The 70-pound lap dog: Puppy personality in big, burly body seeks more cuddles

Handsome Chance

by Katerina Lorenzatos Makris ~

I love lap time.

They say I’m a Rhodesian ridgeback/pit bull mix, so I suppose I must look big and brutish. But hey, have you seen my eyes? Don’t they say it all? Inside my burly, muscular body is a loving little puppy always ready to cuddle.

In fact one of the few things I ever get into trouble for is climbing into my foster mom’s lap while she’s trying to type. She types constantly. I keep telling her that everyone needs a cuddle break now and then, right?

So I’m only too happy to serve as the resident 70-pound lap dog.

Excellent temperament

My name is Chance, but sometimes my foster mom and dad call me “Caramel” or “Snickerdoodle,” referring to the fact that I’m a warm, luscious, light brown color, and sweet as candy.

Everybody says I have an excellent temperament. I’m calm, easy-going and very friendly with people of all ages, including kids and veterinarians. I’ve been around kitties too without a problem.

Here at home I get along fine with the other dogs in our pack, of all shapes, sizes and personalities—even the grumpy ones. But I’m not friendly toward unfamiliar dogs when we go for walks. I usually bark and raise a ruckus. This is because in the past, when I lived with some homeless people, I got attacked by dogs off leash. Now, if I haven’t met them before, I don’t trust my fellow canines as far as I can throw them. This really bugs my foster parents, so I’m trying to change for them, and have been making progress, slowly but surely.

Tons of cuddles

Who are my foster parents? Well, one of them calls herself Rescue Diva, and the other one is a guy she calls The Saint. He’s the one who doesn’t mind if I climb into his lap while he’s trying to type or watch TV or even use the bathroom. He hugs me all the time and keeps telling Diva he doesn’t want me to go to another home.

Diva says she doesn’t want me to leave either, but if exactly the right family came along—one where I could get tons more cuddles than I’m getting now—she says we would have to think about it.

How they found me

Rescue Diva first met me on the night before Thanksgiving in 2014. I was in a park with my rescue mommy Robin. We were cold and wet, but had nowhere else to go, so we were looking for a place to sleep. A few weeks before, Robin had bravely saved me from a mean man who was hitting me so hard that he broke one of my teeth. Robin loved me and took tiptop care of me and her kitty Tiger, but life on the streets was not easy for the three of us.

Rescue Diva saw us on that Thanksgiving Eve while her own dogs were walking her in the park. She chatted with Robin, then she pet me and Tiger, and next she phoned The Saint and made him give up his racquetball game to come out and help. After stashing us in a hotel for a few days, Diva and The Saint flew Robin and Tiger safely back to their hometown and friends in northern California.

Even though she was homeless, Robin rescued me from a mean man who was punching me, and took good care of me and her kitty Tiger too.

I stayed behind, very sad to see Robin leave. But Diva and The Saint promised to take good care of me, and to maybe find a new family for me.

They got me lots of vet care, including removal of the broken tooth and all my shots and neutering (I didn’t like that idea but it wasn’t too bad). Then they had to board me in a pet hotel for a long time, since things would have been too crowded at their house during that time. Also I had a problem where I peed a lot indoors. Now I don’t have that problem at all anymore. Now I totally understand that the bathroom is outside!

Lots of folks helped me

Folks who helped me along the way included San Diego Animal Support Foundation, who funded my neutering, Surfside Animal Hospital, who gave me a discount for their vet services, Oceanside Pet Hotel, who gave me a discount for boarding, and Bark Avenue Resort and Kamp who took great care of me while I stayed with them for a while, too.

Eventually I moved in with Rescue Diva, The Saint, and their big pack of pooches. I wouldn’t mind staying with them furever. But like Diva says, if another family were to turn up—one who would be patient as I got over my barking-at-strange-dogs thing, and who could give me a lot more attention, take me for more car rides, hikes in the hills, and picnics at the beach—well, I’m not gonna turn down any of that, or any extra cuddles either!

For more info about how to adopt Chance, contact Rescue Diva at rescuedivainfo AT yahoo DOT com.

Please note: We are delighted to hear from prospective adopters. However please keep in mind that all interested parties must complete and pass a thorough screening process of adoption application, questionnaire, on-site home check, adoption contract, and follow-up visits.

Read more about Chance:

Homeless rescuer finds safe haven after struggling to survive on the streets with a dog and cat

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Rescue Diva proudly sponsors needy animals in the U.S. and around the world.

For example we help Kefalonia Animal Trust (KATs) provide free spay/neuter for hundreds of animals per year, which is one of the best ways to prevent the abandonment and misery of puppies like Noah and Kyla.

We also do in-the-trenches rescues of angels like Robin, Chance, and Tiger, with help from San Diego Animal Support Foundation, and of Marisol and Lisa, with help from Last Chance at Life.

Katerina Lorenzatos Makris is a career journalist, author, and editor. Her fiction includes 17 novels for Simon and Schuster, E.P. Dutton, Avon, and other major publishers (under the name Kathryn Makris), as well as a teleplay for CBS-TV, and a short story for The Bark magazine. She has written hundreds of articles for regional wire services and for outlets such as National Geographic Traveler, The San Francisco Chronicle, Travelers’ Tales, NBC’s, Animal Issues, and (Animal Policy Examiner).

Together with coauthor Shelley Frost, Katerina wrote a step-by-step guide for hands-on, in-the-trenches dog rescue, Your Adopted Dog: Everything You Need to Know About Rescuing and Caring for a Best Friend in Need (The Lyons Press).



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  1. Olga Kougianos
    Feb 15, 2017 @ 01:22:36

    Just reading this article and looking at the photos makes me understand what a SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL DOG CHANCE IS —I pray, pray, pray that he will find a wonderful home that will be amazing enough to deserve him…Gavin & Katerina, THANK YOU FOR LOOKING AFTER HIM SO INCREDIBLY WELL…


    • Rescue Diva
      Feb 15, 2017 @ 13:41:20

      Thank you Auntie Olga for reading about me, for caring so much, and for the compliments!
      ~ With slurps from Chance


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