Sunday, November 16, 2008

"The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same"

(Picture Left: "Cogney" -Sweet Chow currently at the Manhattan shelter and in need of rescue. Just as we rescue two, more come through the door.)

There is good news on Puffy -- the Chow who didn't dig her butt being pinched by strangers. She was apparently taken by another rescue.

That is good for me, because I just picked up a Chow mix the other night from the Manhattan shelter and have been asked to take another.

We are quickly filling up in boarding.

My phone was out of order yesterday for most of the day. Normally, one would worry about missing potential adoptions when having the phone line down.

But, the way things have been going lately, it was actually kind of nice to have the phone out of commission for almost a full day. -- Peaceful.

Leaves are dropping to the ground, the temperatures are falling, but I feel by the calls that do come into our organization that it might as well be the middle of summer -- or the dark ages.

The other day, for example, one young man, couldn't get his lies straight.

"I had two dogs in the past. They died of old age."

But, then five minutes later, the same young man informed me that he had given his bulldog away.

I should have asked, "Was the dog alive or dead when you gave him away?"

Instead, I told him that he needed to get his stories straight before calling adoption agencies to adopt a dog.

If one is going to lie, one needs to have a good memory -- or, at least be able to remember what one just said five minutes before.

I of course, am always a bit skeptical when people tell me their past pets "died of old age."

Old age, is after all, not a disease in and of itself.

Usually I will ask the people exactly how old was the cat or dog and what specifically s/he died from.

One of the most unforgettable conversations I ever had with a potential adopter was with regard to this very issue:

The young woman told me her previous cat "died from old age."

"How old was your cat?" I asked.

"Three-years-old," the woman replied, nonchalantly.

"Three-years-old?" I questioned, increduously. "Three is not old for a cat! What exactly was wrong with your cat?"

"Ummm, well, she just didn't bounce back after her last pregnancy."

"Pregnancy? Your cat wasn't spayed? How many litters did she have?"

"Umm, I don't remember....Maybe about three or four."

"What did you do with all the kittens?"

"Some we gave away......Most we brought to the shelter."

"Why did your cat get pregnant so often? Did you have a male cat?"

"No, my husband used to put her outside when she came into heat."

(Rolling my eyes to heaven at this point)

"Ma'am, I suspect your cat probably died from a uterine infection, NOT old age! That is a direct result from your failure to spay the cat. Did you bring her to a vet when she was showing signs of illness?"

"No, we didn't realize she was sick. She just died one day."

"Well, Ma'am, I'm sorry, but you and your husband did not demonstrate much responsibility towards your last cat. She should have been spayed when she was young and would assuredly be alive today had she been. I am not adopting a Calico kitten to you."

Although this conversation took place years ago, I can still remember every word like it occurred yesterday.

I remember so well, because so many of the calls we get today are eerily similar.

We truly and sadly have not progressed very far. -- PCA


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