All right, I’m gonna admit to a little bait-and-switch here – there’s a dog I want to tell you about, and we’re calling him Pony. But at the shelter, he was known as Capone, which is a stupid name for a dog. Dogs – especially shelter dogs – shouldn’t be named after gangsters, alcohol, or drugs. So try not to pre-judge him based on his stupid name, and let me tell you about the Pony I know. He’s one of a group of very special dogs we call the legacy dogs who have lived at Pets Alive Westchester since before Pets Alive took over the shelter in 2010. At the time the shelter was a hoarding house of horrors, with over 600 dogs stuffed into a building designed to hold less than one-third of that. In the past five years we’ve labored mightily to put those dogs into homes, and now less than 30 remain. Now that Pets Alive Westchester is closing their doors, we want to see these dogs in homes more than ever – especially Pony, a sweet boy who has been here since November of 2005, when he was barely more than a pup.
The first question we usually get is “Why has this dog been here so long?” In Pony’s case, that’s a very easy answer: he is blind. Pony has a condition called progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), an inherited and largely untreatable condition that caused him to go blind over time. It is painless and should not lead to further complications. We think Pony still has some visual ability, perhaps some light and shadow.
This frightens people, and it shouldn’t. Because he went blind over time, he had lots of time to adjust to his new condition. Blind dogs can get around just fine, and he does – he learns the spaces he is in and can navigate quite well via smell and echolocation. Even in a new space he usually only bumps into things a little bit, and gently – he’s fully capable of playing outside, walking on leash, or navigating the inside of a home or an apartment skillfully. He requires no special care due to his condition.
He’s a playful dog. A fun dog. Technically a senior now at around 11 years old, he’s strikingly handsome and usually “smiling”. He is a big fan of people and loves to cuddle with his favorite people. His favorite thing in the world is squeaky toys and he’s quite serious about finding them and settling down for a nice chew!
Pony has had dog friends but he can be a bit picky about them – he prefers them low key, since he can’t see a dog who playfully jumps on him or accurately judge their intent. Similarly, young children would probably frighten him, because he can’t see them.
Maybe you’re a big fan of special dogs, of dogs with a story. Maybe you’re looking for a dog who really deserves a nice home. Or maybe you just want a devoted, loyal and loving companion. Check him out. He’s fantastic.
Pony is eligible for Foster to Adopt, so you can take him home for a weekend, a week, a month or forever – give him a try. Email us at email@example.com. We’d be more than happy to introduce you and answer any questions.