How could I have forgotten to include Blizzard in the latest winter blog post? A charming and gregarious senior Bichon Frise mix, he is always the first to approach for a kind word or hug. He has a warm smile and eager brown eyes that melt any heart, even on a cold day. Blizzard was surrendered by the breed rescue group Small Paws and came to Home for Life from Oklahoma. He was the cherished pet of an elderly gentelman who had to move to a nursing home, leaving Blizzard behind. All Blizzard had in the world to comfort him in the wake of losing his home and master was a small fleece blanket with footballs on it that his owner had given him. Blizzard clung to it during this lonely time. He was lucky to be accepted by the rescue group, but did not clear their evaluation as he reportedly exhibited "resource guarding" over food and treats. The group concluded he was not adoptable and intended to euthanize him if he could not come to Home for Life.
Blizzard does love food but has learned to honor boundaries as a member of Home for Life's dog family. He lives with a group of older dogs like him in our feline leukemia building (separately from the cats). At mealtimes, Blizzard likes to eat in a crate where he can enjoy his meal in peace without having to fend off perceived challenges from other dogs. He eats hearty, licking every last bit out of his bowl, then waits patiently while the slower dogs finish up. We have had no problems handling Blizzard during meal times or even at treat time where he waits along with his comrades to have his daily dog cookie each evening, secure in the knowledge that his turn will arrive. With no sense of deprivation or insecurity, Blizzard has not exhibited any guarding behavior at the sanctuary,even over food or treats.
He does not enjoy grooming, but as a white dog with curly fur and one with allergies, keeping Blizzard clean is essential. Even he admits, once the grooming session is over, that it was worth it and he looks and feels much better. He wears a muzzle during grooming so everyone feels more secure about the process but Blizzard does not need to be sedated anymore, and is always very proud of himself once he looks clean and handsome.