WHO KNOWS where he came from, this tall, tan dog with black ears. Terrified and running, he had that ''I wish I could trust you'' look for the person who was trying to coax him to food.
That look isn't unusual for the lost or abandoned dog whose constant companions are fear and pain that keep it running to avoid humans or to find its home. This one had an injured leg and was terrified.
Luckily, it got the attention of someone who wouldn't give up.
It was mid-November when it was first spotted in the Calvert at Centre streets area.
Lloyd Ross, director of the Bureau of Animal Control at the Municipal Shelter at 301 Stockholm St. in South Baltimore, agreed to help. Ross, his warden Wade Johnson and animal investigator Duane Lewis found the dog. Johnson captured it and took it to Dr. Mark Curtis at Vinson's Animal Hospital.
His right hind leg was lame and sensitive, and he had some pelvic inflammation. ''It was my impression that he had been hit by a car,'' said Curtis, who remembered the dog as an ''A-OK dog who had some pain and was nervous but was all right. It was my feeling that he would acclimate well to an owner and was in no way aggressive.''
The dog, now named Ross, has been recuperating at the shelter with staff veterinary technicians Sheryl Brown and Carol Machowski tending him.
''At first he had problems and would shy away and go to a corner, but that is changing. He is feeling better, is well fed, beginning to trust and to enjoy attention,'' said Lloyd Ross, who doesn't make a practice of going out on stray animal calls, but ''I've only had one other such request from 'Pausing With Pets' and it was at a time when there was no conflict for helping.''
Ross will receive good care and room and board until he is adopted to a loving owner.
If you would like to adopt Ross, be sure you are ready to give him a good home, commit to his needs, including good veterinary care, and want to give him the love necessary to make up for the fear he has experienced. Ross is ready for that and seems by nature to be sweet and easy to handle. Call Lloyd Ross at the Bureau of Animal Control, 396-4688, if you are interested.
* The Municipal Shelter will not adopt out puppies age 6 months or under until after Jan. 2.
Call your nearest shelter for its adoption policy. However, most shelters, humane societies and SPCAs will not adopt out puppies during the holiday season because puppies often go neglected when families do not have time to introduce a new puppy to the home because of holiday activities.
Also, some people will adopt a puppy as an expendable gift and let their children drag it around for a few days without adequate food, water or rest, often killing it. If the puppy survives, its owners are the same people who will toss a puppy out on the streets after they have had their fun.
Many dogs are found with their puppy ropes or collars still on and embedded in the skin of their necks because they survived and grew and the collar would not stretch or break.