By Jeff Nations
WINCHESTER -- The staff at the Winchester SPCA affectionately refer to 3-year-old Mash as "the Kool-Aid Man."
A black lab/pit bull mix, Mash certainly lives up to that billing. He's not content to walk through a doorway to greet a visitor to his home at the shelter -- Mash hurtles into the room, a virtual hurricane of energy, friendliness and curiosity all swirled into one package. If ever a dog might burst through a brick wall like the aforementioned classic commercial character, Mash might just be the one to do it.
"He's full of energy," Winchester SPCA dog kennel supervisor Lyndie Scott said. "He needs an active family. He wouldn't do good in apartments at all. He needs a lot of room to run. And he needs someone to get out there with him, an active family or even an active person would be perfect for him."
It's been a long wait for the big guy -- Scott said he weighs "63 pounds, give or take." Mash first came to the Winchester facility as a stray last October, shortly before Halloween. At the time, the staff was picking holiday-themed names for the new arrivals. Mash is short for "Monster Mash," the 1962 novelty hit song by Bobby "Boris" Pickett.
Scott said the shelter thought it had found a home for Mash at one point, but the family soon brought him back.
"They said he was just too much dog," Scott said.
That may be true for some folks, but Scott remains convinced that Mash is the perfect companion for the right kind of family.
"You've just got to get that energy out of him," Scott said. "If you get that energy out, he will sit with you and lay beside you. He'll sleep in your bed if you let him. He's a good dog -- loyal, he seems very loyal."
Mash is the longest resident dog at the Winchester SPCA, perhaps because of his abundant energy, maybe his size, probably a little bit of both. As a rule, smaller dogs tend to get adopted more quickly than the larger canines that make their way to the facility. That's not always the case, though.
"We have people coming in looking for big dogs," Scott said. "Not everybody is a little dog person. We get a lot of those -- little dogs normally don't last long in here, but if you've got an active family looking for a dog a lot of times they're going to be looking for a bigger dog."
Scott is rooting for that special someone to fall for Mash, but cautions he's not a dog for just anybody. Although Mash is well socialized and friendly with other dogs and around people, his high-spirited nature could be an issue for families with small children -- he could simply bowl a young child over, purely by accident. Likewise, those looking for a sedate companion animal might do better with another choice.
"Some people just want a dog that's a couch-potato type, and he's not -- he's not your guy," Scott said. "He is full of energy."
That may indeed be "too much dog" for some, but Scott thinks Mash would be the perfect running partner for a jogger, or an enthusiastic participant in a game of catch.
Mash has been neutered and is up-to-date on his rabies and distemper shots, he's had his flea treatment and been wormed, and he's been micro chipped by the SPCA. He's ready -- more than ready -- to go home with an active individual or family.
"He's awesome," Scott said. "He's going to make somebody a wonderful dog, as long a they're looking for a playful dog and an energetic dog."
For adoption information, call the shelter at 540-662-8644, email email@example.com or visit the facility at 115 Featherbed Lane, Winchester.