In rescue, you often have to force yourself to NOT think about how a dog came to be at a shelter. The Rescue has recently rescued so many senior “strays” and dogs needing surgery, that the thoughts of them being purposely “lost” can’t help but creep in to our consciousness. Sometimes, it makes you angry . Alissa’s foster family speaks for many of us in this open letter to Alissa’s former people…
“What in the hell were you thinking? You must have let this dog go on the streets; after fostering her, I KNOW she didn’t get out on her own She is never more than a few inches from me. She waits to be invited in or out of the doorway – so she didn’t bolt or get out on her own. What must she have thought when you drove away? The thought is something I have to keep pushing to the back of my brain – I really can’t think of this sweet Velcro girl watching her people go away; I can’t even bear to leave her to go to the store .
Our family has fostered her for about four weeks now and we are completely in love with her. She is a tiny little ball of excitement every time she sees us. She is perfectly behaved with other dogs. She has the most adorable little quirks, like trying to cover her food bowl with the throw rug, then uncovering it and devouring it. And you can pick her up and hold her like a baby in your arms…and she will fall asleep.
So, again, what the hell were you thinking? Did you really imagine someone would pick her up and take care of the lump on the bottom of her foot? Did you know what it was? Did a vet tell you it was cancer? Did you pay for diagnostic tests that now the Rescue is paying for again? Do you know how much valuable time you wasted?!
I guess you were right on one count, someone DID pick her up, and take her to the shelter. Here, she had to wait even more time for her owner to claim her – which of course you didn’t . So more time was wasted.
California GSP Rescue didn’t waste any time, though. One day after the shelter let us take her, Alissa was at a vet appointment – on her third day with us, she had surgery to remove the lump. The biopsy showed an aggressive form of cancer, so we saw an oncologist to get an idea of exactly how far it spread. Alissa won’t live to be a white-faced senior and she’ll never see the people she thought were hers again.
I’ll tell you something, though, we, the “strangers” she’s living with are going to spoil her rotten. We are pampering her throughout chemo treatments. We are giving her kisses on her forehead while the vet draws blood again. We take her to the beach, to work, to grandma’s house. We are seeing to it she has people to love her all the time, because she clearly loves people – despite what you did.”