More calming.

For dogs and for us humans!

Coincidentally, thinking of yesterday’s post, The Power of a Good Massage, there in my email ‘in-box’ was an item from Mary Jo Dilonardo  of the Mother Nature Network. It’s a perfect follow-on.

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‘Real life’ room lets shelter dogs de-stress (and hang on the couch)

Adopters and pets can check each other out in a home-like setting.

Mary Jo DiLonardo

October 19, 2016
jake-dog-in-toledo-area-humane-real-life-room-jpg-653x0_q80_crop-smart
Long-time resident Jake takes a break in Toledo Area Humane Society’s Real Life Room. (Photo: Toledo Area Humane Society/Facebook)

Being at an animal shelter is anything but a normal experience. Dogs and cats are often stressed from all the noises, smells and just the strange environment. And for potential adopters, it’s tough to figure out a pet’s personality when the dog is panting, pacing and generally anxious.

One Ohio animal shelter came up with a calming solution. The Toledo Area Humane Society created what they call a Real Life Room. The out-of-the-way place has a home-like setting, filled with a comfortable recliner, a fluffy rug, a dog bed, a big box of toys and even a TV. The goal is to make dogs and owners feel like they’re at home, away from all the strangeness of the shelter.

Behind the closed door, the pet can relax — and the family can get a sense of what the dog or cat is really like.

Sometimes the shelter also uses the room to give stressed-out shelter dogs a place to unwind for a while. Some long-time residents that seem particularly unhappy with their shelter stay have had their spirits lifted by visiting the room, according to the shelter.

“Every dog reacts differently to the kennels: Some dogs really don’t mind the noise and energy of that environment. However, for dogs that were surrendered to the shelter, that can be a shocking contrast to the comforts they previously experienced at their homes,” a representative for the shelter told People.

“For these dogs, the RLR (Real Life Room) provides an environment they are used to. Dogs that are stressed from the kennels because of the noise, high volume of people, and other dogs, the RLR allows them to have some quiet time where they can relax and destress, just be a dog.”

The Austin Animal Center in Texas likes the idea so much, it’s including a real life room as part of the shelter’s new expansion project.

“It’s hard to get to know a dog when you’re just taking them for a walk or taking them out to a play yard,” Austin Animal Center Kasey Spain tells MNN. “With these rooms, you can go there with a cat or dog and see if they cuddle on the couch, if they’re playful, if they jump on the furniture … everything that potential adopters want to know.”

When pets aren’t as stressed, their real personalities shine through, Spain says, and that often translates to the real goal: more adoptions.

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Kasey Spain is so correct in saying that when a pet animal isn’t stressed their real personality shows through. Remember this photo from last Thursday!

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My case rests!

However, I can’t close today’s post without appealing to anyone thinking of taking on a dog to opt for a dog from your local animal rescue shelter. Ex-rescue dogs repay that trust shown to them in spades!

5 thoughts on “More calming.

  1. What a brilliant idea, Paul! I have often thought that I would like a room for when I go to adoption events. It is hard to get to know the dog’s true personality when there are people milling about, strange sights, smells, other dogs, etc. With an RLR, prospective pet parents will be able to interact much better in a home life setting.

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