Sunday, June 26, 2011

Underdog no more

There's no need to fear... Underdog is here!

Channel 5 was showing the Disney movie Underdog last night, Unfortunately, when I switched on the telly, the movie was quickly coming to an end. Within minutes, credits started to roll along to the very catchy beat of the movie's theme song.

Underdog doesn't just mean the competitor who is less likely to win. It also refers to someone in a position of inferiority. There's an underdog wherever we go, in every group or society, in every culture or country. Everyone looks past them. Few believe in them. They are the most easily forgotten of the lot.

At the shelter, some dogs are extremely responsive to people. When you enter the compound, they would rush towards you and jump on you in excitement. When you sit down beside them, they would trot over to give your face a big wet lick.

But there are also the rare few who do not consciously try to make their presence felt. These dogs find it futile to vie in the popularity contests between dogs for the attention of the human volunteers. And so... they step out of the limelight and into the background, where they remain quiet, unnoticeable... and forgotten.

A clear front runner of the Underdog contest at the shelter has got to be Dexter.

Dexter lives in the largest run in the shelter, an area where many human volunteers like to take a break and simply hang out with the dogs.  His run mates like Dribble likes to sidle up to volunteers and sit pretty beside them. Dyana goes around bestowing kisses to the volunteers wherever she goes. Dior loves barking at the top of her lungs at the dogs through the fence in the next kennel. Mario, though often keeping to himself, stands out with his coat of white fur. Daelle is constantly prancing around looking for some fun with dogs and humans. And Dillon, with his sweet nature and easy ways, is a perennial favourite with the volunteers.

Then there is Dexter... Dexter who looks like Dior and Daryl... Dexter who trails behind the other dogs when there are treats to be had... Dexter who is never anyone's first choice when it comes to a walk...

But this funny dog holds no grudges.

He is content to go about his own way, quite apart from us humans. I have never seen a dog so in touch with his environment. On his walks, Dexter loves running after birds and chasing butterflies. When he hears a peculiar sound, perhaps the chirping of a bird, his ears prick, his eyes shine and he gets ready to track the source of the noise. Because he treasures his walks so, Dexter is a tugger. He is keen to explore, excited to cover the distance and surge ahead. His energy is spent quickly and you would often find him flopping down on his belly with his tongue hanging out, in the middle of his walk. Give him a little tug and this boy is ready to go again!

Out of all the dogs at the shelter, Dexter would probably be crowned the most loving dog by far. Nope, not to us humans but to his fellow canine friends. It is not an uncommon sight to see Dexter lovingly licking the face of another furkid. And in the case of Doris, for some inexplicable reason, it is her ears Dexter loves to lick.

Dexter shows his love for Mama Dior.

What did I tell you about Dexter loving Doris's ears!

Dexter licking an injured Daryl. 

I so love a story of an underdog coming out tops. I really hope Dexter finds someone to give him special attention, someone who would place him first, someone who loves him for him. He has gotten so little attention for so long that I reckon he has gotten used to it. 

Perhaps it is time for a change for this curious, loving boy.

So when you come to the shelter, pondering just who to bring for a walk, please think of Dexter.  Don't look past him, look at him and get to know the extremely sweet dog that he is.

Away with being an underdog!

It's time we met top dog Dexter!

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