When I first agreed to allow my son’s girlfriend to adopt a dog for him for Christmas thirteen years ago, I was under the impression that she understood I was expecting a small breed of dog. We lived in a small apartment in the city and this was certainly no place for a huge dog.
Lucky, came barrelling down the hallway that Christmas morning and jumped right on my lap as I was sitting by the tree. It was almost as if he knew I was the one he had to convince to let him stay. He looked at me with his big puppy eyes which seemed to say,”I am home, please let me stay!”
That day, any vision of owning a small dog vanished forever.
Hey mom what is that thing on the computer?
I instantly fell in love with this big scruffy smelly collie mix sitting on my lap, not only because he was so adorable, but because my heart broke when my son’s girlfriend explained why she chose to take him home instead of a small dog like we had agreed upon.
I cried as she told me how Lucky had a family with children that simply abandoned him in the rain, He ended up in the SPCA where he was scheduled to be “euthanized” because he was very energetic, overly dominant and could not seem to stay in any home for long periods of time.
You see the truth is, no one wants to adopt older dogs who have a mind of their own. He was a year and a half at that time and still very much a puppy (at least in his head). If any of his owners would have just given him half a chance, they would have come to realize that he was smart, gentle, extremely excitable and sometimes clumsy, but easy to train. I am glad they didn’t otherwise we would have never had the opportunity to love and care for him.
His defiant behavior is what we loved most about him. He knew he wasn’t supposed to go on the couch, but often did so just to spite us as you can see in the image below. How can you not love this? I suppose in some ways his clumsiness could be scary for a family with small children. Lucky wouldn’t have hurt a flea, in fact he loved animals so much, he did not understand why that big black and white cat he tried to play with in the back yard sprayed him with some nasty smelling stuff that did not go away for months.
Lucky had been adopted three times prior and each time he was brought back to the SPCA because as one owner put it, he was filled with too much energy. When I heard this, I knew he was going to be our dog. I knew he would fit in this crazy household just fine and besides we were moving to the country and soon enough he would have a huge yard to run around in. Lucky lived with our family and his best friend maxie (the cat) for twelve years.
Maybe mommy won’t see me on the couch!
Lucky began to show signs of aging, he could no longer pull on his toys as hard as he used to and he no longer seem to run but kind of galloped when we went on our daily hikes. He was still eager to go on walks and was not growing old gracefully. He refused to give up and he fought it every step of the way.
It is this “fight” and energy that I saw in him so many years ago that I adored.
I named him lucky because he was lucky to have found us, and we were lucky he never gave up looking for his furever home. Lucky is the story of an SPCA rescue dog who had abandonment issues, was terrified of water and thunder, was a big baby who hated to be left alone, but he was ours and we loved him because he was filled with so much defiance and so much character.
Sadly, lucky died this past year on the couch he tried so often to sit on (we simply let him sit on it towards the end of his days) and we all miss him very much. Unlike him, I am not so “Lucky.”
After a long grieving period, I decided that I needed the love and warmth of a dog in my life again. While no other dog can ever replace him, I have decided that there is one who needs me and is probably looking for me just as Lucky had thirteen years ago.
I have been trying to find my dog for the past few months and have been rather unsuccessful. It seems that owning a dog these days is all about the money and since I do not believe in paying for dogs in any capacity this has become quite the challenge. It is sort of against my religion to pay for animals, the only reason I got Lucky at all was because he was gift.
What I am looking for is a dog like Lucky who needs my help, not my money. Not that I would not give every cent I have to try to save and protect them, it is just that I do not think giving my money to a shelter is helping the cause. In fact, I have a different view of them than most people do and is my choice.
It seems that every time I think someone is going to give me a dog, something unexpected occurs. The dog is either given to someone else, is placed in a shelter or rescue that is asking for hundreds of dollars for its release, sold or simply never existed.
This has happened to me about five times in the past few months and I am not sure that I can bare to have it happen again so I am almost ready to give up.
I love it when Ryan comes home, I miss him now that he is grown up!
There are tons of dogs in need of great homes but I cannot for the life of me seem to find one. I live in the country, have a huge yard and a whole lot of love to offer isn’t that enough? Apparently it isn’t and I am appalled.
Something is definitely wrong with the fact that if I had 400 dollars to spend right at this moment I could have a dog without a blink of an eye.
How ironic and sad is a world that values dogs only with a pricetag on their heads, even those currently in so called rescues and shelters?
I refuse to participate in this mass justification of paying for animals by shelters, breeders and missions. If a dog has been sitting in a cage for months on end it deserves a furever home even if the person cannot afford to pay for veterinary bills. If animal agencies offered more free clinics and less fees there would be a whole lot more dogs saved.
Just because someone does not have the fees that they cannot and will not take care of the animal, this is a misconception. Do not get me wrong, every pet should be sterilized and I understand that this is the reason for the fees in most cases, but what about dogs that have already been taken care of or come into the shelters already sterilized, why do people still have to pay them? I have heard of cases where they will waive the fees, but this is rare and they really do not like to do it. In fact they frown upon doing so? Why?
Lucky was sterilized by the SPCA when he first arrived at the shelter, had three people pay these fees and then return him months later, none of them was reimbursed. He was set to be euthanized because they could not find a permanent home for him and they still charged 280.00 for his release for what they called necessary veterinary fees? Someone please explain to me how they can justify charging three people for one operation?
Look at me, I just came from the dog groomers, mommy said she did not recognize me but I feel so good and I look handsome and I know it means I can jump on the bed again!
A Reality that no one Wants to Talk about....
The reason people donate to shelters and rescues is because they think they are helping to provide a service so people can adopt animals. This is not always the case. The rescue or shelter often charges people to pay for the sterilization process even if is already done and they often charge for it more than once in the case of a returned animal. They believe that it weeds out potential bad pet owners, this is a fallacy that everyone wants to believe. Money does not guarantee a good home for a pet. In fact for a poor family a pet can be offer much needed socialization therapy.
Establishments cry wolf that they have too many strays but at the same time they do not make any attempts to meet the needs of individual pets or pet owners such as offering smaller payments for special cases or providing monthly payment options, they simply feel that if an individual cannot afford the fees right on the spot, they do not deserve a dog. It is for this reason that I have never supported nor stepped inside a shelter. I would want to take every animal home with me and I know that I cannot.
Many people like myself could afford some fees, just not the exorbitant fees they are currently charging and not all at the same time. To bring a dog home an owner needs to purchase food, flea medications, toys and other things to make his or her life more comfortable. This is already a huge expense for some people. This does not mean that they wouldn’t have money for veterinary bills later on, it just means that they cannot afford to do both at the same time and it makes no sense to have to.
My favourite park in the whole world!
Shelters and rescues are a tight nit community and unless you know someone you are not likely to get a chance to house a rescue animal unless you pay for it or prove you are worthy. How can one do this without being given a chance? The fact of the matter is just writing this article has probably ensured that I will never be given a chance because I am not supposed to question this.
In doing so, I have stirred the proverbial pot, which I seem to do a great deal of.
Animal rescuers have a negative view of the world and while it is not hard to see why, the fact is not everyone is out to harm dogs. Many of them are overly judgemental and often what I consider to be fanatical.
There are ways to make certain bad situations do not happen like by providing follow up visits. It would cost less to send workers to visit dogs a number of weeks after adoptions to ensure they are being cared for than it does to house a dog at the shelter for months on end. For less fortunate people shelters could offer food and medicine banks to ensure dogs are being properly cared for. This is far more humane than what takes place now.
Financially and morally speaking this would be the better option as more dogs would be saved and care for in non threatening environments. Ask yourself why is this not happening?
Owners offering to take dogs could be forced to sign a waiver to get the sterilization done within a reasonable time period and must provide proof of having done so or they would simply have the dog removed. It is true, some dogs may fall under the cracks in this situation, but truthfully how many are falling through them right now being locked up in cages for months on end only to be “euthanized” or left in the cage for an eternity.
Locked up in a cage is no way to live.
Dogs that have already been sterilized by the original owner should not be charged the same fees and this should be waived in order to guarantee adoption of older dogs. The shelters always say they do this to help pay for other animals? Why is it rescues are now rescuing dogs from kill shelters?
There is more to the story than meets the eye and many more questions that never seem to get answers but people are so blinded by animal causes and the people behind them, they simply follow the pack and never question their methods thus it continues.
I understand that it takes money to care for animals and the people doing so have dedicated their lives to helping animals and I do not wish to state that they are not doing it with kind intentions, only to say that once you start to believe there is no better options than what you are offering, then you have become blinded by your own beliefs. There is always a better solution but you must look at each situation individually and step back from time to time to let someone else see what you cannot. Shelters are so overcrowded they cannot see the forest from the trees, this is sad.
Most of these places got started on the idea of helping each individual animal, they just got lost on their way to the pound. It is time we help them find their way home.
Every dog has a story and so does every dog owner and its not always bad!
If I had the money I would buy a hobby farm and turn it into a dog sanctuary where at least 50 dogs could have a home, run free and be cared for without cages. It would only cost 250000 for the farm and another 250000 to run it properly, anyone have some spare change?