A Day with a Homeless Dog

A Day with a Homeless Dog

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Letter from Leo

To my forever family...

Leo is such a happy boy!
I know you are out there somewhere and you just haven't found me yet. My name is Leo and I have been waiting a very long time to meet you, 10 months to be exact. I arrived at the shelter back on February 13th, when I was just 9 months old. If you did the math, you can see that I have been living at the KCMO shelter for more than half my life. It has been a long wait and my wish this Christmas is to finally find you.


Leo when he first arrived 2/13/13
I am not exactly sure what happened with my first home.  One day my owners decided to leave me with the neighbors and they were going to come back for me. After a few weeks the neighbor realized they weren't coming back and she had to find another place for me. I don't think I did anything wrong, but I was just a pup. I guess I would rather be at the shelter where people will take care of me and volunteers will spend time with me. The shelter labeled me as a Pit bull, Chinese Shar-Pei mix. Sounded good to me until I found out that lots of places have a ban against Pit bull mixes. Doesn't seem fair, but I guess that is how it goes. I was pretty confident that someone would find me and love me even if I was a Pit bull mix.

When I first arrived the trainer did an evaluation on my behavior to make sure I was adoptable. It was apparent that I had a lot of energy. Since I was so young, I didn't really have any manners and didn't know any basic commands. I jumped up to greet, I took treats roughly and had a hard time focusing. Since I wasn't aggressive and didn't have any issues with guarding my food or toys, I passed the test. The trainers made a note to make sure and let anyone who adopted me understand my needs and high energy.

I have to tell you it has been really hard for me to adjust to shelter life. A guy like me, with high energy, absolutely needs daily exercise and an outlet for my energy. I was invited to try playgroups when I first arrived and from the very beginning the staff could see how stressed I was. In the kennel I was constantly jumping and barking at people. Out in playgroups I was overwhelming dogs with my rough and rowdy play style. I wasn't focusing and my arousal was always so high. Everyone, including myself, was hoping I would find a home sooner than later.

Leo showing off at Zona Rosa
Unfortunately the shelter is always full and there are lots of dogs that need attention. I am one of those dogs that really needs more one on one attention. It can be hard at an open access shelter to get that one on one attention and help that I needed. The staff decided to choose me to go up to the Zona Rosa location. I was hoping this would be my shot to finding a forever home. Less dogs to choose from, more daily walks and one on one time! My hopes were high and the Zona volunteers were going to have their hands full with this guy.

Leo's adoption picture
Oct 19th was the day I won't forget. The shelter was having a huge Mega Match-a-thon and after 3 weeks of being at Zona, I found someone who understood me and my needs. I don't know what it was, but the tone of his voice got my attention. The staff and volunteers were surprised to see how responsive I was with this guy and his son. I was a happy boy. Finally some one noticed me. I know the staff and volunteers were as happy as I was to finally find a home.

Well, I wouldn't be writing this letter if that was my happily ever after. Not even a week later I found myself back at the shelter. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT! I guess the landlord didn't want me to stay. I don't know if it was because of my breed, but you can imagine how disappointed I am. Now I am back at the main shelter, stressed and frustrated!

Yes I am a high energy dog, I have high arousal which makes it hard for me to focus. I am getting more stressed and nervous the longer I am here. I can play with other rough and rowdy dogs, but the staff thinks it would be good for me to be the only pet in the beginning. I really need all the attention to help with my mental and physical health. I know I might be a lot to handle, but please hear me when I say I want nothing more than a home for Christmas. Do you know anyone who could help me? Maybe you could share my story for me. It might help me finally get my happily ever after. Thank you!