This post dedicated to all the animals sitting in shelters waiting for someone to come and take them home, and to the workers who care for them.
Dedicated in particular to the no-kill shelter in Ridgway, Colorado. www.secondchancehumanesociety.org
Become a fan of Second Chance Humane Society on Facebook.
Hello all. This is obviously a younger and very shorn me. As you know I’m a rescue dog. My seven months in a cage was a long time ago; I hardly ever think of those terrible times now that I have found my forever family. David brought me home where I bonded with my old pal, Boris, may she rest in peace. She was one heck of a dog. Bouviers don’t usually live until 14 but she had a wonderful adventure -filled life with my family. She hung around for two years, after it looked like she was done for, just so she could teach me all the rules of the household. She was an experienced girl as she had moved with my family from northern Canada to the desert of Arizona and then to the sweltering heat trap of Houston, Texas, with a short stopover in Telluride. I grieved for six months when she died, hardly eating, listless. However, life goes on and here I am. My nightmare is what could have happened to me if I hadn’t been taken in and loved again. The number one pick at the vet hospital where I was living would not have been me…I had heartworm, my fur was dull and I was pretty scrawny.
Only my eyes could communicate my hopes. They promised love forever and loyalty if only my new family would give me a place to lay my head, provide me with food and water, and keep me safe from harm. Love was a bonus. So far the deal has worked out. I have great eyes obviously because the deal came with a cool grandpa…75 in this photo and still going strong.
Anyway, enough about me. This post is to tell you about the Second Chance Humane Society that runs out of Ridgway, Co.(www.secondchancehumanesociety.org) Very dedicated people work and volunteer for this organisation. Since this is a no-kill facility they are constantly dreaming up ways to connect pets and people. Sad to say but there are a lot of “me” living in shelters in dog runs. Why? you ask. We have an over abundance of homeless pets because many people feel it is cruel to spay or neuter them (don’t think they’ve thought this one through, do you?) Or, the one that frosts my socks is the ….well we have to move excuse. However, I don’t know all the ins and outs of these family relocations but I will say this, pets can move too.
If you looked into the eyes of these homeless animals for just one minute you would know that they only want a family that will love them. Mansions and riches are unimportant. Here’s a promise, adopt a rescue dog or cat and you will be rewarded with more affection than you can handle. In fact you might need to go out to dinner or a movie once in a while so as not to be licked and kissed to death! Any pet who has been homeless is a pretty excited lover!
Sometimes you will find an animal for whom you feel a bond but then discover he has had a really bad start in life. If you have enough strength to take this journey you will find yourself powerfully enriched. My good friend, Michael McDaniel in Texas, (a veritable dog whisperer) explained to my owner that abused pets are really terrified so they put up a good front to keep anyone from getting close and hurting them again. A technique that can work, if you have the desire to take this hurting pet home and help him/her heal, is to spend a lot of time on the floor with the animal. When we are hurting and scared and you tower above us it is frightening; we know you have easy access with your hands or boots to lash out. That would scare me if I thought it could happen at any second. You don’t need to do anything, you can sit on the floor quietly and calmly and use your laptop , read a book but just be down low where he can see you are not a danger. Another good trick is to feed this scared little guy all of his food straight from your hand. Do it over and over and over again until this little buddy can trust you would never harm him. You may never have a pet that is scar free but you will have gone a long way to liberating his heart and letting him begin to trust again. You will never regret this time in your life. That initial bond you felt will be so tight that no one could ever get between the love you have for this recovering pet and the love she has for you.
Second Chance came to Telluride this weekend. I made my family take me over to meet them. It was an exciting day. Food was everywhere; Jodie was donating ice cream to help support a good cause. Dogs were being microchipped for a very reasonable fee. This is preventative action in case the worst should happen and a pet is separated from their family. (I have a chip because I spent my first few months running away..I don’t know where I was going but I had a strong urge to get there.) If I had been successful in my flight, anyone could have taken me to a vet to check for a chip and then I would have been RE-united with my pack. When you adopt, please do this. It is not very expensive, usually under $50.00. You will sleep better at night knowing your dog/cat is tagged and safe.
On Saturday some nice dogs from Second Chance were out and about looking for new-and- forever homes. Of course I prefer to dwell on my own species but there are also many cats looking for someone to love. I hear they can be pleasant to have around especially when they purr and make you feel extra special; don’t know much about that stuff. But I know some of you are cat lovers so go check them out!
I had a great chat with Otis. For a moment there it crossed my mind that he was coming home with us but taking a pet on the spur of the moment is a bad idea. It pays to be thoughtful about whether or not a new animal should be added to the household. Spur of the moment adoption can lead to spur of the moment abandonment! Trust me on this one -- NOT GOOD.
Otis is 3 years old and doesn’t mind wearing his orange vest that lets you know he wants to be adopted. (Hey wait a minute I want an orange vest for hunting season, maybe I should borrow his….no better not, people might think I’m looking for a home and my life is good.) You can tell looking at him that he’d be a good protector of a family but still pretty chill. Bet he can run rings around me hiking.
Boss was a bit more rambunctious because he was very enamored of the guy who was walking him around to show off his stellar dog qualities. Cutie though, eh? Who knew dogs came in extra long varieties. Pretty sure he’d make a great dance partner if anyone is looking for one of those. He just wants a home to call his own every night. Is that too much to ask?
Don’t forget there are many ways you can help a shelter besides adopting. They can always use people to help out with their events – especially here in Telluride. All of the employees were really nice as were the volunteers helping out on Saturday. No one is more appreciative of an extra pair of hands than people who are working their teeth off for a cause. It takes over their lives and they can burn out. This is where your heart and hands CAN make a difference. Perhaps you have time to do some rewarding dog walking. Maybe you can’t adopt right now, but you could foster. There are procedures that need to be followed before that happens but it would be a great way to find out if you can handle a pet in your busy life. Perhaps you could donate some food to the shelter periodically to help them cover costs. Creative thinking is the name of the game.
I leave you with this one thought. Don’t go to the shelter looking to adopt the CUTE one….WE ARE ALL CUTE. We are soft and fuzzy and have deep dark eyes, adorable long tails, wildly swishing stubs, and cute tongues that lick. If you enter Second Chance with the goal of adopting the cutest pet you can find, you will be taking all of them home and that could make life a bit difficult. If you live near Telluride call 970-626-2273 for directions to the one in Ridgway. Humane Societies are all around us in Canada and the U.S. Everyone there will be happy to help you save an animal’s life and find it a forever home. Unfortunately, until you come and take us to your place we are not going anywhere. Let’s meet for some dog food and a belly rub and see what happens.
Guess what? You won’t believe it. We got a phone call to tell us that Boss—the long lean dancer above found a new home. (and I’ve got the photos to prove it!) He’s got a couple dogs in his pack and a whack of kids to hang out with. How perfect is that.
If you are in the mood for a new dog, go check out Otis. See if you and he would get along. He’s been with the shelter people a long time; they would love for him to find his own home where he can lay his head each night and feel safe. He is a great guy. You heard it here first.
Don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook with Second Chance Humane Society. Who doesn’t want to be in the loop? I have cousins in Canada who joined….about 40 husky cousins live in that household and they are big believers in no-kill shelters. Way to go my mushing cousins!
Doesn’t the photo of Boss with his new family make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. Hey wait a minute! I am warm and fuzzy all over! See ya later.