Friday, June 26, 2009


Tom is quite a handsome gentleman, especially if you like the color red. He seems to be part red-nosed American Pit Bull Terrier, and part red Doberman. Unsurprisingly, he was brought to the shelter because of "landlord issues." I could say a lot at this point, but I'll leave it at expressing my disappointment; I try to think that we humans are made of better stuff than to stereotype a breed to extinction.

That said, if you think Dobies and Pit Bulls are predisposed to be mean or aggressive, please just move on to a fluffier entry, because Tom will severely damage your worldview.

I feel so terribly sorry for both Tom and his previous owners, because it's painfully evident how much affection was between them. Doubly so if I remember correctly that he was initially adopted from an animal shelter. My impression - after sitting for ages in his kennel with him, then coaxing him literally inches at a time out the door - is that he doesn't know what he did to wind up here, but it must have been something really, really bad. Once outside, he brightened up a lot, but was still cautious; he didn't want to do whatever it was again. Yesterday, I decided this called for some drastic action, and brought our other resident shelter-phobic, Engel, along. It turned out to be a good call.

While we walked around, Engel did her best to scout ahead of us, and Tom was content to take up the rear. He was so gentle on his lead, in fact, that I had to look back a few times to make sure he hadn't slipped his leash and wandered off. When ambling around on his own in the play yard, he was confident and relaxed (and polite to Engel the whole time). We played "tag" for a while (in the sweltering heat), and at first I thought Tom would run over me like a steam locomotive. He never did though, preferring instead to zip past me, circle around, and nudge my arm gently. Then he'd plop himself down and scratch his poor, fly-bitten ears like a puppy.

When it came time to go back inside, Tom grudgingly went back to his kennel with a bit more courage and aplomb than Engel. I sat with him a while, as a thunderstorm tried (and failed) to roil up on the horizon. He sniffed around, looking a bit unsure, and tucking his head under my arm. Tom had come a long way over the past week, from furry anchor to belly-crawling to standing tall while our dog, Rufus, climbed all over him. And today he'd walked around like a confident, affectionate sidekick. Alone in his kennel with just me and the distant thunder for company, Tom sniffed at my shoes, sidled gently up next to me, and calmly pushed me over.

After making sure I wasn't upset with him, he broke into a huge grin - as if to say, "...and THAT's for that upstart Rufus." Then he laid his head back down in my lap, and I think I understood a little bit more why he's so upset to be separated from his human friends.

UPDATE: Good ol' Tom was rescued this weekend and is going to make some lucky owner very happy! Three cheers for Tom and his valiant rescuers!

1 comment:

Tajana and Almir said...

Yeah for Tom, his temporary family and you guys. Hurah!!!