Playing favorites

Published 9:47 am Friday, February 11, 2011

The title of this tale can be a bit misleading, for when an animal is sick, injured or in need of help of any sort, I haven’t any favorites.

That being said, there is one type of animal (usually a dog) that wins my attention quicker than any other. That is an animal that is slow to give up the trust and in some cases, reluctant to do so.

I conjure up all kinds of scenarios that y have made an animal behave this way and my heart goes out to them. You may recall some of my special cases that involve such animals, Jewel from “Polishing a jewel” was one of my favorites. Viper and Charleston the cat, are others that come to mind. All, I am happy to say, are in loving homes.

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Leila is a two year old Border Collis mix, who was turned into F.H.S. as a stray turn in. That in itself breaks my heart, not because of the wonderful people who bring them to us, but because for one reason or another these animals have been abandoned. She came to us on the 6th of January, a bit scraggly looking and with hook worms. Her worms have been treated and as you can see from her photo she is now a beautiful little girl.

When I first met Leila, she had her tail firmly planted under her belly and a look of wariness and confusion on her face that said, “please don’t come near me.”

I’ve spent lots of time in her cage talking softly and tossing her treats, which she would take and eat as far away from me as she could get. After a while she would come to the gate of her cage when I called and take a treat, only if the gate was closed. Then one day she came to the gate with her tail at last in an upright position and the wary look in her eyes was replaced by one of expectation.

I used this opportunity to enter and slip leash on her. We had my customary walk and talk and my heart filled with joy because sweet Leila had at last given up the trust.

Today I often go in to hand her treats and I get to love her up and before I leave she gets Uncle Lennie’s famous kiss between the eyes. She still is a bit wary and cautious around other dogs but she’s coming along nicely.

It is important for you to know that I only speak of my association with Leila, there are many others who were involved with Leila’s well being, case in point: I’ve recently spoken with Eve, who is her handler in our great training and socialization program.

“How’s Leila doing Eve?” The question was asked to see how her behavior and socializing was coming along. “Oh Lennie,“ Eve answered, “she is so sweet and beautiful and smart and loving… hold on Eve,“ I said laughing, “I know all that, I was checking on her behavior.“ She’s learned everything that was asked of her,“ Eve went on, “I think she‘s perfect.”

I’ll have to speak with Kayla to get an update because it’s obvious that Eve is hopelessly in love with her, who can blame her.

We have taken this lump of coal, compressed it into a diamond and polished it till it shines. If you come to her with the love Eve, I and others have shown her, she will give to you something I deem far more precious than jewels, she will give her trust!