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It's natural for most people to look out for their own first. I'm no different. My concern is always greatest for the dogs I've met at TAS South. I don't always pay attention to the dogs at the other city shelters but every so often one catches my eye.

In Mr. Big's case, I don't think I noticed him at first, no more than any of the other homeless pets scattered around Toronto waiting for their turn to be found and hopefully loved. He was just another dog at TAS West, a dog I'd probably never meet - though somewhere in the recesses of my mind, some internal accountant was thinking: He's kinda big. I wonder if he's going to have a hard time getting adopted.

Then the second month came and I was still seeing his photo on the adoption page. There were days when he was the only dog up for adoption at West, after all the others had been adopted. And my inner accountant was thinking, Well, he's not really my concern. At least they have larger runs at West.

Then the third month came. If Mr. Big were at TAS South and I were more emotionally invested in him, I would've been pretty concerned about him at this point. I looked at his photo and tried to see what he was about. He was a handsome boy. He was healthy. He was housebroken. He was a big energetic dog, good with people, not so good with other dogs. Typical of a lot of dogs I know. Typical of dogs I've owned. A good dog. A decent dog but still there, at the shelter at the end of the month.

The fourth month came and I was checking his profile every day now. Still there.

One day I got an email asking if I could do a post on Mr. Big. Of course, sure.

So, it's Canada Day and I'm hanging out with Mr. Big. He's been brought to TAS South for a bit. The day is hot, especially down by the parking lots where the asphalt throws the heat back in amplified waves. Mr. Big can't stop panting. I bring him onto the grass where it's a bit cooler and we walk towards the shaded spot for his photos.

We pass crowds of people going to the CHIN picnic. It's funny how certain people react to certain dogs. Mr. Big gets lots of admiring glances and comments from the young men in the crowd. Some even reach out and give him a pat as we pass by and I've never seen that male age group ever display any kind of affection for a dog I've taken on a walk.

At the photo location, I take out my camera and sit down beside Mr. Big. He's not sure about the camera but I call him over and he shuffles up beside me and licks my face. Over and over he licks my face with that big drooly tongue of his and then he looks at me like he's laughing.

I take some photos but even in the shade it's too hot for him and the crowds are too distracting.

After a few minutes, we head back.

Inside, I sit with him for a bit in the meet and greet room and as a reward, I get three more face washes. I sit in the room with him for a few minutes more and then take him out and return him to Tracy who had brought him over from TAS West.

There aren't a lot of dogs who can stay couped up at a shelter for months and not develop some sort of physical or mental ailment. That Mr. Big seems to be doing okay only goes to show the strength of his spirit and constitution. But doing okay doesn't mean doing well. It's time we found Mr. Big a home.

More info on Mr. Big can be found here or by calling TAS West at (416) 338-6271.

20 Comments to “Mr. Big - American Bulldog Boxer cross”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Aww, he reminds me of a staffy I used to know. I hope he finds a good home.

  2. MKlwr says:

    I love the white triangle on the back of his neck.

    I hope he gets adopted soon! He looks like a really nice dog.

  3. 80s_girl says:

    Thanks so much for your help in trying to find Mr Big a permanent home. I know he's going to make somebeody a very happy dog owner some day!

  4. Anonymous says:

    You are so right Mr Big is a gorgeous dog. I met him a week ago at the west location but I was interested in another younger dog that I see has been adopted, his name was Chevy..(Good Luck in your new home puppy)Anyway, I am didnt know Mr Big has been there since March (5mths) So I think either I'm lucky or hes unfortunate that its been so long, cos that means I have a chance to adopt him this week coming probably on Weds... I cant wait...

  5. Anonymous says:

    I live in a small condo...and I'm not home enough to give him the attention he deserves otherwise I would adopt this dog in a heartbeat.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi to all,
    Mr. Big has finally found his forever home. While I'm typing this, he's lying on our living room rug without a care in the world. Whomever wrote this blog, I owe you a great thank-you, because it was your story that motivated me(and my wife) to go and check him out. Talk about overblown hype about him and the breed! He's not only gorgeous, but a perfect gentleman as well. And this is written after only having him for a few hours. What a sweetie, what a find. Thanks to the great staff @ TAS West for your genuine help in finding us the right dog.

  7. Fred says:

    John, thank you thank you thank you! You've made Mr. Big a very happy dog I'm sure - as well as the dozens of us who have been waiting for the day Mr. Big got to go home. Please keep us updated. We wish you and him all the best and only the best. Thank you.

  8. Maggi says:

    Wonderful post...and John, thank you for giving Mr. Big a chance..sometimes it really is fate when you find the right one. Good luck to you and your wife, enjoy the big guy!

  9. MKlwr says:

    YAY!!!!!!! Awesome news!!
    Welcome home Mr. Big!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I love happy endings!

  11. Fred, you're wonderful!

    Tailwags from Mr. Big

  12. SA mvh says:

    And John make sure you go to top of this page and go to Facebook many comments there for you to see about how happy everyone is for mr. Big.

  13. Yay, Mr. Big has a home! Thank you, John and wife, for giving him a chance, and thank you Fred for your wonderful blogs!
    Please remember, John, that no dog is perfect...those of us with rescue pooches know that there will be days when you wonder what you have taken on, but persevere! Your efforts will be rewarded many times over.

  14. Kit Lang says:

    Hurray John and family!!!! I'm so glad Mr. Big found his forever home! :)

  15. YAY for Mr Big and the couple who adopted him!

  16. John, thank you so much for giving Mr. Big a chance. He looks like a big sweetie, so glad to hear that someone had the taste to appreciate him :-). Long life, good help, much happiness, hope to see some pics and an update soon!

  17. Steph Wilson says:

    John, thank you for giving this amazing dog a chance. I was so worried he would never find a forever home, since he'd been there so long. I'm so grateful for people like you. I hope you're all very happy. :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    So happy to hear that two friends have met at last! Great work, TAS and Fred for uniting them.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for getting MR BIG a home. My MR BIG Major had been too long in shelters and I was the very, very lucky one who adopted him. Hurray for
    MR BIG and his owner. Judy Lyons

  20. Anonymous says:

    Bruh thats a stafforshire bull terrier. You can't put a pit bull past me lol. He would eat a boxer/bulldog mix. If they every fought for whatever reason. I owned 2 pits. APBT and SBT (also in brindle and white just like this one) and thats a staffy for sure. Loved that dog tho.

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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.