|Barked: Tue May 7, '13 10:55am PST |
|I am a far from perfect pet owner. I have had dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits, and hamsters since I was 4. I am 57. I have an attitude. Pets are pets, not people. I love my pets, some I adore, others I think I just support, but ultimately it is they for whom I cry hardest when they die. There have been several strays that have arrived in my life and stayed the rest of their lives. They all get their vaccinations, rabies shots, spay/neutered, play in fenced in or not fenced in yards, go for long off leash walks, come on vacations and swim (canine variety pets), I could go on and on. I am a positive reinforcement type, and generally am adored by my pets just as I adore them.
About 7 years ago I had to deal with the beginning of serious family medical issues. At that time, I made the decision to down size my pet family so that I could focus my energy which was being over taxed to say the least, on my family member's needs. I worked with a friend who is the directory of a local rescue and found the dogs good homes. Since that time I have kept two small dogs. When the English Mastiff my former husband and I owned passed away two summers ago, I was really heart broken. The last vestiges of my past life, babies, a rural home, a husband, gone. I immediately just went to the breeder who had brought the mastiff into our lives originally. Got a baby, real baby, 8 weeks old english mastiff. The first thing she did was bite my nose. No stitches, but what a nose to look at haha. She was loved and vetted and taken on off leash walks with an off leash walk permit required by my county. But, I no longer was a stay at home mom or part time out of the home worker. The puppy was crated 8 hours a day and wilder than wild when I got home. She played great with my little dogs, but no matter what seemed to injure me when we played. I took her to two obedience classes and she learned manners in class. I have a bad right knee. She almost blew out my left knee. She raked her nails through my clothes, knocked me over, etc. Finally I contacted the breeder who begrudgingly took her back at 7 months. Then a week later he called and told me she had become hostile and a loner and he was worried about her. I took her back. She attacked my little dogs almost killing one. Sigh. I kept her and resocialized her, and re reinforced her positively, and finally got her close to her old self. Then I contacted a mastiff rescue who put me in touch with a childless couple who had 4 English mastiffs, a stay at home job for dad, and 48 acres. He and his wife visited two times. They were great with her. She left the third visit. I have had pictures and updates and been invited down to see her.
What is my point? I still would like a great big teddy bear of a dog. I love the gentleness of collies and given my difficulties with the mastiff puppy, am sure I want a senior dog. But no rescues will touch me. I don't know. Maybe they shouldn't. I do have that attitude that pets are pets. But I value animals highly and wouldn't dream of abusing, misusing, or neglecting a pet. I still have a sick family member and that is still hard, but I have a support group. No rescue wants to hear that I found homes for two dogs when my child was very ill, got a puppy and realized I could not provide her with the exercise she needed and found her a suitable home. Sure my current pets are vetted, spay/neutered, my small yard is fenced. Sure I realize I would like a senior big dog who wants a place to lie and be spoiled for the remainder of its life. The rescues need me to have a perfect record. I have seen some sad looking, white faced collies listed at the rescues. But not for me. So. I must troll the local spca's looking for a pet. I might be able to get an older former breeder from all the many puppy mills here in PA. Just what the rescues want. Potential adopters to go to puppy mills where no questions are asked.
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