I went looking for a rescue dog in March this year, to no avail, just before our Level 5 Lockdown. As most of you know, we have had a very severe Lockdown here in South Africa.
My plan was to have volunteered at the rescue organisation, spending time with the dogs and getting to know them. Maybe I would spot my Mr Right when he arrived, but our Lockdown just went on and on and on.
As we have just downgraded to Level 1 Lockdown, I went looking again last week. Even on Level 1, there are still many restrictions and no volunteers at the shelter. I had to book an appointment and when I arrived I was stopped at the entrance to check I was on their list. My contact details and temperature were taken before I was allowed in, with a bright red sticker attached to my T-Shirt, saying, Screened! Everyone wore a mask and social distanced, and I sanitised my hands repeatedly.
I look on the shelter’s website beforehand and choose a few likely candidates, but you have to actually go and see the dogs in person to find if they are a good fit for you.
The dog above, Toffee, was estimated to be about 4 years old and described as having low energy levels; (2 out of 5); the kind of dog you take for a slow amble and then he sleeps at your feet all day.
Well, he came out of his kennel full of bounce, kept jumping up on me, pulled hard on the lead and was very young and strong! Much too boisterous for me these days and with a great deal of training required. I worked very hard to get these calm-looking sits you see in the photos!
I really thought, on paper at least, that Toffee would be the right dog for me.
I also wanted to look at Smart Boy, age about 7 years, even though I suspected he might be too big. Sadly, at 26 kg he was far too big and strong for me to manage; these days! Little Monkey weighed 23kgs and I need to go smaller.
Apart from the size, he is just the kind of dog I like. Street savvy and very mixed breed; just like my old Jack. We liked each other at once and he was more responsive to training, sitting nicely for a treat.
But I cannot adopt a dog that is capable of dragging me down the street, if he so chooses!
It’s not obvious from the photo above, but I am scratching his rump, which dogs like, not trying to get him to sit.
I walked round the rest of the kennels and came across Fluffy, who I thought had been adopted. I asked if I could see her too. She was estimated to be 8 years old and calm.
Now, she appeared to be fine, but I have been fooled before, by my collie cross Madam, so I was understandably a little hesitant. Madam was the most likely out of all my dogs, to bite!
I ask the kennel guy showing me around to take photos, so I can kook afterwards and see things I might not have picked up on at the time. Studying the photos afterwards, I could clearly see visions of Madam! My goodness!
So sadly, not this one either!
All the dogs I looked at coped well with people covering their faces with masks. I also wore sunglasses and a cap, so was even more disguised, but they dealt with it.
So no luck this time, but I’ll just keep looking.
My perfect guy, Mr Right, is out there – somewhere!