I met Rufus last week at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter in Edgecomb, Maine. He is the longest resident there, living there for over a year now. Can you imagine? All the dogs he has seen come and go in that time, each one going off to a home
while Rufus gets overlooked time and time again.
Why hasn’t Rufus been adopted yet? Well, the shelter folks say he doesn’t make a great first impression in his cage.
People walk right past him and don’t give him a chance. They say he’s also aloof with strangers, so people
don’t feel a bond with him during a quick encounter.
I asked a friend who lives near the shelter to help me with Rufus on photo day. My plan was to first take Rufus for a walk, without any cameras, just to get him used to us a little bit. They had warned me that he hates cameras. When one of the shelter staff first brought him out to me, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to hold onto him, since they had warned me how strong he was. I took the leash and was pleasantly surprised, he didn’t pull nearly as bad as I expected. Now, I am used to Rottweilers and Bullmastiffs pulling me, but I’m also fairly small and weak, and I never felt overwhelmed. He does need some work/training, but for a dog who has been cooped up for over a year I think he has the potential to become a great walking partner.
He walked down the road eagerly until he reached a certain point, then he put on the brakes and wanted to go back.
We went back and I gave him a few treats. He didn’t seem aloof at that point and he actually licked my face.
He seemed to enjoy some rubs and scratches. This poor guy just needs a buddy.
Then, I handed him over to Kim and I got out my camera. Wow, they were not kidding when they said he hates cameras! It was like a switch was flipped when he saw me take that ‘thing’ out of my bag. He no longer wanted ANYTHING to do with me.
He tried to keep his back to me for the next 90+ minutes. He was very good at it! This was the view I had 95% of the time.
I love his ears in this one –
If I was lucky I got a profile —
So 95% of the pictures you see in this blog post were taken with me hiding behind a car or a building!
I’d hide behind an object, get 1 or 2 shots before he realized where I was, and then he’d turn his back to me again.
Kim had her hands full trying to keep up with him.
(We had him on a leash and/or long line the whole time…they have just been photoshopped out to make a prettier picture.)
After photographing Rufus, I now know I could start up a surveillance photography business, following around potentially cheating spouses. Yes, Rufus figured out where I was each time after a few seconds,
but Rufus is way smarter than a cheating spouse. And cuter, too.
If I remember correctly, Rufus was a stray. He is approximately 5 years old. He’s quite tall, in good shape, athletic,
and he was sweet to me within a couple of minutes (until the camera came out).
Even when he was clearly stressed by the camera, he was never irritable.
He seems like a really good dog who would become your best pal with a little love and patience.
He does have a little stubborn streak, but I really like that in a dog and I find it very endearing.
Rufus is looking for a home with no small children (because he can be quite rambunctious and could knock a child over) and no other pets.
You can view his shelter profile here. If you think you could be Rufus’s hero, please contact the Lincoln County Animal Shelter
and go spend a little time with him so you can see what everyone else is missing.
If you can’t be Rufus’s hero, please share this post to give this sweet fella as much exposure as possible.