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This Rottweiler sees me, immediately starts butt wagging. I walk closer and its whole body starts wagging, swaying back and forth. I open its kennel door, crouch down to snap the leash on its collar and I get a wet nose planted onto my cheek. She's about to come in for another but I push her off and stand up. She rolls on her back, butt still wagging, looks up at me for a belly rub.

Later, I find out she's an owner surrender. In her profile, he says she is food aggressive but maybe his English wasn't so good. I bring out a snack. She smells it, sees it. No freezing, no anxiety. Continued good spirits. I move the snack towards her so that it's within reach. She doesn't even pay attention to it. I put it under her nose, offer it to her. She sniffs it, tentatively takes it, spits it out.

I try with a higher value snack: dried liver. Same behaviour from her. No freezing, no anxiety. Continued good spirits. This time she takes the snack, munches on it and eats it but it isn't a big deal. It's almost like she ate it only because she thought I wanted her to eat it, so she could get more belly rubs.

She doesn't seem food aggressive to me but she hasn't been in the shelter very long. It's a new environment. Dogs, like people, can behave differently in new environments. Someone will have to properly assess her once she's more settled in.

Fingers crossed that it was indeed a bad case of broken English.

For adoption information on this dog and other dogs (and cats and other animals), please visit Toronto Animal Services.

4 Comments to “Bella - Rottweiler”

  1. Anonymous says:

    She's such a beautiful, happy dog. I'm sure some rottie lover out there will snap her up quick. I doubt she'll last the week with a personality like that.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Her name should be Marilyn, for that gorgeous centre shot, and you should *seriously* be thinking calendar!

  3. Rika says:

    Yes, indeed. She is gorgeous and you made my day!

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A request

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.