Abby – Positive Pit Bull Pet of the WeekPosted: June 17, 2011
Sitting in the shade, chatting with Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Manager of Adoptions, Rebecca Yoo, Abby returned from her walk with AWLA Volunteer Dog Walker, Jeff Miller. Abby, a red and white, Pit Bull Terrier Mix, greeted us with her loose, wiggly, friendly manner – mirror opposite of the stiff-bodied, hard-eyed, canine body language warning of a dangerous dog.
Meeting Abby, you would not know about her resilient personality, unless told. After many months on view for adoption at the AWLA, a family adopted Abby; unfortunately, through no fault of Abby or her adopter, Abby returned to the League. In spite of her ordeal, Rebecca Yoo says Abby’s personality has remained primarily the same with no huge changes and no signs of depression.
Abby has a huge appetite for fetch-fun! Watching Abby play fetch with Jeff Miller in the AWLA’s fenced backyard is exhilarating. Jeff throws the tennis ball – Abby runs – Abby retrieves – Abby returns to Jeff – Abby drops the tennis ball at Jeff’s feet – Abby is ready for more more more – until Abby decides positive play is over. A caregiver who enjoys physical activity would be a good match for Abby’s playful energy and stamina.
While walking Abby on “The Gauntlet” of South Arlington Mill Drive, with its many cars, noise, joggers, strollers, kids, and dogs, Jeff Miller is vigilant and alert for potential stress factors. To divert Abby’s attention and diffuse stress, Jeff uses a simple technique, positioning himself to block Abby’s view. For a more joyful, less-stressful, leash-walking environment, where Abby and her caregiver can work together at a measured pace to polish her manners and skills, the AWLA recommends a home in a quiet neighborhood away from the hustle-bustle.
Continued socialization is important for every dog, though not every canine social situation is appropriate for every individual dog. For example, the idea of taking a dog to the dog park is alluring and can be advantageous; however, there are also disadvantages for dogs, people, and the community.
For enriching, positive experiences, Rebecca Yoo suggests supervised, small playgroups of well-tempered dogs familiar to Abby’s caregiver, such as dogs of friends and family. Establishing positive playtime with appropriate playmates where you can gauge enjoyment (and keep it short if Abby, or any dog for that matter, appears overwhelmed or anxious) is socialization set for success.
Are you ready to meet and play fetch with Abby? Abby is ready to meet and play fetch with you! AWLA animal viewing pet adoption hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from Noon to 7 pm; Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4pm.