We volunteered in an area called “Old Friends” - a place in the shelter were older dogs lived in Dogtown. We walked Chief and another dog named Magnolia. Magnolia was a mutt that loved her walks, a senior girl that was resistant to go back into her run. Chief was much more mellow. Charming though she was, Magnolia was a bit of a puller. My husband and I found ourselves arguing over who got to walk the more laid back Chief.
We decided to take him on a sleepover for a night that turned into two...which turned into three. It’s not hard to fall in love with a dog over a few hours, parting with him after a getting to know him after a few days was torture. If it weren’t for owning an already dog-reactive retriever, we most certainly would have brought him home permanently.
For our sleepover(s), we were set-up with a bag of food, treats (in an adorable little baggie decorated by schoolchildren as part of a school project, no less), a blanket, his favorite tire rope toy, a leash and we were on our way.
Chief was a very confident dog. The moment he hopped into the car, he gave my husband a quick lick on the face, then turned to me to give me a smooch. We paused and looked at each other for a moment. It left us a bit stunned but pleasantly suprised.
From that moment on, we learned that each dog truly is an individual. During the three days we had him, we would proudly say to each other statements like, “I just got kissed by a Pit Bull.” “Hey, I’m walking a Pit Bull.” “Look, I’m hugging a Pit Bull.” Chief was the best ambassador for his breed.
In Chief’s biography at the sanctuary, it said he would make a great hiking buddy, but once we got him home to the rental, all he wanted to do was snooze and snuggle on the couch.
We were happy to oblige.