Saturday, December 18, 2010
Ah, my Dutchie. This gorgeous girl was also pulled from the kill shelter, in Gary, IN. The wonderful volunteer who coordinates rescue for animals in this shelter posts pictures and descriptions daily, of dogs in need. When I saw Dutchie's description, it spoke to me. She was friendly with people, but extremely scared and shut down at the shelter. Scared dogs in a shelter setting typically do not live to see the outside. They're usually the first to be passed over, and ultimately euthanized when the shelter runs out of space.
Since Bella was the exact same way, I wanted to see about helping this dog. I got the ok from Nichole, and Mended Hearts pulled her. When I picked her up from Nichole's (her husband had gone to pick her up), I got her out of the crate and took her to the back door, to let her outside to potty, before we ventured to my house. She immediately sat at the back door. Sure it was a fluke, I took her out back, let her do her thing, and then asked her to sit for me. She did.
Once I got her home, I asked basic commands of her, and learned that she knew everyone of them, even how to "speak" on command. Man. This was someone's dog, and likely for a long time. She's about 5-6 years old. The gal at the shelter said that she never had an accident in her kennel. She would hold it for the 12-14 hours in that the staff was not there, and always potty outside. This poor dog was so terrified and shut down at the shelter, because she'd been someone's pet and likely lived in a home her entire life.
That was very upsetting. She was picked up as a stray. Was it because she had a family, but maybe they'd lost their jobs and couldn't afford to care for her anymore, so they'd let her take her chances, hoping someone might find her and take her in, because she was such a good dog? I realize that might be a bit romanticized, and possibly way off base, but having recently been unemployed for a year, in a bad economy, I could picture it.
Dutchie quickly stole our hearts, and those of everyone she met. We took her to several adoption events at Petco, and the Luv-a- Bully March (where she is in a Headless Horseman costume, above and below) and found that she loves children. Some wouldn't come near her, because of her cropped ears and 60lb frame, but those who did were rewarded with giant face licks. Not only did we see she liked kids, we witnessed her very appropriate behavior with them.
So when a gal contacted us about another dog we had in rescue (who didn't end up being a fit), we recommended Dutchie. The gal had a toddler, and had owned pit bulls before, and was very sad when she "lost them" in the split from her ex. I took Dutchess to meet her and her daughter, and it was literally love at first sight. The gal's previous dog (a Golden Retriever) had been so inappropriate with her daughter, that she welcomed Dutchie's gentle and slow manner around her child. Dutchie lies in the nursery during feedings, diaper changes, and play times. She truly is a great example of a pit bull being a family dog.
Her owner recently became and Indy Pit Crew volunteer, and has discussed wanting to get Dutchie her Canine Good Citizen certificate. And yes, I've told her many times I wish I could clone her, so all of our adoptable animals could have such great homes!