Monday, July 14, 2008

Dog on the Blog: Dr. Herschel and Mr. Hyde!

This is Herschel. He came to us from the Texas City Animal Shelter, through the good offices of Tom English, a volunteer at that shelter. Tom has a special place in his heart for Rottweilers, and he saved Herschel from being euthanised.

Herschel is one of those babies who truly belongs here at our farm. He could never be placed for adoption. That is because Herschel has multiple personalities! Well, really, only two -- which makes him the doggie equivalent of The Two Faces of Eve!

What we are seeing in these photos is the good boy, Dr. Herschel. He smiles and wags his tail when he sees you. He will come to meet you at the fence and deliver big, sloppy kisses.

But you must always be watching Herschel's eyes and never allow yourself to get distracted. Because you will see the evil spirit of Mr. Hyde flicker across his eyes, just before Dr. Herschel slips into Mr. Hyde mode -- at which point, smiles and kisses are a distant memory and he will lunge at any part of your body he can grab! It is startling and more than a little disconcerting the first time you witness Herschel change personalities!

As you step back from him and watch him snarl, snap, bark and slobber, in a matter of seconds, you will then see Dr. Herschel reclaim the upper hand, and Herschel will shift back to the good boy with the big smile and be ready to give kisses again! He doesn't seem to remember his Mr. Hyde episodes!

None of us can figure out why Herschel has this split personality. It is just a part of who he is, and I don't think we are likely to change him.

So we enjoy him when he is having his happy, Dr. Herschel moments. And when he slides into Mr. Hyde, we just give him room and let him work his way through it and back to the sweet Dr. Herschel, as he always does.

Herschel will have a place to live out his life in safety, here. Even if he slips into Mr. Hyde and one of us doesn't move fast enough to get out of his way, Herschel will never be penalized if he bites us.

He has neighbors all around him, and he is next to the horse pasture, so he can see the horses galloping by and the donkeys meandering past him as well. The roosters strut by his yard all the time, so Herschel can bark-bark-bark at them. He has lots of stimulation and interesting things to see and bark about!

Because of his personality disorder, he really cannot live inside a house with a family -- because when Dr. Herschel leaves and maniacal Mr. Hyde takes his place, no one would want to be within biting range of Herschel! But even with his idiosyncrasies, Herschel deserves the right to live.

So Herschel has a play yard and a cottage, and he can enjoy his remaining years here on our farm.

Jay Hellerich, executive director
smiling dog farms
a 501(c)3 corporation
wharton, texas

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