Melanie, or Melee as she is affectionately called in her foster home, is filled with kindness, faith and innocence.
We can understand completely why Melee was a failure as a hunting dog. Her trusting sweetness perceives the world and everyone in it as her friend. She regards her new life in foster care as a haven of riches, and an adventure of new wonders. Melee LOVES to play. In fact, her foster mom reports that it is like watching a 7 month old puppy when she sees Melee playing - both with her toys and with other dogs. At these times she capers about with awkward, comical abandon - pouncing on her favorite rope toy, and rounding up her other treasured favorites and then depositing them carefully in her crate. It is this goofy, unabashed side of Melee that touches her foster mom the most - and the chance to witness Melee experience a second - or perhaps a first - puppyhood.
Melee hails from a very rural and under-resourced region of West Virginia, where dogs like Melee who can’t hunt are considered disposable. Fortunately for Melee she was surrendered to Animal Control rather than simply abandoned. And fortunately for us, we have had the opportunity to meet this consummately gentle and sensitive dog.
While Melee does not yet seem to know any commands, she has a natural aptitude for living as a family member in a home. She is very eager to please, focuses her chewing exclusively on her toys, and celebrates every opportunity to go for a walk. She has not fully mastered walking on a leash, and will pull to an extent; at the same time, she is an exceptionally cooperative dog who will respond willingly and eagerly to positive training and routine.
In fact, Melee will be a joy to teach. She is what we call an “honest” dog, and she is a dog who wants to understand and to please. So, while she jumps up in delight at the prospect of a walk, she is very gentle - almost intentionally so. Her counter-surfing and trash diving are also something that will doubtless abate now that she knows that she can rely on being fed. The most affectionate of creatures, Melee adores being petted and rubbed - especially around her ears and neck - and in her happy enjoyment she will lean closer and closer to her caregiver until she nearly falls down.
Melee is in excellent condition and health, and a very beautiful dog. She may be comically clumsy when playing indoors, but outdoors she is she glorious and graceful - elegant at a trot; and at a run, she streams like a gazelle. Her eye contact is open and soft, and expressively earnest.
Melee is unlikely to become a dog who takes anything for granted. She brightens at the slightest overtures, and sighs contently in her own soft bed, only occasionally eyeing the couch. She gravitates naturally to other dogs and would absolutely love a canine sibling.
We feel admiration for dogs like Melee, and great protectiveness. She responds to the smallest kindnesses with abject appreciation and simple joy. Despite the hardships she has known, she has maintained a sweet and trusting nature. We would like to see Melee in a home in which her adopters will continue to support and guide her with love and encouragement. Also a home where she is safely contained by a fence, and given ample opportunity to run and be outdoors. We are recommending against a home with very small children only because of Melee’s size and puppy-like behaviors, which currently include a bit of door-darting.
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