The dogs and I were sitting on the porch several weeks ago. Some were sleeping, and a few were looking at the birds and squirrels. We were keeping a few dogs that came into the rescue when one of them asks, "where did I come from, I forgot." "Do you really want to know?" I ask. "Yes, please, I want to know!"
When dogs come into any rescue, it's usually not very good. It's either the last straw in the household they came from, or the owner just doesn't care what happens to the dog, and it's usually not very good if you're a dog, and the end may be unpleasant.
Going into a shelter or when someone tells you why they need to rehome their dog can be overpowering and overwhelming for everyone. You see many reactions from the dog when you visit the shelter; they are happy to see someone or hide in the back of their cage. They can't trust anyone because the person who they thought loved them brought them to the shelter. Sometimes they are scared and will bark at everything and anything where once they were very confident and calm. Dog shelters can bring out the worse in a dog, and the dog can even shut down and give up on any hope of ever being happy, and sometimes, they’re not.
Being a foster and evaluator, you see all kinds of dogs and wonder what happened and why it happened. Sometimes you know, but most times, you don't. Don't get me wrong; at times, a dog may need to be rehomed in certain circumstances, and it's necessary. Lord knows I know.
Once a dog is brought to safety, their life drastically changes for the better, and they transform into something we didn't see in the shelter, and it's so satisfying to watch that change for the good. They will run and play and learn new things such as chasing another dog, a ball or Frisbee and even going into the house where some have never been. They get their own dog bed if they don't sleep in the new owner's bed and get fed, not having to scavenge on their own.
As I started to explain where they came from to the young dogs, I thought for a moment of what I needed to say. As I started to speak, my heart got the better of me, and I stretched the truth, "just a little." "Mickie, your owners went to the hospital, and they wouldn't allow any dogs, but she loved you very much. Tink, your human mother, was going to have a baby, and Rosco, your human dad, became allergic to your fur. They all loved you very much and even cried when they had to let you go. They ask me if I would take special care of you, and of course, I said yes." "Yea, they loved us and wanted the best, just for us, and thank you dad for helping them and us. Do they know where were are at?" "You betcha'" I said. As the dogs came to me and jumped onto my lap, they snuggled down into sweet dreams, knowing they were safe and happy, all is at peace...
Of the three dogs in my lap, one was scheduled for euthanasia, having only 24 hours left. One was tied to a chain for her entire life, and one was starved and abused, all were infested with ticks and fleas. I am glad they forgot where they came from... Ken