Captain was just a baby when he came, exuberant, happy go lucky and full of a quivering, beautiful energy. He was Rosanna's special pet and would leap, almost as high as the kennel wall when he heard her sweet voice. She and her Captain would go on endless rambles where interesting sniffs, some major hugs and kisses (on both sides) and lots of lovely ball throwing would make his day complete.
There is no question that for many of us, Peti was, remains and will always be the most loving, butt wiggling, face-licking sweetheart that ever existed. An old gentleman, who came back last summer after years of a successful adoption, there is no dog ever that exuded so much sweet energy and love to the world. Last week, I slipped into the room where he and the others had been banned and seeing me, he crawled out of his nest of blankets and came wiggling, quivering, stubby tail wagging, ears tight to his head in exctasy and pressed up against the cage. I am furious at myself that, scared of the ospca security guards who usualy watched every step we took (I was already taking a chance slipping into see them as we were banned), I sat on the other side of the bars, scratching behind his ears and under his big chin, grey muzzle whimpering as I hit the "spot", his whole body lengthwise, pressed as much against me as he could get....
Smokey was the Shelter mascot; our longest canine resident (once our Eddie found a forever home - so you see, even long-term residents DO sometimes find their happy endings). He had the most entrancing, wrinkled, crinkley eared, pig snuffling face that you could ever kiss. He LOVED his toys and would bound with endless delight to the cage door, then dart back, snuffling under his blankets and pile of treasures to find the one that was the current favourite. Then clasped in mouth, he would trot happily by your side to the parks or (once upon a time and by far his favourite activity), a long rambling walk through the streets of Regent Park or along the waterfront. There was not a staff member or volunteer that didn't sneak him a pat, a kiss or a little treat and our Smokey was content in his HOME. While we all desperately wanted a real home for him, he was NOT unhappy nor was his quality of life compromised. Some dogs do not do well in kennels long-term; our Smokey was not one of them.
Boundless energy, steel springs in his hind legs, elegant spats on his front feet (thus his name, Socks), our Socks was Tigger in canine form. Still with some puppy behaviours (mouthing and jumping), he would look at you with his mischievous eyes and look so contrite, you would slip him his very favourite wiener treats. He would bound around the park, leaping and flying into the air simply for the joy of releasing all that boundless energy and loved nothing better than to stretch his wonderful long limbs by running the fence with another dog. Our Socks deserved a future - a future full of long walks, maybe canine agility and lots of love and pats - he had so much to offer in return.
LOOK at that handsome, bold face. Our Tiger.. when I think of him, I think of him standing hopefully by his cage door, brindle body trembling with suppressed energy, his long whippy tail straight up and bent slightly over his back, quivering like an antenna. Full of boundless enthusiasn, a ball afficiando, a runner par excellent, a sports dog who could leap to the top of the strucutre in the second park and whip along its bridge and then with fly out to land and do it all over again. In all the time he was at the THS he never once gave any of us a hard time. High energy, endlessly curious, always up for a run and a long, luxurious butt rub ... our Tiger was the poster boy for a perfect, wonderful pit bull.
Again, I am so grateful to Mel Lading for caputuring the essence of our beauties in this wonderful photography (and for Fred's help in dog handling). For now, it is all we have left.
Now a last and final tribute for the dogs murdered last night is to Janey. Janey was a little pug/terrier mix who reminded me so much of my Mr. Darcy it made my heart ache. Out of all of them, she truly was the only one with some serious issues- not, I refuse to believe irredeemable issues (the progress my Darcy has made in the 4 months I have had him is so remarkable that when my vet saw him yesterday, she said she barely reocgnized him).
Our Janey was frightened ... and like many frightened dogs who had known only unkindness, only abuse, the harsh word, the kick, the smack and the hate - she reacted aggressively. But there was a side to her, when the feral look left her eyes, when you put your fingers through the cage bars and fed her a wiener treat (which she always took gently from me). Outside, she was a wench, demanding and wiful - a 'devil' dog with personality and a charm that was irresistable ... and there were moments where joyful and excited, feeling the soft spring breeze, the fresh air and the delight of play, we got a glimpse of who she could be ... and tragically, will never be.
For more memories of our wonderful dogs, please go here.