Friday, July 24, 2015


"Who do you have to bite to get a biscuit
around  here?"
I avoid the human conflict in the rescue world as much as possible. It happens everywhere, within groups and between groups, but mostly within. Some of it is inevitable, I suppose, because people are involved and even people who agree upon basic values and goals may disagree vehemently on how to achieve them. Religion is probably the prime example of that and that's just one of the many reasons I stay away from it. I manage to avoid most conflict in the rescue world by having carved out my own little niche and sticking closely to it.

I think that most conflict could be avoided if everyone kept their focus. The basics are really pretty simple: Foster, Adopt, Repeat. If anything else becomes an issue, it's probably because someone isn't busy with the basics.
"Hey buddy, can you spare a slice of pizza?"

There is conflict going on now within one of the rescue groups I work with. There is conflict going on locally regarding criticism of our local SPCA. I couldn't give an opinion on any of it, and I won't, because I've studiously avoided knowing enough about it to be informed. Besides, I'm embroiled in a very internal conflict of my own right now involving Theo.

I've fallen for him and he has accepted me. I don't have one bad thing to say about the dog. He hasn't given me a moment of difficulty since he's been here. He's really too good to be true. He may be too good for me, and therein lies the conflict.

There's a lot of people who would love to have him and could probably provide him with a great home. If I put him up for adoption I'll have a ton of inquiries and applications that could still be whittled down to many potential good adopters. He doesn't need me in the same way as the other dogs around here. Yes, he needs me to find that perfect home for him, but he doesn't need it to be my home.
"Not bad, maybe leave some pepperoni
on it next time?"

Trooper, I love him dearly, but the dog has barked and lunged at every new person he's ever met. He's not adoptable; he needs to be here.

Maya, I love that girl dearly, in spite of her being a pain in the ass. But given her ability to climb, her inclination to roam, and her spitefulness when being left alone, she's really not adoptable; she needs to be here.

Vince, I love him dearly, but he only likes one person out of a hundred, and no vets are ever going to be included in that number. He's old and cantankerous, hates being penned, confined, or restrained in any way. He's not adoptable; he needs to live here.

Sparky, I love him dearly, but he really only likes me. In the canine world, his strategy as always been "beat them up first and make friends later." He's really not adoptable; he needs to live here.
"How about something to wash it down with?" 

Max, I have even come to love him. He's still a "foster" but I don't see him going anywhere. He's just not right in the head and will ride the shepherd short bus for the rest of his life. We've worked out a system that meets his needs pretty well and lets him be as normal as possible, but he's really not very adoptable; he needs to live here.

Gigi.  Gigi may not quite fit this theme. I love her dearly but I probably could have found her a home. But even she came to us with a bit of checkered past regarding small dogs, although she told me it was a bum rap and of course I believe her. In any event, I fell for her and she decided she likes it here since we do everything she wants.

Except for Gigi, we have a house full of misfits and rejects, and I wouldn't have it any other way. So what does Theo need with us? Like Gigi, Theo also has a short rap sheet, but I don't think it's anything that would prevent him from being adopted to an experienced and responsible shepherd owner.

So the conflict in my mind is do I keep him or let him go? It's a rhetorical question, I'm not looking for votes or advice, I'm just talking out loud here.

[The pictures are of Maya from a couple nights at the James River Brewery in Scottsville.]


Anonymous said...

This is why, despite doing shelter work, I could never foster,All my pets are forever pets & had the same quirky behaviors. They loved me, but acclamation to another home was always impossible. Bless you for all you do,they appreciate it, although no one else understands.

Risa & Jeff said...

Actually, there are a lot of us who understand this sort of conflict. I am glad that I kept Fluffimus Maximus. He was a medical disaster and he needed to be with me.

We kept Miles, our special needs child. He had lots of issues, and he needed to be with us.

Poor old Tsar never got over the loss of his owner. He was depressed and unhappy as well as senile and he needed to be with me.

So, yeah, we get it. Give everyone an extra biscuit from us.

cdturner1 said...

IMO, you deserve a dog who isn't a project.