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The most important thing, Tisha says, is the toy selection. It's all about the toy selection.

Honey, a five year old Neopolitan Mastiff, lumbers up to the boxes full of toys and sticks her head into the first box and starts to snoot around. I can hear little squeaks and squawks as she nudges through the selection. She picks one but then decides it's not the right one so she goes back in to find another.

Honey has been at the Toronto Humane Society for almost three months now. Earlier, in the meet and greet room, Honey was on the floor, her head nuzzled in Tisha's lap who was lavishing her with affection. Snorts and moans were coming from Honey who was loving the attention. Honey is a gorgeous dog. She obviously likes to be around people. She's good with other dogs. She's quiet - except for her happy snorts. She's gentle with treats. She's not bad on a leash.

Honey had been surrendered along with another Neo Mastiff, Titus. Titus was twelve years old with bad hip dysplasia so instead of adopting him out, staff at the THS found him a retirement home with a Mastiff and horse rescue facility outside of Ottawa. Honey, herself, had some issues with her eyes and had to undergo a couple of eye surgeries to correct them so that took a bit of time but since then, she's been in adoption for several weeks now and no takers.

I ask Tisha why Honey is still at the THS and I'm told Honey doesn't present well in her kennel. She's stressing out with new people peering in at her all the time and she's gotten protective of the space. Sometimes she barks. Sometimes she lunges. I can imagine that would be pretty intimidating. I can imagine, if one didn't know any better, one might back away slowly, glad to have those metal bars keeping Honey safely in her the cage. If one didn't know any better.

I can see, though, that's not at all her normal state. Her normal state is this dog in front of me, silly with a toy in her mouth, snarfling with happiness at getting her copious skin folds scratched and rubbed.

Tisha is enthusiastic about Honey's prospects. She knows Honey will get adopted. The THS will find her a good home.

Sometimes I come in early to hang out with Honey in her kennel, Tisha says. I know she'll get into a good home but I'll really miss her, she says, and as if to acknowledge that, Honey looks up at Tisha and emits a long low rumble.

Honey is available for adoption from the Toronto Humane Society. For more information on Honey please visit her adoption page:

7 Comments to “Honey - Neapolitan Mastiff at the Toronto Humane Society”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Honey, the gentlest giant there is. I cannot believe no one has taken her yet, it is truly unbelievable as there is no dog sweeter than her!!!! Her snorts, her skin folds, her droopy eyes and that stubby tail. There is no happiness greater than seeing Honey enjoying life. Such a wonderful dog!!!!

  2. What a sweet, sweet girl! Thank you for profiling her. At first when it said "it's all about the toy selection" I was thinking that the small dogs and puppies are adopted first. Honey sounds like she would be a wonderful addition to almost any home! We've shared her on our page :)

  3. Carol H says:

    OH MY GOD. I cannot get the smile off my face! The photos are tremendous and the write up about her amazing!

  4. Ruth says:

    Shared and re-shared, hopefully someone will have room for her, at least to foster so she can get out of the kennel!

  5. Lenni says:

    Every time I leave a comment about a dog on your blog Fred, I always have to resist the temptation to add a question about whether you plan on doing a book. Because you simply must do a book. Thank you for your beautiful work. Honey is splendid.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Have you tried contacting Barlee's Angels rescue in Guelph? Their website mentions mastiffs specifically, perhaps they could help locate a foster home to get her out of the stressful shelter environment :)

  7. Fred says:

    Anon, thanks for your suggestion but Honey was adopted a couple of weeks ago. Cheers.

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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.