As usual, the dogs are what attracted customers over to the TAGS booth. Then, we humans took over, answering questions about the pets up for adoption, the adoption process and our need for more foster homes. It was a pretty standard shift, complete with lots of doggy eye-candy (I love seeing all of the different dogs and their owners walk through the door!)
|Tell me there isn’t some teddy bear in there.|
But this time, in addition to answering the standard questions, I spent a fair bit of my four hour shift defending Quincy, a 10-year old Bichon Frise/Mini Poodle mix who from some angles looks like he could also be mixed with teddy bear. Why would I feel the need to defend such a cutie? Well, Quincy no longer has any of his teeth, and as a result he shakes/rotates his head often and plays with his tongue. It’s almost as if his tongue falls out of his mouth, and he tries to get it back in. I suppose at first glance, it is a bit distracting and “weird.” I happen to find it very endearing, and found myself imagining that he was listening to a song no one else could hear and couldn’t help but head bang along with it.
Nevertheless, I felt like Quincy was repeatedly, and unfairly, judged for this quality and this quality alone. It is normal for people to have questions, and of course, that is what we are there for, to answer questions about the adoptable pets. However, I felt like I rarely got the chance to talk about Quincy’s good qualities so I wanted to share them now.
Quincy is a normal dog who will make a fantastic pet when he finds his forever home. Yes, Quincy is a senior, but you would never know it if the lack of teeth didn’t give it away. He enjoys playing with his foster siblings and has a youthful personality. When I took him for a pee break outside, he was peppy and eager to sniff everything – even though it was cold and wet outside.
Despite being unable to defend himself, Quincy is polite and well-trained. He let other dogs approach him, and politely approached other dogs in return when we were out for our walk break. While he was exhibiting signs of nervousness in his crate (in the form of adorable squeaking noises) he didn’t bark even once during the whole shift. He only seemed to do the tongue thing when he was in the crate or otherwise unoccupied: if distracted by a walk or a toy, you’d never know that he has such a habit.
|Quincy showing off his (lack of) pearly whites.|
Where did his teeth go?
When Quincy was found, he was wandering around a busy street. He was in very rough shape and all of his teeth were rotten and infected right into his gums, which was undoubtedly painful. The decision was made that he would be better off having them all removed. This was back in the summer, and Quincy has been doing great ever since. He doesn’t seem to miss his teeth at all and is healthier for it.
(What) does he eat?