|This photo is reasonably indicative of the time Tootsie and I spent together|
This past weekend, as part of the run-up to Brandon and I actually achieving dogdom, I decided I would volunteer at an animal rescue group's adoption fair. I wanted to do this partly to help out the organization and partly to further my own selfish needs: I want there to be no drama when we decide we can have a dog, because they will already know me.
So, I read the instructions, and was there early as requested. Because I was the first one there, I want immediately assigned the dog being fostered by one of the PetSmart trainers - a cutie by the name of Tootsie. Tootsie is a 15ish lb Chihuahua mix, but mixed with something interesting because she had some awesome ears.
She was a real sweetie with some major issues. First and foremost, she had clearly bonded with her foster, and had no interest in any of the other people who gave her affection for more than a fleeting moment. There were people there who would have taken her home if she had just given them a little more attention.
Her other issue was only that she needed more training. She was agile and energetic, and would have been awesome for any person with a background in training. She was smart and highly motivated by food, and already had some tricks under her belt. Any time she was allowed near her foster, Tootsie greeted her by running up and literally achieving a 5ft vertical, jumping up to around this woman's shoulder.
That being said, I have a sore arm today and a bloody finger from where the leash was wrapping around every time she pulled...which was constantly. For four hours. Despite my running her around the back of the store, to try and get a little energy out so she could be calm enough to walk a little nicer on the leash.
In the few moments where she was not pulling looking for her foster, Tootsie made it clear she had no real affection for me, but was willing to suffer my scratching her ears. I felt so helpless that I was not able to distract her enough, able to train her in the right way to get her interested in other people, to help her get adopted. And I wonder if she ever will find another family, given that in her mind she already has a home. She's just trying to get back to it.