Our Weekly Falmouth Enterprise Column
By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer
Friday, November 27, 2015
Ask Michelangelo about his statue of David. Ask Teddy Roosevelt about the Panama Canal. Ask Will and Ariel Durant about their 11-volume "The Story of Civilization."
Obviously you can't talk to them, but if you could and if you asked them how much work their masterpieces took, they would say it required effort. They would also say it was oh-so-worth the effort.
Well, the same holds true for dogs rescued from shelters. Some of these dogs may need a bit more work, in terms of training and such, but they are worth it and will repay you every single day. So, ready to roll up your sleeves and see what future masterpieces are available? Come with us as we visit our guests at the shelter and beyond.
Sofia, Millie and Baby are back. All three have returned from various boarding camps where they learned all sorts of fun, exciting and, more significantly, important things. We have better insight into their needs and temperaments and abilities, which, in turn, will help us place them in the homes where they will thrive.
Sofia is a young, pretty mix. A couple visiting the shelter a few days ago has a dog that looks just like her. They said their dog's DNA revealed she was beagle, boxer and shepherd. So perhaps our sweet Sofia has similar DNA. This 2-year-old mix is an athletic dog with lots of energy. She has a sensitive nature (and appears to be pining for her "camp counselor") and an affinity for people. Sofia will need an active home with dog handling experience but Sofia also enjoys spending quality downtime with people, just chillin' out with you. Potential applicants should expect to enter into training with her.
Millie is a Siberian husky pup. Because she is tall and heavy-coated, she appears to be all grown up. But she's not. She's still a goofy, gangly, mouthy, jumpy, high energy 1-year-old puppy. She's smart and is learning her basic obedience commands and how to walk properly on a leash.
The secret to this beautiful dog is exercise. And more exercise. And still more exercise. She needs an athletic home with adults or older children with a commitment to learning about the breed's needs. As with Sofia, her new family will need to commit to further training. In fact, continued training will be mandatory in the adoption of Sofia and Millie and we will help with the initial costs of that training.
Baby is another puppy, even younger than Millie. Baby is a mastiff with a nice temperament but no sense of proportion. She just doesn't see herself as big and powerful. But a new family will need to address that and know how to harness that energy and size. Baby learns some things quickly (she's got a nice sharp "sit") but other things take more time. She will need an owner who is committed to giving her the training she needs, the consistency she craves, and the patience she deserves.
Nirvana. Simply nirvana. That's what Miley's recent trip to the beach was. The volunteer who took her on her odyssey said she has never seen a happier dog. Miley threw herself onto the sand and wrapped her front legs around as much sand as she could gather and fairly squirmed with joy. Miley will be a sponge for new adventures. This dog, another mystery breed, is around 5 years old. She loves people beyond measure. Loves them. She will walk with you, ride with you, play with you, relax with you. (Notice "you" are the constant in these scenarios.) Miley does not care for other dogs, but we are working on getting her to ignore them and focus on her handler.
And now we turn to the three dogs in foster care: Mookie, Maddie and Max. Their foster family has a good understanding of these dogs and how they behave in a home and outside. Maddie is a young beagle who is smart and lively and always ready to move. She learns quickly and moves just as quickly. Sensitive to the cold weather, put a coat on her and she's ready to tackle the elements. Maddie has the typical beagle energy and keen nose. But after a jaunt outside following a trail, she's happy to return home and snuggle.
Mookie, also a young beagle, is a gentler soul. Not as daring as Maddie, he looks to his handler for guidance. But give him the chance to run outside, and he'll grab it with both paws. He loves to chase Maddie around the yard, begging her to play with him. Kinda like a kid brother.
Max is an older miniature pinscher but he trots and struts and moves like a dog half his age. Matter of fact, a volunteer recently took him on a trail walk and she compared it to a power walk—quick stepping all the way! His newest trick is standing on his hind legs and giving you "high-fives." Guess that would be high-fours but you get the picture. Overall, he acts like a much younger dog. Then, after a day of fun, he will find a blanket and settle down for a long winter's nap.
Max really likes other dogs and he has a special dog friend who is four times his size and half his age) but he would also do well as the only dog in the home as long as he had friends outside. These three dogs visit the shelter every Saturday, most Sundays and by appointment.
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We'd love to have you join us in the Falmouth Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 6. We will be marching with the Black Dog. Alumni are particularly welcome. Give us a call or just show up. And if Max, Mookie and Maddie are still in foster care, they will be marching with us, so watch for them.
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If your online shopping finds you at Amazon, please consider using this link, smile.amazon.com/ch/04-3210625, and Amazon will donate a percentage of the purchase price to Friends of Falmouth Dogs.
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We are at the shelter seven days a week—Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3 to 5 PM.