Reflection: Animal Play Behavior
Arrow the Dog
By Mark Linggi (06/03/10 17:51:46)
Related animal: Dog

My friend Michael has recently fostered a dog named Arrow. What fostering for dogs is is when an individual temporarily adopts a pet. In this time, the clinic provides the food and other necessary essentials for the pet, while the guardian provides the home and care for the animal. The guardian takes care of the dog until the dog gets adopted by a permanent family. Although this prevents the dog from being inside a pound and stuck inside with minimal attention and exercise, I can't also help to think of the emotional ramifications of what this can do for the pet and the temporary guardian. I know how much Mike loves taking care of Arrow. Its as if this new sense of responsibility has changed his outlook of his priorities. But just as much as Mike cares for Arrow, I know the feelings are reciprocated on Arrow's behalf.

Where ever we go, Arrow always makes sure that Mike is around. It seems that Mike is the only one who can consistently drag Arrow's attention away from what else is going on in the world. And when outside, Arrow goes leashless as long as Mike is close by. I often worry when these two will eventually separate because I know that both will be hit emotionally.

But despite this slight default, this program has proven to be positive for the dog. For one thing, I have noticed that Arrow has a lot of odd quirks, that makes me believe that he had not a very good life before he and Mike got together. First of all, he became very scared of certain areas of campus. To get to those areas, it was like we had to take paths around just to get to a specific area. Secondly, while walking in IV, a homeless man, whom we have never encountered, called out Arrow by name. Arrow began to bark and back away as soon as this happened. We concluded that this homeless man must have been Arrow's previous owner, and that he did not take very good care of him. Despite this poor upbringing, Arrow has turned out to be such a good and friendly dog.

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