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Wordless Wednesday #232 – Sheltie Beautiful

March 24, 2015 3 comments

Puppy mill dogs as the Sad Story Dog

March 24, 2015 13 comments

puppy mills 1This past week I read a really great piece that was posted on Facebook by 4Paws University. It was a powerful message and one that seemed to resonate with people (it had over 900 shares, 930+ “Likes,” and so many comments I had to quit counting. You can read the actual posting here:  BONE TO PICK: THE RUSH TO ADOPT THE SAD STORY DOG.)

The post has to do with America’s penchant for the “sad story dog.” You know the dogs I am talking about, the ones that come from a sad situation, get shared in the media, and generate a mass swelling of people who want to adopt the dog and “save” them. It happens time and time again.

You and I have both seen those individual stories of that one dog who was abused and saved, or the dog who ended up in a serious, life-threatening situation and suddenly needed a home. But the most common situation you and I see is the one where there is a mass rush to adopt a dog after it has been rescued during a puppy mill raid.  Stories like these make the local (and sometimes national) news. The pictures and video are usually heart-rending. People follow the story closely. When the dogs are ready to be adopted, there is usually a big media campaign to let people know about them and to encourage them to adopt.

None of this by itself is bad, but what gets missed is that some of the people wanting to “save” the dogs involved in the sad dog story are not always the “right person” for the dog and his/her needs. People who are drawn to a hard-luck story may be motivated by different reasons, and not all of them are motivated by the right reasons.

Oh yeah, that is the spot. #maggie #SheltieWhen foster Maggie and her fellow puppy mill friends were rescued, there was a lot of media attention around the raid and the care of the dogs. The facility that cared for them was flooded with adoption requests. I could not help but wonder the motivations of those who wanted to adopt a puppy mill dog. It wasn’t like this facility didn’t have dogs available for adoption before the raid, or that they ran out of dogs after the raid. So what motivated the people to adopt when they had not done so before? Was it the hard luck story? Did they see themselves as the hero in that story (rushing in to “save” the dog)? Or, did they want a certain breed that was rescued in the raid? Were they already looking for a dog and this just happened to be the right moment? Or, did they just act on impulse and get a dog with a story?

All too often we are motivated by the sad story dog without knowing a lot about what a commitment it is or whether the dog is a good fit for our family or lifestyle. Too many of these dogs are getting swooped up by emotion and being left behind by reality. Some of Maggie’s fellow puppy mill survivors have been re-homed, lost or discarded because the people adopting them did not know what they were getting into. They did not understand that the sad story dog they were getting was one that required work, time, patience and in many cases, another dog, to help them to start to live a normal life.

As adopters, we need to take more time to do our research. It’s great that people are excited and want to help by adopting a sad story dog, but we need to understand our motivations for adopting and recognize if it is a good fit. As rescuers, we need to be more diligent about who adopts a sad story dog. Rescuing a dog from a sad situation is not enough. We need to make sure that where they land is the safe landing we want for them too.

Sad story dogs will continue to come along. We just need to be prepared to ask the questions that will ensure it lands in the right home.

Black and White Sunday #122 – Proud, muddy Sheltie

March 21, 2015 24 comments

A muddy mess, but very happy. #Jasper #dogpark

My thanks to our hosts for this blog hop Dachshund Nola and Sugar The Golden Retriever.

Unfortunately, WordPress.com doesn’t allow Java script so I can’t provide a direct link to the linky, but you can join here.

Favorite Video Friday – Run like hell

March 19, 2015 3 comments

You ever have one of those weeks where you feel like Mercury is in retrograde and nothing you say or do quite comes out right? That was my week – lots of confusion, misunderstandings and missed opportunities.

We all have weeks like that. Don’t we?

In times like this, I just want to run like hell and shake loose all the bad and negative stuff. Kind of like the dog in this week’s video. If anything can outrun the yuck of a bad week, it is this dog. :)

Wishing you all a lovely weekend. Stay, play and have fun.

Daisy and Jasper – Best Friends Forever

March 19, 2015 6 comments

DSC05819There has always been a special bond between Daisy and Jasper. They connect on a level that I have rarely seen, independent yet attached, brother and sister, mother and son. There is just something unique about it.

When I first brought Jasper and his sister home to foster, I expected Daisy to be confused and maybe a little afraid, but she wasn’t. She was curious, and maybe a little intimidated by the 8 month old puppies that had invaded her space, but she never seemed afraid.

Jasper was a strong male who was both the harasser and protector for his little sister, Jasmine. She was so small that sometimes she got bowled over by his roughness, but when she was in need, he would stand by her and protect her. It was pretty clear that he thought of her as “his”.

Daisy watched them with curiosity, soaking in everything they did with her eyes. I think she wanted to play with them, but didn’t know how. Watching them together taught her a lot about dog behavior.

puppy palsWhen Jasmine was adopted, he transferred his role as protector and harasser to Daisy. At the dog park, he would chase her and nip at her heels, so she would run and he could herd her. He taught her how to play tug of war with their toys – something she had never done before. He protected her from an overly playful Great Dane and then spent a great deal of  time grooming her after the incident, licking her face and neck with great tenderness.

Daisy acts like his mother. She watches over him and makes a point of finding him and sniffing him all over when he comes home from somewhere. She does the same thing when she has been away a while and comes home to him. She loves to nudge him when he is near so he knows she is there. She is his quiet friend and companion, all of the time.

I have always thought of Daisy and Jasper as inseparable, but when Daisy was in the hospital a few weeks ago, I noticed that Jasper seemed to be able to continue on as if nothing were amiss. I fully expected Jasper to show signs of depression or sadness. He never did, not as far as I can tell anyways. But, maybe I was feeling so worried and sad myself that I missed the subtle changes in his behavior.

Jasper harassing his big sister. He obviously knows she is feeling better. #Jasper #Daisy #dogparkWhat I notice now is how much more energy Daisy has and how much more Jasper is interacting with her. Could it be that he knew something was wrong all along and he changed his behavior to allow for her illness? Did he know she was sick long before I did?  Maybe so. And, wouldn’t that be just like a close and faithful friend?

What I know today is that the Daisy and Jasper of old are back together again. They are playful and fun and caring with one another.  Jasper spends more time grooming Daisy than months past, and he spends more time harassing her too. Daisy seems very happy with these changes. She does not seem tired or irritated with him, but instead, more engaged.

Maybe they are just as close as I always thought they were.

They just knew something was wrong sooner than I did and supported one another through the change.

What special dogs.
Happy puppies. ❤️

I think mom his some treats under here. #doggames

Wordless Wednesday #231 – Canine Reflections

March 17, 2015 15 comments

Black and White Sunday #121 – Close enough to sniff

March 15, 2015 11 comments

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My thanks to our hosts for this blog hop Dachshund Nola and Sugar The Golden Retriever.

Unfortunately, WordPress.com doesn’t allow Java script so I can’t provide a direct link to the linky, but you can join here.

Categories: Uncategorized
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