When we heard from a woman at the Tucker County (WV) pound that she was overloaded, we tried to see how we could help.
This is how we came across Sugar.
Sugar is an owner giveup who was sent to the pound at age 3 because the family's older cocker spaniel didn't like her. She had been with her family since she was a little puppy.
Body language is often the same for dogs and humans -- poor Sugar is miserable and doesn't understand where her family went or why she is in the cramped, cold animal shelter. She isn't even interested in her toys.
Our group has a special relationship with cocker spaniels -- one of the group's founders had a legendarily crabby and distinctive cocker spaniel who ruled their household until he was 16 years old. Joe did not suffer fools gladly, and would occasionally administer a nip or two to someone who was wasting his precious time.
In honor of Joe, Hedgesville Hounds has taken some very hard-luck cocker spaniels in the past -- ones who had administered bites to people handling them roughly, ones who were receiving extremely poor care, etc. We have learned to love them for their contradictions -- their curmudgeonly spirits and fierce wills masked by layers of curls and a general appearance of delicacy.
However, we are taking Sugar for another reason -- because like Joe, Sugar was abandoned by her humans. In Sugar's case, it was the pound, while Joe's humans moved away, leaving Joe to wait in the driveway of their farm for days until finally he had to face the reality that his family was not coming back. Joe's humans reported that this was a devastating blow for him, one that very nearly crushed his proud spirit.
Sugar does not appear to have that steeliness that would help her rally from such a loss, which is why we want to get her into a foster home and into a permanent home that will help her regain her confidence that her new family will never, ever give her up.