Monday, September 24, 2012

Forest is Home

This weekend my foster dog, Forest/Summit, went to his forever home.  An amazing teacher who lives in a great part of Denver adopted him and picked him up Saturday morning.  I really, really like her and know that she will provide Forest with an amazing life and so much love.

Forest and his 2 week stay with us.
I expected that letting this foster go would be a bit easier...but it wasn't.  Even though he was a handful, he is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met.  A lot of dogs avoid looking right at humans, but Forest looks directly into your eyes in a very loving and non-defiant way.  He wiggled his way into many hearts on his way from death row in Texas to a wonderful home in Colorado.  I cried when he left, but I am so happy for him and where he has ended up.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rainy Morning Rant

For whatever reason this turned out to be one of those days where I am utterly overwhelmed by what's wrong in the world, and how little it sometimes feels like I am doing to help it.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, about four million adoptable dogs and cats are put to sleep every year.  I am most reminded of this startling statistic when I have a foster dog.  Right now I have Forest, and although I don't know whether he was officially saved from death row, just being in the over-crowded shelter put him at risk of euthanasia.  Sierra was going to be put down in Arkansas, and so was Lassiter (who is now in a different foster home since I have Forest).  It blows my mind that these wonderful, affectionate, and happy dogs would be dead.  Sierra was adopted and has made an older couple and their dog very happy, Forest is well on his way to an awesome home, and Lassiter already has multiple applicants who would love to take him home.  These wonderful dogs were SO close to their death, but instead are one step away from amazing  forever homes.  

Mountain Dog  Rescue dogsSometimes I am kept up at night thinking about the millions of amazing animals, like these three that I have known, who are put to sleep instead of getting the happy ending that they deserve.  Some are strays who were dumped, or never looked for.  Some are the victims of bad economic times, a divorce, or their "families" changing their mind about wanting a dog after they had an accident, or chewed up a shoe.  And even purebred dogs can come into these circumstances every day.  Almost every breed of dog has a rescue out there to adopt from.  Many of these dogs are put to sleep because there is not enough space in a shelter, or enough money to treat their ailments when sometimes all it takes is a shot, or an antibiotic.  

There is not one thing to blame, but many changes that need to be made for this problem to be overcome.  Pets need to be spayed and neutered.  People need to adopt pets for life, know the commitment they are getting into, and honor it.  When possible, pets should be adopted through humane societies and rescue groups, and NEVER bought in pet stores.  And people need to help, volunteer, foster, adopt, donate, or simply share the message.

One of my favorite awareness ads.
In no way do I expect everyone to care about what I care about.  But we all have to help in the best way we can and through what touches us the most.  For some people that may be feeding the hungry in Africa, or aiding in disease prevention, or saving the rain forest.  And others may help without ever seeing or touching the cause they care about, but by donating money to that end.  Anything, even sharing a Facebook post can make a world of difference and takes so little time. I need to do more.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Going with the Flow

My new foster dog Lassiter was supposed to be coming to stay with me this Saturday, Sept. 15th.  On Sunday, I received an email that a foster dog in Eagle (just a little ways down valley from us) needed a new place to go.  Forest had been picked up from transport on Saturday, and while he had been good with cats in Texas, for some reason he HATED the cat in his new foster home.  So, since I was nearby and have no cats we offered to take him in!  Depending on how long we have him, we will probably have to find a Plan B for Lassiter.  Pictures below are of Forest, who is great with dogs and a real sweetie.  He already has a few potential adopters and whoever ends up with him will be very lucky.  Check him out on Petfinder here:

With animals, it always helps to be a patient and flexible person...and I don't always manage to be those things.  They can be unpredictable and I have learned this lesson many, many times throughout my life.  I can't say its a terrible lesson to learn.  Animals remind us that the world doesn't always go the way we want, and that patience and empathy for others (even non-humans) can get you farther than stress and aggravation.  In my horse-showing days, my horse went lame just before the season-end Championship show and I had to watch from the sidelines while my biggest competiton won.  And Hannah somehow manages to rack up a large vet bill just when my bank account is running extra low.  But no matter what, any trouble they cause is worth the unconditional love that they never fail to give back.