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The Effects of Resuce Shelters - From a Dog's Perspective

A man walks through the door of the building pulling a reluctant mass attached to a leash; as he nears, it becomes clear that the ‘mass’ is really a dog! The dog is a mixed-breed of some sort, trembling with his tail poised stiffly between his legs and his overgrown claws scrapping against the unfamiliar tile floor as he tries to gain footing on its slippery surface. The man appears unmoved by his dog’s display of disorientation and simply pulls harder on the leash to drag him along grudgingly on the slick surface of the floor.

The woman behind the counter forces a smile toward the approaching man, already prepared for what is about to conspire. Unfortunately, she has seen this many times and is all too familiar with the procedures on admitting a dog into the rescue shelter.

The man looks to the woman and smiles, “Hi! I am here to drop off my dog, Diesel.”

“Great!” the women replies back to the man, straining her voice to sound enthusiastic. “I’ll just have to ask you a few questions and we’ll get started on the paper work. It should only take a few minutes. First off, do you know how old your dog is?”

“Oh, yeah!” the man answered, “I have had Diesel since he was a pup! Let’s see, he’ll be almost ten this year I should think.”

The woman looks down and the grey muzzled dog as he looks pleadingly up at her, shivering and confused. She knows that the chances of a family being interested in a dog so much older is rare and that his chances for re-adoption are slim.

They go through the paperwork together and within minutes, Diesel is ready to be escorted to the shelter clinic. In the clinic he will be poked and prodded by the shelter vet to test for various ailments and to administer proper immunizations. A ‘fun’ procedure f...

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...9).

In one study, while being observed by a dog, a researcher hid a desirable toy in an area of the room where the dog was incapable of reaching (Horowitz, 2009). That researcher left the room and a new researcher entered (Horowitz, 2009). The dog ran up to the new researcher and eagerly tried to get their attention through jumping or grunting (Horowitz, 2009). Once the researcher looked down at the dog and it appeared as though the dog had their attention, the dog looked in the direction of the hidden toy (Horowitz, 2009). Could the dog’s behavior be indicative of their ability to utilize a shared gaze to communicate?

Works Cited

Beerda, B.; Bosch, G.; Hendriks, W.H.; Vander Poel, A.F.B.; & Verstegan, W.A. (2007).

Impact of nutrition on canine behaviour: current status and possible mechanisms. Nutrition Research Reviews (Vol. 20, Issue 2, pp. 180-94).
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