Sunday, August 22, 2010


Yes, I'm a newbie animal advocate/shelter volunteer.  And I knew this day was coming.  I cried when a dog was put down who many of my fellow volunteers (who have been there much longer than I) had worked closely with and felt was unjustly judged.  But I hadn't worked with him, I only knew him in passing.  Evenso, it still hurt and I hurt for my fellow volunteers with whom I have come to love and trust and respect immensely.

I just thought my turn would be a lot further down the road.  I was wrong.

One of the long termers that I was on such a high about him finding a home is back.  For 10 days anyway.  For the 10 day bite quarantine.  And then he's likely to be put down.  I'm not even sure what happened.  The story changes depending on who tells it.  I was doing an offsite so I wasn't there when the owner brought him back in.  The owner was saying the bite was no big deal and that he still loves the dog and was hugging him when he was leaving him.  From what I can piece together at the shelter, he never really said where or when he was bitten but he had what looked to one volunteer like brush burns on his face but a board member assumed that he was bit in the face.

I so wish I was there to talk to him so I could hear what happened.  I don't think this guy has any inkling that the dog is now likely to be put to sleep.  To some, no kill means no kill.  They don't catch the "any adoptable animals" part.  Or they picture the "too viscious to be rehabilitated" part to be a totally different dog.  Not the one they've been sleeping with for the past week.

I do get it.  I've got 3 shelter dogs myself and they don't act anything like they did at the shelter or even the way they did within the first month of joining our family.  So while I didn't see any of the behaviors they talked about with him, it doesn't mean they couldn't happen.  Not to mention that we're all individuals...dogs and people.  The way he was with me might not be the way he'd be with someone else, someplace else.  Especially because he trusted me.  He trusted me and now he's on death row.

I thought I'd never see him again because he'd be in his furever home living happily ever after.  Now I may never seem him again because "ever after" arrived sooner than it should have.

I am just heartsick.

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