Cola is a quiet dog. He spends most of his time silently sitting in his kennel at the Yonkers Animal Shelter in New York. He doesn’t bark. For about 23 and a half hours every day, he counts down the minutes until he can do what he loves the most: play fetch.
Cola came into the shelter as a stray more than a year ago, and he’s had a tougher time than most in finding a home.
Leslie Mccauley, a volunteer who works with Cola, says big, brindle dogs tend to wait the longest.
“It isn’t fair,” she adds. Cola is special, and she’s known that since the first moment she saw him with his signature tennis balls.
The only thing that seems to comfort Cola in the stressful shelter environment is carrying two tennis balls in his mouth. “They’re his security blanket,” Leslie explains.
When Leslie throws a third and fourth ball, Cola dashes after it, but he won’t pick it up because he wants to hold onto the two in his mouth. He’ll leave it there, and then he’ll come happily trotting back to her, asking for her to toss another.
“He can run like the wind,” she says.
If Leslie ever tires of playing, Cola doesn’t mind. She can sit down, and he amuses himself by dropping the balls and picking them up again.
The hard part is putting Cola back in the kennel after his fifteen minutes of fun. He wants to bring the two balls back inside with him, but sadly, they are not allowed in the kennels— some dogs will tear them up and ingest the rubber, which can be quite dangerous.
When it’s time for Cola to drop his tennis balls, Leslie rewards him with a meatball before saying goodbye for the day.
It’s tiny details like Cola‘s passion for fetch that give shelter workers hope. Leslie will never give up on Cola because of the happiness she sees in him when he romps around outside.
A dog capable of such delight deserves to experience it more than just a few minutes each day. He deserves to share it with someone he loves—perhaps even a person who could use a bit more joy in their life and home.
After knowing Cola, it’s impossible not to treasure the little things: a fun game, a good friend, and a warm bed to sleep in.
“There’s not a mean bone in his body,” Leslie suggests, “Cola is a gentle giant.”
For now, Cola would prefer to be an only pet with adults and kids over the age of 10, though he could potentially live with other animals after he’s had time to acclimate to a stable home. If you are interested in meeting Cola, call Leslie at (201) 981-3215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach out via his Facebook page, Cola is Coming to Town. You can find Cola on Petfinder.