A topic close to my heart

Most of you are now familiar with Maggie and already know that I love dogs (size doesn’t matter) and can’t bear the thought of one being unloved, mistreated or ignored.
maggie on footI always try to see both sides of a story, but if I’m honest, unless the dog is vicious, humans can fend for themselves.

When I first started my blog, I did several posts on dogs, including dogs at Christmas.
There are many reasons why people do, or do not, have dogs (or any pet), and I’ve come across a fair few in my time.
Some have been career minded individuals who realised they couldn’t look after a dog and all that ownership entailed, but once they retired, they were first in the queue and have never looked back.

On the other hand, I knew of several people who had always had a dog, but once they’d passed, were loath to get another because of their own age, health and circumstances.
One old boy I met recently has the best of both worlds as he ‘borrows’ his daughter’s spaniel during the day 3 times a week and when she goes on holiday.
I also know of a woman who fosters greyhounds as household pets, but should she want a holiday, the shelter provides kennels for them, and they are returned to her when she gets back.

I feel strongly about people who believe a dog will automatically adjust to a new baby and then wonder why jealousy raises its ugly head (it’s not always the dog’s fault), and I absolutely despise people who get a dog on a whim only to discard it some weeks later because it isn’t house trained (did they even try?), it chews the furniture (left alone and bored) or the novelty just wore off. (Allergies are acceptable)
lassieIn fact, I got my pedigree rough collie for nothing when he was almost four months old because the owner changed her mind and was going to have him put down. My opinion of her is unprintable.

A woman we’ve come to know had always wanted a dog and decided that now she is on her own, she’d have one.
She went down to one of the rescue shelters and selected a two year old miniature poodle, which had been returned on four occasions for one reason or another.
The dog settled in well and appeared to have no issues, but a fortnight later, she returned him to the shelter because she had to work and couldn’t keep him.

Her job is as a live-in carer for 2 weeks out of every 8, and she assumed that she would be able to take the dog with her.
I always thought that ‘adoptee parents’ were vetted beforehand so why wasn’t the matter raised during the process? Also, she was silly not to check with her employer first before committing herself.

What is so sad about this story is that the dog has once again been returned to the shelter through no fault of its own because she didn’t think things through properly.
If she had spoken to other people around her, there are two couples that I’m aware of who would have been only too pleased to take the dog on, one already having a dog and the other recently retired.

Dogs are more than cute bundles of fur or puppies with big feet and lolling tongues.
A dog is a member of the family and deserves to be treated as such.
Loyalty works both ways.
dog owner


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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20 Responses to A topic close to my heart

  1. colinandray says:

    Well written and the points well made. We have developed a wonderful relationship with our Humane Society as a result of adopting Ray and are horrified at the reasons we hear are given in order to return a dog. Of course there are always the unexpected (and cannot accommodate) surprises but, all too often, it is trivial or as a result of simple ignorance. We know of one dog who had a very bad start to life and was given much undivided professional attention in order for her to be a possible adoption candidate (much like our Ray). She was eventually adopted and, within a couple of weeks, was returned as she clearly had no training! Sadly, this was the final rejection for her and she would not respond to further attention but just totally withdrew.
    Our Humane Society will decline an adoption request if they do not see the “match” working and go to great lengths to ensure that future adopters know what they are getting into as each dog has been assessed professionally. (As an aside, they were very apprehensive about me and Ray simply because of my prior dog bite, courtesy of a German Shepherd, and the fact that he was expected to be challenging …………. and being my first dog!)
    Unfortunately, people make emotional decisions without considering the feelings of the dog. They overlook the fact that different breeds have different traits. They do not consider that the “cute puppy” is going to grow. They do not understand that dogs rarely come ready trained as they are either puppies, or they have had no responsible owners in their past. Finally, and I find this quite staggering, they do not seem to acknowledge that the dog has any feelings whatsoever. Totally incongruous when they acknowledge the friendship/affectionate/loyalty aspects of a dog! How on earth did they think that those traits developed?
    While all this never ceases to amaze me, it really shouldn’t because many children are treated in much the same way. Our culture really has a lot to answer for.

    • Thanks Colin. When I wrote this (and I slept on it then tweaked it a bit before publishing) I wondered whether I was being unreasonable in my opinion, but then I thought of how Sam came to me, a beautiful pedigree who was obsolete to the owners requirements.
      I am so glad that the Humane Society through which you got Ray (pat) are so thorough in their adoption process. All too often people forget that ‘cute little St Bernard puppy’ is going to grow into a huge soft couch potato or one of the smaller breeds can become so totally obsessive over its owner that friends are likely to get a nip. The ‘A Dog is for Life and not Just for Christmas’ campaign only tells half the story, there should be a second slogan ‘A dog has a life, do you fit in?’
      Dogs do have feelings, they love, pine, grieve, feel lost and lonely, and sadly do not understand human behaviour.
      I admit to loving Maggie and her predecessor to pieces, but in a former relationship, I am embarrassed and ashamed of some aspects that were lacking in my dog ownership all down to the guy I was with. He showed little affection towards his current dog so it was a surprise when he wanted Sam. There were no daily walks or trips out at the weekend, but I cared for them and it was me who insisted on calling the vet when one was so violently ill. It was also me who took her to the vet as an emergency at 1am, me who brought her body home after paying the bill, me who removed the black bin liner and replaced it with her blanket, then broke my heart because I couldn’t close her eyes or lift her out of the car.
      I know I’m a pushover as far as dogs are concerned, but they give so much back asking so little. I suppose these feelings are enhanced as I never had kids (fostering was close though).

      • colinandray says:

        Having/not having kids maybe a factor but, I have had 2 kids and having Ray is not much different. You don’t always love what they do….. but you can still love the person/dog!

        Ray has made a huge impact on me because he not only made the first move towards a relationship, but has clearly tried so hard to fit in with us. There have been numerous setbacks (mainly in the first 12 months) but his ongoing efforts dictated a match by our ongoing patience. The result is the dog that you read about in our Blog.
        As I have said many times, I feel sad for his original owners because they never got to know what a wonderful “guy” he could be.

      • There’s a lot to be said for a dog choosing you.
        Maggie curled up under my coat and went to sleep, twice, and Barney, her predecessor, pee’d on my foot (that shoe later became his comforter!) and when Hubby picked him up, he fell asleep in his arms. I’m certainly glad they chose us!
        I think Ray is a credit to you and vice versa, and no doubt the Humane Society are well pleased with the results. 🙂

  2. I am a cat person and cats are bounced around the same way. Cute little kittens but when they grow up to be cats (what else would they grow up to be?) the owners are interested in rehoming them. Once a pet comes home with me it’s for life for better or worse. I had one that bordered on anti-social and she would bite when she wasn’t in the mood for a petting. We lived together for 18 years and they were good years. She put up with me having a full time job and I put up with her moods. All good!

    • I’ve never owned (or wanted to) a cat in my adult life, but I appreciate how much of a comfort and companion they can be too. (I’m OK with cats, but prefer dogs)
      A friend had four, 2 persians and 2 ‘others’. The only male ( a beautiful cream puff ball) had a gold cushion in the bay window, where he would sit and wait until my friend came home. The female persian had a hanging bed on the radiator, and the other two had proper woolly beds on pallets on the floor. All four were treated the same apart from their sleeping arrangements (which they adopted themselves so there was no preferential treatment for breed). My friend and her husband both worked long hours and so had an aviary built on the back of their property rather than a conservatory. The cats could go outside and play (or sleep) in the fresh air in safety on hot sunny days. The male outlived the females and died at the age of 17.
      She never got another, though that may have changed now as I lost touch with her 11 years ago.

      • Hmmm….I wonder why they chose not to adopt anymore. Sometimes you need a break to mourn but there are so many in need of a home (both dogs and cats) that unless I changed my life style to vagabond, I can’t imagine not having a cat.

      • When I last saw her, she had just lost her last one, and I know that she’d had him from a kitten, so maybe she decided to have a break before having another.

  3. scifihammy says:

    A well written post, close to my own heart. 🙂 So many people treat animals as disposable. I’m glad you were able to to save the Lassie dog 🙂

  4. The Hook says:

    Loved this.
    Well done.

  5. Barb Knowles says:

    I have had dogs all of my life. We moved when our last dog passed and are now renting with no pets allowed. But between work and going away for at least one weekend a month I don’t know , maybe once I retire? I don’t want to get a dog who will spend 1/2 his life in a kennel. Plus I was very spoiled because the house I previously owned was on 4 acres and abutted state land. So no leash walking nor picking up poop. I guess I’ll make that decision when the time comes.
    Good post, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • We’ve never put Maggie in kennels or left her overnight with anyone else. If we go out, she comes too as we won’t leave her alone on the boat either. Many rented properties, Park Homes and retirement apartments won’t allow pets. Hubby and I think that when we lose Maggie (hopefully not for a few years yet), we’ll have a break before getting another, but then when we lost Barney, I lasted 6 days! 🙂

      • Barb Knowles says:

        I had 5 dogs once, and we kept them all until they passed. This was a long time ago. Two were a boyfriend’s and two were mine. Then a friend asked us to dog-sit while they went on vacation. Then they wouldn’t take her back. She was a difficult dog but still a crappy thing to do. I hope she felt better off with us!

      • Some friend! I’m sure the dog was better off with you and the other canine company.

      • Barb Knowles says:

        I think.k that was a big part of it. The dog was alone and usually in a big caged dog run . He had a fairly long area (compared to a confining pen), but little socialization).

      • Oh, that is so sad. Dogs likes company, they are pack animals after all. We are part of Maggie’s ‘pack’ and she hates it if we separate.

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