Saturday, April 7, 2012

Two strikes and they are out - my last experience with a "rescue" org.

© 2012 Joshua Stark

"Thank you for your interest in Bailey. We are not comfortable plscing
her with such young children."

That right there is the entire email I received after being stupid enough to fill out this absolutely ridiculous form at the Big Dog Rescue of Penngrove, California.  I spent maybe thirty minutes answering questions as asinine and legally dubious as, "what brand of dog food do plan to feed your dog?" and, "if you have a family member or friend you would like to care for the dog... please list their contact information here, so that they may be qualified by Big Dog Rescue."

After that humiliation, I expected, at the very least, a call-back so that they might get to know me and my family.  I figured that since they are rescue folks, they would care enough to realize the impersonal nature of the internet and want some time in direct communication.  I also assumed that they cared about getting dogs to homes where they are loved. 

I am an idiot, obviously.  They didn't even take the time to spell-check.

I probably should have let the extraordinarily offensive image they have of Buddha with a dog's head on their website be my clue (only a North Bay liberal could have such callous disregard for others' religious beliefs).  I should have let my first experience with a "rescue" person over at Golden Gate English Springer Spaniel Rescue exemplify "rescue" people, in general.  I even could have listened to my sister-in-law, who works at a county shelter, or my sister, who has dealt with "rescue" people a couple of times for dogs, and who both told me that they are crazy charlatans who make ridiculous demands and charge insane amounts of money.

Why do I keep using quotation marks around "rescue"?  Because these people aren't rescuing these dogs.  I don't know what sore part of their consciences these people are trying to salve, but they aren't doing what they purport to do.  The only dog I've met via rescue was matted and scratching fleas, and the others haven't even given me the time of day.

Under normal circumstances I'd be much more self-reflective, but I know dogs, I love dogs, and I'm pretty good with dogs.  In fact, I'm so confident that I'm not even going to defend myself here.

So I'll still scour the shelters for dogs and I'll still look up classified ads.  I'll even consider dogs from a reputable hunting dog breeder (a first in my life and maybe a sign of a mid-life crisis).  But I will not try for another poor dog from a "rescue". 

And as I said in my response to the Big Dog Rescue of Penngrove, I pray for those dogs they pretend to rescue. 


Hippo said...

Man, you really are taking some shit over this dog you want. I don't know your part of the world so can offer no advice but I would go to the pound and get one there. I did that when I was living in South Africa and I chose the first dog that looked meek and timid and tried to cling to my arm and whined quietly. Turned out to be a fantastic, stable dog, good with kids and had its confidence back in no time. One thing I did, and still do with all new dogs, was make a bed for the dog out of the clothes I had been wearing that day. That seems to calm them down and irritated the hell out of my wife so it was a double whammy for me!

I feel bad for you because I seem to have doogs adopting me. Number Three is really nice. She is loyal as hell, sleeps outside my door and is the only one of my three dogs that is happy to ride in the back of my truck when I go up to the Communa to buy supplies. When I bathe in the river, she is in there as well swimming around me as if she is keeping an eye on me. If I am just driving from the restaurant site to the new shop site, she lopes alongside the truck. Marvellous dog and I have no idea where she came from or why she chose me to hang around with.

I would fail every one of these questionnaires. I feed my dogs everything and anything. They get all our table scraps including chicken bones (a No No apparently), fish carcasses (a definite No No apparently) as well as beef,liver, kidney and if I am too lazy, like last night, a tin of Texas canned beef. Their favourite food though, is chicken legs (complete with bones) boiled up in water with a bit of rice to thicken up the resultant gravy. So I would fail on the feeding count. To discipline the dogs, they all need a bit of that when you first get them if they aren't still puppies, I beat the shit out of them when I catch them in the act of doing something wrong, like climbing on the dining table to knick food or taking a shit in the lounge, and I always bite them hard as I can on the ear or the throat but when they behave or do anything good I make one hell of a fuss of them and give them a treat. In no time we have a sort of agreeable status quo. No doubt I would fail that bit of the questionnaire too.

Why don't you put out an appeal on your blog? I would repeat it and I am sure many of our other friends in the Blogoosphere would do the same. There must be someone out there who has a dog that needs rehoming or a non pedigree litter they have no chance of finding owners for. How about making yourself known to local vets? There are people who have dogs put down because they can neither take care of them or find them alternative homes so the vet could call you if one turned up. Then, as I look at Dinge, you can think how you saved that dog from the jaws of death.

Josh said...

The way I grew up, dogs got love in a very similar way to how you describe, Hippo - except for the chicken bones, as my Mom lost a dog to cooked chicken bones once in her life.

Three sounds like my Irma. Those are the best.

And thanks for the tips, too. I'll keep them in mind. I'll also look for any local owners of giant snakes.