At the Mercer County Shelter in Kentucky, Ziggy was known as "Spot," a thin, 3 year old Beagle mix with asymmetrical eyes and long, soft ears, a stray who either got lost or who was dumped. When a dog enters a shelter as a stray and isn't claimed, I figure he's been dumped. Had he been lost, his family could have found him.
I advocate for dogs adopted through the Mercer Humane Society, having become Facebook friends with Kathy Whitelock, a woman whose tireless efforts have helped to save the Mercer shelter dogs. I was immediately struck by the dog called "Spot" while going through Kathy's album of adoptable Mercer dogs to see who was new.
I'd already decided to adopt another dog when I first saw him. I was just trying to decide how to decide what dog to adopt. I'd settled on one main criterion: the dog had to be on a euth list. And Spot, being a shelter newcomer, wasn't on that list. But he was small, and I had also decided a smaller dog would work out best. And he was part Beagle. I always feel especially sympathetic toward the Beagles and Beagle mixes in shelters, and missed Bailey, my Beagle who had passed on some time ago. And I figured that sooner or later, Spot would more than likely be on the list.
I suppose I expected Spot, who became Ziggy, to be like Bailey -- fairly quiet, though playful. But Bailey had been between 6 and 8 years old when I adopted him from the local shelter. The first few days, Ziggy was manic. I wondered if he slept more than an hour a day.
He's been with me, Kita, and Perry 3 weeks now, and he has calmed down, though he's very active. He and Kita play like crazy, and I've just begun taking him to the dog park where he gets a good work out with the other dogs. He caught on to "sit for treats" really fast. He's catching on to house-training. His worst habit is to chew -- pillow cases, blankets, anything soft, shoes. In many ways he still acts like a puppy. I think he's the happiest dog I've ever seen.
I think Ziggy's greatest joy when freed from the shelter, like Kita's, was to simply be able to run in his new home's fenced in yard.