For many dogs the shelter is a loud and scary place. This is how it is for our Max.
Way back in March, Max came to Animal Services as a stray with no ID, no tattoo, and no one looking for him. Suddenly finding himself thrust into this loud, unfamiliar, confining world, surrounded by strange dogs and people, Max was terrified. First cowering at the back of his pen and then reacting in the only other way he knew, by putting on a tough boy show… jumping, barking, and looking oh so mean, only wanting this scary situation to go away.
But sadly it didn’t and after three long months, Max still waits… still afraid, still acting out and still looking like one scary dude in his pen.
The thing is, and this is true for so many shelter dogs, once allowed out into the yard, Max transforms into this friendly even gentle boy.
What to do. What to do.
A new plan was formulated with the intention of bringing new awareness to Max … so new photos were needed. Enter my camera and me.
Truth be told, with the raucous he made as I approached, even I felt hesitant to open his pen.
But as soon as I lifted the latch, I sensed a change in his demeanor. He seemed to know that he was about to get out and he stepped back to let the door swing wide. He actually settled and sat so that I could easily slip the lead over his ears and in no time flat we were heading up the row of kennels, towards the outside enclosure… one big fluffy tail swaying happily from side to side next to my leg, leaving behind a chorus of barks and howls.
As I opened the door to the outdoor yard, any trepidation I had felt simply slipped away. You see… this dog was no longer that dog. His entire body language had done an about face. Now relaxed and happy, he pranced outside like he owned the place while I grabbed for my camera and fiddled with the nob and settings.
“Wow… what a sweet boy” was my immediate thought and he only continued to confirm that impression. We played with and tossed the ball a little but for the most part he stuck close to my side, frequently leaning in for a pat on his head, chest and chin.
Yes, it appears the rumors are true. Our scary Max is really one big cuddle bunny. Who knew!!
After another 5 minutes, I knew I was in love.
Our Max… just one more example of a dog that should not be judged by his kennel behaviour.
And one more reason why Max and other dogs just like him are so deserving of a second look and a second chance.
So please, if you are looking for a handsome, smart boy who wants nothing more than to share his life with yours, come down to Winnipeg Animal Services and ask to meet Max in pen #18. Ask to take him outside for a visit, for a little one on one. I doubt very much that you will be leaving as you came … alone.
Video by Heather McRae Kuz (Winnipeg Animal Services Volunteer)
Post Note: Max is ADOPTED !!