When you visit an animal shelter, the first thing you should know is that the way a dog behaves in the kennel may not be consistent with their personality or temperament. See a dog jumping up and down non-stop? They may calm down as soon as they get out into a bigger space. Dog lying listlessly in its cage? It might perk up out in the fresh air. There’s no better example of this than Sandy, one of our shelter friends who spent most of the summer waiting to find her new family.
If you saw Sandy in her kennel, she was always friendly to people, but if another dog happened to walk by, she immediately lunged at her gate, barking fanatically. Obviously, hearing her fearsome bark made people think she was a mean, aggressive dog. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In the exercise yards, Sandy is a completely different dog, wagging her tail, playing with toys, and happy to jump up on the bench next to you and luxuriate with some pets. Unfortunately, being cooped up in a small cage with other dogs passing by outside was very stressful for Sandy, who reacted defensively to feel safer.
Thankfully, after a long summer at our shelter, Sandy finally met a family who decided to look past her kennel behavior and get to know her out in the exercise yard. They fell in love with her sweet, calm disposition and took a chance on her.
Next time you’re visiting us, if you see a dog that gives you a bad first impression, try taking them outside; you might meet a whole new animal. Sandy’s new family certainly did!
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