Angel is a 6 year old American Bulldog mix who weighs about 60lbs. She's very friendly and enjoys being with her person. Angel would do best in a home with no children because they make her uncomfortable. We are not sure how she would be with cats. Angel is doing well with some of the other dogs in the program, but she would most likely be best as the only pet.
"Every dog has their sweet spot. That area that every time you scratch or rub it they get a little crazy. For Angel, it was clear from the start that she loved to have her butt scratched right on top of the base of her tail. Her whole body dances with excitement which is always good for a laugh. Recently, I discovered a second spot that she loves just as much. Every night, Angel will lie between my legs and watch me read. I always reach down and scratch her head intermittently. The other night without thinking about it, I started to rub the front of her left ear almost where her temple would be. As soon as I started, she began to lean her head into the pressure. Her eyes rolled back and her lids closed halfway as I continued to rub. It must be some sort of pressure point because every time she melts like butter on a hot skillet. She will even go to the extent as to nudge my hand away from my book if I stop for too long. It's hard to say no to a dog with such a cute face."
"Playing fetch with Angel is usually a short-lived affair. At most, she will chase down the ball three or four times before losing interest. While we were outside in the yard, I came across a frisbee that had been left in the grass. On a whim, I dangled it in front of Angel and tossed it across the yard. Immediately she took off in hot pursuit. She brought the disc right back but was reluctant to give it up. But once I pried it loose, she took off again before I could even throw it. This time she went as far as trying to jump and pluck it out of the air. Her timing was way off, but it did not seem to lessen her enthusiasm. It became pretty clear this was a game she could get into. After a while she began to tire, but she lost no interest in the frisbee. Her energy exhausted, she spent the rest of our time outside lounging in the grass gently holding the frisbee in her mouth."
"Geese are a common sight inside this facility. Normally, they stay in areas that the dogs do not frequent. Angel often stares at them in the distance and you can see in her face how badly she wants to chase them. This week she almost got her chance. As we rounded the corner to our yard, Angel found herself within 20 yards of two enormous geese. Her body went rigid, her tail went straight, and you could feel her growl vibrate through the taut leash. As Angel barked and puffed out her chest, the geese began to realize their mistake. Fortunately for them, this was not the time nor place to let Angel loose. Eventually, they backed up and found enough space to take off and clear the fence. Angel was visibly upset that she missed out on a golden opportunity and continued to stare wistfully at the other geese off in the distance. In the next few days, I am going to take her down to the baseball diamond where chasing geese away is encouraged. I can't wait to see how she reacts once she can run free and chase them without repercussions."
"Angel spends very little time with the other dogs. She likes her personal space and gets uncomfortable if they get too close. While she is not looking for confrontation, she makes it very clear when other dogs are crowding her. However, none of this applies with Trevor. He is the one dog that she is always looking to interact with. As soon as he comes into sight, she bows her head and sticks her rear into the air, getting in a good stretch before play begins. They always approach each other with great enthusiasm and play in a very animated fashion. This carries on for a while and then she will randomly freeze right where she is standing. Trevor will cock his head in confusion and try to goad her into further play, but Angel just stares into the distance and doesn't move a muscle. All of a sudden she will rush right at him and continue to play as if nothing ever happened. I don't know if she is contemplating her next move to pull on him or just catching a quick rest. It definitely makes watching them play very interesting. It may only be one of the six other dogs, but it gives a glimmer of hope that she may be able to have a playmate once she finds her forever home."
"Angel has developed quite the following among both inmates and staff members. Most refer to her as "wiggle-butt," a name she has more than earned. She responds to it right away and dances over so they can show her some love. Every night after her evening walk, Angel makes her rounds on the tier. She knows exactly which cells to go to in order to get the best treats. She even remembers where each person keeps their food and will go sit right next to it. Recently, one of her favorite friends was released. While making her way around the block, she barged right into his former cell and was thoroughly confused as to why there was a stranger in his bed. Now every time we walk by that area, she looks with apprehension hoping that he will show up again. Luckily, there are plenty of others to spoil her. She will never be starved for attention during her stay here."
"It is no secret that Angel loves people. But for some reason, she gets most excited to see women. Given that they are a minority in this environment, her interactions with them are limited. Recently, a female staff member came to visit another one of the HOPE dogs. At the sight of this individual, Angel started to dance with joy. However she was busy, so Iured Angel away and we went outside. But Angel had only one thing on her mind; getting to say hello to that woman. Once we were back in sight of the front door, she plopped down and refused to move an inch. As she saw the staff member coming outside, she began her happy dance again. She tried to sit and wait to greet her, but her butt was wagging at such a pace that sitting just wasn't possible. So she laid on her belly all stretched out and nearly did the worm. After some nice puppy rubs from this individual, Angel was content and we were able to resume our walk. It was slightly frustrating at first, but I can't help thinking how nice it would be to come home to a greeting like that every day."
"As my trust in Angel has grown, she has been given more freedom in the cell. Initially, I would crate her anytime that I left. Gradually, I began to leave her alone without crating for 15 or 20 minutes. Now she is at the point where I can leave her for an hour or two without any worry of her being destructive. As long as I leave the radio on and water in her bowl, she is perfectly content. Some days I come back and she is curled up in her crate. Other days, she is laying on my bed with the fan blowing in her face. This week I came back to Angel in an entirely new position. She pulled all of the blankets out of her crate and off of my bed and made one big pile on the floor. The only visible part of Angel was her muzzle protruding from the side. Once she heard my voice, her tail started wagging a mile a minute. If she could speak it would have been: look what I made isn't it cool?"
"Recently, I brought Angel along while I mowed our yard. Initially, I had some reservations not knowing how she would act around the mower. To my pleasure, she was completely unfazed by it. She wandered around within 10 or 15 yards from me and only started to stray once. But with a quick call of her name, she came trotting back and never wandered off again. Angel found great joy in rolling around in piles of grass clippings anytime she could. Being the first cut of the season, there were plenty of them and she made sure to find every one. By the time I was finished, she was covered from head to toe in grass stains and mud. So I got out the hose and gave her a good scrubbing to remove all of the crud. As soon as I placed her in the kennel to air dry, she rolled right onto her back in the first dirty spot she saw. Apparently she prefers to have a little dirt on her."
"When Angel arrived here, she brought along a few of her toys. For the most part, they were typical dog toys. A rope toy, a rubber Kong, and a plastic bone. The lone exception was a bright pink stuffed pig. Out of all of her old toys, and even some new ones, this was by far her favorite. As soon as we came back to our room, she would immediately check to make sure the pig was where she left it. Recently, Angel received a stuffed monkey, which has replaced the pig as number one toy. While lounging on her bed, she keeps it right between her paws, sometimes licking it or chewing on it ever so gently. Occasionally, she will stand right in my face holding her monkey, just showing it off. She will even go as far as trying to bring it along when we go outside. Maybe it's a comfort to her, or maybe she sees it as her baby. One thing is for sure, she takes great care of her monkey."
"As the days have gotten longer, Angel has been able to spend more time outside in the evening. This suits her well since she is not much of a morning dog. In the AM, she wants nothing more than to go to the bathroom and stretch her legs. Shortly after that, she is ready to climb right back into bed. She becomes much more active in the afternoon, but seems to enjoy the early evening most of all. Since there aren't as many distractions at that time of day, we have been working on walking side by side without a leash. As we ease into things, I have been leaving the leash attached and letting her drag it along in case she takes off and I have to chase her down. Angel seems to think this doesn't feel right and insists on carrying the leash herself. She won't chew on it but holds it gently in her mouth as if she is her own handler. Eventually, the leash won't be necessary but for now it's pretty entertaining to watch her walk herself."
"Now that spring has finally arrived, it was time to give Angel a bath outside. She showed zero hesitation to the process and remained calm the entire time. Angel was not too keen on getting water on her face, but that was the only aspect she did not seem to enjoy. The drying off process was an entirely different story. I brought Angel into one of our kennel runs and attempted to rub her down with a towel. Angel thought this was a great new game and darted around with lots of enthusiasm. As I held the towel out and tried to get my hands on her, she would charge at the towel and jump at it before quickly darting away again. To a passerby, we must have looked like a Matador and a bull doing battle. The bull was definitely winning. By the time I gave up, the air had done most of the drying and Angel was smiling ear to ear."
"I have learned that Angel is prone to random bursts of puppy like energy. The majority of the time she is a very calm and docile dog. But every once in a while, something comes over her and playtime ensues. This normally lasts for no more than five minutes or so before she tires out and curls up for a nice nap. Her favorite game to play during these times is tug-of-war. Whether it be with a rope toy, stuffed animal, or even an oversized bone, Angel gets great joy out of the battle. She has a great understanding of the "out" command and can easily be brought to attention if things begin to escalate. It really is the best of both worlds. The fun of a scrappy and playful puppy followed by the calm companionship of a more seasoned and mature dog."
"Lately, Angel has been spending more time sleeping in my bed at night. At first, it would only last for a short period of time before she would move on to her crate. But as the days have progressed, she will stay longer and longer. A few nights ago I woke up to Angel sitting on top of me with a somewhat serious stare. I assumed she needed to go outside and started to climb out of bed. But as soon as I lifted up the covers, Angel dove under them like an otter in the surf. She crawled down to the foot of the bed and curled up next to my feet. I guess she just needed a little extra warmth. Now every night at bed time, she sits next to the bed and waits for me to get comfortable. Then as I lift the covers, she crawls underneath to assume her new spot. The only part of her that's visible is her little wet nose sticking out from the foot of the bed."
"Angel has really started to come out of her shell. Every day she shows a little bit more of her true personality. She is playful and affectionate, while also very comfortable spending time alone with no interaction. Unlike the majority of the dogs here, Angel wants absolutely nothing to do with the snow. She takes care of her business and then immediately high tails it back inside. Maybe once the wind dies down and the sun comes out she will want to run around in the snow like the others. But for right now, she is perfectly content curled up inside on a warm blanket."
"Angel and I have spent the past few days getting to know one another. She was very shy and reserved when she first arrived, having gone through so many changes in the past few weeks. Initially, the majority of her time was spent in the safe zone of her crate. She would venture out occasionally for a drink of water or a quick sniff around but only for short period of time. The first two nights I sat on the floor by her crate and gently scratched her back. Angel did not shy away from contact but certainly did not go belly up. Gradually, she began to venture out for greater periods of time. She started to climb up onto the bed but would sit at the opposite end of where I was. On Saturday night, I gave her a special treat of some vanilla ice cream. She devoured it with enthusiasm and afterwards there was a dramatic difference in her attitude towards me. Since then Angel has been much more affectionate and playful. Apparently, ice cream is the key to Angel's heart."