EGLIN AFB — After over a year of spending time in shelters, Darla — a 8-year-old hound and American bulldog mix — is patiently waiting for her forever home.
Darla currently calls Pet Welfare located on Eglin Air Force Base her home. She came to the shelter with her pal, Max, in December 2018 from the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society in Fort Walton Beach, Pet Welfare Director Carla Engeldinger said.
"We thought maybe they'll have a better chance here," she said.
Engeldinger said they typically visit PAWS when they have space. They decided to take in Darla and Max, who has since been adopted, leaving Darla alone. Darla still had heartworms after leaving PAWS, but has since underwent two rounds of treatments and is now rid of the parasite.
Originally a stray, Darla was once adopted. But she was found wandering shortly after, and those owners never came back for her.
Darla doesn't just tail wag around the shelter. She also pays weekly visits to the residents at the Meridian at Westwood, an assisted living facility.
"The older people just love her and she’s very good with people," Engeldinger said.
Darla loves going around to each of the patients and will sit, lie down, or shake hands with them.
"Some residents invite her to jump up on their beds to cuddle with her. She is very happy to do that, but she only does it if she is invited," Engeldinger said.
But her favorite part of the visit to the Meridian might be the car ride back to the shelter because Engeldinger said she's always asked if she wants to go to McDonald's, which makes her very excited.
"She orders a plain hamburger and water before she goes back to the shelter," Engeldinger said. "She probably would rather have a quarter pounder with cheese, but (that's) not good for her."
Age doesn't define Darla, who is still active but past the puppy stage. A few of her favorite pastimes include hugging and being petted, Engeldinger said.
Sadly, Engeldinger said they are having a hard time finding Darla a family because of her age and her need to be in a home without other animals. Engeldinger said Darla could possibly be placed in another home with animals, but she would have to be introduced slowly.
Darla does well with children, is spayed and up to date on shots.
Anyone interested in adopting Darla can contact the shelter at 850-678-5066. For those unable to get onto the base, Engeldinger said to call the shelter, where staff can make arrangements for civilians. Engeldinger added that Pet Welfare is looking for volunteers.