A New Buddy
My friend and neighbor with whom we are gardening called me the other night. I could tell something was wrong immediately in her voice.
“Someone dumped a dog up here and someone told me there was an animal sanctuary on your road,” she said.
I asked the type of dog. She and her husband both thought it was a Beagle or Beagle mix, they didn’t know much about dogs. They could tell it was male, but couldn’t even tell me if he was fixed.
The “animal sanctuary” she referred to really never got off the ground and the woman only took wolf hybrids anyway. I offered my friend the number to the local SPCA and she said she had tried the shelters and all were full, no one would take him.
“He’s such a nice dog,” she said. “I can’t even pet him because I don’t want to get attached because of whatever has to be done….” Her voice trailed off.
Unfortunately, that “whatever has to be done” in the country usually means shooting a stray. It sounds harsh, I know, but dogs are routinely dumped here in the country, there’s no animal control in unincorporated areas, and when shelters and rescues won’t take them, that is mercifully better than the dog starving to death, being hit by a car on the main road (and possibly causing an accident), or being left to the wildlife predators.
My neighbors are good people; they hate it when people leave this horrible decision to them. She’s a passivist, but for the first time, I detected anger in her voice toward the people who dumped their responsibility on their doorstep.
Their jobs require them to travel, sometimes for months at a time. They have a cat and it about kills my friend every time she has to leave her little feline.
“We have four, really, what’s five?” I said. “Feed him whatever you have tonight and we’ll figure out what to do in the morning.”
About noon on Wednesday, they brought the little guy down. He is a Beagle. Sweet, well mannered and won’t even jump up on you if you beg him to.
“We’ve had a lot of dogs dumped at our place over the years, some were mean, some were sick, this by far is the best one,” my neighbor’s husband said.
The Campbell Clan’s Fearsome Four were all put out, but I explained to them that he was homeless just as they all once were. They didn’t seem to understand, or care, but we didn’t have any major rows either.
“Thanks, I think,” I said to my friends as they drove away.
He had one accident in the house while trying to mark “his” territory from the all-female Fearsome Four.
My friend called me later that evening saying she thought she might have found him a home, but the man is traveling until late May and can’t take him until he returns.
“I hope I don’t get attached,” I told her.
“You have four, I told him you really didn’t need another one,” she said.
I’ve been calling him Buddy and Dale’s been calling him Bubba. Like my friend, I don’t want to get too attached. She’s right, we have all of the mouths we need to feed with the Fearsome Four. Besides, I don’t know if I can remember one more spot in the floor in the game of Twister during the middle of the night.
A local charity offered to pay for part of Buddy’s vet bill to get neutered, heartworm tested and get his shots. My neighbor offered some money toward the bill as well. My own dogs are behind on their shots, vets are definitely not less expensive in rural Arkansas.
He came home yesterday minus the ability to perpetuate the pet overpopulation problem, groggy, but otherwise no worse for the wear.
Just another week in paradise.
This week’s giveaway:
Last year, I switched my dogs over to Wellness Brand dog food, which has “human quality” ingredients and not all of the by-products and fillers many foods have. K9 Cuisine, which supplies Wellness, as well as other high-quality, natural and organic pet food, has generously offered one Living Large reader a $20 gift card toward the purchase of any of their food on their site. (Disclaimer note: I do professionally blog for K9 Cuisine, but I am receiving no additional compensation for this give away). Simply make a comment on this post between now and 5 p.m. CST Sunday April 11 telling us about your pets. I will randomly draw a winner and announce it on Monday morning’s post. Sorry, you must be a U.S. resident to win this one. You must claim your prize by sending me an email by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, or I will draw another winner.
Please visit my blog at K9 Cuisine, where I write about rescues and shelters. Also, check out the other cool pet blogs there where you can learn about training, pet food, general pet tips, and mixing your human kids with your furry ones!