After five minutes with Cody, you can tell he is a shelter dog.
He’ll nuzzle your hand, desperate for affection. His tension is through the roof. He has a hard time sitting still.
“He has anxiety to life,” said trainer Krista Hawes, a Seattle resident who is rehabilitating Cody, a 2-year-old Lab-pointer mix. “But I think he has a lot of good attributes. He is worth fighting for and giving a chance.”
Cody has spent the majority of his life bouncing around shelters, narrowly escaping euthanasia every time. He came to live with Hawes after she heard about the difficult time he was having at a facility in San Juan County. The shelter manager was at her wit’s end after Cody continually started scuffles with other dogs. He also was a drain on the volunteers, who were primarily responsible for his daily exercise. Even after a four-mile hike, his energy remains at top level.
“Sometimes I would get so frustrated. Even after several hours of exercise he would continue to whine and pull on the leash during walks,” said Cali Bagby, a volunteer who worked with Cody regularly. “But it’s his high energy that could make him very loveable to the right person.”
After seven months, it was obvious no one in that small community was going to adopt him, particularly after a local jogger startled him and he nipped her arm. Hawes heard about the situation and offered to rehabilitate Cody for a month.
He is now going on daily runs and living with the trainer’s other dogs, a German shepherd, golden retriever and Chihuahua. He has only been with her for a week, and it’s been one of the longest weeks of her life.
“He is exhausting,” Hawes said. “He has serious prey drive and his anxiety is overwhelming. But he listens to me and he hasn’t shown dog aggression. I think all of his problems are related to his anxiety.”
Cody is happiest when he is relaxing in his kennel or snuggled up in bed. Like most canines, he loves a belly rub and an ear scratch. It’s when the outside world comes knocking that he can’t cope. Riding in the car, mountain bikes, squirrels — these all cause Cody’s tension to rise.
After the month is up, his future is unknown. Hawes says an ideal living situation would include free space to run, no cats and an owner who is willing to work with him on his fears. Otherwise, euthanasia might be the only option for a dog that no one seems to want.
As part of her commitment to saving Cody, Hawes has offered to screen prospective owners.
“It will take a very special, very dedicated dog lover to take Cody on,” she said. “He has potential but it will be a big project.”
To hear more about Cody, email firstname.lastname@example.org.