Things worked out for one of the three most unwanted dogs that we profiled at Christmastime, but no takers so far for two others. The area’s three main shelters said these dogs had been with them the longest — from nine to 31 months.
It’d be great to report that they all have found homes — the three most unwanted dogs in King County that we profiled at Christmastime.
It hasn’t turned out that way. Real life often doesn’t go like the feel-good script says it should.
So far, one of the three dogs has found a home.
Nine months, 14 months and a remarkable 31 months. (No, they weren’t in kennels all that time. They lived with foster caretakers.)
There certainly was a lot of reaction to the story.
“I’ve been watching for a good news follow-up story,” a woman writes. “I’m hoping.”
Another woman emails: “We have high hopes their forever homes will come soon! They look like sweet ones!”
It is women who respond to such a story. Guys, well, they show their affection to a dog by just chilling with it in front of the TV.
The dog that found a home is Shelby. You remember her picture. She’s the sorry-looking pit-bull mix with allergies and was so unwanted that the King County shelter decided to advertise her on the Web as a “Dalmatian/mix.”
Her right ear does have some Dalmatian-like spots, although anybody can see she’s got a lot of pit bull in her.
There were reasons the three dogs had been hard to adopt out.
Two of the dogs are part pit bull, a dog that comes with a reputation.
Among people who responded to the story was someone who assumed the label of “Families and Dogs against Fighting Breeds.” Guess where that person stands.
The third dog is a Chihuahua, a “purse dog” that is no longer faddish.
And all three dogs are skittish.
The Chihuahua takes a while to get used to being around a human.
The pit bulls need training so they don’t bark when near another dog they don’t know.
But you’d be skittish, too, if you were Shelby. Kent police found her at an abandoned home: skin sagging, ribs showing, open sores, toenails so grown out they were turning back upon themselves.
Shannon Terry, an IT manager, will be the new owner of Shelby.
“When I saw her face and read her story, it just touched my heart,” she says. “It seemed I needed to have her in my arms.”
Shelby has gone to Terry’s arms. “She licked my face,” says Terry.
Shelby is joining two other dogs Terry owns. Both are Dalmatians, both rescues.
Terry certainly is devoted to her dogs. She’s usually at work by 7 in the morning. So she gets up around 3:30 a.m. to have breakfast and hang out with the dogs. She has a big backyard at her South Park home.
“Dalmatians have been bred to run 40 miles a day,” she says. In case Terry has to work late, she wants to make sure Champ and Jazz, and now Shelby, get their daily exercise.
Terry is taking a couple days off work to be home and make sure the dogs acclimate to each other. It certainly appears Shelby lucked out.
Mellie is the Chihuahua at Seattle Humane.
The agency had 37 inquiries, but only a woman and her granddaughter actually showed up to meet Mellie.
They spent half an hour at the marketing office at Seattle Humane, where Mellie spends a lot of her days.
“She was flirty, and playful, and kissed their hands,” says Jenna Pringle, the agency’s communications manager.
But no snuggling that would instantaneously endear a dog to a new owner.
Mellie was found as a stray.
The woman and her granddaughter are returning to the agency to again meet with Mellie.
“She needs somebody who’s understanding and patient,” says Pringle.
The third dog is Dylan, another pit-bull mix, who’s spent 31 months with the Seattle Animal Shelter.
Jennifer Yu, your foster caretaker, thinks you’re the greatest.
“He loves cuddling. He’s sweet, goofy,” she says.
Yu created a Facebook page devoted to Dylan. Photos of Dylan hiking, sleeping, licking a Popsicle; you know, looking just plain cute.
“Dreaming of my forever home. Could it be with you?” Yu writes under one of the pictures.
Yu is 23 and planning to leave Seattle. She can’t fully take care of a dog, she says.
So far, there’s been one inquiry about Dylan, and that was from someone who already has a dog.
Laura Mundy, foster-care coordinator at the Seattle Animal Shelter, says Dylan needs to be the only dog in a family.
As to why nobody else has inquired, Mundy says, “I have no idea, I have no idea.”
Not the feel-good script that many of you had hoped for, but there it is.