He’s one of the volunteer dog walkers.
There was a social hour before we sat down to dinner which I put to good use by scoping out the appetizer table and keeping an eye out for people I’d know. Sure enough, as I helped myself to cheese and crackers, I bumped into a friend of mine.
I found myself telling her about my own volunteer work for the Pet Connections program out at the Ontario ARC. Which naturally got me talking about Brutus. As I described him, she listened thoughtfully.
“Oh, and he’s got black fur? So, he’s already got one strike against him,” she said sadly as she looked at me over the top of her wine glass.
I didn’t get mad as my friend and I talked because I knew she understood the deadly seriousness of what we were talking about. She works fulltime at Lollypop and gets to see firsthand the enormous problem that animal shelters face: the challenge of finding forever homes for black coated dogs (and cats).
For the next couple of hours, I kept playing her comment over and over in my head, knowing that I would weave it into the growing pile of other pieces of data and commentary, web site URL’s and PDF white papers that I’ve been collecting for almost a year now.
When I started collecting all of this data, I wasn’t sure how I was going to use it.
However, given the number of emails I received from many of you in response to one of the articles that appeared in my first e-zine newsletter, I realized that I hadn’t completely exhausted the subject of Black Dog Syndrome (BDS) …
because my simply linking to web sites that concentrate on what’s known as Black Dog Syndrome wasn’t enough for you.
So, this week, I’ll be writing a few posts summarizing some of the information I’ve stored away about Black Dog Syndrome. This way, you’ll have easy access to information all in one place so you don’t have to go searching for it.
Until then, start with this:
There are a lot of black coated dogs that get overlooked by potential adopters looking for a dog. They are much like Brutus: mid-sized (approximately 45-60 pounds), nondescript mixed breed dogs that have awesome temperaments.
They get passed over because people don’t see them. Or, they see them with eyes that aren’t skilled at knowing what to look for. This failure to “see” a dog based on the color of its coat/fur is called Black Dog Syndrome.
We can change that. I’ll write another blog post (or two) about this, and all you have to do is share it with everyone you know who has decided that they want to adopt a dog from an animal shelter.
Sounds like a deal to me. Let me know if you think so too.