Thursday, September 10, 2009

Royce and Becky

Royce and Becky have a few things in common: they are both pit mixes, (he's pit/mastiff, she's pit/retriever) both about a year old and both rather timid about coming out of their kennels. Becky is so afraid she has to be carried outside and being on a leash makes her very nervous. Royce gets so anxious about going outside he'll just lay down on the ground or try to bolt back inside. But today when we brought them together, they gave each other courage and a sense of belonging that was heartwarming to witness. They are also both incredibly sweet and gentle dogs, eager for a loving pet or to be allowed to give kisses, which they do with wild abandon.

Becky came in with a leg injury, possibly a pulled muscle or tendon. She seems to be fine now although she does walk high up on her toes. When I have her on a leash, she sits down or pulls away. Off of a leash (but still inside the shelter) she keeps close and follows much more confidently. She seems to be comfortable around other dogs and shows absolutely no aggression toward anyone or anything so far.

Royce has that same even temperament. We thought that bringing these two kids together could be an interesting experiment. Both seem so very submissive and shy. We took Becky out of her kennel first-- off-leash since she wouldn't follow along otherwise-- and went to Royce's kennel and got him. They greeted each other politely, then (and she had to wear the leash at this point) we headed as a group toward the back door. Royce hesitated at the threshold but his desire to follow another dog was too strong and he eventually came outside on his own. Then Becky got intimidated but seeing Royce with us made her want to keep up with this strange new pack and she went along with us to the play yard.

Once inside, they sniffed each other, did a brief bit of "climbing" one over the other and there was only one brief moment of tension-- a single growl-- and then everything was fine. From two little dogs too timid to walk outside to a pair of romping, jumping, chasing puppies, Becky and Royce transformed in just a matter of minutes. It was amazing.

I think that either dog would do well in a home with another dog who is not overly aggressive or bossy. They've made a huge stride toward overcoming their shyness and insecurity. (Both are owner surrenders.) Given a stable, loving home, these will be some of the best dogs anyone could ask for. They just want to know they belong. These are very special dogs and they deserve a chance to prove it.

UPDATE 9/15: Royce is still there and now on the "urgent" list. He also seems a little bit sneezy, and it looks pretty bleak for him. We're still holding on to hope that he gets adopted or rescued tonight.

Becky, on the other hand, has been adopted. BY US! :) Yup, she's our girl now and we've renamed her "Amelia," (Emmy for short).

Although she's also feeling a bit under the weather and is a bit stiff in her back legs - both she and Royce may have been handled a little too roughly by their previous owner - she'll have a futon to sleep on, a thorough check-up, and Rufus to keep her entertained (and largely sleepless, at present).

UPDATE 9/17: Royce was one of a handful of dogs put to sleep today. He had become quite ill (as has Becky/Amelia) and the shelter is crowded again. I guess the rain makes people resent their dogs or something. :( Before Tim took Amelia home, he brought her by Royce's kennel so he could see she was okay. It seemed to cheer him up. He was a great dog.



Toni said...

These two look like they are becoming fast friends. I really hope that they get adopted together so that they can continue their friendship.

Anonymous said...

you should atleast foster royce until he finds a home. They look like they were good buddies. I'd feel aweful if one of them ended up getting put down.
How did you pick her and not him?

Shelter Diaries said...

We have limited space and resources. We do feel terribly sad about Royce. It wasn't an easy choice and we definitely don't need anyone trying to make us feel guilty about not being able to take him home as well. We really are at maximum capacity here. Better to save the life we can save than to let them both die. To tell us what we "should" do is really out of line and I hope you'll be more considerate in the future.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you took that as offensive and I wasn't trying to put a guilt trip on you. That wasn't my intention at all. I know that you guys do a lot of good for the dogs at that shelter! It would just be really hard for me to pick one over the other. But like you said atleast one of them will be saved.
Hopefully someone takes Royce too.

what do you think is wrong with him health wise?

Shelter Diaries said...

Royce was sneezing a little bit today, which could signify just about anything ranging from hay fever from the past week's rainfall to something much more serious. I didn't notice any fever, shakes, or mucous discharge, though. Not being a vet, I really can't say what it is or if it's serious.

Jamaica said...

Awesome! Congrats you two! She couldn't have gone to a better home.
She was one of my favorites there (I carried her to Doc to see what was wrong with her leg because she tried to walk but just couldn't do it)
I am so happy for all three of you :)


Anonymous said...

How great ya'll were able to adopt Amelia -- Rufus has a buddy and I'm sure she'll be your new best friend - nothing better than a rescue animal. Thanks again for all the good work you do -- I am also involved work and unless you are in it it's hard for people to grasp how challenging it is on so many levels. Your blog really conveys the life and death reality of so many shelters. But it's so rewarding saving or enhancing the life of even one animal it makes it so worthwhile. Keep us posted on Amelia - look forward to pics of her with Rufus. B

Best regards Carolyn P.