Just Dogs

unrecognizable person holding dog paw on grassy meadow
Photo by Turgay Yıldız on Pexels.com

I read an article this evening about how people give up their dogs to a shelter before they go on vacation so they don’t have to pay for boarding. “It’s fine. We’ll get another dog when we get back.” Pardon? I’m pretty sure that there should be a law against this. But, yeah, I live in my head where there should be laws against a lot of things that people do that are ethically bad but concern things most people never think about. And, strangely, most of these things have to do with animals.

Recently a woman on Nextdoor offered up her dog because he was too much trouble because now her toddlers were active. A neighbor, who I have respected, told everyone: “don’t judge.” I tried to be good. I never commented. But, yes, I judged and oddly I don’t really feel bad about it at all. Despite what everyone says, I feel like there are times when others should be judged because their actions are thoughtless or just selfish.

We human beings are completely beguiled by our self-worth. We treasure what we deem to be our higher intelligence at the cost of everything around us. If we fear something, we kill it. If a dog doesn’t match our décor, we take it to the shelter. If a dog is no longer cute, we get rid of it. Somehow, we’ve come to the conclusion that dogs are disposable.

In a materialistic society, is this surprising?

We are completely out-of-touch with nature and the world around us. I seriously, evidently naively, thought that the lockdowns brought about by covid-19 might make us more aware of the natural world, that we might take notice, stop and smell the roses or the hyacinths, listen to birdsong, notice all of the truly magnificent natural beings this world has to offer, but I was wrong. (Yup, it happens, isn’t that weird? 😉 ) People binged on Netflix instead, grew attached to their cell phones, as if they hadn’t been already, and brought home pandemic puppies as company.

I have been happy to see that a lot of new puppy owners who have found themselves in over their heads have consulted trainers. This shows promise. But there still remains those people who never view their dogs as part of their family. How is this possible? Who are these people who bring dogs into their lives and then treat them as if they are disposable? I know a few and these people surprised me.

They are not horrible people. One brought home a rescue beagle who was a handful and then adopted a cuddly shih tzu. The wife decided that the beagle was too much trouble so he went back to the shelter while they adored their little, non-troubling shih tzu–until? I lost track of them. I have no idea if the cute dog ever became a problem. Another had two lovely golden puppies before the babies came. After the babies? The dogs were too much trouble and had to be rehomed. When her kids were older, they adopted another dog. Dogs are disposable, interchangeable, after all.

As a person who is still mourning the loss of her beloved Scout almost a year ago, I don’t understand how anyone can bring a creature as lovely and intelligent and emotional as a dog into their lives and then not understand the complete gift they have been given. As an adult, I’ve owned five dogs now. Each one has been different and wonderful and captivating, and I have loved each one to bits, mourned their passing as a member of the family. They have an emotional intelligence that I believe we human beings are starting to lose, if this past year has been any example. They love unconditionally. Another thing we humans seem to have lost. They are the best of the best.

Dogs teach us so much about life, if we are able to listen and learn. If we aren’t, I suppose it’s possible to view them as disposable. And, if we view them as disposable, how do we view every person we meet, our children, and the world around us?

I wonder.

Do you have a beloved pup? I’d love to hear about him/her. Hugs to them and you.

Dogs rule…well, I wish they would. Can you imagine that world? Greenies and balls and happy kisses. Sigh. Yeah, that world I could get behind…or in front of or beside…or something. 😀

xoxo

17 replies »

  1. These people infuriate me!!! We are trying to find another pup/dog and our local rescue say they don’t have any for adoption. The only ones we have ‘found’ all have anxiety and separation issues, or aren’t socialised. Because I am a dog lover and will fuss any canine within a foot of me, it would not be fair to get a dog with such issues and expect them to share us. Nowhere is open for us to go and visit to try and bond with one, and yet there are people out there who give them away on a whim.
    Makes me sick. (Sorry Sascha……… rant over)

    • No problem. I completely understand and agree with your rant as I am seeing much of the same thing here. Many people brought home English Shepherd pups during the past year and now I see them trying to be rehomed because of issues. Herding dogs are cute puppies, but they need a job and lots of activity who else they have issues. And, yep, I imagine separation anxiety is going to be rampant when people start going back to work. I hope you find a lovely pup soon!

  2. If anything, Covid made things worse because tons of people selfishly went it and bought dogs and cats and other animals, and now that the pandemic is ending, they no longer want them. I live in a rural area where people just dump animals off on the side of the road. I could go on and on.

    At one point in my life we had a Great Dane, and we had an accident with one of our kids. Hindsight, it was likely irresponsible for me to have such a big dog with a young child. It was just an accident, but I realized we needed to find a different home for him. I was already pregnant with my fourth child and knew it was probably best. We loved him so much, and I bawled my eyes out for days, but I contacted a rescue to find us a good home for him. When we met to drop him off, the lady judged me. She was so cruel, and we took excellent care of that dog. He was my oldest son’s best friend. She didn’t even know the heartbreak we were experiencing, nor did she care. We asked her to please keep in touch to let us know how he was doing. We never heard from her again. So, needless to say, I try not to judge people for their decisions. We all make mistakes, however, some are just way too careless. The idea of getting an animal knowing that you won’t be able to keep it or afford it is a different story in my eyes.

    Excellent post ❤️

    • Yours would certainly not be one of those situations that I would judge. Sophie came to us because of a similar situation in which she grew to be too much for the couple with a new baby to handle. I can see that if Sophie stayed with the couple, it most probably would have ended badly.

      I most definitely accept that many people have very good reasons for giving up a pet and I really don’t judge them. It’s the ones who never consider the pup at any stage in their relationship with it that yank my chain. Dogs (and other animals) should not be considered disposable.

      And, yeah. I remember when we had a cabin in West Virginia. Litters of kittens would be dumped at the entrance to our lane. Of course, some were just put into sacks and dumped in the river. Ugh. 💔

      • That is so sad. Gosh, I can’t believe people would do that to poor little kittens!

        I try not to judge as well, but we had two litters of puppies a few years ago, and we had a couple irresponsible owners. In one case, a puppy actually died and the man had the nerve to call us to see if we had any other puppies. 😢 I woke up with nightmares and realized too late that people can be so irresponsible. I also realized that I wasn’t responsible for screening the people first. It made me feel like it was my fault. Then another owner ended up bringing a dog back to us over a year later because he got engaged to someone that had two other dogs, so he didn’t want ours anymore. I totally get what you mean. I can say for certain that we learned our lesson in all cases, and we never make decisions about pets without thoroughly thinking it over now.

        Thanks for being understanding. 😊

      • I first heard about kittens being dumped in a burlap bag and sent over a bridge when I was a little kid and it impacted me. Since then, I’ve seen it often in literature, especially in Appalachia. I don’t know if it’s the norm elsewhere. Considering how often cats/kittens became roadkill in those areas, I’m kind of surprised they’d resort to that. Too often I saw kittens die of distemper or other diseases.

        I do judge. I realize that many frown on that. So be it. But, I really try to be rational about it. I know/acknowledge/understand that things happen beyond people’s control and that’s when compassion is deserved. But a lot of people just don’t deserve that compassion because they think only of themselves and not of the pup. Dogs cannot speak and I really feel that those of us who are advocates must speak for them as well as all of the other animals in the world. (Soapbox jumped down from.)

  3. People that treat animals this way drive me up a wall. While ideally an animal would not be subjected to that at all, I’d much rather see them get rehomed than abused or living in a situation where they are ignored and unloved. Unfortunately, there are not enough decent humans out there willing to put in the time and effort to truly care for all of those no longer wanted ones. It breaks my heart.

    • You bring up an excellent point. It’s more important that the dog gets into a home where they will be given the time, support, and love they deserve. My fear is that if the dog is surrendered to a kill shelter, they might not have that chance.

      • Yes, especially in the south and midwest. However, a lot of them are sending dogs up to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast where the shelters are almost empty and there is demand.

  4. They are not just dogs! Well-spoken and written post. My two girls give you five paws up! 🐾🐾

  5. We aren’t just dogs, we are far more than that. The rescue and rehoming centres here in the UK were closed or severely restricted to the general public through the early part of first quarantine. They emptied (pretty much) the kennels to foster people so that the dogs could at least get some sense of normality. People went slightly mad for puppies from breeders so that they could have a buddy for their work from home time. I am not wholly certain as to how many of them did their homework on the dog before making the decision to buy one. As lockdown now seems to be lifting to some degree, the stories are beginning to circle again of dogs that are no longer suitable, cannot be looked after or just being left outside rescue facilities. Sometimes the story is worse, and dogs are just left tied to a lamp post or tree in the hope that someone will find them.

    Many people treat us as a commodity and when our usefulness is ended, we are disposed of in whatever way they deem fit. That we have provided comfort, support and friendship over the preceding 16 months is of little relevance. There are people who look after us, will always do the best for us and will be patient with our ways to ensure that we enjoy our life.

    • Thank you for writing, Dexter. Very well said. I always like to believe that the few that toss away dogs like they do their plastic water bottles are in the minority and that the ones who keep the dogs are the in the majority and we just don’t hear about them because, what’s to say? It is heartbreaking to think that the dogs who gave such comfort have been gotten rid of. It says so much more about the animal that is a human being (lest we forget that we too are animals) than that animal that is a dog.

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