Published 3:20 pm Monday, August 9, 2010

He came to us as a stray at the end of March, perfectly healthy and full of himself.&bsp; One of the staff jokingly said, Hes a Hooligan and the name stuck.

Hoolie, my nickname for him, is between 18 months and two years old and hes a Lab-Pointer mix. &bsp;

Hes a big, strong and beautiful boy that loves attention and craves interaction with anyone or anything that would give him the time. He plays with gusto, but there isnt a mean bone in his body. Its safe to say that all the staff, volunteers and people who get to meet him, instantly fall in love.&bsp; He has that look at me, I love life air about him that is infectious. We see hundreds upon hundreds of dogs that flow in and out of F.H.S. each year and we care for them all with equal affection. Every once in a while a dog will come in that stays in our hearts and minds forever. Hoolie is such a dog. Sometimes well be discussing dogs on hand and it will be said, He reminds me of Cane or it reminds me of Slick and there are more to be sure, I havent any doubt Hooligan will join those ranks.

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A few months ago, we began a wonderful program where volunteers come in to work and spend time with a specific dog of their choosing. Saturdays are group and obedience sessions with Kayla Parrish instructing.

Often the volunteers will come in on other days for special one-on-one time.&bsp; I absolutely love this program and it has done wonders for not only our animals, but the volunteers involved. &bsp;

Joe Eskridge has chosen and been working with Hooligan.&bsp; Hooligan now walks much calmer on a leash.&bsp; He sits on command and will give his paw when asked.&bsp; Hes also learned to stand up on his hind legs and ask for a treat. Its getting so that we may eventually change his name to Gentleman.

The other day while passing by cages handing out treats, I came up to Hooligan who was up on his hind legs waiting.&bsp; Hi Hoolie, how are you doing big fella?&bsp; Im fine Uncle Lennie, are we going for a walk?&bsp; No time today Hoolie, but Joe is coming in to see you.&bsp; When, when? he replied excitedly. Soon, I laughed, handing him a treat, try to be patient.

Later that day, I was speaking with Joe about Hooligan and he was telling me all hes learned and what a great dog he is.&bsp; He was preaching to the choir of course.&bsp; Ever since hes learned to stand on his hind legs to ask for a treat, hell do it every chance he gets, Joe said.&bsp; I laughed so hard it brought me to tears.&bsp; I guess Gentleman will have to wait a bit longer, for now he is still Hooligan.

Please come and ask about this great dog and future Hall of Famer.&bsp; We are letting him go for free to the right people who have the energy and the heart to realize what a sparkling gem he is.&bsp; Who knows, he may forever be a Hooligan and as far as Im concerned, Whats wrong with that?

Thanks for listening.