By Kailani Clarke
Elm Staff Writer
Looks can be a big deal in the dog world. The comically smushed face of a pug, the glacial eyes of a husky, the staggering height of a Great Dane — purebreds can run for hundreds or thousands of dollars. The unfortunate flip side of this is the many dogs consistently overlooked in shelters due to mixed heritage, a physical flaw, or even the hue of their fur.
Josie, this week’s Pet of the Week, knows this all too well.
Josie is a sweet senior pup with the odds stacked against her. A Chinese Shar-Pei mix, her wrinkly face and coarse hair seem a little strange at first. The fur is thin on the tip of her tail from misadventures during her time as a stray before arriving at the Animal Care Shelter for Kent County.
Her biggest challenge may be her coat color — charcoal black. February saw the passage of Black Dog Awareness Month, an annual campaign to shed light on “black dog syndrome.”
This social bias toward dark-furred dogs leads to black dogs having the lowest average adoption rate and highest euthanasia rate in shelters nationwide. All these factors likely contributed to Josie waiting at the shelter since last September.
Looks are not everything, and a generous eye will quickly see Josie for the unique dog she is. Her droopy face, origami ears, and blue-spotted tongue give her an adorable, goofy cast, and although she is shy at first, she leaps around in excitement when playing outside.
Scratching her neck folds earns anyone a gentle kiss on the nose. Although she is approximately seven, this sable senior is full of life. One gets the sense that a loving home, removed from the stress of the shelter, would see her blossom into a joyous dog.
Josie would be happiest in a family with no other dogs and a willingness to accommodate her needs and hone her training. She would also thrive with a fenced yard or a workout partner, as well as a cuddle buddy for rainy days.
Josie is the kind of dog that falls through the cracks of adoption. She is waiting patiently for someone to take a chance on her, someone who looks harder than a kennel glance and sees her for the beautiful soul she is — black coat and all, inside and out.
If you are interested in adopting Josie, you can fill out an adoption application online or in person at the Animal Care Shelter of Kent County at 10720 Augustine Herman Highway, Chestertown, MD, or call at 410-778-3648.