Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dog on the Blog: This Is Shyla and Owen -- The Ozzie and Harriet of Smiling Dog Farms

The thing I remember best about Ozzie and Harriet on their 1950's sitcom was how obviously happy they were together. This was a couple that loved being together, laughed together, had fun poking fun at one another.
Owen and Shyla are just that kind of couple.
To watch them playfully tease one another with an outstreched paw, or nibble on one anothers' ears, is to enjoy the spectacle of two dogs who love each others' company.
If Owen and Shyla were people, they would be described as kind, caring, loving. They are the kind of dogs you imagine when you think of dogs' highest qualities.
Shyla came to us first. She was rescued as she was limping along the roadside, in the four corners region. We met Shyla's savior at the veterinary clinic in San Diego. She happened to be there at the same time we were there with another of our dogs. The young woman was explaining to the person at the desk that she could not keep Shyla, but that she wanted her to have vet care for her limp. As it turned out, Shyla had a bullet lodged in her body, her leg was out of the hip socket completely and she had a raging infection in her woman parts! The young woman who rescued Shyla was overwhelmed by the severity of the diagnosis and the cost to treat her.
We offered to help, and the young woman seemed genuinely grateful that we could provide Shyla with a home, and take care of her medical needs as well. Shyla immediately went in for an emergency spay, and while she was under, the doc managed to get her legbone back into its socket. He elected to leave the bullet inside her because he felt it was doing no harm, and trying to remove it could put her at more risk than leaving it alone.
When Shyla came home with us after her surgery, it was immediately apparent that she was a special dog. She is one of those rare dogs that every other dog likes. Truly Miss Congeniality!
Over time, she shifted from group to group, bringing sunshine and joy where ever she went. I am not exaggerating. She is just that kind of girl!
Owen was surrendered at the Texas City Shelter by his former family. He immediately became a favorite of the staff and volunteers. He has a mellow disposition and everyone who meets Owen likes him. When people came to adopt dogs at the shelter, Owen was often a contender, many times the runner up. But he was not adopted. And after several months at the shelter, he was running out of time.
Our good friend, Laurine Murtaugh, called to ask if we had room for this boy at the farm. She explained what a sweet and special guy he was, but that he was running out the clock and she and others were concerned that sooner or later, Owen would have to relinquish his spot so that another dog could have a chance. (That is a very delicate way to say that after enough time, dogs have to be killed to make room for new arrivals. It is not the way shelter workers want it to be; it is just the way it is. Every day that Owen was given a reprieve, some other dog died in his place.)
We always say "yes" to Laurine, so Owen came to live at the farm.
Once we met Owen and came to know him and love him, we sensed that a match with Owen and Shyla could not miss. They were instantly drawn to each other. Sort of a Lady and the Tramp moment!
I enjoy watching all our babies amusing themselves in their yards. But one of my favorites to watch is Shyla and Owen, whose whimsical antics can't help but make you smile.
Jay Hellerich, executive director
smiling dog farms
a 501(c)3 corporation
wharton, texas

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