Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seeking Prince (or Princess) Charming! (New York City)

(Picture Left: "June" -- A sweet, little Yorkie who thus far seems to know only cruelty and callousness from humans. -- Not "perfect" enough.)

In case anyone is wondering why I haven't been posting in this journal lately, the below email exchanges might hold some clues.

These came directly on the heels of a rather unpleasant experience with a "great" potential home for a dog, that in fact turned into something else.

A man in his 50's called last week saying he and his wife had just lost their Maltese dog of 16 years and were seeking either a Maltese or Yorkshire Terrier. The dog would have to be sweet and loving, under ten pounds and no more than five years of age.

Although telling this gentleman that such dogs don't arrive at shelters every day of the week, I promised nevertheless to keep my eyes open for him and his wife and call them if such dog came into our city shelter.

The following day, the Animal Control shelter in Manhattan sent out an "ALERT" on a tiny, 4 lb Yorkie named, "June" (only about two years of age) that arrived at the shelter with a broken leg after being thrown out of a car. (Picture above.)

I called the Yorkie-seeking gentleman and told him about the dog. I informed him I was willing to go half with him and his wife on veterinary costs for the dog if the couple were willing to take in and foster the sweet and beautiful looking purebred dog.

The man conferred with his wife for a few minutes and then returned to me on the phone.

"I don't think we want to take on a dog with a medical issue."

"Medical issue?" I questioned incredulously. "The dog doesn't have a medical issue! She was cruelly thrown out of a car and sustained an injury. An injury that is TREATABLE. You called and requested a young, affectionate and tiny Yorkie. Then, when I call you back when your dream dog comes into a shelter, you say you don't want to take her on because she might need a cast for a few weeks? Unbelievable! You have no empathy or mercy -- even for a dog you say you wanted! -- HAVE A NICE DAY!"

A few hours following this unpleasant exchange, I engaged over two days time with someone on an animal email list about seeking "dream" dogs (below)

"Fiddling While Rome Burns" indeed!

In a message dated 7/18/2009 9:20:43 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, xxxxx writes:
If you know any therapy dog whose human guardian has to give him/her up, let me know. I have a great home for one.

LOL!!! No, but I sure know of almost all "pet seeking" people these days demanding either "therapy" or in all other ways, perfect dogs.

Unfortunately, all of the dogs we have -- like people known -- have flaws.


In a message dated 7/19/2009 1:10:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, xxxxxx writes:
The person seeking this "pet therapy" dog is a former fundraiser for MSPCA and worked with Cleveland Amory. She now volunteers for the Berkshire Humane Society and got excellent reference from them and the vet we called.

All the more outrageous, in that case!
I presumed the seeker was just another naive and mislead member of the public.
If this individual works in the animal field, then why couldn't S/HE be capable of training a dog for "therapy work?" S/he expects shelters or rescuers to do this for her/him??
Moreover, anyone familiar with shelters or rescues KNOWS that these agencies are not being flooded with former "therapy dogs." Any person who puts the time, energy and money into training a dog for special work and getting the animal certified is NOT dumping the dog in a pound or "looking to give him/her up!"
Quite the contrary!
Most animals arriving at shelters are abandoned because former owners aren't willing (or able) to do ANYTHING with them, such as neutering, grooming, vetting, training or even in some cases, changing a collar!
You say this person "volunteers" for a Humane Society?
How many dogs does this individual see coming through the shelter every week? Dozens? Hundreds? If a kill shelter, how many dogs does s/he see getting "euthanized" every week?
And yet, NONE are "good enough" for her?
Oh, I am so glad this person didn't call me. I would be fit to be tied!
Tell this person the real world doesn't operate like, "From Underdog to Wonderdog."
No, we don't program dogs and turn them into breathing, stuffed toys. Nor, do we send "carpenters" to adopters homes to fix up their yards and NO, we don't turn neglected dogs into "therapy dogs."
This person wants a "therapy dog?" Let her take home one of the dogs from HER SHELTER and WORK with him/her (OR HIRE A TRAINER) to make that happen. -- Just like a few of my past adopters have done with THEIR adopted dogs.

Smoke comin' out of my ears on this one!


In a message dated 7/20/2009 9:11:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, xxxxxxx writes:
But good homes, as you know are very rare, and I beg to differ with you on this one point -- this is a good home.

Actually, I disagree. "Homes" like the one you posted here are a dime a dozen. I get calls like these everyday. Sure, the people might represent great homes -- but ONLY IF the "right" dog is there for them.
What is the "right" dog?
Well, were we talking of humans, the "right" one would be Prince Charming, the knight on the white horse or the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model.
And just like humans who seek these archetypes as their "dream mates" and usually end up grumpy old bachelors, old maids or multi-divorced.
I bet if you question this "great home" you will find s/he has been seeking the perfect "therapy" dog (i.e. Prince Charming) a very long time.
Meanwhile, thousands of loving, but flawed dogs die in shelters (nationwide) everyday and hundreds more wallow in boarding facilities.
What's wrong with this picture?
How about calling it, "Fiddling While Rome Burns" which is exactly what I think you should say to this person.
Wave a magic wand and tell her to click her heels three times.



ulysses said...

The man is a fool. Finding a dog like June in a municipal shelter is like winning the lottery. She is too good for him and deserves a better home. It shouldn't be hard to find someone to love a cutie like her.

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