Dogs end up at the shelter for all kinds of reasons. Some are strays, some have been abandoned, some dogs’ owners have died, some dogs’ people have been arrested, sometimes dogs have gotten themselves in some kind of trouble like chasing livestock or even occasionally because of a bite.
It’s easy to judge the owner and/or the dog from the apparent circumstances – “homeless people shouldn’t have dogs” or “a good dog wouldn’t bite its owner” – but often there is more to the story than meets the eye.
One of our jobs in rescue is to find out, to the best of our ability, what really happened before a dog arrived at the shelter. We sometimes help lower-income owners to redeem their dogs from the shelter when it seems to be reasonably prudent to do so. Yes, we are taken advantage of on occasion, but more often people are deeply grateful to be reunited with their pets.
Just this past week we were able to reunite a very friendly and well-loved dog with his family. In addition, they took us up on our offer to get him neutered and delivered their boy to the vets at the scheduled day and time.
Some dogs are not able to go back to their owners. In those cases we try to follow up and find out why so that we can give the dog the best chance possible.
One of my sweetest home dogs was a total fail at the shelter. She just sat in the outside part of her kennel and growled. That is not considered adoptable behavior and could have ended badly. We gave her a chance and later found out her previous owner had been seen kicking her. After we figured out not to pet her with our feet (or wear hoodies and baseball caps) she became a wonderful companion!
Along the way he learned Sit, Down, Shake, Roll Over and more. They say he has a cute yodel-howl!
He is neutered and current on his vaccinations. Sully came to the shelter as a result of an accidental bite to the owner’s foot after a squabble between him and the older unaltered male dog in the home over dropped food.
His previous owner says it was an accident but surrendered Sully because they did not want it to turn into problem with their older dog. They also had a baby in the home and they didn’t want him to get caught in the middle of a dog tiff.
Is this a reason to make a dog permanently unadotable? Or is Sully just a dog that needs a second chance? The owner did report that Sully had always been good around the baby and is quite cuddly. The dog we know is a little anxious sometimes, not surprising after suddenly finding himself in a kennel after spending his whole life in a home, but he also loves the wading pool, plays a decent game of frisbee, has made quite a few dog friends of both sexes, and is curious about the world around him.
He would love the opportunity to rejoin a home and settle in with people who are there for him. He is a four year old Lab/Dogo mix and is ready to show off the loyalty that he is capable of.
If you’d like to meet Sully, please contact Redwood Pals Rescue at [email protected] or leave a voicemail at (707) 633-8842. (If you’ve been following along, Sully is also Fern-tested. She liked splashing in the pool with him!)