Nov 10, 2009




tummy rubs.
Not too long ago, I was contacted by Elizabeth Brock, of Zootoo PetNews, which is a national online site devoted to the animal world in which we are fortunate enough to reside.

This was a different kind of interview, done entirely by email, which gave me the opportunity to really reflect upon her questions, some of which I either hadn't thought about in a long time or hadn't thought about at all. I found myself in a place that I can't quite explain - jumbled feelings and memories that I had to sort out, as well as many clear, concise pictures of the past few years that came to mind, bringing up issues that appear over and over again. I really had to think about how to convey my world in a way that readers could feel the truth.


"For me, dogs have always been a measure of our humanity, not only in how we regard and treat them, but perhaps, even more important, in how they help us to regard and treat our fellow humans. The miracle of dogs for me - and Orson was the living embodiment of this - is the way they brought me back to people. . . . Through him, I came to see that the work of dogs is not to lead us away from humanity but towards it." A Good Dog Jon Katz (

People and dogs. Quality of life. Compassion. Humanity. Shelter dogs. Volunteers.

Our babies thrive on affection. Quiet time. Down time.

Shelter dogs, not surprisingly,
lose the ability to relax

in such a species

Just sitting with them is such a gift.

One stick, two road cones, and a young dog braves the leap, enticed by a treat in a volunteer's hand that holds good things. Learning that hands are good is huge for a lot of our dogs.

One of our buddies follows the treat hand as the other hand controls how slowly this homemade see-saw lowers. Our hesitant buddy learns confidence as the volunteer handler responds only to the dog's movements. And then we throw a party as our pal makes it on through to the other side. No hurry, pal, we're on your time.
One case of neglected demodex. This little guy was bald on intake, and in this photo is in the midst of traditional (our shelter vet) and alternative (GADAB) treatments, and now enjoys a good life with a full, healthy coat in a good home.

Real life "weave" objects and an enthusiastic volunteer handler allow our four-legged friends to become comfortable with everyday objects, some of them upside down, some with treats on them, and a big jackpot at the end with a sit. A hose? That's what I'm talkin' about!

This little fellow, a victim of sickening abuse, perches himself on a homemade tunnel that he has learned to jauntily run through with the encouragement of this volunteer, and next (not seen), he will balance himself, hind legs on the tunnel and forelegs on the fire hydrant, for a jackpot. Hey, what else can we do with this tunnel and this fire hydrant? Rehomed happily.

Dog with people. Quality of life for all of us. Make it so for all species.

1 comment:

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