Ramblings From The Ranch
By Christina Bennett
No offense to the Chihuahuas, but I’m a big-dog kind of girl. The first time I went to The Ranch, I stepped out of my car and heard dogs barking. Lots of dogs. The dogs are ecstatic to see people—staff, volunteers, potential adopters. They know they will get personalized attention, petting, walks, treats, love, and lunch. So they bark, hollering, “Hey, look at me! Take me for a walk! Bring me a biscuit! I’m beautiful! Take me home! Is it lunchtime yet?”
Sometimes, I think they holler other stuff, too, like, “I hate my kennel mate! He’s a big slob!” Or “Get these puppies out of my pen; they’re driving me nuts with all their pinchy-biting!” Or “That car ride yesterday was fun until we got to the vet and she took my stitches out! Ouch!”
Don’t tell the other dogs, but I do have favorites. On my volunteer day, I say hi to all the dogs I pass, petting noses through the chain-link and giving out biscuits. I tell everyone how GOOD they are, and how gorgeous. Then I grab a leash and head to my dearest ones for walkies. Wayne and Prieto have been at The Ranch for most of their 2-year-old lives. They are brothers, one black and one tan. Their mom and one more of their brothers are at The Ranch too. Wayne and Prieto, big and handsome boys, are a bit skittish.
At first, when my husband and I would enter their 20-yard-long dog run, they’d scoot to the far end away from us. Now, after much coaxing and treats, we’re greeted with wagging tails. If we don’t walk them the minute we arrive, they stare out at us, calmly, with disapproving looks.
Some volunteers love the little guys and some love the puppies. It takes all kinds of people to care for and socialize over seventy dogs. Me? I like the big ones—the Shepherd Mixes, Black Labs, Huskys, Great Danes and the strong Pit Bulls with giant heads. They’re my people, in a manner of speaking. Sometimes they can yank me around on the leash, but I wouldn’t trade them for a fluffy puppy or lap-sized Yorkie mix.
Each week, I return for my fix of big-dog love—dirty paw prints on the neck of my T-shirt, slobbery kisses, and good-humored struggles to determine who will win at leash-walking (I think it will be me). I hope they will soon go to their forever homes where someone will snuggle them and give them the big love they deserve.
For more information on giving, volunteering and adoptions, visit our website at: www.lakesidespayandneuter.com or call 331.270.4447. Follow us on Facebook: Lakeside Spay and Neuter Ranch and Adoptions.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com