Sunday, August 16, 2015

Evaluating Rediviva

I arrived at the shelter ready to evaluate this gal.  When she was taken out of her kennel I quickly witnessed some of why she doesn't show well. The shelter has a good amount of dogs and she was in the middle of the the row of dog kennels. The kennels are not in and out runs (no access to outdoors).  That meant that in order for her to go outside, she had to walk by a lot of dogs - all barking and lunging at the kennel gates as she walked by. And of course lots of dogs going by her while she was in her kennel - more barking, lunging, etc.  This isn't the shelters fault and by shelter standards, physically this was a pretty nice clean shelter.  The kennels had concrete barriers up the sides so at least the dogs had a visual barrier.  The shelter does the best they can with the limited resources they have. The shelter staff I interacted with was very nice and clearly care about the animals in their care.
 From the dog's perspective, I can't imagine having to exist in a shelter environment with so many dogs barking, lunging at you day in and day out. Talk about stress and no wonder she spins up so fast if she hears or sees a dog. Her environment clearly reinforced that seeing or hearing dogs is scary and her way to manage this was to lash out towards them.  She was spitting, nasty barking and lunging at them.  I can't say I would behave any different if I were her.

We made it into the meeting room and after a bit of time (even with the noise of the shelter -it was loud there) she was able to pay attention to me.  Smart girl quickly figured out I had a food bag attached to me.  I asked her for a sit and tada!

Here we are less than 10 minutes of meeting and you can see why I took her out of the shelter.  Viva is a lovely, smart girl who had humans let her down.  She was brought into the shelter because she wasn't wanted anymore - a reason many animals find themselves in over run, loud, scary shelters with lots of different humans handling them. It's really amazing any of them are not completely psychotic within hours of arrival.  And Viva has been in the shelter environment for a good amount of time.

After Viva was loaded into my car we headed to my in-laws where we would be staying for the next 3 days.  Stay tuned to see how introductions went with my in-laws and D'light.

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