It's been so heartening over the years to see the prominent place animal rescues and shelters are taking in our world. I remember when I was a kid and we went to adopt our first dog....
It's been so heartening over the years to see the prominent place animal rescues and shelters are taking in our world. I remember when I was a kid and we went to adopt our first dog. The shelter consisted of a concrete floor with wire kennels arranged to create aisles to walk through. I remember seeing a large malamute laying down in his kennel with his head resting on his paws. Despite the excited barking and whining of other dogs, he lay there calmly, his sad eyes following us as we walked through the kennels.
I think that that was when my feelings about animal welfare solidified. I begged my mom to let us adopt the malamute, but she was already stepping out of her comfort zone by adopting a dog in the first place. Bringing home a dog that large and hairy would have been too much for her. We settled on a medium sized spaniel mix that my brother and I named "Peanut".
Peanut satisfied all of my wants for a pet dog, but it turned out that he was allergic to fleas. He would develop "hot spots" where all the hair would fall out around his bites. I don't know what type of flea control was available at that time, but this allergy was a constant struggle to stay on top of. I even remember my mom setting a bug bomb one morning as we were leaving for school.
I don't remember how long we had Peanut, but I do remember when my mom sat us down and explained that we were going to have to take Peanut back. As a single mom she was already working crazy hours to make ends meet and the added medical bills for Peanut were too much. It broke my heart.
I know that my mom was doing the best she could with the resources available. And given my experiences with shelter workers and volunteers, I believe that the shelter was doing the best that it could as well. I remember feeling so frustrated and powerless because my love of Peanut (and all the dogs) wasn't enough to give him the furever home he deserved.
Today is different. I still see the sad eyes and I still see the people surrendering their dogs because of circumstances beyond their control. And all I want to do is help.
If you are interested in helping out any of our dogs, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are looking to expand our foster network and can always use donations of food, treats and supplies as well as monetary donations.