Critter Sitting: Ivy comes out of her shell


The big news from Saturday was that Ivy (the scared dog from the first sitting) has, with patience from staff and volunteers, gotten friendly with humans:

She’s still a bit jumpy but I think she will be adopted soon.  She comes to the front of the cage and interacts instead of hiding.  She interacts naturally with sitters who spend time with her.  Good dog, Ivy!

This sweet girl was adopted over the weekend:

This is Atlantic.  She stayed away as far as possible.  No suggestion of a change, so I decided to try her again on Sunday.  Little by little:

Here is a sweet pit who had been recently neutered, hence the collar:

I knew he couldn’t scratch his ears so i did some for him.  This dog yearns for human contact and direction. He’ll make someone a great dog.

Part cattle dog?:

This lab mix has different colored eyes, and pigment variations in his nose.  Paperwork shows he is 2yo, but he is gangly and goofy like an 8 month old.

Licked me RIGHT ON THE EYEBALL as I was trying to take a pic of him.

Couldn’t fit all of this beast in one pic; he’s the biggest pit mix I’ve ever seen.  100lb of pit + american bulldog.  He’s gentle, friendly, and incredibly strong.

Here’s another gentle pit, and he has no reason to be.  Earl’s right ear was brutally scissored off, left ear torn off (in a fight?), and a ligature scar around the muzzle.  By all rights he should be angry and ill-tempered.  Instead, he wants to be near you and lean on you.  Another good dog. Also a bulldog/pit mix, but probably 25lbs lighter than the draft horse in the previous pic.  :-)

This is Rosie, a sharpei mix.  Maybe with boxer?    She was back-of-the-kennel scared last time I shared her pen, but folks have obviously been working with her.  This time she came up close but wouldn’t make physical contact.  She jumped every first touch and tolerated subsequent ones pretty well.  Doesn’t like to have anything over her head, so strokes and scratches come from the side and below:

Moving on to the medium pens:  Abby, a medium sized dog (25lb?), was hilarious.  She has these giant, mobile, bat ears and the body of a dingo or a wild african dog.  A delight to be around.  I like big dogs but dang this dog is terrific. Somebody better snatch her up soon, she needs a home!

I don’t spend a lot of time in the small dog pens.  The pens are very cramped and difficult for me to enter.  And when I do wedge in I dominate the space;  not an ideal situation.

This cairn terrier, Nigel, was terrified and violently shaking. I picked him up and put him in my lap;  after about 10 minutes the shaking stopped and he laid down a bit.  I’d like to work with him more but it’s such a tight squeeze.  I’ll probably leave him for smaller folks to sit with.


I went back the next day to see if I could make any progress with Atlantic, the dog hiding at the back of her pen.  She made good progress, moving away from the back of the pen and towards me:

She eventually started coming through the doorway, getting scared and running back out.  At one point she came in and laid down on the bed briefly but I looked over at her and she ran off again.  She responds negatively and strongly to eye contact, so I couldn’t get a pic of her closer than the shot above.

Will try again next weekend if I can.  I am “on call” and may not be able to get away.

Before I left, I sat with Enzo, a bull terrier / (lab?) mix.  He was insanely strong for his size, and didn’t know how to interact appropriately.  I wasn’t managing him well and a staffer noticed and brought a kong toy.  That worked well;  he has a massive retrival instinct and I was able to wear him out a bit by throwing the kong and letting him fetch it.   He did that pretty well with that, dropping the kong right after he came back with it.  No more chewing on the human:

Afterwards I showered up and bought some dinner from a local bakery:

I ate the 32oz menudo and yeasty bread for dinner.  I allowed the dozen tamales to cool to ambient then put them in the fridge.  They’ll be lunch all week long at work.

Life is good.