This Dog is Loved

"You were sick, but now you're well again, and there's work to do."

I’m not afraid of you. I’m just a victim of your fear.

You cower in your tower praying that I’ll disappear.

Where did I leave off? Where ever it was last time I was here it resulted in my volunteer status being threatened for being “negative” about animals being killed at the shelter. I know when I go to my happy place it involves dead kittens, but I digress. I don’t really know what to say other than “someone” pointed “someone” in direction of my blog and it was read as unsavory. I stated my case, which I obviously feel is a very good one and… never heard any thing back. I’ve always lived in this weird world where if I’m faced with a confrontation, I confront it. Especially if I started said confrontation. I’ve been told in no uncertain terms my blog is being watched now and I don’t really have any thing to say to that except maybe I’m a thug and I ain’t going back to jail? 

I think most no kill proponents can agree with me in what a yucky feeling it is to be treated like you’re a whimsical, naive kid who can’t possibly understand what things are like. I’ve been on the inside of a “no kill” shelter and rescue for a decade now, so I’m not fresh off the starry eyed dreamer boat. It’s even more frustrating when even with limited access you have done so much to save animals. Our methods that totally work.. don’t work? I’m not even talking about the difficult to place dogs, like the fellow with the tumor we pulled and transported to rescue. I find it more peculiar the sanctuary I worked at took a human aggressive dog with no hope of home placement from the shelter when asked, but we can’t do every thing to place the adoptable dogs. 

The term adoptable is something else I want to address. Obviously my view is skewed as the sheer lump some of resource guarders, dog selective, fear aggressive messes I’ve taken in. I don’t think I’m brilliant with dogs and I don’t necessarily think John Q. Public could handle some of the cases that definitely need work. It’s incredibly difficult to be subjective when you’ve got a lovely dog sitting on your lap, even if said dog wants to maul the faces of other dogs. The very basic definition of “adoptable” when it comes to shelter pets is any dog that is treatable and not dangerous. Pretty broad. What it doesn’t include is breed, age, disability, or disfigurement. Treatable means any dog that is not adoptable but could be with reasonable efforts. According to Hayden’s Law: “Sick, traumatized, infant or unsocialized dogs need appropriate medical treatment, behavior modification and/or foster care to turn them into healthy animals ready for placement.” 

Hayden’s law has taken a lot of hits for being too broad, but I really think we think too critically about this. We also assume people are always too stupid to handle a variety of issues in dogs. There are plenty of dogs that do not do well with other dogs that can be safely placed. I have handled a handful of seriously DA dogs that would not fall into this category, but many others that just do not prefer the company of dogs that are perfectly safe to walk and handle. Reactive dogs != aggressive, either, and I live with one previously SERIOUSLY reactive dog. Human aggressive dogs are obviously not candidates to be placed in an adoptive home unless there are very specific, experienced circumstance. Heartworm positive dogs are not untreatable. Blind, deaf, missing limbs, whatever. There are homes for them. Distance is also not an issue as transport is readily available. Not EVEN going to get into how a lot of things like reactivity and frustration aggression are borne of environment. I’ve seen dogs do serious 180’s once they’ve left the shelter system. The most important thing I want to get past here is that when you have a lovely Pit, they are not less adoptable because they are a Pit. Or because they have one eye. Or because they’ve been in the system for two months. There are plenty of nutjobs like me out there that are OK with being called a nutjob just so long as we can do our best to get a dog where they need to go. No animal with a place to go should be euthanized. I willingly embrace any one willing to help me place a dog and I’ll volunteer myself for beheading to make things better.

Undeniably in a lot of areas of my life I am the villain but I refuse to accept I am here. I don’t even necessarily want to villainize others. I get the pleasure of volunteer with some lovely kennel staff that want to see these pets find homes. I just wanna save some animals, yo. I am asking for nothing more than being allowed to do that. Nobody puts baby in a corner. 

One of the shelter dogs also stopped short at the door and it took me way too long to realize he was urinating all over my leg. Kind of how my life is rolling lately. And I’m doing the best that I can. 

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