July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July America – and especially to you, Chi lovers!!

I’m sitting here watching my sleek, beautiful little black Chihuahua and wondering why on Earth black dogs are so difficult to adopt out. As Adopt-A-Pet.com so eloquently put it in the current issue of Bark Magazine (page 80) and I’m paraphrasing since I don’t have their explicit authorization to re-print – Black goes with everything. There are so many reasons to adopt a black dog. For starters, most women I know have black as the staple color in their wardrobe. While many Chihuahuas don’t shed, if you have a black one, and if you’re like most middle aged women who only wear black, who cares if they shed??!?!

In all seriousness, just because a dog has a black coat, it has a much less chance of being adopted than those who don’t. Take Justin for example. Despite him resembling my little Lily, who EVERYONE loves – as we’ve already covered, he is likely to be a long term shelter dog simply because of his color. Add to the fact that he’s a Chihuahua and heaven help him.

I’ve come to the conclusion that they simply don’t photograph well. Think about it, if you’re on the Petfinder or Adopt-A-Pet websites and you’re looking at available animals and can only choose one, would you choose this one?

or this one ?

These are Charlie’s and Lily’s adoption site photos and all of the interested parties were only interested in Charlie. Most of the folks I showed Lily’s picture only felt sadness and expressed how pathetic she looks. And yet, as I’m walking them as I’ve mentioned previously, it’s always Lily who gets the attention. (Particularly from a sweet gentleman who reminds me daily that he would be happy to take “little Lily” off my hands if it ever got to be too much. :o) By the way, there is nothing pathetic about Lily. She is the most independent dog I’ve ever met. While we’re working on her trust of strangers, she has no issues whatsoever with dogs regardless of size and just loves the people who have spent the time letting her get to know them on her terms. Her energy is really that of being her own dog. It’s awesome!

Now, if you only had these two to choose from which would you choose?


When it came to Facebook voting, more folks liked Lily’s photo (pictures courtesy of Angie Reily of Bow Wow Ventures – she always takes the best pictures of my babies on their walks!!). None liked Charlie’s. He’s since had a haircut, by the way…

So this morning, we went on a walk with a friend of mine who adopted a black pit bull from the East Bay SPCA while she was volunteering. I promise you this dog would not look great on the website, but in person, she is simply stunning. The sun was hitting her back while we were walking back to the parking lot and her coat was black with brown accents on the side with almost a ridge of black going up her spine. Do you think that could possibly come out in her adoption pictures on the websites? No way.

My point is that you should never choose a dog based on it’s photo and you should always consider a black dog if you happen to see one in the shelter. Take it out, give it a chance and see how it looks in the light. I will bet you dollars to donuts that the black dog has the personality that you prefer simply because they have to try harder. Put my theory to the test and let me know. And if you’re an adopter in the Bay Area, give Justin a shot.