There are no bad owners, only bad dogs



Oh, indeed, and it's like I'm the only one who ever falls off the face of the Earth? It IS South Dakota, after all. I mean, it's all daylight til 10 p.m. and everything, but that doesn't mean that one can find a useful way to pass the time, does it?

So, in lieu of anything useless to relate, I shall tell a story that should make you cry, if, that is, you're human with a beating heart and emotions and all that.

I have, in the past, related a tale of my sweet former dog Trudy, who had to go live somewhere else (Sophie's Choice-style) because I had two female dogs trying to kill one another, and I spent a bazillion dollars trying to force them to get along with one another, but I failed. So a co-worker took her in. And I regretted it because he turned out to be a huge asshole. Wouldn't let her in the house. Wouldn't pet her. Wouldn't spend any time with her. Hate. Him. So it was time to find her another domicile. With his blessing, because he didn't love her, not even a little bit.

I have another co-worker who essentially runs an animal shelter from her home. She has nine (9) dogs, two of which are sort of feral. She has a friend who also runs an animal shelter which serves to place pets with owners who will love and adore them, as pets are intended to be. Loved and adored. So this angel, this sweet thing, this Dana, put Trudy's picture on her Web site.

A woman, one Melissa, as it were, saw this picture of Trudy on Dana's Web site and immediately phoned Dana, wanting to adopt Trudy sight-unseen.

Back up two years-ish. I adopted Trudy from an animal shelter about two years ago, when she was about 4 months old. She was an adorable puppy with enormous feet and no common sense. Her name, as assigned by the animal shelter, was Caitlin. As the greggers has noted, I do run quite a tight ship and I wasn't about to have both a Katy and a Caitlin. How could I let such sloppiness run amok? So Caitlin became Trudy.

Back up again, two years-ish plus two weeks. Two such pointeresque pups were at the animal shelter, sisters looking for homes. One was outgoing and obnoxious, the other, shy and submissive. A family sees the shy girl and thinks (collectively), "That baby girl is going to have a hard time finding a home because she doesn't sell herself. The other one will do fine, because she's all personality. Let's take this little shy girl home." And so they did. And her name, as assigned by the shelter, was Callie. Her new family had friends whose new baby was called Callie, so they changed little Callie's name to Bailey. They loved Bailey like nobody's bidness. So much so that two weeks later, they went back for Bailey's sister, thinking that Bailey was so fabulous that two Baileys would be twice as good. But the sister was gone, having been adopted by someone else.

So life goes on. Trudy and Katy decide they hate one another. They fight with one another. They tear one another apart and bleed copiously all over my floors and walls. I try to manage one little house with two dogs who are muderously in hate with each other, including a third dog who wants no part of this blood bath. I take the dogs to the vet more than once for lots and lots of stitches. They get better and better at fighting, inflicting more damage each time. I take them to a trainer/behaviorist, who tries to convince them to tolerate one another. I drop a hell of a lot of $$$$ on this endeavor. They make progress, but eventually try to kill each other one last time. My heart breaks. Which one do I keep? Which one do I kill? Do I send the pit bull mix out into the world where she might do more damage?

So I take the first rope thrown to me -- Trudy goes to live with someone else, who pretends to like dogs, but who really likes me and is hoping that this is a way in. But it turns out that he really doesn't like her at all, in spite of her loving temperament. Turns out that he's an asshole motherfucker.

Also meanwhile, Bailey has settled in with her family out in the country. But tragedy visits again. Bailey gets really really really sick. She goes to the vet. He diagnoses internal bleeding of unknown causes. A struggle to save her ensues, but is unsuccessful. The vet never finds out what it was that caused the massive internal hemmorrhage. Bailey dies, and is mourned by the family that adores her. After a few months, they begin to look for another pet. They stumble across a Web site and see a photo of a beautiful little Pointer mix who needs a home because the person who loves her can't keep her, and the person who has her doesn't love her. And they can't believe it, because this is the image of their lost Bailey. So they call Dana and ask where Trudy came from. The same animal shelter, during the same month they adopted Bailey. Trudy is the same age as Bailey -- exactly. She was adopted within a couple of weeks of the time they adopted Bailey. Their names at the shelter were originally Callie and Caitlin. The mom, Melissa, is certain that the dogs are sisters. I am told this, and am certain that someone's broken heart is looking for solace. But this is a mom and dad with two little kids who offer Trudy a loving home. I'm willing to take a shot. But they're on vacation for a week. Then I have to go to SD for a few days. But then we make an appointment to meet.

I drove about 25 miles to pick Trudy up. She was in a mud pit of a back yard, delighted to see any human who would touch her. We drove another 25 miles to meet this family. The kids were waiting for us in the driveway.

Because I picked Trudy up when her "owner" wasn't home, I had no leash, no food, no treats. I got out of the car and said hi to the kids, who jumped up and down, clapped their hands, and asked "Is Bailey back?" They ran and got me a leash so I could take Trudy out of the car.

The mom and dad came out. The mom looked at Trudy and her eyes filled with tears. I was thinking that this nut case really had a big hole in her life and that she was just making crap up to fill a void.

Then she went into the house and got the picture that was on last year's X-mas cards, Bailey and the girls. And when I saw that picture, I started to cry. And I'm crying now, because this sweet family was meant to have Trudy all along, and I got in the way, but eventually they ended up together. And these people simply adore this sweet, simple, loveable little dog, just as she deserves.

One of the little girls offered to take me out to see Bailey's grave. The next day, they took Trudy to the vet and had her tested for heartworms (negative) because the cocksucker who'd had her hadn't bothered with it, ever. They also had her vaccinated and chipped. The next day. There really are happy endings.
Real happy endings, in spite of all of my tears.

8 comments so far

birth & death