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Example of how a shelter dog about to be put down selected their human adopter

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This dog was at a shelter to be put down the next day but when this man walked in, she selected him by making a lot of noise

Do you think that shelter dogs pick the human with which they want to live? They certainly have a say in it because it is very easy to come across stories where timid shelter dogs have temporarily come out of their shells and approached an adopter who walks past their cage and, in any way possible, catch their eye. It almost seems like they know that they have to be saved. It’s an act of survival. Perhaps they realise that dogs are being euthanised at the shelter. They’ve seen dogs adopted, taken away from their cage and perhaps through observation learn how to get out of there.

This dog was at a shelter to be put down the next day but when this man walked in, she selected him by making a lot of noise

This dog was at a shelter to be put down the next day but when this man walked in, she selected him by making a lot of noise. Photo: Mr Sterling.

I am speculating but this story encourages me to believe that sometimes dogs adopt a human rather than the other way around.

Robert Sterling’s story

Robert Sterling tells us his story. When his dog passed away in his arms at the age of 17, he adopted another from a shelter that was not a no-kill shelter. In other words when the shelter is too full, they kill some animals. It’s called euthanasia but it is better described as killing. Mr Sterling deliberately chose this shelter in order to save the life of a dog.

When he walked in the shelter he heard “insistent barking and whimpering from one of the back kennels, out of sight from the entrance. As I progressed along the kennels, the excitement from the far kennel only increased; when we got there the dog was totally beside herself with excitement. She was a beautiful, border-collie-like dog, but bigger.”

The worker at the shelter asked him whether he knew the dog because she had never acted like that before. In fact, she was normally timid and tried to hide when people approached.

Sterling said that he didn’t know the dog but that the dog apparently knew him 💕. He was told that she was found on the street with littermates who had all been adopted. She had been there a month and there had been no interest in her. She was scheduled to be put down the next day.

Sterling said:

“My dog is scheduled to be put down?! The hell if you’ll put down my dog!”

He signed the papers there and then and arranged to take her to the local vet to be spayed. His new dog companion walked by his side to his car on a slack leash. She hopped in and rode all the way home with her paw on his lap.