He had to give up his 11 year old dog.
I could tell this wasn’t a choice, there were tears in his eyes that he was fighting desperately to hold back the entire time we talked. No, this wasn’t a whim of a decision this guy was making because he was uncaring, uneducated or even just stupid. This was a guy that truly loved his dog, worked hard to do right by her and then something happened and his life changed, and this meant her life was changed forever too. Can you imagine parting with your dog after raising her and loving her for 11 years? She is loved by your children, by you. Of course you want to be there when her time comes, but your life falls apart for whatever reason, and suddenly, you have a choice to make and it’s the worst decision you’ve ever had to make.
You can put her down, when she’s still running around, chasing squirrels and being very happy, or you can re-home her.
What the hell kind of a decision is that?
Sadly, there are no resources for pet owners who are in these circumstances that allow them to keep their dogs.
So, he chose to re-home his girl and posted her on Craigslist.
I get told frequently that I am a glutton for punishment because I look at PetFinder fairly often. Mostly I check to see if there’s a dog that truly tugs at my heart strings, because I want to have three Labs.
I have no clue. There’s no good reason for wanting three. I’m very happy with two, but my heart just seems to be drawn toward the number three, so I look. For almost two years, I haven’t found anything worth writing home about. There was Snow, whom I loved, but it was not meant to be with her. I accept that sometimes, life throws us twists and turns and that at the end of the day, things work out precisely as they are intended to do and often times, it is absolutely for the better for us all.
Recently, I chose to stop looking for that third dog on Craigslist, because I decided I was content with my two and reading the stories of this person or that person dumping their dog for this stupid reason or that stupid reason really, really wore me down. This included one instance where I saw someone actually post that they were getting rid of the dog because she did not match their new furniture. I’d heard the story from shelter workers before, but to see it in black and white on Craigslist, that people actually do this thing was something else.
I mean… really?
I think you can understand why I stopped looking.
This is where my best friend enters the picture.
Jen looks at Craigslist when she’s got spare time. She looks for jobs for my teenage son who is having a really hard time finding a job in this economy. She’s really incredible actually, because she’s a busy full time mom of two girls. She’s home schooling and still, she finds time to check Craigslist for jobs for MY kid.
What a gal, right?
Sometimes though, when a dog tugs at her heart strings, she sends me the link to see if there’s anything I can do. I’m NOT some kind of animal rescue maven, but I have a couple of friends here who know a lot of dog lovers. I know which shelters you take your dogs to and which ones you avoid and I know how to put people in touch with the few dog rescues that there are on our side of the state. Jen’s only ever forwarded me links for two dogs anyway, so it’s not like this is a frequent occurrence. The first link got pulled from Craigslist before I could contact the owner, and this other link was forwarded to me just a few weeks ago.
It was for an 11 year old pure bred black lab who was in need of a home. They were looking at either rehoming her or praying that someone could give them another option besides having to put her to sleep. Jen thought I could help. I joked about it with her later and asked her if she thought I had some kind of magical dog rescue button and she said, “Well, actually, yes!”
We had a good laugh over that.
Really, Jen knows that I have a soft spot for seniors and in ultimate truth, the truth she does not share frequently with others, so does she.
This guy sounded desperate in his post. She could sense it. When I read his post, I sensed it too.
So, I talked to my husband, who talked to Miss Lucy and then I sat down and talked to Mugen. They seemed pretty okay with the idea. Lucy even gave us kisses when we asked for her blessing, so we took that as an omen and made a choice. We decided that if the dogs got along, we would adopt her.
As a general rule, I have very cruel words to say towards the people who dump seniors, but this situation is different. I’m not going to talk about Jazzmin’s previous owners after this. Please know that they are GOOD people. They got into a very crappy situation and they made the choice they could live with when it came to their dog. They chose to re-home her, rather than put her to sleep. It was a crappy choice to have to make, but I believe that these folks chose this, because they wanted what was best for her. I am sure that they will always wish that things could have been any other way. This is all I have to say about them and the situation that led Jazzmin to my door other than this: Jazzmin has been loved. She has not been abused, she is a confident and happy girl who loves to be around people. She is well trained. To be brutally honest, I got a hell of a deal on this dog. She may be old, but she minds better than Mugen. I’ve been working on the stinkerbutt for two years now and he *still* doesn’t have his CGC.
Lady Jazz could probably walk out with one in twenty minutes flat.
I know that it may seem silly, me adopting another old dog, because I have spent a lot of time on an emotional roller coaster ride with Lucy and I have posted about her and her problems a lot. I have struggled to make sense of my feelings regarding that, and I shared them with everyone I could and perhaps I did so a bit too loudly. I am scared that I will lose her soon, scared enough that I sit next to her and hold her and cry sometimes, but really that has not stopped me from enjoying every single moment of the time we have shared. Lucy has brought so much laughter and love into this house and into my life, that I do not regret adopting her, even after the roller coaster ride and the cancer treatment. No one in this family thinks we made a bad decision when we adopted Lucy. We’re all positively in love with her. She is a gift.
So, when I think back on the time that my husband and I made the decision to adopt Lucy, I think of all the things that I would have missed out on if things had gone any differently. No matter how hard it has been, I would never change a single thing. There has been so much more good than bad and when the time comes to speak of her in the past tense, I won’t remember anything bad about my sweet yellow girl.
That’s what led us to the decision to meet with her previous owner and pick her up on Sunday. I freely admit, this may not be the smartest move I’ve ever made, because we’ve committed to repeating a process that has brought me a lot of pain and a lot of sadness, but we’re doing it because I asked myself the question, “If I don’t, what am I missing out on?”
Missing out on Lucy being a silly silly belly belly girl is just about the worst thing I can imagine. There is no doubt in my mind or in my heart that my life would be worse without her in it.
After getting to know Jazzmin, I can’t imagine her doing anything except adding to the joy in our lives.
Go ahead. Call me a glutton for punishment.
I wear the label with pride.