Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dogs Rehabilitating Dogs

Chelsey has been considered an unsafe dog for the past few weeks because she attacked another dog after being threatened. Should she have attacked? No. Does the attack make her a bad dog? No. What happened this morning is proof that she is neither unsafe nor bad.

This morning Chelsey, a large white pit bull mix, was walked with Emmitt, a brindle dog that looks like a dingo. The walk went very well so the man who walked them wanted to see how they would play together and he put them both in the large kennel area that had been Emmitt's alone. The two of them got along wonderfully. After about 20 minutes or possibly more they were the happiest that I have seen either one of them in all the days they have been at the Brown County Humane Society.

I am convinced that what I have thought about Chelsey for a couple weeks now is actually true. I believe that she is in fact a very stable dog. Most if not all of her hostile encounters with other dogs have been her reaction to an unstable dog.

Both Emmitt and Chelsey are fairly stable dogs although Chelsey a little bit more. For the 20 or so minutes they spent in the same kennel playing they held a very high energy level. The play of these two dogs reminded me of what it was like to go grapple around on a wrestling mat in high school with no clock and no score cards. Just to have a good, physical, fun time.

Both dogs left that play session tired, relaxed, and happy. This will become a regular part of our morning shifts with our dogs. Giving them supervised playtime with each other in order to establish a stable pack that will hopefully one day include all the dogs of the Brown County Humane Society.

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