Another great dog story by contributing author, Mirja Bishop!
“Old King Cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was he.” Those were the words of an old children’s nursery rhyme but how appropriate they are for our wonderful, old Cole.
Cole is a 9 year old black Labrador Retriever who has been at the West Los Angeles Shelter since March 8, 2008. For reasons not understood by me his owner decided at age 9 that Cole was “aggressive”. Give me a break! He’s an old, arthritic man. Life has, indeed, dealt him a nasty blow.
Cole is a funny guy. He is very, very tall and lanky with long skinny legs. He looks like he could gain a little more weight but maybe it’s better for his arthritis if he a little bit on the skinny side. He stands straight and stiff legged because of his arthritis but it doesn’t seem to faze him. Whether it’s to get a treat or to chase his precious tennis ball he lets you know with his low, low, and even lower baritone woof that he is ready and willing. “Give me a ball and I’ll show you arthritis!” He loves his tennis ball. He chomps on it like it was his last meal. When out on the play field he drops the ball at your feet then gets into his “ready, set, go” stance and takes off, stiff legs and all. He never looks back as he lopes across the grass to retrieve his ball then quickly brings it back and drops it at your feet as if to say “well what are you waiting for? Let’s go”. Cole also loves his treats. He begins to bark that baritone bark of his long before I reach his cage. He is ready and willing and most eager to take his treat and maybe a second or a third. “Keep them coming he says.”
Cole’s muzzle is grey and yes he looks like an old boy but his heart and spirit are young and eager. He has been in a cage for almost 5 months now with little to look forward to other than an occasional ball game or a trip to an outside adoption event. People look at him probably more because of his size than anything but to date no one has wanted to take him home and still he waits and watches. His eyes reveal the sadness that he must feel in his lonely cage. He never did ask for much just a warm place to spend his remaining days and a few extra tennis balls to chase and chomp on while resting his weary bones. He is a sweet old man. Aggressive???-- towards that tennis ball perhaps but to me he seems like a very special old dog who is suffering the plight of so many old dogs whose owners decide that they are more trouble than they are worth and so they discard them like a pair of old shoes. Cole is a free spirit and he hasn’t given up. He still believes that someone out there will see something in him that will make them smile and will warm their heart and once again he will have a home and this time it will be a forever home. That is the very least that this big boy deserves. A bunch of tennis balls and a few treats would make it perfect!!!!!
Written by Mirja Bishop on July 20, 2008