Sunday, July 17, 2011

An Unexpected Weekend

The relaxing but productive "weekend at home" that Matt and I were planning on did not go remotely as we had hoped. As I left work on Friday, I received a text message from Matt warning me that he had a big surprise for me at home, "but don't worry, it's not permanent." Knowing Matt as I do, I figured said surprise could be one of three things: a boat, a haircut I didn't like, or an animal of some kind. The third option proved to be true, and we have spent the weekend caring for and trying to find a home for this poor little dog that Matt found abandoned at Vancouver Lake on Friday:

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

She's the sweetest thing in the world, but incredibly needy and requires human presence 24/7. When Matt took her, she had been running around by herself for several hours, and animal control wasn't responding. She had fleas and had chewed herself raw, itching around her tail. She seems to have been well fed though, so we think she probably wasn't on her own for terribly long. Matt brought her home, and we have given her a flea bath, covered all her sores with bag balm, and given her lots of love, and she seems to be doing much better, but still plenty freaked out. She has attached herself to Matt completely, which is adorable but also heartbreaking, because we simply can't keep her. Having her this weekend, it's been okay because we've both been home, but during the week we both work, and she goes absolutely bonkers if we go outside without her.

We looked all around for her potential owner (we had her scanned for a microchip, but she has none), looked on all the various lost pet postings, and posted a Found posting on craigslist. This morning, we got an email from the former owner, and the story is that she was the companion dog of that owner's father-in-law, who passed away last year. The lady took her, but couldn't support her financially, so gave her away to "friends" who apparently were moving away this week, and they seem to have abandoned the dog when they moved. It's been so sad and stressful for us all weekend, knowing what this dog (her name is Sherri, it turns out) has been through and that we can't keep her. We have all of our feelers out to find her a good home, hopefully with someone who is retired or works at home, who can be around all the time and take the dog along wherever they go. She is so incredibly sweet and friendly and has such expressive eyes that the whole thing has been so very taxing on us all, mentally and emotionally. To top it off, I managed to come down with some kind of bug yesterday, so am feeling a bit crook, as they say in New Zealand. It may just be on account of it having been so stressed about all of this.

I'm feeling very heavy at the moment about the reality that there are people in this world who ditch animals rather than going through the proper channels. I can completely understand not being able to keep a pet, and I can understand having obstacles to networking and finding the pet a new home, but I can't understand simply dumping a dog, particularly a dog that has never been without humans. It really breaks my heart, and I am so very glad that Matt brought her home, because at least this way we can make sure she goes somewhere good, where she can get the care and attention she needs.

This has been one of those times when I feel the full weight of being an adult, of us taking on a burden that should never have been ours, but knowing that we have a responsibility to take care of this poor animal that deserves so much more. As Matt and I have said to each other, this is the kind of family we want to be: the one that takes on the hard stuff when we could so easily look the other way, and provides for those in need, be they human or otherwise, as much as we are able.


Brenna said...

You are so sweet to take this poor little girl! I work for a veterinarian, and unfortunately a big part of my job is seeing the bad side of pet owners. So many people get pets when they have no financial means to care for them or simply just cannot give them the love and attention they deserve. So many people don't realize that owning an animal is a HUGE responsibility and not just a fun hobby. I hope you find her "forever" home soon and that she can live the rest of her life without fear and abandonment.


FlowerLady said...

This little pooch is such a sweetie pie. He is in need of a loving home.
We have 4 feline girls that I give them about 1 tsp of Brewer's Yeast in their food every morning, (apprx. 2 c. of dry with a little wet canned food for the 4) and they do not have fleas. Three girls live in the 'barn' and one is an outdoor/indoor girl. I read about brewer's yeast about 5-6 years ago and have been giving them this every morning. I occasionally give them fish oil also, for their fur/hair/skin.

Animals are a responsibility, YES, but they are also a JOY, and they end up becoming part of our families.

I hope this little guy finds a wonderful permanent home. For now he is in a loving temporary home.

Love and hugs to you and Matt for taking him in when he is vulnerable and in need of tender loving care.