Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Saving dogs

I have a new cause--relax those of you who know me well, it's not political. That would be an ongoing cause. My new one is not exactly new either. I'm reposting pictures of dogs about to be euthanized in hope that someone will say, "I have to have that dog!" A Facebook friend has been posting these for some time--when I said she was breaking my heart, she replied that she couldn't not post them. So now I'm re-posting, plus I've made another friend who is if anything deeper into the cause. Judy Obregon (don't even know where she lives!) posted today about a dog she followed, visited, even gave a collar to--he was euthanized today, and she's in agony over it. Kathy, my first "dog cause" friend has built a small kennel on their ranch so she can temporarily foster some animals.
My Aussie, now 11-1/2, is a rescue dog, from the Humane Society of Fort Worth. I got him at three and a half, and he brought many problems. He'd been a "back-yard' dog--ignored and abused, never given love nor trained properly. To this day, his house manners are not reliable, though he is obedient. He long ago got over snitching food that is not his or chewing--in fact, he's not much interested in toys. He'll come when I call, eagerly--once he got out on the street and I called to him. He came running happily home, with a look that said, "Did you want me?" He's a good dog, and when he looks at me soulfully with one blue and one brown eye, I melt. But he'll potty when my back is turned--and sometimes just because he's being stubborn.
I got a new puppy last summer--for several reasons. Jacob, then just barely five, was afraid of Scooby  because of his size; Scooby needed companionship--he was developing the old-age habit of sleeping all day, had given up chasing squirrels, a chore at which he used to be a master; and I wanted a puppy that I could train the way I wanted. The latter hasn't worked out so well, but I'm persevering. But still, last July Sophie came into our lives. She's a wild mix of border collie and poodle--coal black as a small puppy with just a bit of brown on her muzzle. Now she's getting some silver on her long bushy tail and on her ears.
Sophie is one wild bundle of energy. In fact, sometimes I think she's two dogs--the one that minds me so well and the one that gets frantic with excitement and throws all behavior rules out the window. On a leash, she will stop at the front door, look back at me, look out at the world, and sit patiently until I say "Okay." Off the leash? She's out the door and across the street in a heartbeat and all my cries fall on deaf ears, though a neighbor? A new person to love her? Of course she'll go, which is how I got her back when she escaped recently.
But I've had conscience pangs over buying a kennel dog instead of taking in a stray. When I look at the pictures on Facebook, I wish desperately that I could take in more animals. But I'm realistic and I know my limitations. So I'll keep posting those pictures and watching for people who need a dog. I have one friend who is sort of half-heartedly looking for a second dog, and I often post with her in mind.
My neighbors have strong feelings on the subject too. They own two rescue dogs. Jay said the other night, "I'm not much of a taxation guy"--understatement! he's so conservative he squeaks--"but I think there ought to be a heavy tax on peole who are not licensed breeders who let their dogs reproduce." Go, Jay!
Jacob now adores both dogs; here he loves on Scooby
This is a  plea for two things: give or find a rescue dog a home if you can; if you own non-show quality pets (how many of us have show quality?), have them neutered. It's the only human(e) thing to do.

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