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Dora is a pretty Husky mix who was quite interested in all the little tidbits of food she could find on her walk, not surprising given she's a little underweight, so of course when I pulled the treats out, she suddenly became very interested in me. I've got nothing against food bribery especially when it comes to training or getting a dog to pose for a photograph since I myself am quite easily bribed with chocolate or a bag of potato chips.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

I'm just back from a walk with Spike who is big and curious and full of affection and there is a couple standing in reception each with a small dog on leash. I'm about to walk past them, not wanting Spike to squish anyone with his big feet when someone says, Oh there he is, and it turns out the couple are here to do a meet and greet with Spike and their own dogs. They'd already met Spike the day before - humans only - and this time came with their dogs as is the protocol for adoptions. Usually, small dog owners tend to stick with small dogs and big dog owners tend to stick with big dogs so I was at once pleasantly surprised and curious.

Spike is not shy about introducing himself. He starts sniffing the smaller female dogs and when he can't get low enough, he drops down onto his belly for a better vantage point. Even then, given he is probably twenty times their weight, the smaller ones aren't exactly overjoyed but they aren't shivering in fright either. They make sure Spike knows when his advances are too much.

Spike takes their warnings in stride and his tail keeps wagging, happy with all the new attention regardless.

The couple take Spike out for a walk. They come back a while later and drop him off and say they'll think about it and more often than not that's a soft way of saying no. They leave.

I feel sorry for Spike.

After finishing the picture taking for the afternoon, I get into my car and pull out of the parking lot only to be confronted with a hour minimum wait just to get off the grounds. Some trade show/hockey game had just let out and cars are jammed up every direction. I spend fifteen minutes in some unmoving line and then I turn around and park and walk back to the shelter to wait out the traffic.

I'm hanging out in reception when the couple walk back in. Apparently, they'd been stuck in traffic too and being stuck in traffic gave them enough time to think about Spike as a new family member. They'd decided he'd be a good addition. I want to clap them on their backs but refrain. They walk upstairs to fill out the adoption forms.

Next time I'm stuck in traffic and cursing, which may very well be tomorrow, I'll have to remember that sometimes the best decisions are made behind the wheel of a stationary car.

Chanel is sitting on top of a bench and as soon as I reach over to pet her, she shuffles forward, extends her head and licks me on the nose. Later, when I sit beside her, she immediately jumps into my lap and won't move off. When I give her a treat, she's gentle. When I walk her, she hardly pulls. Her previous owner took good care of her. Her fawn coat has a beautiful bluish sheen to it. She seems really good with other dogs and would probably do better in a family which already has a dog as she probably misses having a dog companion (she was brought in with her sister who was adopted last week). Can't hardly ask for anything more.

The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.

A lot of people were interested in Reynaldo (really, who can resist such a face?) but the day he was put into general adoption, he was pulled out again because he was having stomach problems. He was kept for a few more days to see if he would get better but he kept producing cow paddies so he was sent for observation to a vet clinic. His issues lingered and it was decided to let one of the clinic's vet techs adopt him so he could get some on-going professional care as opposed to putting him back into general adoption.

I'm not sure where his health issues are at now but it looks like he's pretty content regardless.


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.