Wednesday, June 10, 2009


When you first walk up to Leeza's kennel, you are greeted by a great big soulful face and a perhaps a polite sniff. If you're especially lucky, she might lick your fingertips. She knows she's a big girl and so she is very gentle with others. Open her kennel to take her out and she'll duck her head into the leash for you and walk close by, never dragging you along or bolting away. She passes by other kennels and sniffs at those who want to greet her and ignores those who act unfriendly. She's especially keen to meet any humans in the area and approaches calmly and politely. She seems to have had a litter or two in the past and maybe it's the "mom" in her coming out but she just seems to treat all life around her with such gentleness and care. I have never seen her growl or bark or bristle at anyone or anything in the time I've spent with her.

When I took her out to the play yard, I expected her to sniff about, maybe stretch her legs with a brief trot and not much else. She just seemed like such a grand dame. I took some photos of her but everytime I got down to her level for a low-angle shot, she came over to me to see what was going on. I decided to toss a ball to see if at least she'd go investigate and I could get a photo of her from a distance. I threw the ball.

She was all over that ball! What's more, she brought it over to me and let me take it from her without fuss. I sat down on the doghouse at one point and she put her front paws up beside me, acting like she wanted up. I climbed up to see if she'd follow. She hopped right up on top of the doghouse with me, decided that was boring and leapt down again as graceful as a deer. She's a kid at heart and such a sweet, sweet dog. Anyone who loves big dogs will fall head over heels in love with Leeza. She is just such a good girl. She was never rough or boisterous and when it came time to go inside, she stood patiently for me to get her leash back on her and then walked right inside to the first open kennel she saw and went in. It wasn't her kennel, however, so I took her around to her "room" in the back of the main dog area. She went inside just as nice as you please and sat while I removed her leash and moved her water bucket. I would say she is definitely housetrained and probably crate/kennel trained as well. A lot of dogs struggle when you try to put them back into their kennels or turn and bolt the minute the door is opened. I left Leeza's kennel door open while I did her leash and water and she just sat on the floor, waiting for me to finish. Like I said, she is a good, sweet girl and if you have a heart and home big enough for her, she'll make an excellent best friend.

UPDATE: (by Tim) Like Sophie yesterday, I took Leeza out and about today. She really is a fantastic dog; hardly pulled on her leash, behaved admirably in a chaotic room full of puppies (both canine and human), and indulged my shutterbugging getting in the way of a terrific game of fetch. Tomorrow, the remainder of her past 3 or so winter coats must be brushed out of her fur. She'll probably appreciate that.

It was a warm and sunny day, so we didn't get to play around as long as we wanted. Leeza's still rehydrating herself, and though she never complained, I didn't want to overheat her. She politely let me know when she wanted to call it a day by bringing the ball to me, pausing, then taking it to the gate and waiting for her leash. Like Sophie said earlier, Leeza's a graceful, polite, gentle and dignified dog. Obviously.

UPDATE: Leeza left the shelter today, riding co-pilot with two other dogs (Rocky and Rambo, and no, they're not related) bound for a rescue group with a great knack for working with large breeds of dog. We're sure she'll brighten up her foster family's lives until she finds a permanent home, and we'll try to get a link to her rescuers.

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