Rescue, oh rescue. Okay, well I want to make something clear…. Most rescue is really not rescue, just rehoming. I love that term as it has this wow factor. I may have already upset someone, but since I have done “rescue” most of my life, and definitely all of my adult life, I feel as if I can have an opinion.
I have resided with many shelter dogs. At times the count was 8. These dogs were discarded, lost, abandoned, seized, whatever. They no longer had a place to call home. I have done crazy dangerous things to save dogs — that I can call “rescue.” But truly for the most part the dogs I have had in my home have been shelter dogs. There have been great ones, and some absolutely not so great at all! I have parted with dogs that I adored, and felt as if my heart was being torn out. There have, of course, been the other kind, the kind I hoped I would never get the call that they failed, and that Fluffy would be returning to my care. Each and every one has been unique, a lesson in tolerance, patience, and most of all kindness which many of these dogs lack. I am not talking about abuse, as many folks that have “rescue” dogs say “Spike”was abused. I don’t always believe this — you see dogs, just like humans, have personality traits, some outgoing, some shy, some antisocial. What I have found is the circumstances that lead to dogs ending up needing new homes is not always neglect. Many dogs are in shelters as their owner loses their home, loses a job, must be relocated, etc. Now, there are, of course, the folks that find dogs disposable, or get a dog that is much too much to manage. This happens often, especially with the breeds I have chosen to rescue through the years. Working breeds are fun but not so much fun when not kept active, trained, or properly stimulated.
Rescue is often times heart-breaking and thankless. Despite having said that, it does not prevent me from continuing to do it. It has affected relationships, made new friends and ironically weeded out true friends from untrue. Yesterday I had a client react by scrunching his nose at me when I said I have 4 dogs. I often get “well you sure have your hands full.” Well, actually I don’t see it that way. I completely enjoy my dogs. Only other dog people can understand this. Dogs are unconditional, devoted. They essentially never lie. They keep me active, they make me see things I would otherwise never see or explore. They are amazing companions and entertaining, to say the least.