Saturday, April 25, 2009

Three stooges in three acts and more

Act 1

"I brought the dog home and my roommate said he didn't want a dog in the apartment so I'm returning it."

"But on the form you said you lived alone in a house."

"Oh yeah, you caught me. So?"

Act 2

"I don't want him anymore. I brought him home and he got into a fight with my Pomeranian and killed it and then when I went to grab him, he bit me."

"But we told you this dog can't live with other dogs and you told us you didn't have any other dogs."

"So, I lied."

Act 3

"You've got a few infractions in the past for your dog being at large."

"Yeah, well, you know, that was my last dog. It was a digger and it kept digging out of the backyard."

"Okay, well, I can give you a break this time but be careful."

"Yeah, sure."

Later, that afternoon, TAS picks up the dog at large. The owner lost the dog 10 minutes after taking him out of the shelter.

How does your head not burst after having to deal with such low specimens of humanity on a daily if not hourly basis? Therapy? Drugs? Religion?

Three dogs were killed yesterday on the DVP in three separate incidents. Like what? The first nice sunny day of the year and people start losing their minds and let their dogs run along the highway?

What do you do to calm your nerves when you have to pick up the dead bodies of these animals and put them in the freezer?

"They'll let an animal lie sick and dying in its cage rather than euthanize it so they can keep their kill numbers down."

Where do you turn when you hear about what goes on at other "shelters"?

I can understand that, like a doctor, you have to work with a sense of detachment if you want to function well enough to do the job and survive the job but if it was me having to hear and deal with all that wretchedness day after day, I'd have to detach my head and leave it at home.


-lynn said...

Fred, I really enjoy your blog. I appreciate your candor and humor.

Maybe I'm a stooge too?

I don't lie, but I've been banned from fostering because I also don't keep quiet.

People talk. (Hey, that's what blogging is all about, right?!)

But who gets to decide what is sick and dying? And being picked up ten minutes after being adopted is better than being euthanized because you have goo in your eyes.

I get it. I appreciate your willingness to talk about it. And I too want to bang my head against the wall sometimes. But I've heard military couples come out and recite "correct" adoptize talk and it's obvious they've been to other organizations and been turned down (pick your reason.)

I believe we are all here to help teach. The critters teach, you teach, I teach. Some are more willing than others to learn and be "students"...

Is it better for a stooge to bring the critter back and admit the lie? Or do we want them to dump the dog in another county?

I'm trusting the universe to provide the lessons that are required. Your blog is often one of my best sources for learning. Thank you.

Fred said...

-lynn, it seems many of the decisions that must be made daily at shelters have no good answers and that frustration of sometimes having to choose between bad and worse would drive me bonkers.

As for the stooges, if they dumped their unwanted dogs, you're right, that would be worse than returning it to the shelter but just because they chose to not do something worse, doesn't make what they did do any better.

And also, when I say "sick and dying" I really do mean "sick and dying" as in they actually do die terrible deaths in their cages because the staff vets were told not to euthanize the animals even though in their professional opinion that would've been the right thing to do. The people who run the shelters that do this just to keep their euth numbers down know what I'm talking about.

Barb said...

One of the ways to keep from loosing it is to remember that the bad or sad or angry-making stories are naturally the ones that stick out.

But there are so many MORE good stories, with happy endings than bad ones. It's just that "normal" people are kind of boring compared to the wackos :-)

Calsidyrose said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I was in the "Blue Room" (Stray hold) this evening, and a dog was howling miserably--a stout female coon hound mix who was surrendered by her owners (reason unspecified on the intake form). I recalled seeing a woman leading the hound into the Shelter earlier in the afternoon, but seeing this dog wailing and pushing at me through the kennel fencing makes me want to add to your "stooges" list.

I try to keep my focus on the dogs--otherwise it does get frustrating. Sometimes simply holding a dog who is clearly pining for comfort is the best I can do.

p.s. I posted a photo of MY "smiley" dog on my blog. Feel free to check it out.

Keep up the good fight!

Fred said...

Barb, you're so right about all the good, normal people outnumbering the bad ones. Unfortunately, you're also right about how it's the bad ones who stick out. It's like how a perfectly good day can be ruined by one chance encounter with some jerk walking down the sidewalk or whereever.

Anyway, this post wasn't so much about me as it is about how some of the staff feel sometimes. I get it that they don't always feel like smiling.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Fred - good blog entry. When I worked at the vet clinic, I cried each time I put a perfectly healthy animal that the owner "just didn't want anymore" in that freezer. When it was full, I was the one who had to call for a pickup ... I think that it's ok to cry. I think that when you stop crying or feeling ... then you've got a problem.

Lynn - interesting comments! I am on my way to being one of those 'banned' foster homes for the same reason ... I am getting tired of apologizing for sharing my opinion. The reason they haven't gotten rid of me yet? Because they need me to take the dogs I take.