Shelter purebreds, mixed breeds, and (ahem) faux paws

Yesterday I had one of those shelter visits where I couldn’t help thinking, there truly is something for everyone here. Newbies had arrived in all shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities, from a Labrador Retriever to a miniature Schnauzer mix. They joined current beauties, including a Tibetan Terrier mix and a Husky.

Although not conventionally perfect, Greta’s kennel was my first stop. Greta has 3.5 natural legs and .5 prosthetic legs. Shelter staff believe she lost the portion of her limb early in life, but it hasn’t affected the German Shepherd’s infectious vitality. She’s a playful, people-centric puppy in the body of a gorgeous middle-aged aristocrat.

The extroverted Greta took to the faux paw predictably readily. It’s still a learning process, complete with regular fittings and re-fittings, but she’s proving a star student. One decidedly human characteristic canines do not share: feeling sorry for yourself for some bodily deficit. Exhibit A: footage of Greta in action.

GSD Greta

At the other end of the spectrum is new arrival, Junebug. She’s a young, Pit Bull type mix and as mellow as they come. She demurs when you first walk into the kennel, and then once she sizes you up, settles in as close as can be: an endearingly hulking lap dog.

Junebug shoots me a skeptical look when I offer a treat. Ok, she seems to say. I don’t want to offend you so I’ll take it. When she thinks I’m not paying attention, she steals a lick of my crumb-laden fingers. And speaking of yum, her big square head on that roly-poly dark chocolate body equals… yeah: crazy delicious.

Coy Junebug (photo credit: Nancy Rubin)