It Starts with a Square

Fur Babies

BY Chelsey Handley

Hi there! My name is Diamond. I’m a  resident at the Collierville Animal Shelter. I wanted to tell you all about my favorite day there so far, but first I have to tell you about a group called ‘Dogs Playing for Life.’ It’s an organization that travels the country teaching shelters how to let their dogs PLAY! That’s right, I said PLAY. You see, play groups are a game-changing enrichment tool for shelters. In fact, play groups allow emotional and behavioral benefits to blossom in a way that wouldn’t be seen in most shelter environments. CAS sponsored the event and invited local rescue groups and shelters to share in and benefit from learning personality assessment, safe play, and confidence building in us four-legged shelter pups. First, the humans attended a course, then put their new knowledge to work with what was, in my opinion, the best idea ever: two days of supervising us in play groups outside in the play yard. That’s right: big, small, old, young, softies, herders, and rowdies – we were all out there together playing our hearts out!

As a chill, low-rider lady, with a couch potato personality, I wasn’t prepared for how much I enjoyed playing! I heard the humans marvel at me more than any dog, because apparently they were worried I wouldn’t enjoy the interaction. I’ll admit, I tend to fuss and bark when I pass the other dog’s gates sometimes, but it’s just for show. I didn’t know how to tell the humans that I do that only because barrier gates are a stressor for me. I surprised them by revealing how much I love the company of other doggos!

I’m really excited about this play time moving forward. The humans said it will help make us all socially healthy, give us a mental and physical outlet, enhance our quality of life and help them better assess our personalities, resulting in even better adoption matches! And boy, did we all

sleep good that first night. I’m pretty sure I heard Stanley snoring…

The shelter is a wonderful place because the humans here love on us, are protective of us, and want the best for us. I’m excited that the humans coming to the shelter will know even more about our personalities now, and can watch us interact with other dogs. Hopefully this will encourage adoptions and even more of us will find our forever homes!


Dogs have the powerful ability to forgive, let go of the past, and live each day joyously.

 – Jennifer Skiff

By: Julie Weaver

Collierville Animal Services is located at 559 E. South Street, Collierville. Call 901-457-2670 or come by to find your perfect companion!

May/June 2020 Tour Collierville Magazine