This morning, like every other morning….. my dog Bear woke me up.
Thanks to an accurate internal time clock, he knows that 5:45 AM is about the time to start stirring around to get me up by 6:00 AM every morning, so he usually licks my foot or hand, (whatever is hanging off of the bed) loudly sniffs my hair then sneezes, paws me, and/or puts his feet up on the bed and gives me a kiss right smack dab on the kisser……he will continue this pattern until I finally push myself up out of bed…..at that time all of the dogs dance around, snort, fart, make tons of commotion….all before I can get the bedroom door open…….THAT wakes Stacy up, and everyone else in the house generally.
Although today was a morning just like every other…….my mind raced as I made my way down the stairs with all of the dogs doing their usual spinning and zooming around with excitement, I found myself thinking about Bear’s life in the shelter before he came to live with us……….6 months he lived in the stinky shelter, (sorry to say stinky, but if you have ever been to a shelter the smell is usually the first thing that stands out….can you imagine how it smells to a dog who’s sense of smell is so much better than ours?)….anyways, he stayed long hours in a crate, refusing to eat, waiting on someone to show up, take him home and love him. Waiting…..waiting….waiting. The poor guy was way too thin and depressed when I finally got him.
Had I not showed up to get him the day I did, he would have been put down the following day……the thought of that never leaves me for many reasons but mainly because he is such a all-round wonderful dog.
The same day Bear came home with me, another wonderful Black dog (Oreo) that was also doomed due to the color of his dark fir and large size came home with us as well. Both dogs turned out to be great dogs…..
All shelter dogs have a chance of being looked over and we all know that eventually there is the all to real possibility of them being put to sleep, but most large black dogs are truly doomed the moment they enter the shelter…. for no reason other than the fact they are large and black…..most people don’t even realized it but odds are the people that are there to look at the dogs for adoption, wont even give a black dog a second look……they glance right past the crate holding the black dog…..and look at the next crate holding a lighter colored dog.
I want that to change!!
I want people to not only consider black dogs, but to make a point to adopt them……If you make it to the shelter to look at a dog for adoption……Please at least consider one of the black dogs, take a black dog out of the crate, take it outside and visit with it for a while… make a point to NOT look past the crates holding the black dogs. If you have to, count the number of black dogs at the shelter…. it might surprise you. I would almost bet that if you ask one of the attendants what good dogs they have held onto the longest hoping for a good home…..they will be predominantly black dogs. These are often the dogs that are well behaved, housetrained, etc but are still looked over and the staff hold onto them longer because they are such good dogs. That was exactly the case with Bear. I asked a woman at the shelter what dog had been there a long time and was a really good dog and they couldn’t figure out why it had not been adopted…….she said “Bear.”
I can remember the photo I saw of him that was on the opening page of the shelter’s web page that said “IN URGENT NEED OF A HOME”. It was the most unflattering photo of him…..but then a few days later they posted a photo that included some of the dogs dressed up in costume for a parade…..Bear was dressed up as an Angel and seemed to take the whole costume and halo he was wearing in stride. I felt that spoke volumes for his character. I drove to meet him a day later……the rest is history.
Something to think about….. what are the odds that I adopted two black dogs from a shelter the same day, they had not lived together previously, and both were not only well behaved but also house trained. Don’t get me wrong, like all dogs; they are not perfect by any means…….Oreo and Bear have both chewed up their share of household items, but for the most part I think both are not only prime examples of what great dogs can come from shelters but what great dogs are being put down every day for no reason other than the fact they are black.
Please give a big black dog a second chance.
I know I have written about this several times, but if this message touches one person that will at least consider adopting a black dog, then it was worth me repeating.
Hug your dog today!
PS…….I don’t know what I would do without my Bearie-Blueberry.