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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)

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