Saturday, November 21, 2009

Unchained dogs

Life at the end of a chain isn't much of a life. It amazes me that anyone would think that this is an appropriate way to keep a dog. If a dog is going to be outside and doesn't have the space, temperament, and training necessary to be living at large, the dog needs a fence. Some people who resort to chains are too cheap to put up a fence, some are just too lazy. All are too ignorant to realize that dogs are social animals who want and need to be with their people.

Hannibal and Nemo were living such a "life" in rural Virginia. Lucky for them, a former adopter saw them and contacted the owner to see if he would be interested in giving up the dogs, since he obviously wasn't doing anything with them. The man was a breeder, of course, but fortunately he is planning to move soon and he was interested in giving up the dogs, for a price.

Mr. Good-hearted Former Adopter paid the man's price and then turned the dogs over to me. I went with him to meet and pick up the dogs last weekend. Hannibal was living on a chain with only the top half of an igloo doghouse for shelter. Actually he was living in a 10' diameter circle of mud defined by the length of the chain attached to a center post. His water bucket was knocked over and he was drinking from a puddle of standing water left by some recent rain. He is underweight and he has an obvious wound on his neck from the collar and chain, but still, he is a remarkably good natured dog.

His brother, Nemo, (the slightly larger and darker of the two) had been living on a chain tied to the front porch of the single-wide trailer. Nemo had recently broken his chain or collar, so he was actually living in a decent-sized pen at a friend's home down the road. In the adjacent pen was a male and female that he guy is taking with him to the Carolina cesspool where he will be moving to continue his breeding. So this rescue didn't break the cycle of ignorance and misery, but it did save these two individual dogs. That is really all we can do most of the time.

The former owner isn't particularly evil, but he is just plain stupid. Every time he opened his mouth to talk about dogs he confirmed that fact. I can't call him white trash because he is black, so I'm at a loss for an appropriate epithet.

Hannibal and Nemo both got to see a vet for the first time in their lives on Tuesday. They had hookworms and whipworms, but thankfully no heartworms. They also got vaccinated and neutered. They have had the chance to enjoy life a little this week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Roxie's boys

Roxie is a female rottie who came from another rescue group over in Bath County. They had her kennelled for a year or more while getting her treated for heartworms and still couldn't find her a home. I had taken a shepherd from them and learned about Roxie. I promised to take her but put it off for several weeks. She came here in mid-October when my rescue work had come to a halt with the new job. I really didn't know what to do with her, but she fit in well with my two male rottie mixes, Sparky and Brady.

Most of rescue work is pure luck and Roxie is a lucky girl. A fellow shepherd rescuer referred a rottie owner to me. She was looking for a new girl as a companion for her boy, having lost a female rottie a while back. She and her husband came out last weekend and hit it off with Roxy. Roxy is a sweet girl and really wanted to be a housedog, and she will be. She gets along well with other dogs so I didn't suspect there would be any problem with the male rottie. I haven't heard from them since they went home, but I'm not concerned.

The adopters are experienced rottweiler owners and they understood what they could and couldn't do and what they would need to work on --(Roxy can be a little mouthy when she gets excited, never a good trait in a rottweiler). Everything about them was exactly what I look for in an adopter and especially in a rottweiler adopter. Their dogs are central to their lives and they were not expecting a dog to be perfect from the start. I wish I could clone them.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jesus is watching

This my favorite religious story and it's about as religious as I get. It was among the 400+ emails I'm wading through after burying my head in the sand the last couple of weeks.

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, 'Jesus knows you're here.'

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze. When he heard nothing more, after a bit, he shook his head and continued. Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard: 'Jesus is watching you.'

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot. 'Did you say that?' he hissed at the parrot. 'Yep', the parrot confessed, then squawked, 'I'm just trying to warn you that he is watching you.'

The burglar relaxed. 'Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?' 'Moses,' replied the bird. 'Moses?' the burglar laughed. 'What kind of people would name a bird Moses?'

'The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus.'