Wow, it’s been way too long since I’ve participated in Blog The Change For Animals event! Blog the change for animals is a fantastic event where animal bloggers each pick a topic, theme, rescue, event, story, etc to promote and bring to the public eye. At the bottom of this post there is a blog-hopper that links to all the other blogs participating–they are always GREAT posts so you should check them out!
Blog The Change For Linus
The more correct title should be Blog the Change for Foster-dog Linus and Dogs Like Him, but I figured that would be overkill. I want to talk about one aspect of Linus’ story before introducing you to Linus himself.
Linus is from a very rural shelter that is not a low kill facility but is significantly lower kill than many of the other small rural pounds in the area because of an amazing volunteer system and a strong Facebook presence. I want to shine a spot light on the small rural pounds that are scattered through out the country because many are in desperate need of help. They are open-door facilities that have to accept everything that walks through the door and they are generally county-funded which generally translates to horribly UNDERfunded. They often are understaffed and have few resources to work with. They tend to be located in areas that are not as easily accessed by people so they have a very small volunteer network (if any at all).
Up until recently I would say most of these shelters didn’t have a facebook, or petfinder, or petharbor page and many didn’t even attempt to get the dogs in the shelters adopted out (it’s unfortunate but in many situations, the pounds would make more money by euthanizing than by adopting out because they get paid for each ‘stray’ they picked up and had to euthanize). Fortunately, at least in the PA, OH, WV areas, with the ease of FB and other social media outlets, some of these small rural pounds are making big changes by giving the dogs in their care some exposure to the public. In most cases it’s not the shelter itself, but a group of volunteers who run “friends of the pound” facebook pages and who run the petfinder pages. They go to the shelter, take photos of the dogs, get the dogs information, and do everything in their power to get the dogs placed. It’s often a very small number of people trying to do a very very big job.
I’d really like to encourage people to find county pound facilities that are either local or somewhat local to them and lend a helping hand–the big privately funded shelters/rescues need help but I think the small/rural/county pounds are overlooked, forgotten and are desperate for help. If you are close to a county pound, see if they accept volunteers to photograph the dogs or walk them or play with them (again, not all do and not all are open to the idea of adopting out their animals), maybe you can help by donating goods that the pound could benefit from (cleaning supplies are always needed), you can help by being able to transport or act as temporary foster (generally for a few days while the dog gets medical clearance to cross state lines). If you can’t find county facilities that are close enough to volunteer in person, you can always help by networking the dogs on social media, offering to be an admin for a “Friends of the pound” facebook group, helping with transports, sharing the pound’s FB page (or “Friends of the Pound” pages), or you can share a dog in need from the pound. There are also some great FB pages that try to coordinate all of the dogs currently located in rural pounds in a specific state/region in one central location– “Urgent Ohio Dogs” and “Rescue Me Ohio” are two pages I follow.
The dogs in rural pounds are not just beagles, hounds, or mutts by any means and definitely not just adults. There is one rural pound in my region that has a litter of puppies (or two) dumped almost every week (6-10 week old puppies in the shelter is a sad and dangerous thing). In the last six months they’ve had purebred huskys, purebred rotties, purebred yorkies, purebred doxies, purebred beagles, purebred GSDs, BCs, ACDs, GRs, and GSPs galore. They also get in lots of lab, pit bull, collie, mixes of course (some wicked cute mixes that I have pined after).
So go forth and find a local or not so local county pound facility to help out! It can be incredibly sad because the conditions are a far cry from many of the big humane societies and rescue league facilities but the dogs need the help!
Linus is not quite ready to be adopted but he has finished his mandatory 2-week stay in foster care so he is one step closer to being ready to go to his furever home.
Linus is an 18 month old neutered male Boston Terrier/Beagle/Jack Russell/?? mix. He tips the scales right now at 25lbs and is just a smidge over his ideal weight.
Linus is an absolutely pleasant creature to live with. He is constantly throwing toys to himself, rolling on his back while throwing toys to himself, watching TV (seriously watches), or otherwise doing silly things that make me smile. He is not 100% house trained but is very close. As long as he is let out on a schedule he does not have accidents in the house–the only accidents he’s had while in foster were 100% human error not recognizing his potty signals. He sleeps in a crate at night beautifully (though will bark/whine if the other dogs start getting up and moving around–he wants out too, but is perfect otherwise) and is learning some basic manners.
He LOVES other dogs, and I mean loves them. He feels much more confident and relaxed when around other dogs–he’s met dogs on leash beautifully and makes friends off-leash very quickly. He has played with dogs bigger than him (75lbs) and dogs smaller than him (18lbs) beautifully. He loves to be chased but will chase other dogs if they want. He likes to rear-up and wrestle (even with dogs more than twice his size) and takes being toppled over in stride and keeps going. His dog-dog play and communication is absolutely superb.
He is currently living with 3 dog-savvy cats and the only one he will still occasionally chase is the most skittish of the 3. The other two, who rarely run away from him, are almost never chased. He tries to play with a young/confident male cat and is somewhat successful with mutual play but will back off if the cat hisses. He has been known to sleep with the cats no problem.
I am not sure how he would be with children as he has yet to experience kids close up. I suspect he will be great with kids but won’t make this claim until I see him with children first hand.
He is of moderate energy and has a great off-switch, after a play session he naps, after training he naps, after a walk he naps. So, a few play sessions with other dogs, a walk or two, and some training and he’s down for the count. He is incredibly fast and agile considering his build and I think, with some time and confidence building, he may be a fun causal sport dog and enjoy training Rally or Agility.
He is an absolutely awesome dog but does have some special needs…
He is an under-socialized dog who finds the world big and scary. New things make him very concerned–new sounds, new places, new people are all scary. His response is to try and run and hide from the scary things. We are slowly working to do some remedial socialization and counter-condition him to the world. He no longer freaks out at cars, my printer sounds, the sounds of planes, the sound of the vacuum or hair dryer, and is getting better at bouncing back after he gets scared. He has gone to two different stores so far and is getting increasingly comfortable in both places. While out and about he’s greeted about 20 different people and typically he is slower to approach men but he will freely approach (always his choice, never bribed with food) and once they start petting him, he absolutely melts and leans into them (he loves attention). He is oodles and oodles more confident when he is in new places with one of my dogs and he takes his cues from them but is learning to function alone in the world.
He also has some separation anxiety. He cannot be left in a crate when people leave the house–he will bloody his nose trying to escape and will bark/scream/whine/panic the whole time (I have video taped this multiple times trying different techniques to make him less worries all to no avail). He does, however, do well when left in a PUPPY PROOFED area with my other dogs. He doesn’t panic or bark … typically finds a toy to chew and relaxes (I’ve video taped this multiple times).
He would do best in a home where someone is home most of the day (we’ve left him for as long as 5 hours safely) and he needs to go to a home with at least one other playful, friendly, and confident dog (the more the merrier for him I think).