*Guest post by Landra, originally featured on Confessions of an Animal Junkie*
Like some of the other stories on this blog, the best ones are about the animals that flourish after being saved from horrible circumstances. Linda the Clown is another example of why rescue work is rewarding.
Linda is a 14-month-old Basenji Shepherd Mix. This sweet girl was in Pawsibilities’ local pound, and when the local ACO (animal control officer) resigned from his position our rescue stepped up and brought Linda into our fold. When Pawsibilities got her, Linda’s first experience with us was a trip to the vet.
Side note: One of the reasons her position at the pound was dire is because she was originally mistaken for a pit bull.
The town Pawsibilities is based in has laws that pit bulls and pit mixes are not allowed within city limits. This makes them extremely hard to adopt—and the first up on the list for euthanasia. Fortunately for us the vet was able to give her a positive identification as a Basenji Mix, which opened a lot more doors for her.
She had mange, and acted extremely terrified of everything—it didn’t matter if it was a person, a bug, a new blanket or treat. On top of the mange this baby was also suffering from an ear infection. Since that first day Linda has been with us for 5 months, and now she’s every bit of rambunctious puppy. In that time her personality has completely changed.
At first we thought she was the devil dog, and possibly psychotic. She would tear into everything at her foster’s house. Threaten to chase cats with a gleam in her eye, and act completely hostile at Pet Fairs. Linda even took the time to tear up a doggie door at a local boarding facility that was holding her for us while her foster went on vacation. Unfortunately the facility owner has since banned Linda from the establishment, and in retrospect we realize that not everyone is good at boarding. At that point Linda had been a member of Pawsibilities for only a month, and likely thought she was being abandoned again. No one, animals or people, enjoys the idea of being cast aside.
A few more months behind us and Linda’s not afraid of anything. In fact, she’s shed her devil dog persona and replaced it with that of a clown. Her everyday antics and actions provide a ton of comic relief—from chasing paper towels to leaping over the couch. The couch trick is one of her favorites, and is a daily source of exercise. Her foster will fill a Kong toy with peanut butter and throw it back and forth over the couch. Linda will play chase for hours as long as the Kong keeps moving.
The best part is when you talk to her; she’ll tilt her head to the side as if your sentences really bear some sort of important factor. In reality she could be just mesmerized or relieved at the sound of your voice. She mimics Snoopy by sleeping on top of the dog house, and has a genuine love for gardening. Just don’t draw her attention to the carrots because she just raises her nose at them.
As time passes and this darling is avoided at Pet Fairs, we wonder if there will ever be a family for her. She’s only a year old and her behavioral issues are those any puppy experiences. Surprisingly she fits in well with the other dogs at her foster’s home, and some of them ignore her when she goes hyperactive ninja or decides to pole vault over people’s knees.
At some point we hope that this precious bundle will get the chance to make others laugh and enjoy her cozy, snuggling ways. Until that point, we can only continue to help her grow, and keep her from chasing the cats. FYI: She typically stalks a cat in slow mo, and then runs away in the other direction.