Monthly Archives: May 2012
The dogs listed in the slideshow above only have 1 day for rescue or adoption commitment. For the dogs name, please select the photo as it appears in the slide show. You can find more information on Examiner.com by clicking the link above.
Your dog wags it’s tail as you load it up in the car, happy to be able to go on a fun adventure with you. You arrive at your destination and your pooch is wagging his tail, licking your face and bouncing up and down with excitement. “What are we doing, huh, huh?” You reach for your pet, attach its leash and leave your car. The sad thing is that your dog doesn’t really comprehend what’s going on. He’s just happy to be by your side. You walk gingerly toward the door of the animal shelter, confused and maybe apprehensive about what you are about to do. In your head, you run through all of the questions and all of the answers that you think you already know. Resigned to the fact that there is nothing more that you can do, you open the door to the shelter and you walk in.
As you stand at the desk, explaining your story and completing your necessary paperwork, your dog still stands at your side, anxiously awaiting what fun surprises are in store. A voice booms over the intercom that tells staff at the shelter that a new intake is waiting. Before you have a chance to process what is happening, someone walks up and introduces themselves to you and your dog. In that moment, the world stops and your head reels. The staff member takes the leash from your hand, extends some courtesies and then walks away with your dog in tow. You again tell yourself that you are doing the right thing and that your dog will have a better life. You had no other options, did you?
Sadly, there are options. Options that you didn’t consider. Options that you didn’t even know about. What is worse than missing the options is the realization that what you thought was in the best interest of your dog, was actually one of the worst experiences your dog will ever have and one that they may not survive.
The shock of going from life at home with you to life in a shelter is overwhelming to any dog. What was once peaceful and comfortable is now chaotic and cold. The shelter is full of whining and barking, whimpering, death and despair. The dog that once laid out on his back, wrapped in a blanket on your couch is now laying on a cold kennel floor. The dog that once ran through your yard with the wind in his hair now sits in a cage, sometimes days on end, without ever seeing outside. He sits shaking in his own urine and feces with no end in sight. He begins to cry, lonely and scared. As someone passes his cage, he reaches his paws through the bars in an attempt to say, “Hey you! I’m not supposed to be here! I have a family that loves me. You’ve made a mistake!”
The nights turn into weeks and the weeks into months. With each day that passes, more and more of the life inside of him disappears. The sparkling gleam of joy once always prominent in his eyes is now gone, replaced with a haze of depression. No more does he extend a paw, asking for reconsideration. He now lays in his cage, passing the time in the only way he can, by dreaming. He dreams of the days when he used to lay in your lap and all of times he would chase that tennis ball through the yard. The only thing he has now is memories of the life he once had, the life that he doesn’t understand how he lost.
One day, someone walks up to his cage and for that moment, he realizes that maybe he gets to go home. Finally! You have come back for him! He tries to muster up some hope as he walks into a room he has never seen before. He looks around, trying desperately to find you. “Where are you?” Someone picks him up and lays him on a table. The stranger ruffles his hair and tells him, “You’re a good boy.” Out of nowhere, he feels the sudden pain of a needle prick. Instantly, his mind floods with memories of you. As his heart slows, his last thought is of you.
Millions of dogs and cats meet this very same fate. While you think that changes in your life or your dog’s behavior force the issue of you leaving them at a shelter, ask yourself if you will be satisfied with the outcome. Most pets that arrive at the shelter will never leave. If they can survive the rampant illnesses and depression, they may be adopted. Some owner relinquishments don’t even have that opportunity, some are euthanized on intake. Can you walk out the door of the shelter knowing that you could be handing out a death sentence?
There are always other options. Contact rescues in your area, call your local shelter and ask them for referrals for help. Whatever situation you are in, there are others who have been there, too. There are countless people who will work to help you keep your pet, whether that would be in the form of assistance covering medical expenses, training to overcome behavior issues or just some extra help providing dog food. Resources are out there, you just have to ask for help. It’s always your best option. And if all else fails, send out a plea for help on Craigslist. There are plenty of crazy animal lovers that are 110% willing to help ease your burden and ensure that your dog or cat has a home for the rest of their life.
**When using Craigslist be extremely cautious!! Please only use it as a means of obtaining assistance with vetting/behavioral issues/obtaining assistance with dog food or finding low cost spay/neuter or vaccinations. Craigslist is not a good place to post your pet in an attempt to find a new home. Numerous medical facilities, dog fighting rings and experimental groups use Craigslist to obtain dogs and cats for their own sick and twisted use. If you absolutely need to rehome your pet and you’ve exhausted everything, as a local animal rescue for help. You can find a list of animal rescue groups on Petfinder.com.**
This is a reminder to all of us who can hurt someone with our words or our actions. Being rude or judgmental, making off-hand comments, cracking jokes at the wrong things or by just making fun of someone. Sometimes, the pain we cause can be so detrimental that a person could take their own life. In the very least, what we say can ruin someone’s life and traumatize them forever. Before you do it, consider that:
-Mother’s Day is a great day, unless you are a mother who has lost a child or you are a child who has lost their mother. While you enjoy your day, think of those who have lost the light of their life. Stop and spare a thought for the women out there who will never have the joy of birthing a child, yet they long to cuddle a beautiful baby in their arms. Relish the fact that you have a mom or a child and enjoy every moment of it because life is never long enough to love them as much as you want. Pray for the children who have a mother that deserted them or who doesn’t care about them. Go out of your way to show them that you care.
-Before you say, “Oh, that’s gay.” Stop and think. Maybe the person you are saying it to, is in fact, gay. Because of people like yourself, they are afraid of who they are. I must admit, I was a huge culprit of doing this (even though I didn’t maliciously mean it). That of course, was until the day that one of my best friends came out to me. Not only did I feel like an ass at the time but every day of my life, I question just how much I hurt that person. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of it.
-Before you criticize someone for their “lack of disciplining” their child, stop and think that perhaps their lack of discipline is not because they don’t care but maybe because they care too much. Sometimes people who have been abused or neglected are less likely to punish their own child. The pain that you experience at the hands of an abuser changes your life forever. Every moment of every day, you think of that when it comes to raising your own children. The worst feeling ever is imagining that you are hurting your own child as much as you were hurt. Be patient and understanding. Not everyone is fortunate enough to grow up in the perfect house.
-Be humble with what you have. Admit it, you only want to broadcast it to everyone because you think it’s so awesome. If you had chlamydia, I bet you wouldn’t be sharing it with the world. Think of all of the things that you have and appreciate them. When you’re done with that, think of all of the things that someone else doesn’t have, appreciate that person and see what you can do to change it. Some of the greatest blessings in our own life are best shared with someone else.
-Before you buy or adopt a pet, consider everything in your life. Think about who you are, who your family is, where you live and where you want to go in life. Plan ahead for the possibility of residential moves (big and small), household changes, your health, your ability to have a child, the other pets you have and the status of your relationship. Safely, all you really have to do is ask yourself one question. If one thing loved me unconditionally for the rest of my life, could I cast it aside because something in my life changed? If your answer is yes, they sell Chia Pets at CVS or Walgreen’s. If you answer “no”, consider just how amazing your life would be with a best friend who can never make you listen to their life stories.
-If you love something, set it free. Don’t let it go, hold it in your heart. If you do this the right way, sometimes the heart-strings can pull it back to you. Love completely and love freely. Free of expectations, free of doubts and free of worry. It will reward you one hundred fold. (at least I think so, I haven’t got this down quite yet)
-Hand out heart-felt apologies like Planned Parenthood hands out condoms. Offer them to everyone, regardless to who they are or who you think they are. Sometimes we mess up. Don’t be afraid to admit it. Confucius says “Man caught holding breath for apology will turn blue and die.” Okay, Confucius didn’t say that but take my word for it.
-Laugh often. Laugh until you make doodie in your pants or at the very least, a warm yellow stain. Laughter is the very best medicine. If you see someone who’s heart is breaking, fall out of a chair and break your arm. It may hurt for a second but the gratification of making someone else’s life better will be so worth it. So the smile on their face will last 2 seconds and the pain of your broken arm will last weeks, get over it. For 2 whole seconds, you made someone’s life a little better.
-Throw rocks in your glass house and see how great that works. When your world falls apart around you, maybe you will be able to see through the glass shards in your eyes enough to know that no one’s life is perfect. Unless perfection means imperfection. Throw your judgments away, don’t cast them another day. We are all too busy judging people to ever really know what’s happening.