Need a new word for cute? Try Chumley

This little Havanese is a whole lotta cuddly
They do not come much cuter than Chumley. Friends of Falmouth Dogs photo.

By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer

Apparently Caper knows that the shelter is not his permanent home: he hasn’t hung posters on the walls of his room; he hasn’t asked for a new paint color; he hasn’t redecorated at all, well, except for some new bedding from time to time. Instead, he must think he’s sojourning in a very busy, very cheap boarding house. We tell him it’s an elderhostel. Whatever. Caper, the 10ish-year-old German shepherd, is remarkably stable after having been with us for so many months. Intelligent dogs don’t always do well in a shelter environment over the long term, but Caper, fortunately, is doing well. Granted, he gets lots of stimulation with different people, different vistas, different smells, car rides, walks, games, relaxing—all designed to keep him happy and alert.

A series of strays has come and gone, which keeps him exposed to a variety of dogs. But, having said all that, we know he needs a home of his very own. Caper does prefer having people around much of the time. He doesn’t need constant attention or petting; he’s content to sit nearby and relax. And then go for a walk. Or a car ride. Or a carrot hunt. He also needs someone to be in charge so that he doesn’t have to be, which is pretty much true to breed.

A photograph simply doesn’t prepare you for Chumley. This young little Havanese ball of cuteness is, well, a ball of cuteness. His endearing gaze, his willingness to be snuggled, his immediate response to people all make him very appealing. And that’s good because this boy will need a committed, patient owner willing to help him gain self-confidence. His foster family tells us that he is learning to spend minutes at a time alone, which is a big step from a week ago. Chumley has severe separation anxiety and goes into panic mode when left alone or left in a crate. But as evidenced by the fact that he is learning to be alone for short spurts, we feel that with time he should be much better. (Now go back to the part about the ball of cuteness.) He loves riding in the car, going for walks and poking about outside.

We are also hoping to help a family find new homes for two small dogs whose owner had died. Molly is an older dapple dachshund; and Mia, who turned 6 years old yesterday, is a dachshund (terrier?) mix. Molly is a tad plump, but she is healthy and happy. Mia is more active and agile and has no trouble getting up on the furniture. Both are very affectionate. They could be adopted together or separately. If you’re interested in seeing them, please give us a call.

Also not at the shelter but in need of new homes are Voochi, Neeko and Lola. Voochi is an adult male miniature pinscher. He needs time to warm up but then becomes quite affectionate. He should not be placed with other animals or children. Neeko is a small dog, a mix of shar pei and maybe shiba inu. He has a few quirks, chief among them is how he decides arbitrarily when he no longer wants any attention. For that reason, he should go to a home without children or other pets. Lola is a 1-year-old mix. She is black and white and weighs 45 pounds. She loves people and exercise. Give us a call if you want to learn more about these dogs.

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We have just been asked to help someone put the word out about a 3-year-old female pibble mix (pibble is our affectionate reference to pit bull) in need of a home. Her name is Carmen, she weighs 47 pounds and received an excellent grade in the temperament test. We are told she is fine with kids and other dogs but views cats as toys to play with. She is housebroken, crate trained and knows basic obedience. And she is very, very cute (her picture is on our website). Give us a call if you'd like more information and we will put you in touch with the people housing her.

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We encourage you to join us on Friday, June 6, at Grumpy’s Pub on Locust Street in Falmouth from 5:30 to 8:30 PM when the Med Hedz will perform LIVE AND IN PERSON as a benefit for our medical fund. In addition to music and dancing (both of which are free), there will be raffle prizes of all sorts and sizes and interests. And again this year, the grand raffle prize is an iPad. Tickets for the iPad are $10 each and three for $25 and volunteers are selling the iPad tickets now through the evening of the event itself. Next week we will list here some of the tantalizing items available in the gift baskets. And we will also be selling tickets for the dog-themed lap quilt, which will be on display. (Like Chumley, you have to see it in person to get its full impact.)

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There is still time to get a voucher for a free heartworm screening this month. The screenings will be conducted at South Cape Veterinary Clinic in Waquoit on Tuesdays and Thursdays in May from 2 to 4 PM. Appointments will be needed and owners will need to present the voucher at the time of the appointment. The vouchers are available at the shelter.

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We are at the shelter seven days a week: Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6 PM. We promise you it’s worth a trip to the shelter to see our dogs. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on