Saturday, June 23, 2007

Thelma R.I.P.

Thelma was euthanized last week. It's another tragedy that could have been prevented, had there not been so many dogs at Carson. But she had been here since February, and her time was running out.

She was a great dog. Thelma was very handler-focused. If she walked to the end of the leash until it was tight, she'd come right back to you. Nothing made her happier than tethering her to my waist and taking her in the back while I did laundry.

Thelma was very sociable and just loved being with people. Lots of kids had petted her. Thelma had shared her cage with other dogs. It might not be accurate to say Thelma loved other dogs. But instead of reacting to them, she'd ignore them. She was also good around cats. I was able to pet both her and Muneca, the shelter cat, without any problems. And whenever I walked her by the Cattery, she never reacted to the cats.

Thelma was a good substitute mom. One day, another volunteer was bathing a puppy, which was howling in terror. I was helping the other volunteer while Thelma was tethered to my waist. Thelma sat down, and at one point nuzzled the pup as if to say, "Hey kid! It's not that bad!"

Thelma's big sin was that she didn't "kennel well." In other words, she hated being locked up in her cage. She'd get emotional about it by jumping frantically. That turned people off, and they'd never consider her as a pet, even though once she was out of the cage she was as happy as could be.

So the next time you're thinking about adopting a dog from the shelter, don't hesitate. Go do it. It's not just the vicious ones that get put down. It's not just the pit bulls that get put down (Boy, now there's a breed that gets a bad rap!) All dogs are at risk, and it seems to me it's particularly the bigger dogs that are at the most risk. So go adopt a dog and save a life.