Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Perfect Knight

I know a lot of you have been following Zel's progress, so here's a current Zel update. Yes, she still needs a home. No, it can't be ours. But I have definitely had a good time knowing and training this gregarious and happy little dog.  Every time I have worked with a shelter or rescue dog I can't help but look for each one's particular talents. And although most dogs adopted here in Franklin County, TN end up as family animals, there is still room to put these talents to work to some degree. Zel is kind of like a knight on horseback, charging off to slay dragons. If you are familiar with the personalities represented in the tarot, you might call her the Knight of Wands. Always ready for adventure, new experiences, travel. Not your sit at home kinda gal, at least not till adventures have been had and it's time to rest up for the next one. I think she'd make a great police dog, a cadaver dog, or an agent for the DEA. She'd love the job and is definitely trainable. Nothing escapes her attention and she's learned that she's happiest as a team player, though she still needs to be reminded of such.

On the 4th of July, I took Zel to our Sewanee Mutt Show. It's one of those Andy of Mayberry type events, full of nice folks with their kids and dogs. Tiny children dress to match their pooches and parade around the ring for prizes. It's always so amazing how well behaved the dogs are at this event and I think that they actually really enjoy it. So I dressed Zel up to look her best in these lovely grandes fleurs. Zel was great both in and out of the ring. As she paraded around, children reached out to her, a sea of little hands, and she licked them all as she passed. She made quite a splash, but nobody took the plunge to take her home.

When I try to envision the perfect home for Zel, I keep coming back to one thing. She loves to play rough. This can be a good thing if you have another dog who needs a hard-playing companion. This is not such a good thing if you aren't strong enough to handle her. She needs a lot of exercise. This is a good thing if you are a runner or bicyclist (she loves to run beside my husbands mountain bike, on lead). Not so good if you want a couch potato dog for the kids to use as a pillow. When she's feeling her oats she tries to get her way by going into an alligator roll. So she'd be perfect for a closet alligator handler.

But I have to say that this girl has really made progress. Thanks to the help of Lucia Dale and her obedient pit/greyhound mix Star, we have both learned a lot about working as a team. Zel and Star have had some great play days at Lucia's house (Star likes to play rough too) and some really nice long obedient walks together. And she's been such a good girl. Thanks so much, Lucia! I've had so much to learn, since Monk has spoiled me rotten! Zel isn't the only one that needs a new bag of tricks.

Here's Zel's Petfinder Page if you'd like to learn more about her.


nestra said...

Thank goodness I live many states away from you now or I am sure I would be trying to convince Glenn that we could handle another dog! Zel seems like such a sweet girl although I suspect not the girl for our household.
BTW - I totally want to be a closet alligator handler, where do you think I can get the training for that?

Lynne said...

You could watch Swamp Brothers:-)!

And Zel would go bananas over the cats. Unless she thought she was outnumbered and learn some respect?Hmmm, maybe not.