Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dear Humans Who Left Their Dog To Die

You don't know me. I don't know you. The only connection we have is your former fur-kid. My wife and I, along with a handful of loving souls, saved your senior pup from an unnecessary fate. Death. For some unknown reason you were moving out of state in less than a week. Out of state as in over 3,000 miles away. I have no idea why you were making such a drastic move. Quite frankly, I don't care. What mattered to me is that a member of your family was sitting at a facility awaiting his death because you opted not to include him on this new chapter in your life.

Shame. On. You.

I'm guessing you're not aware of the stream of events that took place Monday on our end. Yours? We know very little. From what we learned, the movers were at your house. Your senior pup was brought to the facility. And kept. Waiting. Probably not knowing what his fate would be the following morning.

Did you have plans on being there when he took his last breath?

On the weekends, I spent a couple of hours planning out the week ahead. Between baking biscuits, spreading the biscuit love, fundraisers, whipping up Bodacious Raffle Baskets, dog Mom stuff, work and everything between, schedules and planning and leaving wiggle room is a must. It's not an option. During these couple of hours, I also tentatively plan for the week or two ahead.

Sometimes, despite the most intricately planned schedule, something happens that expands beyond our wiggle room. I may see something. Hear something. I'm made aware of a situation. And, it requires our immediate attention. This could happen at any given time during the week or hour of the day. Maybe a local shelter rescued a pup who requires immediate and costly medical care. Our day halts. We launch a fundraiser. Or, like with Monday, an urgent senior pup needs placement.

This isn't the first time that has happened.

The first 2 hours of my Monday morning went as planned. Take kids outside. Coffee. Check emails. Respond to emails and private messages. More coffee. Prep kitchen to bake Bodacious Biscuit Love. Set Chromebook up at kitchen table. More coffee. Scan Facebook news feed.

This is how I keep updated on our local animal shelters and who needs what.

That's when I saw it. The post. You were moving out of state and decided not to take your senior pup. You decided to euthanize in less than 24 hours if no one stepped up to the plate. We have a wonderful connection with the woman who shared the post.

Why? Why does this shit happen. What is wrong with people like you?

The same thing happened a few months ago. Two pups. Seniors. One terminally ill. Different situations, but the pup's were going to be euthanized the following day. Desperate plea. No one had a solution. Lisa and I, along with some amazing humans, assisted with their rescue as well.

I had to do something. I posted the plea on my social streams. Nothing. Very few replies on the original post. What you don't understand is placing a senior pup is difficult. While there are some extraordinary rescue groups in our state who take on the senior and special needs pups, the majority don't. There are reasons for this. I won't go into those. That's a whole other ballgame.

I reached out to several contacts. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. I made Lisa aware of the situation via email at work.

"Whatever we have to do, we'll do it. I get out at 2:30."

Mind you, that's no small feat especially with the distance involved. My wife and I both work. We're dog Moms 'round the clock to 3 rescue kids. Aside from work and dog Mom stuff, we ship and deliver biscuits to our local animal shelters. The list goes on. I don't want to sound like a broken record. Just be aware, we have very little free time. Lisa gets up at 3:45 a.m. for work. I stay up until 5 a.m. working and baking.

Thankfully, one human stepped up to the plate. They were willing to assist with placement. If we could take care of the details and transport, it was a done deal. Your senior pup wasn't going to die. Not if we had anything to do with it.

The rest of the afternoon was emotional. Lots of tears. I spoke with the contact person several times. Arrangements were made. Lisa got home from work at her usual time. We left our house around 3 p.m. It took us almost 2 hours to reach our destination compliments of highway construction. That's where we met the senior pup you dumped.

What. A. Love.

Lisa and I were impressed with his demeanor. He approached us and there was an instant connection. We were given his paperwork. Then, one of the staff disappeared to retrieve his belongings. After they returned, I was confused. More so, saddened. After the amount of years you've had this sweet boy, the only thing you left for him was a giant plastic container for his dry food and a few cans of wet food? I looked up at the staff member and asked, "This is it?"


That's when things started to not make sense. You were aware someone had stepped up to the plate and found a new home for him. Yet, you couldn't be bothered in the 4 or so hours before we picked him up to bring his other belongings to the veterinary hospital? A blanket? Bed? Favorite toys? Anything?

Up until that point I had no intentions of judging you. I try not to do that to anyone. However, at times, my efforts are tested. I couldn't help but wonder where his other belongings were? The ones he had accrued after living with you for over a decade?

What was going through your brain? Did you rationalize that he's old and whatever swayed your decision to move out of state was more long-term than him? It would outlast him?

He was more than willing to get into our car. After five minutes or so, he stretched out on the backseat and enjoyed snacks. I'm wondering if he had any idea that he was embarking on his Freedom Ride. The new chapter of his life because you didn't want to include him in yours.

Or, sadly, maybe he thought we were bringing him back to you. The humans he loved. The home he loved and was familiar with. 

At his new placement, he paced the yard. He was confused. It wasn't his home. He had no idea where he was or what to expect. I've seen this type of behavior before. It rips my heart out. After a decade of having a home and family, the world he knew was ripped out from underneath him. It crumpled. And he had no idea why. None.

We didn't arrive back home until close to 9 p.m. Our kids were excited to see us. We didn't anticipate being gone that long. I sat on the kitchen floor with them while they sniffed my skirt, slathered my face with juicy kisses and craved my attention. I sat there a little longer. Held them a little tighter. Gave them extra kisses.

And, I thought, "I could never do what you did." Ever.

No job or amount of money is worth dumping our kids. I don't care if someone offered me a six-figure-work-away-from-home job. The only reason why we're able to have 3 kids, one being special needs, is because I work at home. I don't make a shit ton of money. We budget. We knew that's how it would be with kids. We're okay with that.

The only thing that would separate me from the kids is death. And even than I would still "be here" watching over them and their other Mom.

You, and so many other humans, need to realize a dog can live up to 12 years or longer. It's a long-term commitment. They're not disposable when something comes up or issues surface. Dogs have emotions. They feel sadness, loss, grief and pain. They form deep bonds with their humans.

I have no regrets about Monday not going as planned. I would do it over in a heartbeat. On Monday, a very special pup got his Freedom Ride. He didn't die. That always makes for a good day.

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