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Happy Tails column: Pets sometimes need understanding owners

5:41 PM, Dec. 21, 2012  |  Comments
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As any pet owner will attest, every animal has a unique personality. For people who never have had the pleasure of wet puppy kisses, enjoyed a purring lap companion, received a cold nose in the face or been pounced on from under a Christmas tree, this may seem an eccentric claim. For those who love a cat or dog, it is obvious that each pet has an individual character.

Clark County Humane Society excels at matching pet and human personalities, but sometimes when placed into a new home, pets take time to show that personality. Not all pets adjust immediately to change, and unfortunately, the more sensitive pets are not always given the chance that they deserve. There are many cases where a cat or dog is adopted, then returned just a few short weeks (or even days) later. Not only is this hard on the animal, it is stressful for shelter staff members who know how wonderful the furry guy is if given a fair chance.

Fortunately, there are good people who understand that a pet sometimes requires an adjustment period, a chance to settle in and feel comfortable.

Dewey was a cat with an idiosyncratic disposition. The shiny black feline spent the first four years of his life in a quiet home before being plunged into the bustling animal shelter. Despite his sheltered adolescence, he did surprisingly well with visitors. He loved attention and enjoyed socializing with the other felines in Kitty City.

A few short months after his arrival, Bruce and Wanda Shupe visited CCHS and fell in love with the outgoing boy and adopted him. They brought him home, but they wouldn't see him again for nearly 3 weeks. The quirky guy that he was, Dewey decided to be shy and hide in the basement. No amount of coaxing, catnip or canned food could bring him out.

In many cases, Dewey would have been brought back to the shelter. Thankfully, his new family understood that he needed time to explore his new surroundings, earn their trust and reveal his sociable personality.

His reveal was abrupt. For no apparent reason, Dewey emerged from his hiding place, hopped into his new dad's lap and begged for attention. He snuggled into bed and slept the entire night by his side. Just like that, Bruce and Wanda had a loving, albeit eccentric, companion. Three weeks of patience has resulted in months of feline love.

"The Dew" now enjoys lounging in his cat condo, watching birds through the patio door, eating a lot of treats, flinging cat litter all over the basement and maintaining the company of his humans. Dewey has his own personality, and thankfully his affectionate family allows it to flourish.

Every pet at Clark County Humane Society is unique. Come see for yourself! Visit Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.. Watch "Kitty Cam" and keep up to date with shelter news at facebook.com/petshelter.

Breanna Speth is a volunteer at Clark County Humane Society and the proud owner of an adopted cat.

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