Monday, April 4, 2011

Dumping Dogs at Shelters

Dogs for Adoption
View dogs and cats for adoption at the Gallatin County Shelter in Kentucky

At 18 I left home, taking my dog Tippy with me, from Illinois to Boston, later to Buffalo, back to Illinois, to New Hampshire, and finally to Cincinnati. Leaving Tippy behind at any of those points never occurred to me.  It simply wasn't an option.  She'd been dumped once in her life, and it wasn't going to happen again.

But many adults, supposedly more mature than an 18 year old, dump their dogs without a second thought.

Some excuses would be hilarious if they didn't result in a homeless pet:

My 5 year old isn't taking care of the dog like I thought he would.

I'm moving and the new house isn't big enough for the dog. (Are you moving into a Doll House?)

I redecorated and the dog doesn't match the new color scheme.

My guess is that of the many reasons given for dumping a pet, the "We don't have time for Spot" excuse is one of the most common.

People who use this excuse are quick to explain, "We really want Spot to have a good home.  We're just so busy.  He deserves so much more than we can give him since we just don't have time for him."

I wish they would simply admit the truth:

We're dumping our dog because we don't have the patience to deal with him.

We're really very lazy and it takes too much effort to walk and feed him, and way too much effort and organization to house-train him.

It's too hard to figure out how to prevent him from chewing stuff up.  We have to put so many things away all the time.

We'd rather watch TV, surf the net, talk on our phones than spend 15 minutes a few times a week training the dog. 

The dog just isn't as much fun as we had hoped.  In fact, instead of fun, we're finding he's a lot more work than we wanted. 

Ultimately, we're really very shallow, selfish people.  We got the dog to benefit ourselves with no thought to what the dog needs or feels.

We hope he finds a home with someone better than us, with someone more mature, caring, patient, and kind, traits we so sorely lack,  but if not, well, like we said, we're really very shallow so if you at the shelter have to kill him to make room for more dogs left by people like us, well, that's too bad, but there's really nothing we can do about it.

In reality, dogs don't  take a lot of time. They're extremely adaptable, tolerant, patient, and so capable of getting by with so little.  And ultimately, the excuses people offer for dumping their dog say so very, very much about them, but nothing about the dog.

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