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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dog Tired

The "neither here, nor there" moon was fighting for space in a troubled sky; momentarily embraced by a dark-rainbow circumference, as it's bright, cold luminosity refracted unevenly through the prism of moist air.
The mystique of my dog-walking has turned to drudgery as yet another flare of optimism fizzles in disappointment on the adoption front.

It is hard to find a home for two dogs at once. In addition, these are energy-filled, can't be placed with cats or small children, potential grooming nightmare, emotionally high maintenance, big hairy dogs.
Boomer and Darcy are on the Collie Rescue web site and on Pet Finder. We have flyers up with vets and groomers and on many community notice boards. I don't have a client who has not heard about them. They have sent emails to their friends as well. Several single collies have been placed in new homes since June, when I acquired my Foster-Canines.

During the first month there was not even a tiny glimmer of interest. There have been three or four couples since then who have applied, had house inspection visits and been approved to adopt, only to withdraw at the last minute for one reason or another.
This past weekend we had a call from a lovely older couple of dog lovers. Their previous Labrador had lived to be twenty. His name was Sam Spade; in reference to the character in The Maltese Falcon; a book written by this gentleman's uncle. They came to visit the dogs and it was, unfortunately, evident that, although 80 may be the new 60, recent open heart surgery for one and hip surgery for the other rendered them too frail to have such robust new additions to their family. They made a donation to Collie Rescue and may yet end up with an older, quieter version.
The first time that it seemed likely that the Fur-Children would be leaving, I found myself snivelling away as I read the email, even though I was happy for them. I am sure that I will cry again when we do finally find a matching home but I have reached a point that I would prefer it to be sooner, rather than later.
As the days draw in and I find myself walking in the dark both morning and evening, I am anticipating the first real rainy day. I already have a collie. I know how many gallons of water can be absorbed into that beautiful double coat. Now multiply that by three!
Business is picking up (no complaints there). I am neglecting my clients; arriving late and leaving early. Some days even putting an extra 30 miles on my car to return home at lunch and walk the dogs so they don't get bored before I come back again and walk them some more in the evening. I haven't been horse riding in weeks, my blog is neglected and I don't have time to fully read and comment on the blogs I love to follow, as I try to speed read to at least keep up a little.
We have been discussing the option of letting the dogs be adopted separately. We don't want to split them up but they are living a half-life with me. I keep them in the garage and side yard when I am not home, which is why I take them out so much. I let them mingle with my old dog when I am there but she falls over easily and could be hurt if they tried to play with her unsupervised. I have brought some client drawings home to work on tomorrow morning and cancelled my appointment with the rep from the Yellow Pages to review our ad. All so I can keep the dogs company and not feel guilty about their care.
The older the dog the harder to place. Darcy and Boomer cannot have their 7th birthday go by in foster care. Four months have gone by like the wind.
Enough with the downer moaning. They are safe and apparently happy with me. I will soldier on and quit whining. I will hold out a while longer for a special home where both litter-mates can stay together.
I have already mentally planned what they will wear for Halloween if they are stuck here another month. Big Boomer will be SuperMan/Dog in blue spandex with a red cape. Darcy was born to dress as a French Maid. I had better go fabric shopping and start sewing this weekend, or we won't be ready by the big day.


  1. They are so wonderful. I am going to pray really seriously that they can be placed together in a forever home.

    Hang in there. What you are doing is remarkable and a real act of love and compassion.

  2. Thank you Lydia. I can't give up on them now and yes, they are special.

  3. They are lovely dogs, but as you say, high maintenance and high energy. It's not easy finding the right place for them. I am confident it will work out, though. The right person simply has not found them yet.

    Your situation is exactly why I do not have a dog myself. While I love them, they do require time, energy and a committment to care. I have cats--much easier--and pet other people's dogs whenever I can. (And I play endless games of fetch with my farrier's border collie.)

  4. What can I say?

    Your heart is too big for your actual human life schedule. But it's always been that way whether it was horses, humans, family, friends, strangers, flowers, or dogs.

    I hope that the doggy duo will be safely and happily adopted by the perfect person/people in very short order, largely before hell freezes over.

    Bises from SoCal!

  5. Jean, the master plan was to help older dogs, who would be able to integrate into our family and our existing dog's life. I signed up to foster as I know the need is there, especially with foreclosures etc. I also thought in the future, once I am dogless I would get occasional dog-fixes to keep me happy. I did volunteer for this. No one made me do it. I'm actually fine with it. I was just disappointed this weekend as I had had high hopes they had found a home.
    @eloh, Thanks. How are you?
    Satzie, I wondered if you were there or here. Welcome back and thanks for the support.

  6. Oh dear, English Rider; I think I can look into the future.
    You are a very lovely lady to take care of a pair of unwanted chaps and just think what they are doing for your figure.
    The longer they stay with you the harder it will be to see them go, please don't just send them off without checking the new owners out first. Both my last dogs were rescue dogs and both needed a lot of tlc to get over the change of owner in one case and abandonment in the other.

  7. Friko, never fear, the rescue coordinator and her colleagues all insist on house visits and a lengthy questionnaire to approve every aspect of adoptees surroundings. They have rejected 3 fabulous homes because they used "invisible fence" or shock collars to keep the dogs in unfenced properties. The reasoning being; even if the dog doesn't get shocks (and we don't like that part either) because he gets used to staying away from the perimeter, there is the additional risk of other dogs/animals coming in with bad intentions.
    My home was checked out room by room and the fence all around. I have a padlock on the side gate so no-one can let them out by accident. I am just now comfortable with them understanding that a swimming pool cannot be walked on. They both fell in a couple of times in the beginning. I feel hugely responsible for their well being. I am also very careful not to "set them up for failure" when introducing kids or other dogs. Their public manners have improved almost to the point of perfection (exclude squirrels and deer and big trucks). Someone somewhere will get a fabulous pair of dogs one of these days.

  8. You're an awfully good soul. I think about doing these kinds of things but shrink from the commitment, even if it is temporary. These two look absolutely beautiful, and somewhere out there is bound to be someone (or two) who'll love them. Good luck!

  9. man!.. i hope it all works out for you! The animal rescue subject is a tender one.. I think they do a fantastic service (I myself have a rescue lurcher).. the thing is, the common sense approach can sometimes get lost as people begin to think of animals as humans (even i am not immune to this) This can there-fore lead to detrimental things for the animals, sometimes it can seem like political correctness can be so correct, it becomes incorrect... (as in the invisible fencing examples). Also, although it's great to re-home two dogstogether, there is no doubt it puts people off, the reality is that after a week or so of pack disruption (which will happen anyway), each dog would soon slot straight in to thier new homes if homed seperately. I hope things get resolved soon, I know the demanding nature of animal care, you're a saint! and the dogs are just beautiful and deserve to get a fantastic new home :-)

  10. What a loving and generous thing for you to do. They are beautiful dogs and I hope they shower you with love and wet kisses. Hopefully the right home will come along for them soon.

  11. Dear ER, from afar can only wish you strength to persevere, and hope that they can be placed into good homes. There've been too many stories in the press about abandoned animals, about shelters at the bursting point... this economy is nobody's friend... sorry it's eating up so much time, with that I can fully sympathize, sometimes life bushwhacks us with unexpected anchors that try to hinder our free sailing...