Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Antioch Dogtown

I don't know how many of you have watched the show "Dogtown". There is a animal rescue in southern Utah, near Kanab that is called "Friends of the Animals". It is a no kill rescue shelter for animals, particularly dogs. Have you heard of Michael Vick who was a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles who was training dogs to fight? He was put in jail for that, and many of the dogs that he abused were sent to this shelter. My neighbor's cousin works at that shelter, and this week has been visiting my neighbor. I've met her several times before. Some years ago she gave me a mother and two baby chinchillas from their shelter. She comes in to town every so often to visit.

When she comes to visit, she has kennels in the back of her suburban, and keeps her pets there during her visit. This morning she was letting them out for a stretch when I happened to come home from a walk with Sally. One of her dogs, a little mixed breed, was running loose and was on the neighbor's lawn. I walked to the other side of the street and Sally was behaving very well. She didn't bark, although I could tell she really wanted to meet that dog. Usually she goes ballistic and barks her head off. But today she was being really good. But the little dog made a beeline for her. Sherry was calling him to come back, but he wasn't listening. I know my dog, and I know she really just wants to meet other dogs, not fight them. I also know that being on leash makes her crazy when she is meeting other dogs. So when her dog got close, I decided the best course of action was to let go of the leash. Sally jumped and started running after the little dog. He of course turned tail and ran! lol She chased him across the street and tried to sniff him. She tends to bark if the dogs won't allow her to sniff them. In dog social scenes, it's extremely impolite to not allow other dogs to sniff you. So Miss Sally thinks she has to be the mom of the situation and will bark. So when he kept running from her, she let out a bark. I have to admit that I understand his fear. She is about 10 times larger than him. Sherry came running. She let them stare each other down for a few seconds, then picked up her dog. Miss Sally "the Tease" jumped up. I clapped my hands and she stopped teasing and walked away. Then she went to meet Sherry's lab mix dog. She really does have pretty good social skills, although she tends to be dominant.
I think the biggest problem for Sherry is that she doesn't work with airedales for the most part. You usually don't find them in shelters. They have special airedale rescue associations. Sherry is used to Rottweilers and Pitt Bulls. She wasn't sure what to expect. But I think she saw that Sally is actually pretty social, and wasn't really interested in starting trouble. She will probably get a few gray hairs from the experience though. :)

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