Why is it that I never have a camera when I need one? The following is an update about Zel, a cute little bulldozer of a bulldog mix I’ve been working with who is being fostered at my friend Pat’s house. For those of you who haven’t been following on Facebook, we sprang Zel and another dog, Petey from the Sewanee pound (which is nothing but a wire shed with a roof and one wall) just before we had sub zero temperatures. Pat was kind enough to take them in. Petey was practically therapy dog material, so he moved on to better digs, but Zel was feisty with other dogs and needed work, so thanks to Pat, she has a place to stay while we try and find her a good home. She is very loving and such a clown, great with people, but not always happy with other dogs.
I’ve had the flu for a couple weeks, so I haven’t had the energy to take Zel on the two-mile walks we had been taking since Christmas break. Pat has walked her in my absence, but with a full time job and 4 dogs of her own, plus puppy fosters, Pat hasn’t been able to put in as much time as she’d like. Zel has been storing up energy like the Hoover Dam, so finally I wandered over to Pat’s today to just play with Zel, wondering how I could wear her out without wearing myself out in the process.
One of Pat’s own dogs, a brindle mountain cur named Kane, came on the scene last summer as part of a rescued pair. One was very outgoing, as curs usually are, and that one got to go to Animal Harbor, our no-kill shelter here in Franklin County, TN. But Kane was so shy that we couldn’t get a leash anywhere near him so he stayed at Pat’s and she finally adopted him. He’s a very cool dog, just very shy with people. Pat figured he’d be good with Zel so she sometimes lets them play, but doesn’t leave them unattended. Today I got to watch these two clowns in all their glory. When I got there, Pat put the other dogs up so Zel and Kane could have the whole yard. I opened the gate of Zel’s pen and she ran out full throttle and broadsided Kane. Much tumbling and chasing ensued. Soon Zel had Kane where she wanted him and was humping him like a porn star (Zel is a female, mind you). Kane is only a little larger than Zel, but not quite so well muscled, so it took him a while to wrench himself free. When Kane had had enough, he ran in his doghouse, but Zel was hot on his heels. Both dogs disappeared into this two piece plastic house what was kind of coming apart at the seams. The house started rocking around, bumping up and down, but sounds from within were peaceful enough…sounds of wrestling, just the sound of two muscular dogs rolling over and over, like wet beach towels in the dryer. Soon I saw Zel upside down with her feet sticking out the door, pointed heavenward, waving her paws around in mid air as Kane chewed playfully on her neck. I could see Zel’s huge pink tongue lolling to the side of her mouth with her eyes rolled back in her head. She was obviously in heaven. This is a dog that had started several good fights, so seeing this was priceless.
Kane finally stuck his head out, looking a little overwhelmed, so I coaxed them out with food, gave them treats and they headed off into the back part of the yard where they played the humping game for another 15 minutes straight. Finally, Kane just had enough and he grabbed Zel by the collar and flung her to the ground. She rolled over and let him nibble her chin, obviously loving every minute of this. Before long, Kane managed to dump her into a large hole in the dirt that the other dogs had dug previously. It was hilarious. She couldn’t get out because the hole was exactly her size and her back fit the hole like a chicken in an egg. He finally had her! So every time she managed to struggle out of the hole, he’d roll her back in and stand on her smiling, like a bird standing on a beetle. After a few more rounds of this Zel was finally tired and the two of them decided to share a bone that was floating around the yard. They settled into a pile of leaves and passed the bone back and forth, one holding it for a while, then the other. It took about 45 minutes for them to get to this state, but I was satisfied that they were on completely friendly, even affectionate terms. They both got what they’d both been needing for some time. A good friend to roll with. Zel is going to make somebody a really good pet…now to find that certain someone!