In last week’s column, I told you how frustrating it can be at times to walk through the kennels and cat rooms knowing that I will not be able to help them all. In today’s column, you will see photos of two big mutts, Rocky and Buddy; they are the perfect example of the ones I worry most about. They are plain as dirt. It’s obvious that they’ve had a rough start. They didn’t come to us as cute puppies, but rather as fully grown adults, Buddy being about 3 and Rocky between 5 and 6 years old. On top of being plain looking, they’ve gotten into a couple of scraps, so they have some old battle wounds on them. All of these things will work against them as potential adopters make their way through the kennels because that’s all they’ll see, which may be enough to make people not give them a second glance.
Our cruelty investigators at the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals got called out to the property where Rocky and Buddy came from for a report of a dog without shelter. It actually turned out to be the wrong address, but there were the two dogs with a couple of minor issues that needed to be corrected. It turned out to be a fortunate mistake. The family who owned the two dogs was moving out in five days and they could not find a rental property that would allow Rocky and Buddy to come with them. The family was going through a rough time; circumstances were not good, but the dogs had been loved and cared for to the best of their abilities. They had no idea what they were going to do with the dogs and they were feeling pretty desperate.
Back in 2011, when times were better, they had gotten Rocky from another shelter that did not neuter him prior to adopting him out. A couple of years later, they got Buddy as a puppy from a neighbor who had an unplanned litter. For the first two years, everything was great. The dogs were best friends, did everything together and were very bonded … and then came Missy. Now there were two unneutered males in the house with an unspayed female. Rocky and Buddy’s relationship went downhill from there. Life changed for the dogs; they then had to be separated, rotating times of being in the house or tied out in the yard. In spite of getting along as well as they had for the first two years, as well as getting along with other dogs, they became jealous and competitive with each other.
Fast forward to this past month. Missy had been given away some time ago, and Rocky and Buddy were both tied out in the yard and about to lose their home in a matter of days. And so the boys ended up here in the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, looking for a second chance at life.
They’re just a couple of unremarkable-looking brown dogs. Some people will write them off as being too old. They have some scars that will be misinterpreted as a sign that they are aggressive when, in fact, they were simply set up to fail. If someone takes the time to meet with them out of their kennels and spends a little time with them, they will be very pleasantly surprised. Both are very mannerly dogs. They’re calm, they respond to some basic commands, and all they really want is some attention and affection. I just hope there is someone out there who will see past their rough edges and give them a nice, secure home.