That Girl’s Blog: Cats and Dogs and Second Chances

Mojo is up for adoption at the Centerville MSPCA.

Mojo is up for adoption at the Centerville MSPCA.

I love dogs — the bigger the better! Give me a stubborn slobbery difficult dog and I will want to take her home. This is how I ended up with Mazzy, my 135-pound white fluffy stubborn Anatolian, and Zorro (my smaller terrier mix/mutt).

Previous to that, I had Kayla, a hyper- reactive husky/shepherd mix. There was also Gus, a big dopy Anatolian mix and before that, was Timantha, the first dog I ever owned.

Well, she wasn’t really a dog. I accidentally adopted a timber wolf from a shelter in Livermore, California. They told me she was a stray German Shepherd mix. My biology professor told me otherwise when I returned to school in Wisconsin several months later.

Aside from being too large to pass as carry-on luggage, all of these four-legged companions have something in common: They were all rejects. Horrible to say? In simple terms, no one wanted them or could handle them.

It happens all too often with dogs who don’t measure up to someone else’s standards. Sometimes it happens to people, too. Mazzy, Zorro, Kayla, Gus and Timantha were all rescues.

I don’t really call them ‘rejects’. I tell people I am a firm believer in “Recycled” pets – or even “Up-Cycling” pets!

When I was in elementary school my family lived up the street from the MSPCA shelter in Centerville. As a child, we didn’t have dogs, so I would walk up to the shelter and spend time with the dogs in their kennels. I was too small to actually take them for walks, but occasionally I would get to play with one in the lot behind the adoption center.

Recently I have begun to visit again. It’s sad to see so many animals in need of homes. Some have stories and some are simply strays. Some are friendly and some are incredibly guarded. It’s understandable that a dog or cat would be out of sorts in a situation like this. They are lucky to be at this particular shelter, as it is “open admission” which means they never close doors to any domesticated animal.

mspca

The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to care for each dog, cat, bird, bunny and even gerbils and chinchillas that come through their door. They have networks and other rescue agencies and foster homes to help keep the animals healthy until a “forever home” can be found.

“Show me your problem children” I joked with Mary-Sarah from the MSPCA. The first time I said this she thought I was kidding. People don’t usually show their best side when they are stressed, and I believe the exact same of animals.

On one visit, Mary-Sarah introduced me to a couple of cats in need of special care. I was warned to pat one at my own risk. He was a tabby with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Given a little time to get used to me, he was comfortable enough to sit on my lap while his litter box was changed and his water bowl refreshed.

Cat's first dog, a wolf named Timantha

Cat’s first dog, a wolf named Timantha

Later, I met Lassie. Poor Lassie was a mess. She is an older cocker spaniel who desperately deserves a calm home to live out the last few years of her life. She is both deaf and blind, and at the time, still needed surgery for her eyes. I got to take her outside on a leash. She was perfectly happy to trot along, occasionally bumping into things.

Unfazed, she would find a patch of sun and turn her face up towards the warmth and sniff the air. Lassie is in a foster home now – which I am hoping becomes permanent.

There are a lot of different reasons why owning an animal isn’t easy. Early on when I first adopted Mazzy, I learned she had very little if any human contact. She was stand-off- ish and reserved. She had also never been inside a house. When I was gone for any period of time, she would chew up all my cook books.

Keep in mind, she is as tall as a small pony, thus she was helping herself to books on the TOP shelf of my book case! I would come home to shredded pages from one end of my house to the other. She has matured past her book chewing and settled in to our routine. Now I come home to big tumbleweeds of white fur that I have to vacuum each day. I still wouldn’t trade her for anything.

So why was I at the shelter today? Because there is a great big Saint Bernard named Mojo that I wanted to meet. Do you like giant breed dogs? He just might be your man! I spent a little time with Mojo outside at his pen, until Mary-Sarah direct me to another area away from the dog kennels.

There was a wall cage with a curtain across the door. Mary-Sarah gently reached in and carefully pulled out a tiny shaking little dog cradled in one hand.

“This is Belle.”

She handed the scared little thing to me and I asked if she was a squirrel! She was so small!

Belle is up for adoption at the Centerville MSPCA

Belle is up for adoption at the Centerville MSPCA

Belle, as it turns out, is a tea-cup Chihuahua. I held her to my chest until she stopped shaking. She is a senior pup who apparently needs to be in a quiet home with no other animals. She was so sweet and even made some faces when I tried to take a couple selfies with her. I wanted so much to tuck her in my leather jacket at take her home! Or maybe YOU could take her home?

I believe in second chances. When I come home at the end of any day — long, short, good, bad – Mazzy and Zorro great me at the door with more excitement and enthusiasm than most people.

We all have our moments. We have all been rejected. We have all had second chances. Sometimes, when given a second chance, we are more appreciative of what we have.

Dogs, cats, horses. If you have the room in your home and your heart, why not stop by the MSPCA for a visit. Maybe you will find your own second chance?

If you want more information about the Cape Cod MSPCA, please visit: https://www.mspca.org/adoption-centers/cape-cod-adoption-center/

The Cape Cod MSPCA is also gearing up for their annual Furry Affair Auction in June. Tickets are on sale now: https://www.mspca.org/events/furry-affair/

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.

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