“It’s a full service,” said Van Cleave. “Bathing, nails, haircuts…. My employers at Espree Brands of Grapevine are providing all the shampoos and conditioners.
“And Dingo is the best dog that we’ve had in the bathtub yet!”
Kate Mayo, one of the Humane Society volunteers, added that Dingo was probably under two years old, a ‘surrender’, or a dog whose owner could no longer keep him. She described him as a good guy who gets along well with other dogs.
Volunteer Laura Bookbinder introduced two more makeover candidates waiting in the wings: Sami, a shepherd mix, and Dreamer, a brown and white mix.
“Dreamer was pregnant when she came to us,” said Bookbinder. “She was part of the group of animals we took in after flooding in New Orleans last year.
“That night was so cool – an 18 wheeler pulled in here with about 77 animals, and we all cheered. I can’t tell you how great it was to find homes for that group.
“All of Dreamer’s puppies have been adopted, but she’s still waiting for a home.
“Sami has been with us for about two months now. She had previously been adopted, but her family had a new baby, so back she came. She’s really good – she knows how to sit and fetch, and she’s housebroken.”
Checking in with Humane Society Executive Director Sarah Kammerer afterwards, I learned that none of these dogs had been adopted at the Dallas Pet Expo, a production of ‘Amazing Pets Expos’. However, a family is planning to take another look at Dreamer.
“We’ve never done an Expo like this before, but it’s put on by a group that does these events all over the United States. They usually have 8,000 – 9,000 people in attendance. This was the biggest mobile adoption we’ve ever done.
“It was a great crowd, and we did have three cats and four dogs get adopted. We were very pleased.
“We’d probably do it again in the future. There were a number of rescue groups there – the organizers of the Expo only work with nonprofits, dedicated to spay/neuter, so no puppy mills were represented.
“It was eye-opening for me. They had pet cemetery vendors and all sorts of businesses, and one group I’d never heard of -The Dog Scouts. That’s a group for people of all ages who wanted the Scouting-type experience with their dogs. You do fun things together and earn badges.”
People and dogs together – it’s a logical relationship, according to volunteer Laura Bookbinder. Like many of the Humane Society volunteers, she is a schoolteacher who loves her avocation.
“There’s no doubt we’re appreciated here,” Bookbinder said. “These animals are not really that different from children. I have middle school kids, and I’ll talk about what I do after school. I describe this as ‘puppy therapy’. Now some of the kids have nagged their parents to let them come volunteer.
“Working with these dogs makes me feel so good. I wish I could take them all home.”