This is Tippy.
This is Dog Trainer Joe Tullier and a feral pup we named Lil Yeller.
Last Friday, Joe, formerly a Military Working Dog handler in the Marines and currently the owner of Acadiana Canine Training in Prairieville, LA, went up to Companion Animal Alliance to evaluate some dogs and I tagged along.
A couple of these dogs were having a hard time; one of whom was Tippy. Tippy had gotten into a couple of fights in the play yard with two different female dogs. A staff favorite, Tippy is sweet with people and fine with many dogs, but she has been at the shelter for several months and no one has shown any interest in adopting or fostering her. Maybe it’s because she’s a pit? Maybe it’s because she’s a plain, brown dog with plain brown eyes? Who knows.
At any rate, Tippy was on that day’s euthanasia list, but if Joe thought she was salvageable, she would get another chance. Unfortunately, an open-intake animal shelter — where no animal can be turned away — is a place where many dogs unravel after too much time without personal attention. Joe, who in 2007 was selected to be a part of Dog Training School at Lackland Air Force base where he spent 2 ½ years training dogs for the military, thought Tippy could do just fine if her circumstances changed a bit.
But back to that soon.
The other dog having a hard time that day was Lil Yeller, a feral yellow lab mix pup who wouldn’t let anyone near him. Kenneled with another puppy who is quite friendly, Lil’ Yeller was spending all of his time pressed up against a corner of the dog house inside the kennel. And if the vets tried to touch him, he screamed.
I think it’s fair to say Joe and I had a rather good time cornering that puppy and bringing on the love. Joe draped himself over the dog house so Lil Yeller could not get inside or hide behind it. And when he flushed him out, I touched him with one finger. SHRIEK! Seriously, little puppy? Joe and I looked at each other and I almost laughed. This fella was a Drama Queen. Then we sweet talked him and touched him a little more and a little more until in literally about five minutes, as you can see above, he was quite happy and comfortable in Joe’s arms.
The problem, Joe said, was that his puppy companion was not providing Lil’ Yeller with the kind of security he needed. Lil’ Yeller needed the security of a strong adult role model.
Tippy gave Lil Yeller the once over.
And over. In fact here she is looking at Joe and thinking, “What the heck are you doing to my puppy?”
Then she gave Joe her blessing.
Long story long, after moving on to several other cases, the decision was made to kennel Tippy with the two puppies. The good news is, with the security that Tippy has given this puppy, Lil’ Yeller has found the courage to approach the kennel gate with a wagging tail when people come to visit.
And while this has been a lovely short term fix, both dogs desperately need a home, and fast. Tippy even more so, because puppies are more adoptable than older dogs. Here is what the shelter staff says about her:
Tippy needs an adopter or foster!!! Right now she is living at the shelter with 2 feral puppies working to help socialize them, so you can see Tippy is generally great with other dogs. She dislikes certain personalities and this causes herto get into fights in the adoption dog yard at CAA. She is a wonderful dog that needs to be out of the shelter environment ASAP in order to help her be the best dog she can be. She is HW negative, 2-3 years old and spayed. Our friends at Acadiana Canine Training will give 3 free behavior sessions to anyone that fosters or adopts Tippy. Please contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
Please head up to the shelter and check these two out. Joe will also have Tippy and the puppies at a Friends of the Animals adoption event at Orvis in Perkins Rowe this Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.
Please keep in mind that while Companion Animal Alliance is working towards No-Kill status, currently, it is a Kill Shelter. Animals are euthanized simply for lack of space, which means Tippy and Lil’ Yeller really need your help.
Tippy’s free behavior sessions are valued at $240, so you know that she’s got the makings of a great dog, or Joe wouldn’t have given her his stamp of approval. Plus, even if you’re just fostering her, you’ll get quite an education in those three sessions.
Can you step up and help this sweet girl or Lil’ Yeller?
Hope to see you there.
UPDATE: Tippy found a wonderful forever home, and just in the nick of time! Here she is with her new family, and her great big backyard. “Adopt don’t shop” is literally a matter of life and death for great dogs like Tippy who face euthanasia at shelters across America every day. Please help spread the word and adopt your next dog. He or she is waiting for you.