Every time You Go Away – You Take a Piece of Me With You.

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It never fails.

This is the set up.

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You wake up one day and decide that the little puppy you got a few years ago is not so cute anymore. You don’t want it anymore. The barking bothers you, the Vet bills are too high, pet food is too expensive, you just got laid off from work, your new girlfriend is allergic to dogs, you are thinking about having children, you are moving, your dog just bit someone and its expensive to keep him.

(I’ve heard every reason in the book)

So you decide to give it up.

You bring him down to the city shelter.

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This is the bell you ring.

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This is where you tie your dog.

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Then you kiss it and shed a tear or two (trust me you always do- because your tears wash away your guilt).

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Then you leave. You return to your life.

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THAT IS WHERE I COME IN. AND THIS IS WHAT I SEE.

The dog keeps wagging his tail and watching the door like a hawk.

He sits down and tries to do what he did when you called him a good boy.

Then he gets up and charges the door only to be yanked back by his leash.

Then he looks the other side by moves as far closer to the door as he can.

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Then he sits down and stands up a few times.

Then his tail stops wagging.

Then his shoulders slump and he lowers his head.

Then he starts trembling- uncontrollably.

Then he gets evaluated and led to a kennel.

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There he lies cowering in a corner afraid of a new place.

Then he goes to another dark kennel where other dogs bark incessantly.

Then in 72 hours, this is where he ends up- just when he was getting used to his new life and realizing that he’s been abandoned.

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Then he ends up in a garbage bag here.

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Meanwhile you are enjoying your next weekend, assuming your dog is living with a new family.

Please stop breeding/ Please stop surrendering. All shelters are full. The city requires us to take in all animals- but more surrenders lead to more Eutahnized animals.

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Erica- You’re FIRED. Humanity- You’re FRIED

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I swerved heard to the right and slammed on my brakes. “Oh My God, did you see that?” My car skidded sideways to a screeching halt. I looked over my shoulder into the moonless Texas night. “That dog didn’t even flinch when I almost ran it over.”

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There it stood – all of twenty pounds, right in the middle of the intersection- frozen in fear. I scampered into the road where the white poodle-mix stood paralyzed in fear. “Here little guy.” I whistled, but it didn’t turn its head as if the dog had no clue I was there. When I touched its head, it reacted to my touch. I cradled it and ran back to my car as it shivered in fear- dazed and confused and very scared.

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It took a bath plus some trimming of the matted fur under its belly to even figure out that the dog was a female. The cataracts in her eyes were dense and her hearing non-existent. Her thinning coat showed the discoloration where once a collar had been firmly in place. This dog had clearly been abandoned, the collar removed and had been left one the road to be run over.

She (now named Erica) probably found shelter and in a drain but the rain in Houston last week must’ve driven her out. Unable to defend herself or find food- Erica must’ve just wandered and waited for impending doom- A.K.A her destiny- to become Texas road-kill.

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The decisions those a rescue worked makes are in play again.

-It is impossible to find an old blind and deaf dog a home.

-Is it more humane to euthanize Erica with dignity?

-Would the local Poodle rescue group take her?

-Will I end up being a dog-hoarder if I keep on saving these dogs off the street?

-How much can I afford in terms of vet bills for these abandoned dogs?

-Is my time and effort better used in rescuing more adoptable pets?

Here is my decision for today.

-Get her checked out by a vet for health issues.

-Give her one week to find a home while I foster her.

-Then shut my heart down. Don’t let her love crawl grow into my heart. Be blind to her

blindness and be ready for putting Erica down.

Am I a horrible person? Or am I better than the people who loved her when she was happy and healthy. Who made her a part of their awesome life when they needed Erica and discarded her like a used tissue when she needed them? People who couldn’t find it in their hearts to put her down humanely but to assuage their guilt would have her starve to death or be crushed by a car.

Those people are who they are. I’m not responsible for their soul. I’m responsible for mine. Truth be told- I’m just marginally better than them because although I couldn’t abandon a dog like they did- I will shut my eyes to her pain one day- maybe within a week. I will shut down my heart… Unless…

–Unless you are a bigger and better person than I am… Unless you have the heart I don’t have. Unless you can keep her or try and find her a home.

Please find it in your heart to help her and help me. Maybe someone can still treasure her as she once treasured her humans.

Erica’s old and deaf and blind- and she’s looking for a new job.

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No Country for Old Dobermen

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We geriatric dogs at the dog park are a motley crew. We sit under the shade by the water buckets and watch life go by. Although I’m out of breath easily, I’m still more active than this sorry bunch of slackers. I exercise more than the rest of them combined.
We gas about our halcyon days. The tall tales of our achievements run as wild as our demented imaginations. I doubt if anyone really listens. Some of us have lost our hearing. We just bark our heads off like grumpy old dogs.
I point at the four-year-old females frolicking in the water, “Look at those totta babes? Wouldn’t you agree guys. Kya maal hai?”
“Ai Mami! Look at those curves, Vato,” says Chuy the Chihuahua. “Ay carumba, so many dangerous curves and me without brakes.”
“Sweet az. Ain’t she, mate,” says Dundee, the Australian Shepherd. ”Fair dinkum–wicked Sheilas.”
“–None of them would give you decrepit old farts a second look,” I say. “I should know. In my golden years I’ve been with numerous females. The stories of my virility spanned several municipal zones.”
They mutter and roll their eyes. Some try remembering what on earth they’re doing here. I continue, “Had they invented Viagra for dogs, y’all would’ve seen me in full flow.”
I know in my heart that I have to be content with throwing verbal bouncers when the real thing clearly refuses to rise.
“You guys are terrible, Der Kokolores. I’ve always been faithful to my Ethel,” says Sage, the Bulldog, trying to shield his man-dog-boobies which are clearly bigger than Ethel’s.
“Fanabala. You hen-pecked old timer,” says Bruno Leathernuts, the Italian Greyhound.
A toothless fighting match ensues. “Geez man,” I think, “Too many freaks, not enough circuses.”
We’re watching the young ‘uns at play when we are hit by the noxious smell of rotting pickled eggs. It is King Toot himself, up to his old tricks. “Cletus, enough of your silent deadly ones. Lay off on the fried road-kill your mom feeds you,” I say. “You’re the reason these flies are swarming around us.”
“Don’t y’all skeeters and chiggers be sayin’ nuttin’ bout’ muh mamma. She dern near purfect,” he states. I’ve seen his mom and dad. Between Cletus and them, they have five good teeth. Also I have no idea why they painted the number eight on his side and call him Dale Jr.
“The youth of today I terr you,” sighs Uski Li, the chow chow. “They have no respect for the erders. They no hap me, when I in pain. The whore young dogs speak in degrading barks and they have no varues.”
“It’s the blud-fiah music day be listenin’ to,” says Ziggy, the Basenji, making the shaka sign with his paw. “What in the name of likky likky ganja is Beiber fever? Is it anything like valley fever?”
“I just can’t deal with the pain in my hips,” says Alfie the Weimaraner. “Hey Speedy. What was the name of that Ayurvedic medicine Inder got for you? Hook a brother up with that good stuff.”
I hear Alfie list his ailments. He seems to have taken too many thermometers up his butt.
It is almost four of o’ clock. It is time for all the old timers to be taken home and fed their early supper. We bid each other adieu hoping to stay alive for our next weekly meeting.