Several weeks ago, while taking Abbi to one of her many vet appointments since she came to live with us, I couldn’t help but notice a man signing the release to have the dog that was with him killed. (Note: I only use the term ‘euthanize’ when it is done to relieve the suffering of an animal).
The dog seemed timid, but I could tell she was young. I couldn’t help but notice she had recently had pups, very recently.
He came to the counter and shaking, signed the form. He had tears in his eyes. I wasn’t going to ask but was glad when another woman there with her dog did.
The man said that the dog had wandered up to his farm a couple of months prior. They soon realized the dog was pregnant. He and his wife had taken her in, named her Blair and taken care of her puppies. The litter was barely weaned, but he said he felt he had no choice but to “put her down” because she was chasing and killing his chickens.
As he was led to the back, I paced the waiting room and worried about this poor dog, her only crimes being abandoned and then following her instincts with poultry.
We were led to a room fairly quickly and I barely heard what the vet had to say about Abbi’s latest medical issue.
“Are y’all really going to put that healthy dog down?” I asked.
“Are you interested?”
I wasn’t. We have six, I reminded her, but I would be willing to try to find her a home. The vet tech came back in and led me to the room where the man and Blair were sitting. I explained to him I work with rescues and I would try to find her a home, but I was going to need at least the weekend.
He said Blair had issues with confinement and had been kicked out of the rescue because she wouldn’t stay in the run (just like Abbi) and they had been unsuccessful in finding another home, even after running an ad in the local paper.
There was some interest on my Facebook page, but none of the possible homes worked out. A friend thought she found a foster, but we discussed Blair’s issues with confinement and given they lived in a rental with no fence, we thought better of it.
I asked the people for more time, I had their contact info, but had no idea where they lived. By this time, I had already told them Blair would need to be vetted (deemed healthy) and spayed before a rescue would take her. They agreed to have this done and on the last day I spoke with them, they said Blair was at the vet getting spayed. They also agreed to keep her until June 10 when we could move her to a temporary foster.
A few days later, I finally found a rescue led by a woman here in Arkansas who said she would help, she just needed to take a photo and some video of Blair.
The couple with Blair then quit returning my calls.
“They probably think you’re a whack-a-do” Dale told me bluntly, “Approaching him in the vet’s office like you did.”
I guess I never saw it that way, I just saw something I didn’t think was right and I tried to make a change.
It’s now been several weeks and the people never returned my calls or emails, not even on the 10th when they knew we had a home out of town that would take her.
In the weeks I was investing significant time into finding someplace where this dog could have a second chance; I became emotionally involved in the outcome and was quite heartbroken when it didn’t work out.
Should I have just taken Blair home that day? Should I have made sure I went and got her on that first deadline, instead of asking those people to hold her for another two weeks? I know it wasn’t realistic of me to think I could bring yet another dog home. We’re overwhelmed financially and space-wise. Mentally, I really just cannot handle one more dog.
Does Blair deserve an R.I.P? I hope not, but I cannot be for certain. I wish I could post a happy ending for Blair. That was my goal. I only hope these people found a way to work with Blair and didn’t do what I stopped him from doing in the first place.
I can only hope.
This whole saga reminds me of why I prefer dealing with my dogs instead of people on most days.
This experience has me re-thinking how involved I should become in these instances. What do you think I should have done? Have you ever stepped in to help someone or an animal and it didn’t work out?