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Romeo jumps, puts his paws up on the desk at front reception. "He needs surgery on his elbows, might be thousands of dollars. Who's gonna want to take on that responsibility?" someone tells me. But I don't see it, not yet. He's a big fellow and right now he's just happy to be out of his kennel and visiting his friends behind the desk on his way outside.

The sun's been trying to make an impression all morning. I can feel the warmth of it trying to fight back the chill of the wind. Romeo doesn't care to express any thoughts on such nuances. He just wants to greet everyone we pass so he pulls toward them. Not well trained, this guy, and it wouldn't have taken much, him being a Shepherd, if only his previous owner had bothered. Romeo pulls and people back off. All they see is a big dog straining on its leash trying to get to them. Who can blame the nervous ones?

I take him to a shaded area amongst some pines. I take his photo. He's almost two but he's got the one ear up, one ear down look of a pup. I wonder if he'll get a chance to see both his ears fully upright.

On the way back, he starts to limp. He's on pain meds but even this short walk was too much for him. He still pulls, though, trying to make new friends with passers-by. People, with their wishful weather thinking and thus under dressed for the day, pull their thin jackets and sweaters tighter around themselves against these late winter winds. I look up and the clouds are winning the day. Romeo and I walk back into the shelter.

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.

2 Comments to “Romeo - German Shepherd Dog”

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a handsome boy who deserves all the love that he can get. I pray that special someone will come and bring him home to love him forever.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He sure is handsome alright and his ears are the cutest ears around. Does anyone know if he has been adopted? He for sure will make a great companion to someone I have my fingers crossed. Good luck Romeo.

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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.