Random Musings on Dogs, Photography, and the Vagaries of Life

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Complete Package

Although I don't consider myself a superficial person, I admit I can be swayed by a pretty face...especially when that face is furry, is framed by fuzzy ears, and rests on a four-legged, tail-wagging body. And I readily admit to finding some dogs "prettier" than others.

I also realize, however, that good looks don't always mean good--or psychologically stable--dogs. There are plenty of canine Sylvia Plaths hiding behind Audrey Hepburn facades and Charles Mansons masquerading as George Clooney. But still, it's hard not to be influenced by appearances.

So how wonderful it is to discover Mother Theresa in the doggy equivalent of Giselle Bundchen or Bill Gates behind the fido face of Daniel Craig.

Yesterday, I met such a dog. His name is Patrick. He's a 9-month-old Plott hound/Boxer mix currently residing in a foster home of the SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George's County (PGSPCA). I had the pleasure of sharing a car ride with him on his way to a TV appearance on WUSA-TV9's "Petline Nine" segment.

Patrick was a perfect gentleman. Although I'd never met him before, he hopped on my lap (yes, he thinks he's a lap dog) as soon as I sat down on his foster family's sofa, ready for a quick cuddle (typical male!). He went willingly with PGSPCA adoption coordinator Sandy Twigg and me to the car and positioned himself on the floor where he could occasionally stick his head up between the front seats for a scratch behind the ears.

Once at the station, Patrick went about making friends with staff, even endearing himself to an on-air guest waiting to film her segment on mint juleps. He sat and shook paws with anyone who asked. And once on air, he calmly received the attention of the news reporter.

What amazed me most about the whole experience was the fact that here was a dog about whose early life we know almost nothing, who was found as a stray, and ended up in the county animal shelter. Yet he exhibited a more adaptable, accepting, good-natured personality than many dogs I know--including my own--some of whom can trace their ancestry back several generations. Like I said, wonderful!

I expect that Patrick's TV appearance will result in lots of adoption applications. Still, if you're looking for a handsome, medium-sized dog who gets along well with dogs and people of all ages, you may want to check him out. If I were in the market for another dog, he'd already be home.

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