I’ve been working in sheltering for a while and there are some that your heart just goes out to. I have a thing for senior dogs. Though I don’t want to see any animal in a shelter, it’s especially difficult for me to see a senior dog in a shelter. So, when the old, bald, toothless, deaf, vision impaired poodle was brought in, I just knew that I would have to take him home. And that’s just what I did.
When I brought him in, my dogs decided to check out the new comer and, probably being startled, the poodle snapped at them right away. As he has no teeth, I wasn’t worried about damage to my dogs, but my dogs sure were and they respected the little 7lb poodle and backed off.
A few days later, I was talking to a friend who asked about the dogs and I told them that I brought home the poodle. They said “Oh! How are your dogs with him” so I told them how things went and my friend said “are you serious??? Even Jefferson? Doesn’t he know what he looks like?” The answer to that is “Nope”. Let’s be totally honest here. My dogs have no idea what they look like. For one, as I’ve reached middle age, I find it more difficult to keep the pounds off, so mirrors are becoming less common in my home so it’s not like they are seeing their reflections that way. Second, even if they did, what does that mean to them? Judging a dog by appearance is totally a people thing. Dogs just don’t do that! All my dogs knew is that this other dog came into the house, was overwhelmed by them, told them to go away, and so they did. They didn’t think about the fact that the poodle is bald, they don’t think about the fact that Jefferson’s ears are cropped, they don’t notice Gidget’s brindle coat, they don’t see Gus as deep chested. They just see other dogs and their body language, and that’s the way it should be.