Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Macabre Game of Musical Chairs -- No Safe Place to Land

(Picture Left: Daisy -- For now, a chair)

I met Daisy the other day.

Daisy is the Golden Retriever/Shepherd mix who ended on the euth list of the pound after her elderly owner tried to give to the dog away because she was no longer physically able to care for Daisy.

The person entrusted to "adopt" Daisy, instead turned her into the pound the following day after encountering some sort of problem.

I am not sure exactly what "problem" the so-called adopter ran into. But, I do know that many, if not in fact most people adopting new dogs have unrealistic expectations of near perfection when bringing home what in fact is usually a very confused and disoriented animal, having just lost his/her home and in many cases, having landed in a pound.

Simple things like the dog peeing on the floor or crying at the door when first left alone are usually enough to send many "well intentioned" adopters running back to the shelter with the dog with some sort of complaint: "You didn't tell me the dog wasn't housebroken or has separation anxiety!" "She tried to bite me when I gave her a bath!" "My cat or dog doesn't like her!"


Rome wasn't built in a day, but many (or most) people expect instantly built relationships with newly acquired pets. If the animal fails to live up to exaggerated and unrealistic perceptions, back s/he goes to the shelter or rescue group!

Daisy seems like quite a lovely dog. But, it is hard on her being in boarding.

She is a healthy, high energy Retriever mix who needs a good deal of exercise and lots of attention. It's hard to imagine Daisy living with a senior citizen with physical limitations.

Whether Daisy was given to her original owner as a puppy or adopted by the woman directly, it was a poor match in any case. --- One that was almost doomed to fail from the start.

Daisy rolls on her back for belly rubs and was extremely affectionate and sweet with me. She was pleasant to walk on the leash.

But, I can't see placing her with some couch potato or someone living in a tiny Manhattan apartment with a 70 hour work week. Nor, does it seem, from her background of living with an old person, that Daisy could go into a home with small, active kids.

She needs some good dog-experienced people, preferably with a house and a fairly active lifestyle.

The question is, how soon can we find that for Daisy?

Sometimes, I think the world of animal adoptions is like a macabre game of musical chairs with the loving, responsible and available homes at any one time representing the chairs.

All these animals vying for the few available chairs. Running around in circles while the music plays.

And when the music stops.........

This weekend the dog kill list at the pound was almost as bad as those for cats. More than 50 dogs have gone down.

For them, the music stopped and there was no safe place to land. -- PCA

No comments: