I Support Pet Adoption

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Update

The Shelter Chronicles: Cream of the Crop

Cream: Saved by the "belle" (my friend, Laurie Shishino)

This is a wonderful story! Thanks to the efforts of Laurie and Rande of KARMA, this guy was saved from certain death. Cream is a deaf Pit Bull who was designated as "dangerous" at the shelter. Despite this, Laurie, one of our most experienced dog handlers, worked with him and found a trainer who specializes in deaf dogs to help. When it became obvious that Cream was in trouble, Laurie took the reins and started to make phone calls. She contacted Rande at Karma, who then contacted Via Lobos rescue, who so kindly made room for Cream when they heard his plight. Laurie and her boyfriend drove Cream up to Villa Lobos and it all went smoothly. Personally, I think he was happy as a clam to get out of town! Going to Villa Lobos will be a wonderful chance for Cream as they have incredible love for and experience with Pit Bulls. He turned out to be one heck of a good boy thanks to those kind souls who had faith in him.
P.S. Is it my imagination or does cream have a heart-shaped nose!???

Another great Rescue story: Josie (originally Lola) gets a REAL chance at life!

I'm so lucky to be a volunteer at the WLA Animal Shelter. Not only do I get to meet and become friends with some of the coolest dogs ever, but I get to work along side some of the coolest PEOPLE ever. My good friend, Debbie Fan, who is a wonderful dog trainer and big-hearted human recently had to make a difficult decision. Josie and her kennel mate and we think relative were both headed towards their demise. The problem was that she and her kennel mate escaped from their kennel and attacked another dog. Luckily there were only minor injuries, but both dogs were deemed "aggressive." Debbie knew that Josie/Lola was actually a very sweet girl and didn't deserve this bad rap. Debbie came to the rescue and ADOPTED Josie/Lola herself! Josie joins Dante, Debbie's other WLA rescue dog, and so far they are living together happily. I'm not sure right now if Debbie is "fostering" Josie or keeping her but I will keep you posted. By the way, Debbie is doing an incredible job with Josie's training! Josie is an adorable little black Pit mix who is energetic and playful. Here are Josie and Dante at play. Sweet!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Whata Weekend!

Rayna, Charla, Sam, a bunch o' volunteers
It's the Grand Opening at the Shelter!

Shadow ID #A785075
Home Needed!!

We seem to have an endless supply of Black and white Pit mixes at WLA. It's crazy! This guy, Shadow was recently adopted to a pair of vets (the animal kind) who seemed like the perfect parents for this lovely dog. However, the people took too much for granted too soon by leaving Shadow alone in the yard with their 10 year old Pit while they went out. No one knows what provoked the fight, it could have been the neighbor's kids, but upon their return they found their 10 year old Pit bull with severe leg injuries requiring surgery.

You can't blame Shadow as this was a fairly new situation for him and it was too early in their relationship to leave the dogs alone. We also don't know why they got into it? Was it a food issue? Was it some other outside factor? We also don't know which dog started the fight. I definitely understand why the people decided not to keep Shadow, but it definitely makes his chances of finding a home MUCH more difficult. Very sad...

Shadow is a wonderful dog who is confident and smart. He was part of our dog training class and one of our best students. He is definitely best as the ONLY dog due to the event I described above, but he is not dog aggressive or reactive. I mean, he was in a kennel with other dogs for quite a while prior to his adoption and perhaps he would do best with a female dog. Regardless, I would be very cautious with introducing any new dog to an established family, "go slow" is the operative word. Anyway, I really think Shadow is a good dog and deserves a good loving home. I always feel that Pit Bulls should be with a knowledgeable dog person who will continue their training. No slackers please! Any takers out there????

This weekend was the big Grand Opening at WLA. There were lots of people and local politicians at the event. Speeches were made, hands were shook, pictures taken, etc. etc. The community support was great and many people donated their time and services to make the event a big success.

Charla, our fearless Volunteer Coordinator, worked her butt off to prepare for the event, as did her many elves (aka the volunteers). Mr. Seth, our unseen pet photographer, took all these pix, by the way. Sam, the New Hope Coordinator, was a busy bee all day, seen here on puppy duty. Above, you can see Rayna doing some agility with Penny the wonder dog, Charla's foster dog (in other words: available). Incredible!

The other pix are of me and some of the insane volunteers at WLA. I say insane because they are as obsessed about our shelter dogs as I am! What a great bunch of people we are, if I do say so myself (in the spirit of the Academy Awards).

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Diamond's Shining

DIAMOND (DOG) #A769657
medium size Pit Bull
approx. 5 years old
good with friendly dogs off-leash (she can play a little rough)
Great with people
Has some obedience training
(hey,that's better than most people I know!)

Okay, I admit it, we dressed up a bunch of dogs for a Halloween adoption thing... This is Diamond and no, she isn't a cat. In fact she's a bit of a glam rock dog (Diamond Dogs...ring a bell? David Bowie? get it?) and she's currently at the shelter. Diamond is a wonderful girl who is starting to get her groove back after her unsuccessful stint as an apartment dog. She really needs a home and someone who is willing to continue her training to help her to be the sparkling Diamond she can be.

Diamond was adopted way back when, probably shortly after this photo which was taken in Oct. 2006. Diamond had been a favorite at the shelter. She was involved in our training class so her obedience was pretty good. She had some on leash issues but not the worst I've seen. Plus, in every other way she was a total love. So, as luck would have it, she found a home.

As always, with any dog who participates in our dog training program at the shelter, the volunteers were ready to support the new guardian of Diamond. The wonderful trainer who works with us at the shelter, Rayna Barker, made herself available as well. You could even say, the person who adopted Diamond had more support than you could shake a bully stick at!

I believe that initially there was some contact between the adopter and trainer. We really hoped that they would crate train Diamond and continue working with her on obedience. As I said, she did need to work on her leash aggression.

About a year later, the people RETURNED Diamond because of "behavior issues." When this dog left WLA, her obedience training was pretty solid. She was considered a fairly easy dog in comparison to others we had in that class. So, what happened?

I know I sound like a broken record about the fact that if you adopt a dog, especially a shelter dog, training is mandatory. Most dogs who end up at the shelter seem to have a lack of training in dog/person relations or dog/dog relations or both. It's called a lack of socialization. It is never the dog's fault and always the owner's who fail the dog by not training her, becoming frustrated with her and giving up on her. Hence, lots of doggies at the shelter with behavior issues.

Thankfully, through my shelter experience, I have found that the vast majority of issues are problems that can be helped through training. We see our shelter dogs blossom into wonderful companions all the time. Not to say that we don't have some difficult cases, and even lose a battle once in a while (which causes all of us a lot of pain), but overall most dogs can be rehabilitated if the time and effort is given.

The moral of this story is as follows: do the right thing and follow through with dog training for your shelter dog's sake. Set the dog up to succeed!! You need to reinforce their training, there has to be consistency or the dog will eventually lose all the ground she gained and go back to square one. How sad is that when a dog gets more support at the shelter than in a home?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Image is Everything

Special thanks to Seth Casteel of Little Friends Fine Art Pet Photography for donating his time and talent to the shelter. You can see the difference it makes having a good photo where the dog is relaxed as opposed to the scary intake photo... Which dog would you adopt?
All of the good shots of animals presently on the WLA shelter website were taken by Seth. I always try to use his photos on this blog.

Check out Seth's work at www.littlefriendsphoto.com and take your new (or not so new) dog to a fabu photo shoot with Seth!

Oh, btw, the dog on the bottom is still AVAILABLE! Her name is Missy and she's very sweet. She's Medium size, young and gets along with other dogs. Needless to say, she's pretty too. More info on her later as I haven't worked with her yet... ID#A828619 (the other 2 dogs were adopted!)

Hey, the big GRAND OPENING of the new WLA Animal Shelter on Pico Blvd./Purdue Ave in WLA is this weekend, Saturday, Feb.23rd! Come by and meet all the folks who run the place as well as volunteers, dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. I will be there along with Rayna Barker and the other volunteer dog trainers doing a dog training exhibition. Plus, there will be all kinds of entertainment going on to celebrate the new facility. Come check it out! It starts around 11am.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: the dog, formally known as Nala (now Nora)

It's hard to believe that Nora is still looking for a home!

Here is the back story. Nora (Nala) was a WLA shelter dog. She had a hard time at the shelter as it was much too stressful for her. She ended up getting into it with another dog and had to have her head shaved so she ended up looking kind of scary. So between being stressed out and looking kind of ugly, no one was showing any interest whatsoever.

I'm always amazed at how a dog's expression can completely change when they are under extreme stress. We see this all the time at the shelter, especially when we get to see one of our dogs after its adoption (see Bruno's story & pix).

Back to the story.... The wonderful WLA volunteers took Nora under their wing and soon she was doing a lot better. We started to see her soft side and what a love she really was. Her hair started to grow back so she was looking much better! Then, a great thing happened; Nora was adopted! The new people seemed very nice, took our phone numbers for support and went on their merry way with our good girl, Nora!

The first week for Nora was tough as she was recovering from her spay surgery and getting used to her new home. At first she didn't want to eat and basically just slept a lot. The new owners being newbies were very concerned about her and called me and other volunteers several times to ask questions and voice concerns. My feeling was that they were too worried about everything but I was glad that they were calling us to ask about dog behavior.

Once Nora was doing better, the folks hired a dog walker to take out Nora during the day when they were at work. This seemed a step in the right direction. As it turned out, the dog walker was involved with the rescue group, Much Love, which later was a BIG factor in Nora's rescue.

Then, a new turn of events. Turned out that Nora was left at a vet's office by the new owners for a couple of weeks where she caught phenomena. When the folks returned and found that she was sick, that was the last straw for them! They brought Nora back to shelter where they pleaded for her to be euthanized! I guess they felt she was damaged goods unfit to be a pet. Fortunately, the shelter will not euthanize dogs on demand so she was now just a very sick dog at the shelter. Poor girl.

Thank goodness for the volunteers' involvement, the big heart of the dog walker and the generosity of Much Love rescue. Nora was bailed out by Much Love, fostered by the dog walker, nursed back to health and brought back to being her vibrant sweet self. Nora is still up for adoption and you can see in this video that she is a great dog.

Um, by the way, another black dog folks... It's no coincidence.

To me the interesting aspect of this story is that the original adopters seemed perfect at first glance. They had no other pets so Nora would be their one and only. They could afford a dog walker so they obviously had the necessary financial resources to take care of the dog. They seemed nice enough as people. So, what went wrong? Here are some ideas on why this adoption failed:
  • They didn't do any research on dog care and training.
  • They didn't have the patience for a shelter dog (or any dog probably) who had some issues.
  • They weren't realistic about the responsibility involved with having a dog.
  • They did not LISTEN to one word of advice that the volunteers offered.
Thankfully, Nora is alive and well despite how wrong this adoption went. One of the lessons we learn at the shelter is to NEVER judge a book by its cover. We often think, uh-oh, this won't work and we are happily proved wrong (Bruno). It's just a hit and miss situation with adoptions and all we can do as volunteers is try to educate every person who adopts a pet.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Sam & Dino are Best Buddies

Sam, A951861, 8+ years old


Dino, A951863, 8+ years old

Best Buddies & Seniors for Seniors

The WLA Shelter has two great programs to help get more dogs adopted. Seniors for Seniors is a program where people over 62 can adopt a dog over 8 years old for, get this, NOTHING, NADA, FREE! The shelter will not charge for the spay/neuter, microchip or license. This makes so much sense since most of these dogs would be perfect for a senior person.

The other program is where 2 dogs who are bonded are designated as Best Buddies. This means that if you adopt one, you get the other for practically nothing. The shelter won't charge the adopter for the spay/neuter or the microchip which saves them a lot of money. I mean it's practically two for one!

The reason I'm telling you about these deals is one, to encourage adoptions of bonded pairs and older dogs and two, to get you out to WLA to adopt these two GREAT dogs, DINO and SAM! (pictures shown above taken by a volunteer!)

Dino and Sam are both super sweet and mellow. They are so happy to just hang out together and with you. I really love taking them out into the yard for a little romp. They follow me all around and Sam always keeps an eye on his pal, Dino. All the volunteers love them.

Dino is really beautiful with a gorgeous fluffy coat. He's a larger medium size dog and probably has some shepherd or collie in there. He has very soulful eyes. Dino loves attention and likes to be brushed. He also likes his food! Dino is spunky, but mellow. Just right for anyone.

Sam is adorable. Take a look at his sweet expression. He is probably a Chow mix. He loves to be around people for some loving. He has a bit of arthritis so he limps a little and can be slow moving. He is just a chill boy looking to relax and enjoy his golden years.

If you know anyone in the market for a calm mature dog, these guys are it! Plus you can take advantage of either Best Buddies or Seniors for Seniors and get two great dogs instead of one! I can't believe these guys are still available... so hurry up!

UPDATES: Muse was adopted!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: My new favorite dog, ROCCO

Rocco: ID#A920119

It was a rough week at the shelter for a couple of us volunteers who encountered some unexpected difficulties with dogs... In both cases the dog was there a long time, didn't have enough exercise, was excitable to begin with and fraught with frustration. A very sad state of affairs indeed, but the inevitable cost of striving towards a "no kill" environment. I think most of the people who love animals wish to see a no kill policy in place at all shelters, but, honestly, is this realistic with the number of animals being relinquished every day at shelters?

Personally, I'm very interested in the shelter environment and its effect on animals who are there for long periods of time. If we are to keep animals for as long as it takes to find a home, what can be done to make this a feasible situation? I'd love to know the solution to prevent the negative effects of long term confinement on dogs in a highly charged atmosphere like a shelter.

Back to my original topic... Rocco is now my favorite dog at the shelter. He is about 1 year old, mostly black with some white spotting. He is a medium size Pit Bull. This guy is one of the nicest dogs I've met in my time at the shelter and as close to perfect as it gets.

First off, his obedience is excellent. He knows sit and down by verbal cue. He can fetch and actually gives the ball back with out a struggle. He is gentle and sweet, very calm and mild. He really likes other dogs and is basically non-reactive to other dogs at the shelter. He's also great on leash.

When Rocco first came in as an owner surrender (due to moving I believe) Rocco was extremely shy and fearful. It's hard to believe that people were afraid of him at the shelter as he is now so friendly, but not overly so (in other words non-reactive). He is a young dog, just over a year. We've seen him fill out over the weeks at the shelter. He's doing well so far.
I just had the best time with Rocco the other day. We played in the yard and just had a relaxing time. He's a total love. You would never guess that he was a fearful dog originally.

My only concern about Rocco is HOW LONG CAN HE LAST without succumbing to the usual problems of long term confinement? Not only is this dog a Pit Bull, but he is black... tough combo to overcome for even the nicest of dogs. It's so sad that a great dog often goes unnoticed due to his breed or color... aka BBD syndrome.

If you are in the market for a great companion, please come to the shelter and look for Rocco. He's the BEST and ready to go home today! (sorry for the bad shelter photo)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Happy Valentine's Day!

This is Megan, a 2 1/2 year old Pitt Bull female. She is a sweet girl, a little shy. She's come a long way since her arrival at the shelter. We are working on her leash aggression which has improved greatly. She needs a Pit Bull savvy owner to continue working on her fear issues. She is a real lover girl though and absolutely loves a belly rub! Come meet her!
WLA Shelter 11361 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025 -- Open until 7pm on Tues & Thurs

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Boo, returned yet again...

"Boo"-Cattle dog mix-under 1 year old-medium size-ID #A892330
at the West LA Animal Shelter

First off, have you ever seen a cooler looking dog? This is Boo, an amazing Cattle dog mix. He's still a puppy and it's very obvious when you spend a little time with him. He is energetic and playful. He seems to boing around happily, even at the shelter. He is sweet as can be.

Boo also gets along with other dogs very well. His kennel mate is Westchester a shy gray Pit Bull who is much bigger and stronger than Boo, but they get along great! It's really fun to watch them play.

So, what's the problem??? Why has he been returned to the shelter twice after being adopted?

Well, truly, there is no problem. Neither adoption stuck because the adopter was either uninformed about the breed or totally uncommitted to having the dog or both. Let's assume that the person didn't know about Cattle dogs and herding breeds in general. These are dogs who are highly intelligent, energetic and hard wired to herd. I was in the yard with Boo and he wanted the treat that I had in my bag so he followed me circling around me the entire time in hopes of getting me to do what he wanted. It was funny, but at the same time it made me think, wow, this is a dog who NEEDS a job and plenty of activity.

Boo would be a great dog for active adults or a family who is on the go and will include the dog. He would be an amazing dog for agility or herding activities. He would also enjoy running and hiking. I would also think this dog would go crazy at home all day with no activities. In fact, he was returned for chewing things up... Dogs with this kind of energy and intelligence just don't do well in confinement without something to do.

My recommendation to the adopter of Boo would be to exercise the dog a lot, do not give the dog run of the house when you are not home, leave the dog something to do while you are gone (a toy like a buster cube), and, of course, TRAINING!! Also, it would really help to learn about the breed BEFORE adopting.... I just don't think he's the right dog for a first time dog owner.

I sincerely hope that someone with a lot of energy adopts Boo. He's a really fun dog and just needs some patience and understanding to be the best dog ever.

Black dogs for Adoption TODAY!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: my last word of the day

Certain things come up at the shelter that I'm just not sure about. Should the homeless be allowed to adopt a pet from the shelter? Should the mentally handicapped be able to adopt a pet from the shelter? You know, I'm not sure. I mean how do we really know who will be a fit guardian for an animal? It certainly seems like a very uncertain future for the animal... yet, right now there is no criteria other than having an i.d. and some money to adopt. Hmmmm, wouldn't we need more information to make an intelligent decision about who can and who can't adopt?

This gorgeous girl is Muse. Her id # 914031. She is about 3 or 4 years old. She is some kind of Lab mix maybe... She's got a lovely coat with different shades of black and brown with a little white. She's is a medium size dog. Her personality is very sweet and a little shy. Muse does warm up pretty quick though. I took her out the other day and she was great.

Now, the story is that Muse came into the shelter preggers, had pups who then all got adopted, and then she proceeded to languish at the shelter. Finally, she got adopted (yay!), but was returned 2 days later (boo!). This happened because Muse has separation anxiety. This may have resolved itself after a couple of weeks or the situation could've been handled by a trainer. Instead, the people did not have the patience or the knowledge to help her and just gave up immediately. So sad...

Muse likes treats and chewing the bully stick. She seemed to know "sit." She was very gentle and seemed to enjoy the attention, once she relaxed. Then we ran around the yard and played, it was great to see her so happy. She did some sprints around the yard! Muse also seems interested in other dogs so I would guess she would be fine with a companion. I also didn't get a sense of her prey drive, but my guess is she doesn't have a strong one. But, keep in mind, I am guessing...

The separation anxiety that Muse experienced may have been avoidable, but in any case, it is treatable if given a chance. This girl needs a patient family who wants to set her up to succeed. Do some reading people and then get a trainer!!! No more returns please!

In a nutshell, I think Muse would be a great family dog. She's young, the perfect size, friendly, pretty and calm. She's also spayed and ready to go home immediately! She's at the WLA Animal Shelter so come visit her.

The Shelter Chronicles: the big black dog

Periodically at the shelter we notice the large number of BBDs (Big Black Dogs) that end up hanging around and around for ages... People don't look at BBDs for some reason. Maybe they feel the dog looks unfriendly or menacing in some way? I don't know really, but the fact is that BBDs don't get adopted as fast and we always have several at the shelter. For much more on this topic see http://www.blackpearldogs.com.

One of our good boys at the shelter was a BBD and he ended up being there for 10 months! His name is Bruno and he is a black lab mix. This dog had some major issues coming into the shelter, but luckily he was one of the dogs who actually improved at the shelter through the love and hard work of the volunteers. It's a long story, but over time Bruno came around to be a calm, confident and wonderful dog. Still, his BBD status deterred adopters and it took a TV appearance to drum up some interest. The people who adopted him have a big family with lots of pets which would've been a nightmare when we first met Bruno, but low and behold, he is thriving with this lovely family! Above is his Xmas shot with the kids.

So, please, when considering a dog for adoption, look at the BBDs. They are often the sweetest and most overlooked dogs at the shelter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shane: #A890083: the Gene Simmons of dogs

Shane is a happy-go-lucky type of guy and he’s always happy to see YOU! He is full of energy and he just wants to get out and frolic with his favorite person…Maybe it’s you!

Shane is BIG and STRONG, so it’s a good thing he’s so SWEET and FRIENDLY! He loves people and gets along with non-aggressive dogs. He had a big blond lab kennel mate for a while and they were great friends. Shane is listed as being 7 years old, but we don’t know for sure. He is already neutered and can go home with you today!!

Shane doesn’t seem to have much obedience training and due to his large size he needs an experienced handler who can show him the ropes. He’s happy to learn if you’ll show him, as he loves to be with people. He’s quite gentle when taking treats and is really just a big lover boy.

Please come visit our big guy Shane at the WLA Animal Shelter today!
Shane: #A890083

The Shelter Chronicles

Having a new work schedule is affording me the flexibility to go by the shelter at different times of the day. I'm often surprised by the number of people there in the middle of the day looking at dogs. I mean in addition to the rescue folks and homeless people... It really is surprising to see families and singles alike looking for a rescue dog on a Tuesday afternoon!

I just happened to stop by yesterday and happened upon this really nice lady adopting one of our little dogs who had some fear issues. I was so glad that I was there to tell her more about this little dog and to let her know more about how fear could affect this dog down the road. Not that she shouldn't adopt the dog, but to offer her the opportunity to make an informed decision based on my experience with this dog and others like her. The woman seemed appreciative and went forward with the adoption. Personally, I think it's a good match!

Fear is a huge factor for dogs at the shelter. I can't tell you all the times that I feel I must intervene on behalf of a dog who is FEAR aggressive. Fear seems to be the least understood issue for animals at the shelter by both the public and the staff. Many people seem to just see aggression as a one dimensional state of being. They don't give any consideration as to what is motivating the behavior. The dogs who are triggered by large objects, noise and confinement struggle on a daily basis to keep their sanity.

I would venture to say that most dogs are fearful when put into a high stress situation like being relinquished to a shelter. One of my dogs, a Rottweiler named Ace, was a shelter dog. When he got to the shelter, he was extremely fearful. He wouldn't come up to the gate at all for days. Once he acclimated, he did better. Thankfully he didn't have any dog aggression issues which helped him gain some confidence through his kennel mate. I didn't adopt Ace; actually, I sort of ended up with him after an adoption turned sour and the people pleaded with me to take him. Anyway, he's a good dog, but his fear still gets the better of him occasionally which manifests itself as "aggression." In this case it would mean that he may aggressively bark at someone, snap and/or growl. These displays are usually triggered by strangers coming to the house.

Not every fearful dog at the shelter displays "aggression" but when they do, it can really be a challenge to save the dog's life. Unfortunately, my observation is that the dogs tend to be much more fearful of shelter staff than volunteers, understandably. Staff are the people cleaning the runs and doing the stuff that makes noise and requires hoses and the like. The volunteers play with the dogs, give them treats, love them, etc. Volunteers don't have to freak the dogs out to do their job. It's not the fault of the staff but not the fault of the dogs either.

The sad part is that sometimes the fearful dog at the shelter is misunderstood and no attempt is made to resolve the problem between staff and dogs...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Check out Bailey Rae at the West LA City Animal Shelter

Bailey Rae #A858630
Boxer mix, under 2 years, medium size
She's been at the shelter way too long...
This is a beautiful dog inside and out! Bailey Rae loves other dogs and loves to play with dogs. She is very friendly and sweet natured with people. Her training is going well. She can be a bit leash reactive when she sees other dogs. This could also be frustration, but it isn't any kind of aggression and is a very trainable behavior to fix. She has her "sit" "down" and sometimes "stay" but overall I would say she is manageable if she is exercised.
Currently she is rooming with a very large/friendly/playful Pit Bull named Shane. (kind of funny as he is a tank!) She really likes to have company (even Shane!). This girl would be a great dog for sports like Agility or Fly Ball. She is athletic and high energy so no couch potatoes need apply; although you don't have to be an Olympic athlete either. Are you looking for a running/walking partner perhaps?
Recently B.R. had her tail cropped due to several tail injuries from uber wags! Poor kid. So, now she looks more like the traditional Boxer. I see this dog with a family who has the time and interest to include her in their activities. I DON'T see her as an outdoor only dog or a dog who is left to her own devices all day with nothing to do. As I said earlier, she needs exercise or she'll go bonkers. Don't get me wrong, she calms down once she gets her ya-yas out, but she needs that release. Long walks, dog park or throwing the ball in the backyard, she'll love all of it.

Introduction to Doggie Matchmaker


Most people don't consider the dog/person relationship to be a complicated one. You know, you go to a pet store, choose the cutest puppy and go home. Once home, you play with your puppy, maybe do a little training and basically go about your normal life. From my own personal experience, I know that this is the fantasy version of "buying" a dog. Most of the time there is a significant amount of adjustment for both dog and person. Once people realize how complicated the addition of a dog can be, the dog could easily end up in the back yard or in their local shelter. There are a frightening number of animals discarded at the shelter each year due to behavior issues, never mind the fact that huge numbers of them are eventually put to sleep.

However, my purpose in creating this blog is not to lecture people on the mistreatment of animals in our society. Rather, I am attempting to bring the people of this city and the shelter dogs together. To do this, I am going to talk about the dogs at the West Los Angeles city shelter. As a volunteer there for the last 2 years, I have the honor of working closely with the dogs at West LA as a trainer/behaviorist, adoption counselor and dog walker! I work with a group of wonderful volunteers and between all of us we get to know the dogs very well, plus we actually help prepare them to be adopted. As a result, we can offer unique insight into the personalities of these dogs unlike any other service that you could work with to buy a dog. I hope that you will check in often to check out the amazing dogs who are looking for loving homes.

Feel free to comment or email me with questions. Thanks!