Dogtown: Sometimes all a dog needs is a second chance

Mara Segal

A lot of our work in dog rescue is about second chances. Dogs often come to the shelter after being neglected, abused, injured or suffering from a lack of socialization. They have not had the chance to show what great dogs they can be or just haven't been given the right tools to perform well.

We do our best to help them out by treating old injuries, helping them to learn good manners and appropriate behavior and letting them know that staff and volunteers are their friends, people that they can trust to treat them with kindness and consistency. Today we’ll feature a couple of dogs that who have really benefitted from a second chance and are ready to show off what they can do!



Lexi first came to the shelter as a young pup in October of last year. She was a spunky puppy, lively and smart. When she was adopted, we recommended puppy and obedience classes for her (as we would for any puppy) to help her learn good dog manners and bond with her new owners.

We always hope that people will take our advice but we can’t make them, of course. When Lexi turned back up at the shelter as a yearling, it was apparent that none of our recommendations had been followed. She hadn’t been trained in much of anything and her people didn’t seem to care enough about her to come and bail her out, so she returned to the Adoptable section of the shelter.

She is a one year old Border Collie mix, spayed, micro-chipped and current on her vaccinations. She is just as sweet and smart as she was as a puppy and she is ready to learn everything that a well-behaved dog knows. She was initially surprised to have a training session the other day and had a minute and a half of dramatic flailing. As soon as she saw that I was in no hurry, she settled right in and got to work, walking very nicely on the leash with a minimum of corrections. She will be an excellent student for the right person; hopefully her next adopter will follow through and let her shine!

Lexi is at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter at 950 Lycoming  Rd. in McKinleyville, open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Info is available at (707) 840-9132.



Blaine is another dog who is benefitting from a second chance. He has been mentioned here before as one of the dogs that went to the Pony Express Day parade. He was a fine ambassador out in public but was not a happy boy back in the kennel. As a result, he was not showing his best side there.

Redwood Pals Rescue was able to place him in a foster home where he has wowed everyone with his excellent behavior. He has always played well with other dogs and that has continued to be the case with his foster siblings. He politely defers to the more dominant dogs and has been extremely respectful to the resident cats.