No dogs in the bed is the law in our house and we've managed to enforce that rule pretty well ... until now, when we find ...



The bed is quite high off the ground as in one day I may require an escalator to get up to it myself. None of our other gangly, clumsy dogs would have been able to get into it even if we let them. Simone, who at forty five pounds is way shrimpier than any other dog I've ever owned, manages to clamber onto it somehow so I'm wondering if she's got teleporting abilities I wasn't made aware of.

Simone is our new foster. If anyone cares to guess at her breeding, please do because I have no idea. I know she's being called a German Shepherd cross but that just seems to be the default designation for a mutt not classified as a Lab cross. She's got some brindling on her legs, a white stripey patch on her chest and the tips of her feet are white. Otherwise, she's mostly dark brown, dark enough that you'd think her fur was black. She arrived at TAS South from Hamilton Animal Control about a month ago, a terrified little girl cowering at the back of her kennel anytime someone approached. In the weeks since her arrival, her anxieties have calmed down at the shelter with daily exposure to all the staff and volunteers. She would've gone into adoption but as a result of her health check, it was discovered she has heartworm so now she's being treated for it. She had her first injection two weeks ago. In a couple of weeks, she'll be getting her second and third injections.

For the next six weeks, then, her exercise must be severely limited to protect her against embolisms (obstruction of arteries) as the worms in her heart die and disintegrate into the bloodstream. (In case you're interested in heartworms - and in being totally grossed out - here's a youtube video showing a vet removing heartworms from a dog in surgery. I'd embed the vid in this post except that it's seriously too gag inducing).

I think restricting activity includes not letting Simone high jump, or whatever her technique is to get onto the bed, so we'll have keep the bedroom door closed from now on. Simone will have to make do with the couches downstairs and the multiple dog beds around the house. Poor thing.


When I first brought her home, Simone was stressed out. She paced around the house, sniffing every nook and cranny and couldn't get settled. She actually reminded me of Rocky when he had his anxiety attacks. After about two hours, though, she calmed right down.

Then I brought her upstairs and she got stressed out again. Again, two hours later, she settled.

And now, five days later, she apparently thinks she owns the house. Luckily, Smitten doesn't mind much except when we humans coo over Simone like a new baby and then Smitten rolls her big eyes and groans: Give me an f'n break.

The two of them started trying to play and rough-house a few times now and I wish we could have let them but play wasn't going to happen with the threat of worm bits clogging up Simone's arteries. That's too bad because I think Simone is a good match for Smitten's energy level and Smitten would do a good job of bringing Simone out of her shell a bit more.

The whole time she's been here, I haven't heard her make a peep of noise, except for the clacking of her nails on the floor. She does well in a crate. She's shy but other than that has no problems with other dogs and I don't think she's much interested in cats. She's a good sleeper and not a bother in the mornings for those humans who like to sleep in.

Simone is still a bit skittish around me especially right after I've been away at work for the day and return. She greets me at the door like she's happy to see me and then she runs away when I reach out to pet her. A couple of minutes later, she approaches again and I make monster claw hands at her and she knows now that this means pets so she inches closer. And then, of course, it's all about the cuddles because that's what she does best.

I'll see how she is in a few weeks but I suspect Simone will always be one of those dogs who will be her owner's dog. It's great to have a dog who is a social butterfly, who walks up to every stranger on the assumption that they're immediate best friend but there's also something special about having a dog who discriminates and prefers your company over anyone else'. Kinda makes you feel special. Simone will be very good at making someone feel special.



10 Comments to “Simone”

  1. Ruth says:

    Her head reminds me vaugly of the sight hound shape, otherwise no clue, but she is cute!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well, to me she looks like a hunting dog cross, but, whatever she is, she's a very pretty girl. When the insecurity in her eyes is replaced with joy, she will be a beauty....

  3. She looks a lot like a darker version of my Max and he's a Rhidesian Ridgeback yellow lab mix (though at 55 pounds, there's got to be something smaller in there. The furrowed brow, the shape of the ears in particular. Also, Max made himself right at home in my bed, which is elevated but dogs welcome. I even bought a king size when I sdopted Max to make sure there was room for him and Lola. Since then Lola's let Max know he can be the boss everywhere except in the bed, because she has to sleep closest to mom. But I digress....
    She's a pretty girl for sure.

  4. Fen Drayton says:

    Her mix is beauty crossed with gorgeous..... (and something dark brown)
    I can't see any Shepherd in her at all, but one pic made me think of a Golden without the waves.
    That's my 2 cents worth.

  5. Fred says:

    I'm starting to think Simone might be part Basenji because she hasn't barked once in the past week. The most noise she makes is a really quiet squeak when she is unhappy about something.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I see some greyhound in there, in the shape of her face, the set of her ears, and the brindle.

  7. Biscuit says:

    She's really beautiful. Her eyes are such a gorgeous amber shade.

  8. deva says:

    Wishing Simone well in her treatment. In case anyone is interested, here is a heartworm blog that explains step by step what the treatment is and how it is administered: http://bigdogsbigheartworm.blogspot.com/2011_06_01_archive.html

  9. Fred says:

    Deva, thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

  10. rika says:

    Beautiful, beautiful girl. All the best for her treatment!

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The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.
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