Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Engel (Angel v2.0)

In all honesty, there are a great many days when I doubt myself and the work I do at the shelter. Sometimes, I just can't find what a dog needs to give them that extra bit of courage, or discipline, or whatever else it is that makes them shine before time runs out, things get overcrowded, and they're gone forever. Although things have slowed down a bit for now, there are a couple of dogs I still worry about when I work with them. One of these is a beautiful but extremely frightened shepherd Sophie and I call "Engel," though she's listed as "Angel" officially. (She came in while the first Angel was still there.)

I have to admit, Engel touches on many things I find attractive in German Shepherds; she's tall and leggy, a bit shaggy (though not long-haired), and has a beautiful romanesque nose. Even moreso than all of that though, I love her personality. She doesn't fawn and face-lick like most insecure dogs, nor does she shy away; there seems to be a gentle steadiness to her and a heartfelt warmth, even through her fear.

Engel is certainly not going to break many speed records from the kennel to the front door. She's very cautious with people she doesn't know, and frightened to death of the walk to the shelter's lobby. I'm guessing it could involve feeling abandoned, since her previous owner brought her in. Once she's outside, though, she forgets her troubles and relaxes.

It seems to me a bit odd, but Engel doesn't really seem to have learned anything you'd expect a German Shepherd to have picked up by her age. She came in with a swanky martingale collar, but doesn't really follow on her leash (she doesn't pull hard either though, and comes back to you if she notices you've stopped). Fetch is a foreign language, and she seems to know that it involves a ball, and you throw it, then you look at her expectantly. Honestly, the only things she seems to have learned well thus far are "come," "sit" and "lie down." She seems akin to a classic Porsche 928 that's only been driven to the corner grocery store on weekends. So much potential, so little time to get her courage up.

UPDATE: Fraulein Engel is about to embark on a trip to New York courtesy of Bright Star GSD Rescue in Rochester. They couldn't have come at a better time, and I don't think I could have recommended a better gal. She's being treated for a mild heartworm infestation, then trekking northward for her new life. Good luck, sweetheart!

1 comment:

Tajana and Almir said...

Oh My! She is such a lady. We have a German Shephard dog that was a rescue from the Irving Shelter, and this beaute reminds us of our Zoe. Anytime you have a GSD listed, it tugs at our heartstrings. Way to go, Ms. Thing.