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On Monday, Helena the dog's former owner gave her up to an animal shelter in Atlanta, Georgia. The reason given? Helena is just "too nice."
"Yes, she really was returned for being too nice," LifeLine Animal Project spokesperson Karen Hirsch told TODAY in an email. "It was obvious the gentleman was looking for a guard/protection dog. He also suggested she be adopted by a woman 'because they are more into that petting stuff.'"
There's zero evidence suggesting that men don't like "that petting stuff" as much as women. But, the former owner is right about Helena being a complete and utter marshmallow.
In fact, Helena is such an agreeable and easygoing dog that even while her former owner was in the process of turning her over to the shelter, "she just sat on a staff member's feet thunking her tail on the floor," Hirsch said. "She just wants attention. If you stop petting her, she will request you continue."
So eager is she to be nearby people she adores, Helena's earned the nickname "Velcro dog."
"She sticks to your side like Velcro," Hirsch said.
Helena's sweet nature is more evidence of how inherently good dogs are.
She came into the shelter this past summer after being picked up as a stray. Hirsch describes Helena's condition at the time as "malnourished and not in the best shape." But her darling personality still shone through.
Helena, who is about 4 years old, was adopted in October by the person who brought her back this week. Hirsch can't say why this person thought Helena might make a good guard dog, given that her chief characteristic is being such a complete and utter lovebug.
It perhaps has something to do with Helena having a blocky-shaped head, which some people mistakenly believe means she will be ill-tempered.
"People judge dogs based on their appearances way too often," Hirsch said. "You cannot judge a book by its cover!"
Instead, you should judge Helena by how she's come to be known: a perfect little Velcro dog whose key aim in life is to be in close proximity to the ones she loves.
"She wants to be the center of your world all the time," Hirsch said. "Ideally, we want her to go to a home where she can be smothered in love. And where someone can be the soft side to her Velcro."