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Archive for July 27th, 2011

Going to the Dogs

       Until recently, I did not consider myself a DOG person. I’m a CAT person. I’m a CRITTER person (ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters). Dogs are time-consuming, dependent, and needy. Ironically, two big beautiful German Shepherds named Sophie and Sonic live at our residence; however, my husband takes care of them.  

Comet

     Then an amazing thing happened in September of 2010. On the way to school one morning, Andrew and I stopped to rescue a little black dog who was dodging traffic. My intention was to get him out of harm’s way. I had just proclaimed to my family the week before that we would not be getting any more pets. Our ferret was terminally ill, and the vet bills were wreaking havoc on our budget. I explained to Andrew that we would not be keeping this little mutt. So, we drove back home and set him up in one of the big dog’s kennel with food and water and went off to school for the day. Barry went home during lunch to check on him. Of course, Barry thought he was cute. Barry is a DOG person. We had a family meeting later that evening to decide our course of action. Needless to say, my proclamation was ignored by all family members (including myself), and we kept him. Thus, my slow but steady conversion toward the canine race. Andrew named him Comet, and he is my furry sidekick. Yes, he is needy, time-consuming, dependent, and can be quite loud when he barks; however, he makes me happy. He is always happy to see me and showers me with lots of love and affection. Score points for the DOG!

     Two weeks ago, my husband found a female dog at a construction site. She was injured, and had recently given birth. My husband did not find any puppies, so the consensus is she was dumped when the puppies were old enough to be given away. The extent of the injuries indicated she had been hit by a car. Regardless, my husband could not leave her injured and all alone. Of course, I had to find a place to take her because we could not have another pet, especially one that would require extensive vet care. I soon made the heartbreaking discovery that our local shelter is a HIGH KILL shelter, and many animals are euthanized the same day they are brought to the shelter. Other shelters or humane societies would only accept strays if you lived in their parish, or their organization had a three month waiting list. I literally had no idea the plight for homeless dogs was this extensive. And, I wasn’t really given any solutions by the organizations I had contacted. It was frustrating.

Crystal

 My affirmation for that day was about “guidance.” I prayed for some guidance because I knew keeping this dog was not the answer.  Then, I had a thought. I called a local company that allowed a dog rescue group to visit once a month to hold a dog adoption. I called the company and they put me in touch with Vickie at Swampy Paws. I called her immediately and explained the situation. Vickie agreed to take her if we could foster her for two weeks. I agreed without hesitation. Andrew and I met Vickie at a vet’s office where she brings her rescue dogs. Vickie asked Andrew to name the dog, and he chose Crystal. Crystal had a shattered kneecap. Besides regular dog care, I would also be administering pain medication and antiobiotics. Our two weeks with Crystal went by very quickly. She is the sweetest dog and deserves a loving forever family. We brought Crystal to Vickie on Monday. Even though I know Vickie is a wonderful person and her rescue organization works hard to place dogs in a loving forever home, it was hard to walk away.

     Vickie called me today to let me know Crystal’s kneecap was shattered beyond repair, and she was having surgery to remove the leg. I know this expense will put a strain on Swampy Paws’ budget. I’m including a link for the Swampy Paws Rescue Organization for anyone who may want to make a donation to go towards Crystal’s surgery. I know this experience has opened my eyes to a big problem concerning the treatment of dogs. I’m not sure what role I will be playing in the future concerning solutions for this growing problem; however, I feel as if I will have a role. If anything, it has given me a new appreciation for the DOG and my heart has opened wider for them.

Andrew and Crystal

Andrew with our foster dog, Crystal.

 
 Here is some information about Swampy Paws. Vickie also writes a blog.
 
http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/LA266.html  (General information about Swampy Paws)
 
http://swampypaws.blogspot.com/  (Blog for Swampy Paws)
 
 
“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”  ~Milan Kundera
 

“Gratitude: that quality which the Canine Mongrel seldom lacks; which the Human Mongrel seldom possesses!”

~Lion P.S. Rees

 

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