Friday, May 03, 2013

Kp and the Argonaut

Remember back when Mac won that SPCA contest?

Okay, well we'll be visiting a school next week and we're pretty pumped to tell you all about that when it happens.  More importantly for today, I want you to introduce you to someone with a ton of potential to be just as Mac-tastic as Mac himself.

Back when I wrote Mac's entry essay for the contest, the bottom of the form invited participants to enter either online through e-mail or by stopping into the SPCA in person.  The Mister and I choose the latter option because visiting the SPCA is a fun thing to do on a sunny Saturday.  I recommend it.

just in case you needed to know where it is.

While we were there, I convinced the Mister to walk through the adoptable dogs with me, which I think made him nervous (I promised the Mister no more puppies until we have a big enough house for it, and Mac is 6 years old.  Part of our marriage pact).  We did not adopt another dog, as I'm sure you're aware, because I would have blogged about that like WOAH.

Now, I've always been a little biased toward medium/ bigger dogs.  Because I get more out of them as a pet. You might prefer small dogs.  I'm not judging, I'm just making the point that while there are many small dogs at the Southwest Michigan SPCA, my eye caught on the big-guys there who are awaiting their forever families.

There were two puppies in particular who snagged my attention:  A Shepard-mix gal, and a little black Pointer-mix named Argo.  They tugged at my heart strings, but a promise is a promise, and besides, puppies don't usually stay at shelters for long, so after cooing over the cuteness, the Mister and I bid the SPCA adieu and went home to take Mac for a walk.

The next day at the pet store, the Shepard-mix came in with her new family, and a new name, and I am happy to report that she is a brilliant, happy little pup and I see her often.  But meanwhile, Argo was still at the shelter.

A few weeks went by and Argo was named the pet of the week on the local news in an attempt to garner him some attention, because he was still at the shelter.

A few weeks after that, Mac won the contest and when we went to be awarded the prize, I heard that Argo was STILL.  AT.  THE SHELTER.

Why is Argo still at the shelter?  I'd like to say I don't know.  But truthfully, it's because he's a black, medium-to-large breed puppy, who very likely has a bit of pittie mixed in there somewhere.

In an age where the internet is the first place people look when they adopt pets, black critters are at a distinct disadvantage because they don't photograph very well.

Larger dogs are not as easy to adopt out as the little dogs.  If you live in the city, you see them as more work and more commitment than something you can carry in your purse.

Add to that the word "pittie."  A word which is sadly intimidating to most people, even though Pit-bulls as a breed were long considered nannies for children, are really remarkable for their loyalty to their families, and drive to please people.  The fighting reputation is a product of someone doing really, truly traumatizing things to a dog, and if you're not the type of person to torture a puppy, then I urge you to please think twice before dismissing a Pit when you next look to adopt.  </soapbox>

A few weeks after all that, we're at today.  Where I went to the SPCA and borrowed little Argo for a bit.  I figured having all this dog training knowledge, the best thing I can do for the little guy is give him some basic obedience lessons and hopefully those good manners would give him a leg-up in the search for a new home.

We had a blast.
About 2.5 hours later, Argo was predictably very tired and just wanted a nap (dogs usually keep focus on a training session for 20 minutes or so.  Argo worked hard today!).  So we dropped him back off at the SPCA.  I believe he got some great practice in, drilling commands and behaviors today.  While I got a better look at a great pup.

Plus, though yes, it is hard to get good pictures of black dogs, when Kp has basic knowledge of photoshop and a black dog of her own to practice with, we can get some cute shots.  LOOKIT THIS HAPPY SMILEY FACE.

Are you in the greater Kalamazoo area and looking for a pet?  
Or know someone who is?  
Here's what I want you to know about Mr. Argo:
  • They've worked very hard with him at the SPCA.  By which I mean he would hands down pass a basic obedience course.  He sits when asked with such immediacy that his butt makes a "thunk" noise on the ground.  He can stay for about 5 seconds, even when I break eye contact (that's great for a puppy!), he can lay down, and he comes when called, even if he's distracted by a good sniff of something.  
  • For a young pup (about 4-5 months), he's got a remarkable control over his mouth.  He gives a lot of kisses, but he doesn't nip, and even when I put my whole hand in his mouth, he didn't bite down.  He let me touch all his feet and his face.  Know what that means?  Argo would be a FANTASTIC dog with kids.
  • He walks really well on a leash!  Loud noises made him pause in our neighborhood, but as long as you keep going and praise him when he follows, he'll become more confident there in zero time.
  • He rides in a car like a pro.  Curled up and went to sleep.
  • He has good bird-drive.  This could make him a pretty good hunting dog with some training.  Or just a fantastic "fetch" partner.
  • Argo gets along well with others.  This includes Mac, and the random neighborhood dog that was not on a leash (thank goodness for that, then).  We also met some people-type neighbors on our walk, who were happy to pet him.  He jumped up a bit, but with more practice I don't think that will last long.
  • Lap, meet lap-dog wannabe.  Every time I sat in the grass today, he plunked down in my lap.
  • He shared well with Mac, who had a bit of a brat moment when he snatched his squeaky duck back from the pup (as seen below).  But as that was quickly followed by an epic tag session, I wasn't too worried (also seen below).
  • He was happy to respond as I called him Argo, Argie, Argonaut and my personal favorite: Argo-pants.  (get it?  Like cargo pants!  ha.)  Really he was just happy to be called at all.
  • He's adorable.  Come on now.

"You should take me home.  I have a cute face, I learn super fast, and I will be your friend forever.  "

**As a quick reminder, if you want to help out little Argo but are not in a position to adopt him, The Etsy Monster's SPCAwesome promotion is still going on until the end of May - 50% of proceeds will go straight to the shelter!**


Queen Holly the Magnificent said...

Aw, looks like a cute boy.It's great that you are doing something to help out. Sometimes I wish I could have another doggy, but Jack is still having trouble with his fears, and my place is so small. Okay, really small. Super small. Extra really small.

Deidre said...

He looks like a little angel!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I had no idea that black pets faced a disadvantage! How sad!