I love volunteering with BP&SBR because everyone is so different. Some of us love pugs, others like labs, chihuahuas or poodles. One thing we all have in common is that we just love dogs. No matter how big or small, fat or thin, old or young; we love them all the same.
With that being said, please meet Chumlee. He is certainly not a small breed, but he will be one of my favorite foster dogs and I am going to struggle to let him go. Chum was rescued from a tie out where he spent the better part of his life. On the day we picked him up, he was panting for dear life in the heat. There wasn't any shade, food or water in sight. Chumlee ignored me at first as I approached him and when I put my hand out to pet him, he told his story. Chumlee squinted his eyes, closed his mouth, held his breath and then pressed his chin against the ground. I knew at that moment that he was coming home with me- no matter what.
Our first week with Chumlee has been pure bliss. He lacks any and all confidence. It breaks out hearts. Chumlee is incredibly handsome with his beautiful silky black coat, speckled belly and jaunting under-bite. He deserves to be able to stand tall with his head high and enjoy the comforts that his new life provides him. Instead Chumlee is clearly broken. For days, he sat beside his bed. Occasionally, he would find the courage to sit on it, but the second we entered the room, he would scurry off and into the corner as if he was in trouble. We even found him covering his food bowls with his blanket for safe keeping. Its difficult for me to not feel guilty that one of my kind suppressed this wonderful boy and allowed him to live in fear. He is still head shy and will flinch if a hand comes towards him too quickly. This has improved tremendously with myself and his foster dad. I think he knows now that we are not going to cause him any harm and he is really trying to trust us. We don't blame him for his apprehension. Even when Chumlee is fearful, he is not the least bit reactive or aggressive. He is quite submissive and is startled by loud noises.
Chumlee is great with the small dogs in our home and the larger dogs he has met. Sometimes he pounces around trying to play with them and other times he sticks to himself. He is not at all phased when the other dogs visit his food or water bowls. He has met a cat and did okay. I would suggest that he goes to a home with a dog savvy cat or no cats at all. I don't think Chum knows that he is a big boy- and he is big! He weighed in at 73lbs and could stand to gain a few more to fill out his boyish figure. Chumlee is clearly part English Bulldog. He has a bulldog face and the naturally bobbed tail, but Chumlee's weight surpassed the breed standard and he is much taller that your typical English Bulldog. Our vet estimates him to be approximately 18 months old; and definitely less than 2 years old.
Chumlee is a smart boy. He is receptive to gentle correction when necessary and has caught on to our routine flawlessly. His house manners are good and he has caught on very quickly to his potty training. Due to the fact that Chumlee is a bully breed, we require that his forever home has a fenced in yard (no invisible fence/electric fence accepted). He is in good health. The vet stained his eye after noticing an old injury and the scar is not active so no treatment is necessary. His eye will need to be monitored (checking for discharge, him pawing at it, ect.) to ensure that it does not reopen and cause any problems. Aside from that, he has some irritation on his skin around his neck from the old collar he was wearing before. We are treating this now and it will need to heal before he can be adopted.
We will admit that we have spent the last week making up for lost time and spoiling him rotten. Chumlee loves to chew bully sticks- or regular sticks if he finds one in the backyard. Sometimes he will play with toys too. He loves going for rides in the truck and hops right in. He is now taking full advantage of his bed, the couch and our bed too (sorry!). You can't help but love him. When we give him a bully stick he goes to town and when he is done he comes up to us and rests his head on our lap. You won't find a more grateful dog. He now rolls over for belly rubs when the opportunity presents itself and has started giving us kisses too! He has a healthy appetite and is eating a high quality grain free food. We'd like him to remain on this diet or something of similar quality.
What we are looking for in Chumlee's forever home is someone that is home more often than not or someone who is able to take him to work with them. He would do fine in a home with another dog, but really deserves lots of attention and love to himself. He slobbers! It takes some patience and some improvisation to make that manageable, but its possible. If the thought of him shaking his jowls and slobber flying in every direction makes you sick to your stomach, Chum is probably not the dog for you. He is not suited for an apartment and needs a home with enough space for him to stretch his legs. I'd like for Chum to have a home where he can lay on the couch and snuggle next to his person, a home where there is a bully stick surplus and a home with a family that understands him and will work to build his confidence further. This is an amazing dog who is going to be the very best friend to someone. If you think that someone is you, please submit your adoption application today.