This week’s video needs no explanation.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
This poor dog you see in this picture is waiting for an owner who abandoned him. Does anyone have room for a foster?
From Friends of Shelby County Ohio Animals:
Okay everyone, we have a special situation here in Dayton, OH! This poor dog was abandoned last weekend right where he sits today. He’s sat here for over a week through pouring rain just waiting for the person who dumped him.
We got a call from the business he’s sitting in front of. Some of the workers have been feeding him and trying to gain his trust, but so far he’s run away from every attempt. He leaves for a short while, then comes back to continue his vigil for his companion who dumped him.
We’re going to do our very best to catch this sweet boy, but we will need a foster to place him in afterward. Looks to be a Lab mix, big boy with a seemingly sweet temperament. Seems to do well with other dogs as he’s run off a few times with a black lab. (who also has something wrong, a leg or back injury)
This is humanity at it’s worst, but canine loyalty at it’s best. Can we help this poor boy? Email email@example.com if you can help!
What is it about dogs that makes them so loyal? What is it in the make up of a dog that he doesn’t even question that loyalty? Even after this dog’s owner left him there to fend for himself, he waits in the same spot, faithfully, for him to return. He doesn’t even consider that perhaps he is on his own and it’s time to move on.
Seeing this picture, and reading the story behind it, reminded me of my days walking dogs at Minnesota Valley Humane Society. One of the toughest parts of volunteering at the shelter was walking the dogs who had been recently surrendered. Inevitably, at some point along that walk they would start looking for their owner. Some pulled me in a particular direction and I would wonder, “Is that where home is?” or “Is this where they last saw their owner?” Others would search the parking lot for that familiar car, the one they used to take rides in with their family member(s). It always made me so sad to see them searching. Always looking. Hoping. They just couldn’t understand. They couldn’t comprehend that they had been left behind and mom or dad weren’t coming back for them. Ever.
I hope and pray that this dog is rescued. I hope that he finds someone kind enough to take him in and foster him until he can find a new home. And, when he does get that new home, I hope and pray his new owner is as loyal to him as he has been to the owner who abandoned him. At the very least he deserves that. Don’t you think?
– All the volunteers with Minnesota Sheltie Rescue who have given up time in their day, and in their lives, to help search for Lady, hand out fliers, post signs, and manage the behind the scenes coordinating it takes to pull off a search this large.
– All my friends and family members who have offered support and encouragement when I was feeling at my lowest.
– All the “strangers”, who I now prefer to think of as friends, who have offered to help in any way they could to help find Lady – driving around where she was last seen, handing out fliers, sharing her story with friends on Facebook or Twitter, watching out for her as they drive through town, etc.
– All the people who took action and called us to let us know they had seen her and where she was headed and what she did. Every call is a clue to a much bigger puzzle and with every puzzle piece placed, we get closer to finding Lady.
– Warm weather. I might be totally wrong, after all I am not a meteorologist, but I don’t remember many Thanksgivings being this warm. It means I can breathe a little easier knowing Lady is not freezing cold or out there in the middle of a snowstorm.
– My puppy dogs. Last Friday was a freak accident, but I fully recognize that in all that chaos I could have lost all three dogs to a car or something just as bad. That none of them were hit is a miracle in itself. Lady may still be missing, but she is alive and people are watching out for her and praying for her. And when I am feeling down, Daisy and Jasper are there to comfort me. For all of that I am truly grateful.
Reading all your comments and heartfelt hopes and prayers has been very comforting to me. I know now that I don’t have control over what happens to Lady, or how long it will take to bring her home, but I do know that all of this good energy is not being put to waste. It’s making me, and I suspect you, feel grateful for what we do have and how blessed we truly are on this special day. Hug your dogs. Hug your family, and know that today is a day we can all be grateful for.
Latest update: No sightings of Lady today. Volunteers were out searching, checking traps and making new fliers with a side view of Lady. I, and it appears at least one other volunteer, staked out the Marriott tonight in hopes of seeing Lady. I sat on the ground for a while in the area nearest to where she had crossed Pilot Knob Road, but never saw her. After a while got too cold to stay and so I left behind some food and one of her favorite toys.
Not one to leave things be, I stopped off at Walgreens to buy some more dog food, Kibbles and Bits, to entice her out. I filled the food dish and then sat in my car at a distance to see if she would come out. No luck. But, I did get a sense of when traffic quiets down in that area and I think I’ll have a better idea of when to come next time.
I am really hoping the food will keep her on that side of Pilot Knob Road until we can move a trap closer to that area and add another live trap further down. I am hoping beyond hope that she will go into a trap on Thanksgiving Day and give us all something to celebrate.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Come home Lady.
You can read more about the search for Lady and how she was found in the posts listed below.
Post #3: Little Lady Lost – The Latest
Post #4 (This Post): Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Little Lady Still Being Lost
Post #5: Little Lady Lost – Chasing the Wrong Things
Post #9: Little Lady Lost – A sense of peace
Post #10: Little Lady Lost – HOME AT LAST!
I had planned to do a post on less adoptable pets earlier this week, but I didn’t think I could do Lady justice in the short time I had available each weekday evening. An unadoptable pet that just happens to be your foster dog deserves more time and attention than just a quick blurb on your blog, don’t you think?
I began fostering Lady, a Shetland Sheepdog (i.e., Sheltie), a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect when she and her former foster mom first arrived. Would she be afraid? Would she hide? Or, would she quickly adjust? I didn’t have a clue. What I did know was that she was very attached to her former foster mom. This became very evident when she left and Lady paced beside the back gate looking for an escape route. She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t going with her. It nearly broke my heart. She had already been through so much.
You see, Lady’s past is littered with puppies, lack of human contact, and little to no exposure to the things that most dogs experience they are puppies. People were scary things to her and not to be trusted. New places? Forget it. Too overwhelming.
But, that was a few years ago. Lady is a much different dog now. She LOVES attention (and when I say love, I do mean love!). She is extremely affectionate with “her person”. She loves belly rubs, a good scratch behind the ears or just dozing on the couch beside you, or on the floor at your feet. She also loves car rides, stuffed toys that squeak, Kongs stuffed with frozen peanut butter, belly rubs just before bed and a little sniff-n-stop on her walks, whether they be in the woods (as long as it’s fenced in like our dog park) or on a leash in the neighborhood. She’s a joy to have around.
So you say, what makes her less adoptable?
Well, I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder. If you prefer an exuberant, active and puppy-like dog, then Lady is not the dog for you. Oh don’t get me wrong! At 6 years of age, she still gets the zoomies sometimes, they just aren’t as frequent as the ones my dog Jasper gets. Lady prefers to run around the yard for a bit and then hang out on the grass or patio and watch the world go by. She’s actually a pretty mellow little girl.
If you are looking for a dog that doesn’t take medicine every day, then Lady isn’t your dog. Lady’s past left her with some internal scars, so she takes Clomipramine (a very inexpensive anti-anxiety drug) to help her to be less fearful. It has allowed her to be able to learn more about her world and people. As her foster mom, I have to admit it seems to have done wonders for her. She also is on Proin for spay incontinence. The Proin obviously works, because we have had no issues in this area at all.
Lady is also a shy girl. She needs someone who can be patient and give her a little space when she first arrives home. It only took her about a week to get acclimated in my home, but my dogs are pretty mellow and affectionate and I didn’t try to force my affections on her but waited for her to approach me on her own terms and when she felt comfortable in doing so. I’m also a pretty laid back and calm person when it comes to my dogs and my home. No chaos. No extreme moods or crazy schedules. Lady seems to thrive here. So, I believe she would do well in a calm home that doesn’t have a lot of chaos or crazy schedules. She loves consistency.
Minnesota Sheltie Rescue has several wonderful dogs also available for adoption (like Lady). Interested? Go here.
Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!
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It seems ironic (or at the very least a sad coincidence) that today on National Adopt a Mutt Day there would be such sad news to report on the adoptable mutts in my very own community.
I had been hearing rumors for days now that the shelter I have volunteered at for the past 8 years was in trouble and would be closing, but I had been hoping and praying it would not true. It was not to be, today the Minnesota Valley Humane Society (MVHS) announced it would be closing it’s doors on December 31, 2010.
To say this is a sad event is an understatement. This one small humane society has been operating on its own since 1981. Despite many people’s mistaken belief, MVHS has never been affiliated with the larger Animal Humane Society (AHS) in Golden Valley, Woodbury, St. Paul, etc. It did not receive money from the the Humane Society of the United States (by the way, MOST Humane Societies DON’T receive money from HSUS). It operated on a tight budget, with a small staff, and had to raise all of it’s money on its own – and it had a high adoption rate (perhaps that’s because it didn’t put a timeline on an animal’s life like other humane societies do or maybe it’s because of the awesome staff and volunteers who promoted the animals and tried to help animals find homes).
It is the only animal shelter servicing the South Metro area and soon it will be gone.
So what is the impact when a shelter closes?
– Other shelters and rescue groups end up taking up the slack. Most small shelters and rescue groups operate on a shoestring budget already, so when a shelter closes they not only take on additional animals they had not planned for, they also take on the extra costs associated with it. It can make or break a shelter or rescue group, financially.
– Staff and Volunteers feel set adrift. Many volunteers work at animal shelters because they deeply care for the animals, but in many cases, there is also a sense of commaraderie that develops between the staff and volunteers. Friendships are formed. There is a feeling that you are all united in a common cause – saving animals
– The animals that remain suffer undue additional stress. Animals that have not been adopted out feel the additional stress from the staff and volunteers, who are stressed out themselves, but their daily routine and lives change too. Suddenly, they are shipped off to some other location, maybe to a place where conditions are worse than where they came from (or more stressful) or they may have a limit on the number of days they can remain before they are euthanized.
– The community suffers. Shelters provide a lot of services that the community often does not often recognize – educational programs, veterinary services, dog training, personal support after adoption, spaying and neutering, pet supplies for your newly adopted pet and informational resources. MVHS even offered people a list of apartments and townhomes that allowed pets.
What can you do?
– Give money to your local animal shelters and rescue groups. Now. Call your local animal shelter and ask them if they are affiliated with a larger organization or if they operate on their own small budget, and then give. Contact a rescue organization and ask what you can do to help. Most of them need money, but many of them also need foster homes for the animals they already have.
- Adopt. Normally I would be encouraging people to not to adopt during the holiday season, but this year I am asking people to adopt the remaining dogs, cats, birds, etc. that remain at MVHS. If you have the space, the time and want to make a difference, please adopt. And, if you are not local and living in MN, please adopt from your own shelter or rescue organizations. So many of the dogs, cats and other animals that end up at a shelter are not there because they were bad or did something to deserve it. In fact, some of the most common reasons animals are surrendered are because: someone lost a job, someone died, a family situation has changed (e.g., divorce) or the family had to move to a smaller location, like an apartment that doesn’t take pets. People that want a purebreed dog or cat often don’t realize that a lot of purebreed dogs and cats end up in shelters every single day (I should know I have two of my own – a Lab and a Sheltie). Many rescues and shelters have purebred dogs and cats, and often rescues are geared towards a particular breed. If that’s what you are looking for, please check with a shelter or rescue group first. Please.
– Volunteer. I have had so many people tell me that they could never volunteer at a shelter because it would break their heart. I’m not going to lie, some days your heart does break, but most of the time you feel good knowing you have given a dog or cat a little extra attention and love that day. Every single interaction of love and kindness matters to them. It is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. And did I mention the friendships you develop? Trust me. It is SO worth it.
It’s never easy when an animal shelter closes, but sometimes it can bring change. I hope you will be a part of that change.
Please Note: If you are coming here to read this because HumaneWatch.org sent you here, please note that this shelter DID NOT close because of anything HSUS did or did not do and I completely disavow their misrepresentation of this fact in order to push their agenda to smear HSUS or any other group that supports caring for animals in a humane way.
I’ll just be honest. I’m a bit of a worrier sometimes.
I worry about my business – “Can I grow it as big as I want it to be someday?”.
I worry about my dogs – “Are they getting enough attention? Am I feeding them the right food?”.
I worry about my mom – “What if something happens and I am not there to help?”
But lately, I’ve been worrying about Daisy.
No. No. She’s fine. But, she is almost 7 years old. And now. I worry about her getting old and not being with me some day. It makes me sad to think about it, but I do.
Either way, it causes me to worry. How will I deal with her not being there anymore?
So I am wondering… Do you have a special dog or cat in your life? And if you do, do you ever worry about what your life will be like with out them?
Sometimes it can be difficult to volunteer at an animal shelter. The animal shelter is the place where you hear sad stories of pets who lost their home when their owner died or became disabled, or where they were given up because the couple had recently had a baby and their dog became more work than they could handle, or the cat was given up because it became ill or needed medication. If you’ve worked in a rescue organization or in an animal shelter, then you know what I mean.
But, every once in a while a story comes along that lights up your day and leaves you with a smile on your face, and if the story is really touching, it brings tears to your eyes. Today was just such a day.
Two very special dogs that we have had at our shelter recently found new homes and today many of us volunteers got not one, but two, e-mails giving us an update on their progress. I couldn’t help but share the joy.
The first dog, a Beagle, came to us so massively overweight that he could barely walk across the parking lot. The owner hadn’t been able to walk him due to a disability, and so she fed him lots and lots of treats instead. When he came to us, Bear (name changed for privacy purposes) was clearly miserable and he had a hard time moving his body. The poor boy was so sweet that he was an instant hit with the staff and volunteers. Everyone worked with him and walked him slowly around the property so he could work his way up to a longer walk. We all worried that potential adopters wouldn’t see the beauty that lay within this sweet boy. Well, today we found out that Bear has not only lost weight, but he is very close to making a 3/4 mile walk down to his new owner’s mailbox in the morning! A very big accomplishment indeed! In his new home, Bear enjoys walks along the country fields and roads where he now lives (could there be a more perfect place for a Beagle?) and he is starting to climb snowdrifts. According to his new owner, he actually started to run the other day! To see what Bear looked like when he came to us and know that he is well on his way to enjoying the rest of his life with some very loving and dedicated parents was enough to bring tears to our eyes. Bear is one very lucky boy!
The second e-mail update came from the new owner of one our very special dogs that stayed with us for a very long time. Ralph (name changed for privacy purposes), is a high-energy Springer Spaniel, who just needed some additional training and someone very special who could continue to work with him and exercise him on a regular basis. Back in November, Ralph had been adopted only to be returned when the family realized they couldn’t handle his high-energy needs. As you can imagine, it was very disheartening to all of us to see him come back again. No one wanted him to go to another home unless it was a very good match. Lucky for Ralph, his special family was out there, ready and waiting for him. He got adopted by a family with children. The e-mail shared all the wonderful news of how well he has fit into their family and how he goes on daily walks and is already enrolled in a canine training class. It even shared some of his obedience successes! It appears Ralph is even more affectionate with the kids than their last dog. And he is showing some promise as a hunting dog! The e-mail ended with the phrase “We cannot understand why the family in November returned (Ralph), but we’re sure glad they did!” That one phrase brought tears to my eyes.
Yes. It can be hard to volunteer at an animal shelter, but once in a while the good stories make up for it all. I hope that more people choose to adopt a cat or dog and add to the list of good stories. I promise you, those are the ones we want to hear anyways.
Daisy, my first, lives with me and is doing very well despite a rough beginning. Clyde (formerly Pixel) is a Dalmatian and came to me scared, unsocialized and very attached to his sister. He is a wonderful dog. I really had a hard time giving him up. Fortunately, he was reunited with his sister, Bonnie (to which he is very attached), and both were adopted together. They now live with a wonderful woman who has been patient, understanding and kind with both of them. I even get to see them on occasion at the dog park!
My last two foster dogs, Jasper and Jasmine, are Shelties and were purchased by a kind woman who just wanted to get them out of a pet store that was in a deplorable condition. Both came to me scared, unsocialized and very attached to one another. I considered adopting one, but couldn’t choose between them so I eventually returned them both to the shelter to be adopted. As luck would have it, Jasmine passed her assessment with flying colors and was adopted right away by a couple. However, Jasper did not pass his assessment. He was too afraid to do all the things necessary to be assessed properly (he prefers to eat his food in private). So, he came back to live with me and Daisy. They have since become great friends and companions.
As a foster parent it is always hard when you have to say goodbye, but the “not-knowing” is the worst part. You can’t help but wonder how they are doing in their new homes with their new parents. Are they okay? Do they miss their sibling? What do they look like now that they are healthy and grown up?
All I know about Jasmine is this… she attended doggie daycare one day (soon after she was adopted) at a facility where my friend works and her name had been changed to Casey. That’s it. Nothing else.
So, day after day I look for her. Every time I see a Sheltie that looks like Jasmine my heart jumps a little. “Could that be her?”, I wonder. My deep desire to know how she is doing makes me approach the owner to ask “Is your dog’s name Jasmine or Casey?” Time after time the answer has been a curious “no”. It is then that I explain the purpose for my question. Everyone is kind and understanding, but unfortunately, they cannot help me. And so, I continue to search.
It is my one great desire to see her again, to know she is okay. It would be great to reunite her with her brother, Jasper, just for a play date, but I would be happy with just knowing how she is doing. So I continue to desperately search out that one dog, that one Sheltie, that looks like Jasmine in hopes of finding the answer to my questions. My hope is that I will someday I will get my wish.
Before you jump on that idea and head on over to the local animal shelter, think again. Many pets bought as gifts for Christmas end up at your local shelter. Why? The reasons are many, but here 5 reasons why you should not get a pet as a gift during the holidays:
1. A pet is not what the person wanted. Owning a pet can be a pretty big commitment. Pets require lots of time, money, care, and in some cases, training. The recipient of your “gift” may not want that kind of responsibility. Even though Grandma is living all alone and could benefit from having a companion, it may not be what she wants or needs right now.
2. The pet you adopted/purchased for them is coming at one of the most hectic times of the year. Holiday movies often depict (accurately in most cases) the chaos that occurs during the busy holiday season. There’s the family to deal with, gifts to buy, travel plans to make and the multitude of other other things that we must do and take care of during this busy time. All of this “business” creates chaos and all of the emotions that come with it. Bringing a new pet into a household during this time can be stressful – not only for the pet but also for the new owner.
3. The person receiving the gift may be allergic to the pet. As a volunteer at the local animal shelter, I have seen many pets surrendered or returned because the person who adopted them discovered he or she had an allergy to the particular pet they adopted. I only discovered this myself after I had adopted my two cats. It turns out that I was highly allergic to them – who knew? Luckily, I was able to take precautions (and medication) to prevent me from having to give them up. But, not everyone is so lucky. Nor, is everyone inclined to start weekly allergy shots just to keep their new pet. It would be better if the person had a chance to be exposed to someone else’s pet first to see if they have any reaction. Or, that they can go with you to select the pet they want since they know best if they are allergic to a particular pet.
4. The pet you adopted/purchased for them is not the one they wanted. It’s true, not every breed or type of pet is right for everyone. Perhaps the lizard you bought for your son is not the exact kind he wanted. Or, the breed of dog you chose may not be one that is suitable for an older person or for a child. The beauty of waiting until the gift recipient can go with you to adopt that pet is that he or she can actually be the one who decides which pet is right for them. Buying a sweater that fits can be difficult when you are buying it for someone else. How much better is it when they can try it on? It’s is the same with pets. Owners need to meet the pet first to know if he or she will be a good fit for them and their lifestyle.
5. The person you adopted/purchased the pet for is unable to care for the pet. In these hard economic times many people are dealing with financial issues of some sort. You may not know everything there is to know about the person and their financial status. Perhaps he or she is about to lose their home, or perhaps they just lost their job. Buying a pet as a gift may be one of the worst things you could do right now. Financial trouble is stressful. Adding a pet into the mix could increase that stress and would likely mean the pet would be returned to the shelter – which is stressful for the pet too.
All of us want to find that “perfect” gift for the person we love. Pets can often seem like the perfect choice (especially if the person has mentioned one before), but they also come with a lot of responsibilities.
So, before you shop for that perfect pet to give as a gift, here are 5 gift alternatives…
1. Purchase a gift certificate at your local animal shelter that can go towards the adoption of a pet when the time is right. Even if the gift recipient doesn’t get a pet right away, they can still go look and see what they might be interested in and then adopt a pet when the time is right.
2. Create your own gift certificate that says you will go with the person to adopt the pet at their convenience. This makes the most sense and is best for everyone involved – pet and owner.
3. Donate money to your local animal shelter in the name of the person you are buying the gift for - the money will be much appreciated by the shelter and the person will be touched that you were so thoughtful in your gift choice.
4. Buy the person a book about the animal you think they may be interested in getting in the future (like a book about dog breeds). That way they can learn more about the animal they want before adopting it.
5. Buy the person a stuffed animal with the promise of adopting an animal after the holidays. This allows you to show your love but also gives you and the person time to prepare for the pet before actually adopting it.
My wish for this year is that every animal finds the right home with the right owner. What a beautiful story that would make if no animals were returned to the shelter after the holidays this year. Won’t you help make my wish come true?
For me, it has always been hard to understand why everyone has to have a puppy versus choosing to adopt an older dog. Other than the purchase of my very first dog from a neighbor at age 15, and my adoption of Jasper at 10 months, I have always adopted older dogs. Why wouldn’t I? In general, older dogs are housebroken (a huge plus!), they’re usually trained, eager to please, have been tested with dogs and people, are less likely to tear your house apart or chew on furniture and often become some of the most loyal companions you could ever meet. Indy was 5 when I adopted her, Aspen was 9 years old and Daisy was 4. I’ve never regretted adopting any one of my older dogs – not a one. In fact, I will probably always adopt an older dog. They are some of the best dogs I have ever had.
My question to you is Why Must You Have a Puppy? Why not an older dog? And, if you have to have a puppy, why not one from a local animal shelter or rescue organization? Why does it have to be purchased from “a breeder”, most likely one that you know nothing about (something they depend on – believe me)? Or, from a pet store that is supplied by puppy mills?
Why not an older dog? You should see how much more they have to offer. You wouldn’t be disappointed. Really.