White Ball

I’ve had four or five different blog posts raging inside my head for the last couple weeks, which typically results in a deafening silence and tangible pause for published posts. So I thought I’d fill the void with some favorite photos from shelter volunteering. Today’s theme: Black & White. Too bad MJ isn’t around anymore to sing one for these two.


This is Vin Diesel. He’s about a year old, obscenely goofy and totally deaf. He was pulled from Jackson County Animal Shelter and is available for adoption through Cascades Humane Society in Southeast Michigan. His unique combination of deafness, adolescence and shelter living has given rise to some charming impulse control and oral fixation behaviors like biting and wrestling with his leash (hence the chain lead), and getting mouthy and jumpy with handlers. Which is a real shame, because this is one fabulous boy. A loving, patient owner or household will hit the jackpot with this two-toned goober.

The two primary recommendations for his behavior modification from experienced, professional trainers and behavior consultants were 1) Give this boy a chewing outlet–Nyla Bones, frozen Kongs, cored/frozen apples, etc. so that he can work out some of that mouthing energy, and 2) Play some Tug and let him learn some impulse control while doing it.

Here is a fabulous post by Emily Weiss of the ASPCA on the importance of letting dogs chew:

And here is an equally fabulous video from Kelly Schutt Cottrell, the Supervisor of Behavior and Training at the Louisiana SPCA on Tug Play: 



Last but not least we have Miss Ava here. Believe it or not, this lovely gal has been at the shelter the longest (since December). Which is kind of remarkable because she’s ridiculously well-behaved and walks like a polite, little lady on her Easy Walk harness. She thinks cats and other tiny, fuzzy creatures are for chasing–hey, that’s cool. But she’s chill with other dogs and has no noteworthy behavioral issues to speak of.  Kind of hard to imagine how someone adopted her and then returned her for peeing once in her crate.

She’s a young, petite thing who takes that Oreo cookie look to a whole new level. Fingers crossed she finds the home she deserves.


About emily douglas

Emily Douglas authors The Unexamined Dog blog and writes regularly about "pit bull" advocacy, humane education and the parallels between the education field and the dog world. Emily and her dog, Peaches volunteer as a registered therapy dog team in the Southeast Michigan area, where their visits are affectionately known as Peach Therapy.
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