Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Bellevue, Here I Come!"

(Picture Left: "Patty." Throwaway Mom whose ticket off the Euth list rode on the particular day of the year -- and her name.)

"Instead of calling you for a dog boarding space, I should be calling Bellevue for a space -- preferably one with padded walls for me."

The above words were spoken a short while ago to Ed, an excellent dog trainer who also runs a boarding kennel in New Jersey. I have often relied on Ed to train and board dogs for us.

Although already boarding two dogs with Ed, I was calling him to take in another.

One, who I had no business pulling off the Euth list today.

Then again how does a second generation Irish woman with the name, Patty turn her back on a dog named "Patty" on (of all days) Saint Patrick's Day?

"I bet the shelter gave her that name at ten O'Clock last night," Ed laughed. "They looked at the calendar."

"Well, sure its pure manipulation," I replied. "But, the dog also has a face that would melt stone. I'm a sucker for this stuff. As said, Bellevue is preparing a padded cell for me."

If I feel somewhat "crazed" over the past few days, it is not just because of the pressures and stress of animals already rescued and in boarding or even those who need rescue, but mostly from the people contacting us over the past week or so.

If I had a dollar for every dump call or plea asking for help, I'd be on my way to the Millionaire's club. If I add into those, the calls from time wasters and assorted loonies, I'd be in competition with Donald Trump or Bill Gates.


Caller: "We need to put our cat up for adoption because it doesn't fit into the home anymore."

Me: "Are we talking about a cat or a dress, Sir? What do you mean, 'doesn't fit?'"

Caller: "It doesn't get along with our other cat."

Further conversation with the man revealed the cat was a purebred Abyssinian that the family bought from a breeder three years ago.

Me: "Call up the breeder and ask her to take the cat back. -- She brought the cat into the world, I didn't! "

Caller: "Hm, I didn't think of that."

Why is it that the people who buy animals from breeders call shelters and rescues when they don't want the animals anymore instead of calling the people they actually got the animal from?

Who ever said common sense was common?

There have been numerous calls like that one. But, the worse call was from a woman calling last week to offer foster for a "small dog."

"Cara" lives alone on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, has a good job, previously had a Shih-Tzu for 16 years and sounded like the ideal person to foster a small dog.

As matters turned out, I had just gotten off a call from a desperate woman in the Bronx who needed help in placing a purebred Pug.

"Marina" is a lovely Spanish woman who already has four rescued dogs in her small apartment, three of which are Pitbulls. She called to tell me her neighbors didn't want the family Pug anymore (named, "Brutus") and were leaving the little dog in the building hall way.

I asked Marina to temporarily take the dog in until I could arrange with my vet a boarding space, neutering, shots and whatever other medical attention the dog needed.

I then explained all this to Cara and asked if she would be willing to foster the 7-year-old Pug whom I was told was a very friendly and housebroken dog.

"After the medical attention and neutering, Brutus should be a very adoptable dog," I added.

Cara agreed to foster the little dog and I told her I would call her back as soon as the vetting was taken care of.

Marina meanwhile, did her part to get the Pug away from the neglectful and irresponsible owners and held the dog a few days until my vet had cage space to take the dog in.

Marina was finally able to deliver Brutus to my vet this past Saturday.

With neutering and dentistry scheduled for today, I called Cara to let her know Brutus would be ready for pick-up tomorrow (Thursday.)

"I need to know something," Cara said to me cautiously.

"What is it you need to know?" I asked.

"Does the dog snore?"

"Excuse me? Does the dog snore? Are you kidding? How would I know something like that?"

"I read that sometimes pugs snore. How much does he weigh?"

"I don't know his exact weight. He's a purebred Pug. He's not going to be the size of a Great Dane!"

"Well, I dunno." Cara replied looking obviously to get out her promise.

"Look, Cara, I am quite sure you won't have this dog very long. He's a very adoptable dog."

"Oh, so you don't need a foster then!"

"Yes, we need a foster! My vet needs his cages for sick dogs, not healthy ones. He's not running a boarding kennel!"

Cara abruptly hung up on me.

Infuriated, I called her cell back and got voice mail. I left a message:

"Please don't call other shelters or rescues to waste their time with this kind of nonsense. Animal rescue is serious, life and death business not fun and games!"

A few weeks ago, we had three dogs adopted.

We have quickly replaced those and filled up all boarding spaces -- and then some.

But, it is never the animals who make you crazy in this work.

It's the people.

"Bellevue, here I come!" -- PCA


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