Monday, May 25, 2009

Peppermint and Starlett in The Ebony and Ginger Project

I want to solely promote Peppermint and Starlett here, since both are amazing dogs and just having continued difficulty getting adopted.

Peppermint is my absolute favorite dog currently at the shelter; she is an AWESOME dog but she is having a particularly hard time being adopted at the Austin Humane Society. While I thought she had been adopted, she had not. She was having trouble in the kennel, and so the AHS temporarily took her off the adoption website, and took her out of the kennel. She was doing better so they have put her back into the kennel area and back on the website.

If you go visit Peppermint, you can understand the stress that the kennel environment can cause a dog like her. She is obviously a very sensitive dog, VERY sweet (and the staff at the AHS apparently are all in love with her), but the loud environment in the kennel seems really to effect her. When the AHS first opened yesterday (Sunday) for visitors, there were only a few visitors and I could tell Peppermint was pretty happy and centered. By the time we left when it had gotten so loud, I could see her anxiety increase in her eyes. Even in the 20 minutes that we were there, the environment got EXTREMELY loud, with tons of dogs barking as a lot of people came in, with the normally loud sound resinating off the concrete and steel. As I looked around at all the dogs, saying hello to the "friends" that I am tracking, many of the dogs that were more sensitive were just as unnerved by the racket as Peppermint. Those dogs have to live there all the time; some can deal with it better than others. However, for those sensitive souls that ultimately do find a quiet home, they can do well ... in another environment.

I don't think Peppermint shows well in the kennel environment, and the staffer we talked with really confirmed my sense of Peppermint - that she is a sweet, affectionate and a really neat dog. I think she is also extremely cute, and for her age, 14, she is VERY healthy and active.

For whom would Peppermint be great? - a family with children who might be a little afraid of dogs (since she is so gentle); a couple or single person who want a good companion dog; or particularly a retired person or couple who want a companion ... and maybe a dog to help them get out and walk regularly and who would be a watch dog for them; or ... anyone else who would want an AWESOME dog.

AHS has a listing that Peppermint should not be included with cats or dogs. If the prospective adopting parents had other dogs, they might want to check with AHS for any particular facts regarding other dogs. It might be that Peppermint could still be adopted by other dog owners, but she probably would want to be carefully integrated. Ginger likely might have been listed as no other dogs, but my parents have VERY effectively integrated her in with their other two dogs, who are both submissive enough and large enough, that they do well with Ginger now.

I hope you will continue to spread the word about Peppermint. While she may have 2-4 years left in her life - maybe more if provided a healthy environment, I really hope she finds a home that can make sure those years are full of love.

For Starlett, she is only 2 years and 3 months, and I think is a more hardy dog, since she is part pit bull. However, when I saw Starlett a month ago, she seemed much happier. Yesterday she seemed ... well depressed. Starlett has been in the shelter since Halloween 2008, and she is the longest resident dog at the shelter. While also being a great dog, I think the issue may be that Starlett is not a "tough" looking pit bull mix, so the people who favor the breed pick other pit bulls over her. For people who have a concern or bias against the breed, she is overlooked by them. As I have written before, pit bulls that have a more even disposition breed mixed with them can be quite different that pit bulls are often stereotyped as being. While you can't be sure, I think Starlett probably has Labrador in her since she is larger and has longer legs than most true pit bull terriers. The AHS staff are all very positive about Starlett and have done a out of outreach for her. Starlett definitely would do best with confident dog owners, or ones willing to take go to training with her (so they care comfortable handling her). I hope you will continue to try to spread the word about her, too.

Whatever you can do to help mention both these dogs to people, I would very much be appreciative.


James T. Parsons said...

Peppermint did get adopted this morning, June 1st. I confirmed with the Austin Humane Society just now ... Her new name is "Maggie." Yea!!

James T. Parsons said...

Starlett was also adopted. Yea. She was at the AHS since November 2008. I am so happy for her.