If you have a little time and love dogs, consider volunteering with Alachua County Animal Services or your local shelter. Whether you play with dogs at the shelter, take a dog out for a fun afternoon, or foster a dog, you and the dog will both have a great time.
The staff and volunteers at ACAS give you everything that you need and can match you with a dog with the right personality and energy level for you.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving I worked off the turkey by taking Kasen out for a walk and jog. Kasen is an adorable young dog with Alachua County Animal Services. He was a wonderful walking and jogging companion and got lots of attention even though the office with the “Adopt Me” vests was locked so he only wore a harness and collar. He was his own ambassador, asking every family that he saw to please take him home.
Kasen is a puppy whose body has grown up faster than him. At about six months old, he looks like a full-grown dog, but he is all puppy. He’s a sweet boy who wants to play with everyone he sees.
In the lobby, Kasen simply couldn’t contain himself. He didn’t have four feet on the ground unless someone was holding him there. As soon as we got onto the grounds, however, he calmed right down, and to my surprise was very calm on the leash.
Kasen would have liked to have crawled into my lap when we got in the car, but he respected my request for him to stay in the back seat and soon settled down for the rest of the trip.
Kasen and I walked around Midtown and Depot Park. He was incredibly good on the leash. He looked to see where I was and stayed beside me or behind me on a loose leash almost all of the time. These manners continued throughout the walk: in Midtown walking along University Avenue, strolling through neighborhoods, and at Depot Park.
Kasen was a great jogging buddy, jogging behind me and not pulling off to sniff or mark. I didn’t jog with him too much, since he is still a young dog, but he enjoyed getting to trot for some time.
The only time Kasen pulled was when he saw someone he thought might meet him, in which case he jumped joyously towards them. Lots of people did want to meet him, and he made some friends. He was excellent with children, even responding to a little girl telling him to sit. He managed to contain his energy with the kids, and was a hit with everyone he met.
Kasen was also wonderful with other dogs. He went from meeting to trying to play pretty much instantly, which isn’t unexpected for a puppy, but he was respectful of small dogs that he met. With some practice, he will develop great self-control around kids and small dogs.
Kasen just needs a little bit of practice to be a great family dog. He is so willing to please and eager to learn. It is hard for an energetic young dog like Kasen to contain himself at the shelter, so a foster family would really do him good. I hope he gets a family soon, he deserves it.