Thanksgiving at BARCS

BARCS was open to volunteers this Thanksgiving morning so I decided to spend about 3 hours walking some really sweet, awesome dogs. I hadn’t been able to volunteer for a while and it was great to be back at BARCS. I was reminded again how much fun it is to play with these wonderful pups! Here are some of the dogs I walked (pictures taken from the profiles on the BARCS website)

DazeFoxy

Daze & Foxy

PanchaGeorgetown

Pancha & Georgetown

One of the main dog kennel rooms was under construction but they had opened up one of the other back rooms that used to hold animal control cases. There were probably about 60-70 dogs total and I think I walked about 30 before I left a little after noon. When I arrived in the morning, I was the only dog walking volunteer for about an hour or so and I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage getting to everyone before they closed. But luckily over the next few hours, at least five other volunteers showed up so I was very grateful, and I am confident that they were able to finish up getting to every dog.

My main objectives when I do dog walking is to get the dogs to a) go to the bathroom b) burn up some pent up energy c) practice walking on a leash and d) interact with me. These things are usually accomplished in this order. When I bring a dog out of the kennel, it is usually pretty ramped up because it hasn’t been out for 1-2 days and all the other dogs are barking and carrying on as we walk down the row of kennels. Once we’re outside, they usually go a bit haywire because I’m sure it’s a blast of smells and sounds.

One dog that I took out today, an all white pitbull named Snow, just froze as soon as we got outside. She looked around, ears on high alert, and just snorted in each direction, not sure what to make of the world. There was a big squeaky train going by, cars going overhead nearby on the interstate ramp, and a Ravens game in the football stadium just a few blocks away. After a few moments I crouched down to her level and called her to me, and she came right over and curled up against me, licking my chin. I love how the pitties like to do that :-) We stayed that way for a quite a while, just sort of hugging while she took it all in. After a few minutes, she must have suddenly gotten up the courage to play, because when I stood up she started bounding around giving me play bows, ready for some action. It was so cute!

Another memorable guy I played with was named Henne. He *loved* playing fetch in the fenced-in play area and was quite sneaky with the tennis ball. He would lie down on top of it and give me a side-long glance out the corner of his eye, but when I snuck up on him, his wagging tail gave him away. Then I’d trick him into rolling onto his back for a belly rub, and then snatch up the ball and toss it so that he would go bounding after it. He had a great big wide head and chest, like a bulldog so the goofy grin he wore just looked hilarious. After about 15 minutes he just sprawled out on the grass like a big lump. This picture just about sums him up; I’m sure that the camera man had to run ahead up ahead to try to snap this action shot photo:

Henne

Henne

Several other major snugglers were Coraline and Baby (both mini-sized pitbulls, fawn colored and super cute and cuddly), and Stouffers (an all white fuzzy shepherd mix – named after mashed potatoes?). They all just wanted to be held and rubbed. I didn’t see pictures of them posted on the website yet but if I do I’ll have to share. It was all I could do to stop myself from bringing them all home.

Spike and Misty are two “oldies but goodies” which are available for free adoption because they are over the age of 7. Spike is 7 years old and Misty is 9. Both were total sweethearts and very well behaved on our walks. I really hope someone will give these sweeties a nice place to retire.

SpikeMisty

Spike & Misty

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