SMART team at the shelter

I’m becoming more and more convinced of the value of the Shelter Matchmaking And Rehab Training team’s contribution to the well-being and adoptability of HSOV’s shelter dogs. Today was much like any other Friday, with swimming and water aerobics at the YMCA with my mom, then out to the shelter to work with dogs.

As I was starting with a nice little labrador bitch, SMART Tracy joined me and we trained pairs of dogs for about 2 hours. Marietta College students started trickling in at 1:30 and I worked with a couple of them on our suggested training methods. A couple of girls gave me the “rolling eye” and went about their normal routine, letting dogs drag them around the property willy nilly, but a nice couple sat with me and did a bit of dog training with 2 different dogs.

They seemed to appreciate the information and said, “it’s nice that you’re telling us what to do.” Well, I guess the 2 posters and 2 handouts didn’t make an impression. No matter. They were trying hard to train the dogs and I appreciated their help.

Just as I was getting ready to leave the shelter for the day a family came in with 3 small children. “Are you folks looking for a pet?” I asked. They shared that they’d been to the Parkersburg shelter, looking for a young-ish lab female specifically, and all the labradors had applications on them already. The Parkersburg shelter staff had recommended a trip to Marietta and voila! they came to see us.

“I’ve got JUST the dog for you!” I said, and started back to get the little lab bitch. “Oh, by the way, you’re welcome to come look at all the dogs,” I added. “No, that’s okay, we’ll wait here with the kids,” Dad said.

The little dog’s kennel was empty so I walked outdoors and, in the driveway, discovered our little labrador being walked by an eye-rolling college kid. “I need her back indoors – some folks may want to adopt her,” I yelled. We got the pup into my leash, unhooked the student’s leash, and I took this neat little dog in the front door of the shelter. She saw the little kids and headed straight for the family. Dad was crouching down, saw her coming and said to his wife, “this is the size we want.”

The dog walked right up to the man, sat tucked into his knees, and kissed him on the chin. Sealed the deal right there. “This is the dog, this is the dog,” Dad kept saying. The kids each took turns petting, but Mom and Dad were in love with the little labrador. Charming …

The whole sequence of events, including the adoption and checking references, took about 30 minutes.

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