Volunteers make anything (and everything) possible

The more the merrier at this Falmouth dog shelter
Caper is a real gentleman. This older German shepherd has an amazing effect on everyone he meets. Friends of Falmouth Dogs photo.

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

You know what we discovered? We discovered that the dogs at the shelter sometimes get a teensy eensy weensy bit spoiled. Yeah, just a bit. And how did we determine this? Well, after a walk and perhaps a game of fetch, we often just relax with a dog in one of our various play yards. And we think we’ll just settle and commune with the dog, perhaps do a bit of basic obedience training. But so often we’ve seen that the dog then decides it wants—no, needs—no, demands—the attention of more than one volunteer. It prefers an entourage. And that’s a carefully constructed way to explain why the more volunteers we have on each shift, the better the dogs like it.

In all seriousness, we think it’s good that the dogs get used to the company of lots of people. We think it’s always in each dog’s best interest to become acclimated to the give and take, ebb and flow, quiet or lively interactions, the normal hum of people chatting, laughing, whatever. With luck, those are the types of environments these dogs will experience once they’re adopted.

Gentleness personified. He visited a rehabilitation facility recently, where he cajoled treats from everyone he could. He also received lots of attention, but we think Caper gave more than he received—his presence had an extraordinary effect on some of the patients. Caper is an older German shepherd. He came to us as a stray. He was very thin; his coat, very coarse. He has since gained weight and muscle and his coat is soft and healthy. And from the very start, his temperament has remained sweet. He goes on car rides several times a week. He doesn’t judge you if you sing along to the radio, or change the station. He doesn’t criticize your driving. He just enjoys the trip. Something we all need to remember in our lives. Caper deserves a home where he will get lots of attention, exercise and love.

His buddy Ladybird is back. Her foster home had an unforeseen conflict in plans and couldn’t keep her. But she was returned with rave reviews. Her house manners are lovely and she quickly adjusted to the foster home’s routine. She is an adult beagle, small and pretty. But she suffers in this cold, so we’re hoping a permanent family will come along soon, take her home and let her snuggle in a nest of blankets. (After a long, fun walk in the sun.)

Just as Virginia Woolf knew the importance of “a room of one’s own,” so, too, does Kain. And while he no doubt is loving “boarding school,” where he is a star pupil, we know nothing is a substitute for a home of one’s own. He is a young, gorgeous, big dog. Tall of stature and short of coat, he is an interesting blend of German shepherd, Rottweiler and boxer. And continuing with the school theme, he is getting the best of a good education and you, if you consider adopting him, will get the best of his best. If you’d like to meet him, give us a call and we’ll take it from there.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with Kain’s size being a 9, Buddy would be a 2. This wonderful little Chihuahua mix is 6 years old. His darling, inquisitive face is just the tip of the iceberg. Buddy has perfect house manners, is good with people and children of all ages, is great with dogs, great with cats. Notice we didn’t say just “good.” He is great in all situations, according to his owner. He has no separation anxiety issues, doesn’t get into the trash, isn’t afraid of thunder. Can be trusted off leash and loves car rides. What’s not to love? He is still in his own home but give us a call if you’d like to meet him.

Another dog still in his home is Franklin, the 3-year-old Lab/boxer with the natty red scarf. He is schooled in several obedience commands and has free run of the house. He not only loves to run after balls and take walks, he equally loves just hangin’ with his people. His owners tell us he has no food or toy issues and loves car rides. (And we bet he’ll get to keep the red scarf.) Again, give us a call if you’d like to meet him.

We can always use good canned dog food, canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin—no spices or sugar), dog beds with washable covers, and chicken jerky (processed in USA only).

We would love to have at least one more person on the Sunday afternoon shift—from 3 to 5 PM. So, at the risk of sounding like a game show host, why don’t you “come on down” to the shelter and see what we’re all about. We are open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3 to 5 PM (and for volunteers to walk dogs, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4 to 5 PM).

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