and Hounds

This is Enna

This page is taken from two blog entries in my personal blog after a particularly difficult day working in dog rescue. I thought it seemed appropriate to share here.
July 14, 2007
Heartbreak and Hounds
I feel sick. I feel sad. I feel sort of shell-shocked.

I worked with the local Humane Society tonight at an adoption fair we were having. It was great to see several puppies get new homes, but hardly anyone looked at the adult dogs. They sat in their cages watching people walk by, wagging their tails and hoping for some attention. Most people didn't even look at them. They went to the pen with the fat, playful puppies in it. These are all great dogs that have been cast aside for one reason or another. At the end of our adoption fair, back to the shelter they went. Some may be adopted later. The majority will be euthanized. I fell in love with a little female beagle mix whose eyes were half blue and half brown. She was the sweetest little dog and just wanted to be cuddled. She went back to the shelter, too, but I told them NOT to euthanize her without calling me first. I will find a home for that little girl no matter what. I cried all the way home.

It makes me sick how our society treats its companion animals. We treat them as disposable property, like they have no feelings. Folks....these are sentient beings capable of feeling fear, joy, sadness, anger, and they are able to feel and give more love than most people I know.

How do we repay that love? We abuse them, starve them, leave them chained in the yard alone and ignored, dumped out onto the street, or we take them to the shelter because we "just don't have time for them anymore." The worst one of all is someone who has had a dog for 8 or 9 years or more who then takes it to the shelter because it's "too old." The poor dog sits in the cage, alone and scared, waiting for his master to come and get him. Only he never does.

It breaks my heart. If I sound angry, I am. If I sound bitter, I am. If you think I'm still upset and teary-eyed about this, you'd be right.

Why bother, you ask? Why worry about that little beagle mix when there are dozens of other dogs in that shelter who need homes, too? Here's why....

The Parable of the Starfish

One morning an elderly man was walking on a nearly deserted beach. He came upon a boy surrounded by thousands and thousands of starfish. As eagerly as he could, the youngster was picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean.

Puzzled, the older man looked at the young boy and asked, "Little boy, what are you doing?"

The youth responded without looking up, "I'm trying to save these starfish, sir."

The old man chuckled aloud, and queried, "Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?"

Holding a starfish in his hand, the boy turned to the man and, gently tossing the starfish into the water, said, "It will make a difference to that one!"

(source unknown)


July 23, 2007
A follow-up to my Heartbreak and Hounds post 
About a week ago I wrote about the difficulties of working to get homeless pets adopted and how heartbreaking it can be at times. I also wrote about a little beagle mix that I fell in love with at our adoption fair that day.

I am happy to report that Enna, the little beagle mix, has found a new home! I volunteered at the Scott County Humane Society booth at the Scott County Fair last week, and this wonderful couple fell in love with Enna just as I did. They filled out their application, and I got to take her home that night and keep her until they picked her up the next day. She is such a sweetie. I gave her a bath and trimmed her nails, and she slept in the bed with me for a while. It was hard to hand her over on Saturday, but I know she is going to be pampered and loved at her new home.

THAT, my friends, is what makes all the hard work and heartbreak worth it. Like it says in the "Starfish" poem in my other post, I may not be able to save them all, but I made a difference to that one.