At a high kill shelter in California, a pit bull whimpered inside his kennel. When someone came up to him and offered him a treat, he sniffed it, but wouldn’t eat. Instead, he just continued to cry out while gazing through the bars of his kennel door.
A photograph shows a tear dripping from his eye, possibly due to allergies, according to a woman named Jennifer McKay, who would eventually adopt the dog.
The pit bull, whose name was Blue King (or Blue for short), lived with a family in California for about a year. When the family moved, they decided not to take Blue with them, so they surrendered him to Carson Shelter in California last month.
Carson Shelter is a high-kill facility, so the longer Blue stayed there, the higher his chances were of being euthanized. Thankfully, volunteers from Saving Carson Shelter Dogs noticed Blue’s sad face, and decided to help him. They shot a video of him and posted it on the organization’s Facebook page, hoping someone would want to adopt him.
Someone did. Shortly after seeing the video, McKay traveled to the shelter to meet Blue.
“He looked very sad and depressed,” said McKay. “He wouldn’t even acknowledge me at all. All the other dogs were making eye contact and wagging their tails; but he wouldn’t stand up, wouldn’t come see me. It was sad.”
McKay also felt that Blue was still looking for the owners who’d left him at the shelter. “You could tell that every time someone walked by; it was like he was looking for them,” she said. “It’s like he knew he had been left there.”
McKay would have taken Blue right away, but the shelter first needed to perform a temperament test on him. While McKay waited for the test to be done, she visited Blue again, bringing him a bone and a new doggy bed.
“I got a little bit of attention from him,” McKay said. “He wouldn’t let me pet him or anything. But he liked his bed for sure.”
When McKay visited a third time, Blue finally perked up. “He came straight to me!” she said.
It ended up taking a whole week for the shelter to do the temperament test. As soon as that was done, McKay picked Blue up and took him home.
Once Blue was out of his kennel, his whole demeanor changed.
“He kind of tricked me,” McKay said with a laugh. “I was expecting to get a really laid back, chill dog, but as soon as the gates opened in the kennel, he was super excited. And he loved riding in the car. He wanted to stick his head out the window.”
At home, McKay gave Blue a bath and took him for a walk. Then he fell asleep on the living room couch.
“He seems to be making himself right at home,” McKay said. “He has his spot on the couch.” Besides sleeping, Blue loves belly rubs, cuddles and gazing into mirrors.
“He’s obsessed with looking at himself in the mirror,” McKay said. “We have a vanity that comes down to about his level, and he just sits there and smiles at himself and wags his tail.”
Blue still has a lot to learn – he still needs to learn basic commands and how to walk on a leash, McKay said. But she can already tell that this once-sad shelter dog is going to be just fine.
“He just seems happy,” McKay said. “I got home from work yesterday, and he ran straight to me. He’s just a good dog. I’m super excited to have him be part of the family.”
While Blue was lucky enough to get a forever home, Carson Shelter has a constant influx of animals who need help.