When I don't go out in the yard with them, the dogs don't generally like being out there more than a few minutes. They do their business, run around a bit, but then they want to come back in the house. They are both dogs who want to be with their people.
Occasionally, though, Dudley wants a lie in the sun, and, since he's usually the one yipping pitiably to be let back inside after three seconds, if he decides to stay out, Zelly is content to stay out with him. I keep an eye on them through the kitchen window, and I noticed recently that, when I'm not out there, Zelda assumes a protective position and keeps a vigilant watch over Dudley.
Video Description: Zelda, vigilant as always, sits in front of Dudley in a protective way, while he lies splayed out in the grass, oblivious to the world.
She is just such a sweet dog. I know that dogs aren't supposed to have the capacity for love, as we understand it, but whatever. Zelda is a dog absolutely filled with love for her family.
I got this.
There are lots of dogs in the world who love their families, so many, in fact, that it would hardly be worth comment, except for the fact that, once upon a time, Zelda was a stray mutt with numbered days and funny ears at an overpopulated city shelter, a dog who didn't even have a name. She was, when we met, the kind of dog that gets overlooked, and gets destroyed.
She was not the most playful dog at the shelter that day, nor the youngest, nor the cutest. She was barely even noticeable, sitting politely in her too-small cage in the corner furthest from the door. When I knelt down to look at her, she didn't bark or paw at the bars of her cage or lick my hand: She simply sat and looked back with her intelligent brown eyes, waiting for me to communicate to her what she needed to do to get out of that horrible place. While I gazed back at her, already knowing with an unaccountable certainty that she was my dog, I saw the tip of her bottle-brush tail wagging behind her.
There were other dogs there who would have made excellent pets, totally lovely companions for us, for Dudley, for the cats. But Zelda was the perfect dog for us, found, after months of speaking to rescues and meeting potential adoptees, in an unexpected place.
Since we've had her, I'm not sure if I'd heard more that people are dubious about mutts or dubious about dogs from the pound. You don't know what you're going to get. Well, that's true, insomuch as dogs' personalities emerge more fully once they feel safe. But if you buy a puppy from a breeder or a pet store certain of what your dog will be like based on breed standards, you might get a surprise.
Dudley and his cousin Alfie could not be more different in personality, despite both being greyhounds and literal genetic cousins.
So no one ever knows exactly what they're going to get.
It's not a good reason to dismiss out of hand the possibility of adopting a mutt, even adopting one from the pound with an unknown background. It just means a little more time, meeting more dogs, investing an afternoon or two to get to know a dog that the shelter workers may not know well themselves. Some pounds will even let potential adopters foster a dog now, a trial run of sorts.
Zelda was a dog who needed rescue in the truest sense of the word.
We didn't know exactly what we were going to get, but we got a dog who is filled with love for her family. The feeling is mutual.
[Part One; Part Two]