Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Cat Lady

One of the helpers that Wednesday that I had my picture taken in the kennel was a lady who didn't even own a dog.  She's more of a cat lady--she has three of them.  However, she enjoys dogs and likes working with them.  She tells me that sometimes for a scaredy dog like me, a cat person is a good thing.  They can be more patient, not so impatient for a response or seeming success in working with a dog like me. A cat person is more willing to sit quietly with a dog to comfort them and draw them out slowly.
After all the photos were taken, this lady came back to my kennel.  She looped her slip lead around my neck.  She tempted me with a treat.  Meantime, the black and white dog across the way was barking his fool head off (...if I don't say so myself--some dogs just take the barking thing too far and have to be taught by humans to be more quiet.)  I did not move.  In fact, I inched back in my kennel a little.
Before I knew it, the cat lady, more accustomed to 10 pound cats then 40 pound dogs picked me up and carried me out of the noisy dog kennel building into the fresh air outside.
There was no dramatic breakthrough that day, although the sound of the iPhone taking my picture made me raise up my ears.
Photo: Kim Beer
But unknown to me, I had touched the cat lady's heart, and now I was the cat lady's project.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Beginning...

It is time for me to tell some more details of my story and how I came to be under the care of the Kansas City Pet Project.  It was the afternoon of March 29th; I was in a yard near a house in the neighborhood near Swope Park.  I wasn't bothering anyone, I was just trying to take care of myself and my puppy as best I could without a real home.  Maybe someone called because they were worried about me and my pup.  All I know is that that Thursday afternoon, someone came in a white truck.  I was brought to the truck.  I don't remember making any fuss, and I understand no one complained about me making a fuss.  So they put me in the special compartment in the back of the truck and brought me to 4400 Raytown Road, where the shelter is.
I am a youngish dog, (remember you never ask a lady her age!), and my pup was guessed to be 1-3 months old.  When it was OK for my pup to be on her own, a family picked her out to take home.  I missed my pup--she was so pretty with a white blaze right down the center of her face, a cute black nose and a tan coat.  My human says there is a picture and she will try to get it so everyone can see how cute she was.  She's growing now, and just recently visited the vet at the shelter for her spay.   So being separated from my pup and the new place I found myself in, while warm, dry and safe, with food and water given to me, really really scared me.
Some dogs when they get scared act all fierce acting like they will attack anyone who comes near.  Some dogs will pace in a kennel, or try to escape by clawing at the walls.  And some dogs will just shake and freeze in one place.  That is what I did.  I shook.  I would not move out of my kennel.  I was frozen in fear.
It was five days later.  While I was safe and warm, and had seen the doctor the day after I came to the shelter, not that many people had taken a lot of notice of me.  There are a lot of dogs around in an animal shelter, and the cute ones, the handsome and pretty ones and the noisy ones get more attention.  Dogs that sit quietly in their kennel don't get much attention.  Some people were taking pictures of us dogs to show to the people that might be using a computer to look for a dog.  They would walk the dog that needed the photo outside because the light and scenery is better outside.  When it came my turn, I was so scared and shy that I would not go outside walking on my own feet.  I was convinced that it was nothing but bad out there.  So my first professional portrait was shot inside my kennel.

Photo: Kimberly Beer Photography
If that is where this story ended of what happened that Wednesday, I could be in a very different situation right now.  The story I'm telling to my human scribe could have been lost.  We'll save the rest of the story for another day...