Sunday, August 23, 2009

Spending time with Baby

Thursday morning I'm at Toronto Animal Services South and it'll be last time I go until the Ex is over and packed up. During the CNE, TAS South becomes inaccessible unless someone wants to the pay the CNE admissions charge and so because of this, they won't be taking in any new dogs for the duration.

I'm surprised, then, to see a new female Rottweiler mix in the glass-walled play room in the main foyer. There's a sign taped to the door which reads, "Do not enter. I'm just getting used to the place." Baby - I later find out her name is Baby - lowers her head when she sees me approach the room and she slunks under a plastic chair which someone had put in there.

I don't go into the room but instead crouch down beside the glass wall with my side towards Baby. She doesn't move from beneath the chair. I watch her out of the corner of my eye. I'm not even facing her and she's petrified.

I go walk some dogs, take some photos and when I'm done, I go back to the upstair's office at TAS and yak with one of the staff. While I'm sitting there, the woman who handled Baby's surrender comes in with the dog on a leash. Baby has that lowered head stare that is sometimes very hard to read. Is this a look that says, "I'm very nervous around you but I'll be okay" or a look that says, "If you try to touch me, I'll bite"?

"She's fine," her handler tells us.

Now if I were out on the sidewalk and a stranger told me that about her dog who was behaving in a similar fashion, you can bet I wouldn't completely believe it but this is coming from someone I know and trust.

"She's fine. She'll be fine," Baby's handler says again and she calls Baby and Baby turns around and nuzzles her.

She brings Baby over to the other staffer in the room and coaxes her over to give him a sniff. Baby lowers head and advances slowly and nervously then raises her head and sniffs and gives herself over to him cautiously and then suddenly it is fine. She's okay.

She does the same to me. One moment she's giving me the lowered head stare and then ten seconds later, it's okay and I'm scratching her ears.

"Her pup is way worse," the handler says.

"A pup?" I ask.

"Yeah, the guy brought them both in." The pup is a year old and is very difficult to deal with. Alone, it's also scared like its mother but it's anxiety manifests itself as severe aggression. Around it's mother, it's not as frightened but gets aggressive whenever anyone approaches his mother. He protects her.

"The guy said he's moving into a condo. Can't have dogs," the handler says.

Here's the politically correct thing to do with a guy like that in this situation: Smile and say thank you so much for bringing your dogs in here instead of dumping them out the back alley or tying them up and throwing them in the trash bin or taking a hammer to their heads. You've done a wonderful thing. You're so considerate. Now here's some interesting literature for you to read about how to socialize the next dog you get and please give some thought to spaying and neutering your pets in the future. Bye and have a nice day!

Here's the unPC thing to do: Take the dogs from the guy without smiling and say thank you asshole for dumping your dogs after you've totally fucked them up. Now we're going to put them in a cage where they're going to be scared shitless for who knows how long until we can assess them and there's a chance we'll be injecting both of them with poison to stop their hearts and it would be really good of you to come by and watch, if and when we do that, just so you know what kind of misery you're putting them through but of course you won't because you're probably a lazy coward. On the other hand, even if we do keep them and go through the work of trying to get them better socialized, they'll still be scared shitless for a very long time and meanwhile all those resources could go to saving dozens of other dogs. Either way you're a lowlife prick and I know this isn't going to stop you from going out and getting another dog from some other loser and most likely fucking that one up as well but at least I didn't have to smile and kiss your ass.

I have hope for Baby but I don't know about Baby's baby. I don't think I want to know.


Shannanigans said...

I vote for option number 2.

Anonymous said...

TAS just needs to keep on keeping on. Baby will work out. Her baby will need some extra time. The asshole won't even know, sadly, at least in this life, but better to smile and get those precious pups away from him. At least he turned them in before they got beyond the point of no return.

There are people who will LOVE these dogs.

Heather B said...

Fred, You really have a way with words. You know how we all feel about non-humans like this one. I want to say those things on a weekly basis when I pick up an owner surrender but I choose to be politically correct. Perhaps its time to take off the gloves and tell these dummies exactly what they have done.After the dog is safely in the van.
Nice isnt working any longer .Its also wearing me out.
And on another cruel issue:
See Arrow this morning?
Why are cats not as precious as dogs? Just asking.

Fred said...

Heather B, no I haven't heard anything about Arrow. Got a link?

Biscuit said...

Oh hey, if any of you know where Arrow's being cared for, I'd like to donate to his treatment.

Fred said...

Arrow info here:

He's at the Mississauga-Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital and Recovery Group.

Biscuit said...

Thanks, Fred, I'll give them a call.

(This is one of those days where my gut reflex is to say "people suck", but then I pull back and modify it to "some people (really) suck".)

Biscuit said...

Aha - I just had a note from Anna at the Oakville emerg, and she says Arrow's was discharged to TAS this morning. That must be a good thing, right?

Fred said...

I just got off the phone with the cat rescue person and she said that Arrow (not his official name yet btw) was discharged from emerge and transferred to a regular vet clinic where he is still being looked after. He's better but not out of the woods yet.

If you want to make a donation to his care, you can do it through TAS and specify that it's to go to the cat who got shot with an arrow. I don't think, however, you can do this on-line. You may have to call and even then I'm not sure how that will work out. Let me know how the bureaucracy treats you if you decide to try it.

borderjack said...

About Arrow,
there's a picture of him at this link to toronto sun article check out all four dailies :)

According to the article, he was scratching at the door of the couple that found him. So sad. It's like he was asking for help.

Fred said...

Thanks for the link, borderjack.

G said...

Anyone living in a no pet condo should post this on a message board, in the elevators, in the lobby. Anywhere that similar douchebags might have an opportunity to read it and discover how much they suck.

Anonymous said...

Heya! Two things - the first being a slight correction (sorry Fred - you're not perfect after all :) ). The CNE animal services location is open from 830 to 1000 am daily (i.e., you don't have to pay to access the grounds/animal centre). Should you need to drop by after 1000 am, you will be asked by CNE staff to pay a $20 deposit which, I understand, is refundable if you're no longer than one hour. Please check with security at the gates. Sorry for the inconvenience everyone - give us a call if you have any questions: 416-338-6668.

Secondly, Arrow is still under veterinary care, and the hope is he continues to do well. For those interested in contributing to his care, donations can be made at any TAS location, or on-line at For more information, please contact our West Region Office at 416-338-6271.

Thanks everyone! -n

Michelle said...

My sister works for the OSPCA in a small town and her response would be the unPC one.