Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Wolf with the Heart of a Puppy

Many shelter pets were adopted in the past couple of weeks and the list of adoptables that seemed to be ever increasing was whittled down slightly. The lab puppy Curly, the staffie puppy Daisy Duke, Blaze the terrier mix, Mr. Melvin the pug, Arthur the beagle, and about 7 others found their "forever homes".

Of course, many deserving animals still remain patiently waiting their turn at the shelter - yearning for human contact and company, pawing at you for attention when you pass by the row of expectant faces, furiously wagging their tails with joy when someone approaches or even looks at them; soldiering on with a patient, steadfast hope that refuses to be dampened as days pass with no sign on their doggie horizon of a cozy home and a loving owner. Weekends are probably their best days with a small army of volunteer caregivers to take them for walks and offer them an all-too-brief oasis away from the noises and smells of their kennels, letting them sniff around to their hearts content, roll on grassy lawns, and generally exult in the breeze and the sunlight.

We had noticed the magnificent shaggy animal in the adjoining photo - since named Chief - last weekend but didn't have time to adequately make his acquaintance. Chief is a long-haird german shepherd who looks to me like a wolf but has the heart of a puppy. I was star struck but apprehensive when I first saw him - on approaching his kennel, he pawed at me trying to make contact, sniffed and then licked at the hand I offered in peace and friendship, and promptly pressed himself against the door expecting to be petted. I cautiously indulged him by scratching that big head - to his obvious enjoyment.

That icebreaker set the tone for our second meeting when I took him for a walk+photoshoot and could truly appreciate his size and majestic demeanour. He responded almost instantly to "Sit". In fact, he responded so enthusiastically that he not just sat, he also flopped down on all fours and partly rolled over. We tried a "Shake" and were rewarded with a left paw! A long coat brushing session then ensued, which was followed by attempts (on his part) to bite the leash and play tug of war. Much to our relief, he was easily dissuaded - a tug of war with a wolf like creature who seemed to be unaware how large he was could have gone either way ;) Overall, he was amazingly docile, good natured, and playful and it was a privilege to be seen with him! Ultimately, it was back to the kennel with the promise of more outings in the future.

We left with mixed emotions; fond memories of the brief interaction, a desire to see more of Chief in the next visit, but also the knowledge that seeing more of him at the shelter would only mean he was still not adopted...

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