Training at the Animal Aid Society

Posted on April 29, 2010

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I know this is going to sound either extremely typical or very stupid, but seeing the dogs go makes me so sad! Don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy that they are being adopted and finding good homes… But at the same time, the shelter is starting to get pretty lonely! Amelia was first to go… She was adopted within the first week of my volunteering at the shelter. Then Skip was next. As much as he annoyed and harassed me, and yanked out my hair, I’m really going to miss that little pup! Here’s one of the very few pictures I got of Skip to remember him by. Doesn’t he have the most adorable face?

Now I know that Dottie has a pre-adopt up, and she’s my most favorite shelter dog. I’m really satisfied with her adopters though. I met one of the family members who came out to spend some time with her, and told her a lot of nice things about Dottie. I mean I have absolutely no complaints about that little dog! She’s just amazing, very calm, gentle, and even though she’s a few years old I think Dottie would do great in a training class. She listens, watches, and follows commands very well! She’s just an overall wonderful little pup, and I really hope she gets adopted by that family!

Things have been pretty good at the shelter. This week I ended up having to work in a different section of Shanendoah – the section with the bigger dogs. I didn’t think Princess liked me, since she always barks at me when I’m getting tools out of the shed, but after I was introduced to her, I found out she’s actually a big sweetheart! Really, she would follow me around as I went from cleaning run to run, and she’d sit outside of the run until I was finished (I always close the doors of the runs to keep dogs from coming in and taking other dog’s possessions and such). I saw one of the volunteers who regularly handles that section patting her and she just looks so loving! It was a lot of fun doing a different section that I’m used to.

Apparently the shelter has started a dog training program with our dogs and volunteers. The trainer, Nikki, will be working with different teams to help train some of our shelter dogs. Hopefully this increases their adoptability, and the chances that they will be more noticed. It seems lack of training is one thing people don’t like about dogs. We had Noah and Sophia returned to us by their adopters. They didn’t even keep them for longer than a week, which means the dogs weren’t even used to being in their new environments yet! It’s so sad that people don’t take the time and effort to work with these dogs. You can’t adopt a dog and expect it to be Air Bud from the movies! That’s not how it works. These animals have never had a day of guidence in their life. You have to at least give them a chance!

Anyway… I went out in the field today to listen in on the training program because I’m sure that learning a bit more about it and executing some of the basic commands as I handle different shelter dogs might help them catch on to the training. A little pre-schooling doesn’t hurt, right? Well Ivan and Pepper (pictured above) were practicing the training techniques out in the field today with Nikki and Deb. Ivan was pretty tired and Pepper is just doing a great job! Here’s a quick shot I got of Ivan during his training practice. I forgot to set my ISO so the quality of this picture is a little bad… Forgive me for the brightness!

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