Saturday Spotlight focuses on longtime residents of Midcoast animal shelters, in hopes of helping them find their perfect family.
CAMDEN — Odin is an eight-month-old shepherd mix, who at 55 pounds is on the larger side of his shelter peers. Despite his size, Odin is very much still a puppy.
It has since been determined that headstrong Odin needs to rule the canine roost in his future home, without other dogs he’d be inclined to boss around.
“We know for sure he cannot go [to a home] with another dog,” said Claudia Eekels, PAWS’ director of operations.
That doesn’t mean Odin dislikes all other dogs. It’s just that he can’t live in the same house with one. Both Eekels and PAWS volunteer Diane Sturgeon, who has been buddies with Odin since he came to the shelter in February, said that he’s fine passing by other dogs on the street when out for a walk.
Sturgeon has taken him to Loyal Biscuit, a local pet store where four-legged customers are almost as common as the two-legged variety, and said he’s never been bothered.
PAWS is also searching for a child-free home for Odin, which has more to do with his take-charge attitude than a dislike of children..
“He has a very dominant personality and he will take over food, toys, and probably his person,” Eekels said, which is why Odin also needs to live in a childfree home. This is also the reason PAWS is searching for an experienced owner who can take Odin for the training he needs.
“[For] someone who wants to do some training, he’d be one of those [dogs] who’s super rewarding to train because he’s so quick and easy to learn, and he’s so food motivated,” Sturgeon said.
Both Sturgeon and Eekels describe Odin as “super smart,” and “very trainable.”
PAWS has a professional dog trainer, and an animal behaviorist on site, who have both been working with Odin during his time at the shelter.
Interested potential adopters will get the chance to take Odin home for a few days while they figure out if the fit is right. It’s only after successful sleepovers that animals are permanently adopted out of PAWS.
Despite seeing himself as the king of his castle, Sturgeon said Odin is also prone to civic duty, using their weekly walks as a chance to clean up the neighborhood.
While she isn’t sure why Odin likes to pick up bits of trash, Sturgeon said watching him carry them for the duration of their walk is nothing short of adorable.
“I always think he’d be a good service dog, or a roadside cleanup guy,” she said, with a laugh.
When he’s not picking up pieces of trash from the street, Odin spends much of his brief periods out of his kennel being a pointy-eared goofball, with lots of energy to burn.
“”He’d be great for someone who wanted to go hiking or running,” Sturgeon said.
Although Odin has had a lot of interest, and frequent applications, he is still waiting for his perfect forever family.
With all but a couple weeks of his life spent locked up in a kennel, the staff and volunteers at PAWS hope that family shows up sooner rather than later.
“When he came in I said he won’t be here longer than a week. Then it was two, three weeks. I don’t understand it,” Eekels said.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org