Corissa

corissa200x124Corissa is a sweet Lab girl, and a favorite of the shelter staff, but the poor thing had three strikes against her. First, she’s a black dog, and black dogs have a much harder time getting adopted for various reasons, whether it’s superstition, prejudice, or simply that they don’t photograph as well as the lighter-colored dogs. The second strike is that she is an older dog – seven years old, as far as we could tell. The fact that she plays like a puppy doesn’t make up for the bit of grey around her muzzle. The third strike against her is that she was in the shelter for nearly six months, being overlooked while younger, lighter dogs got adopted. Right or wrong, when a dog is in the shelter that long, people often make assumptions about why that might still be there, and decide it must be because of some kind of problem with the dog. That wasn’t the case with Corissa, but it happens.

Corissa had been making the trip from the shelter to the offsite adoptions for several weeks, which was long enough for the Heart of America Humane Society volunteers to discover her wonderful attributes. She has a beautiful smile, like most Labs. She is very well behaved, and already knew several commands. She is a nice, compact size, at about 35 pounds. But, the most memorable quality about this girl is how much she loves to play fetch. She’d do it non-stop at the adoption events, and never missed catching the tennis ball her handler bounced to her. The joy she felt from playing was unmistakable. It was hard to look at her playing and not share in that joy.

Corissa got her lucky break one Saturday, when she went home with a foster volunteer. For the first time in months, she would sleep in a home with a family. Her foster mom took her out several times a day to play fetch in their big backyard, but always had to quit before Corissa had her fill. In fact, we aren’t sure if Corissa EVER got tired of playing ball. She was the perfect houseguest while in foster care. She never went potty in the house, and she played nicely with her canine foster sister and the multitude of kids in the neighborhood.

Even with all of Corissa’s wonderful qualities, her foster mom was convinced this was going to be a long-term fostering arrangement. After all, older black dogs are tough to get adopted. But, at her very first adoption event after going into foster care, she was spotted by a family. A large family. A family with seven children. The first thing they noticed about her was how much she loves to play ball. All the kids old enough to do so started playing ball with her. The mother, understandably, was thrilled to hear that Corissa was already so well trained. It was a match made in dog park heaven. She went home with them on what happened to be the first weekend of the kids’ spring break, so they all had plenty of time to get to know each other and let Corissa get settled in.

And now, in addition to a warm bed and lots of love, Corissa will ALWAYS have someone who will play ball with her.

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