the fickle-fingers of fate…

Posted: August 21, 2011 at 8:41 am

speaking of puppies, parvo and backyard breeding….

i don’t know if i ever told you the story of meghann.

back in 1980 when i was an innocent dog loving mother of 2 very young children at 22 (even back then i thought i was so cool and knew everything there was and could do it all too!)…i decided i wanted to breed rough coated collies. 1 loved the breed..grew up on watching lassie on TV and reading “big red” show kennel stories…..you know how our young and ignorant minds used to work in our youth…everything was a warm and fuzzy fantasy!

the year before this i had briefly had an older adult PB dobie (benson) that i picked up from the pound….because before i wanted to breed….i wanted to be a dog trainer…. (my sister and i had taken our family white shepherds thru one level of dog obedience when we were young teenagers.) i had benson euthanized about 6 months after i had gotten him..we went thru a obedience course and he scored the hightest mark in the class. but benson had big time pain issues in his spine and his hips and one day he snapped at the baby and back then i did not know how to deal with that. the vet said i should put him down…so i did.

not having learned too much in the next brief span that followed….except that maybe training was not the best career for me….

i brought meghann, a tri colored collie pup up from the states with an eye to breed her when she grew up.
meggie was my first parvo pup. that was an expensive and unexpected education in keeping a sick pup alive…and she did survive….for awhile, but then following her illness, she became badly affected with demodex…as bad as merry. but meg was a collie…”white feet, don’t treat…” and she couldn’t be treated with ivermectin.
that left us lime-sulfur body dips..that was the only other treatment option way back then. as the millions of mites died off deep into her skin..it set off a massive infection. by the time i had her euthanized at 7 months old due to sepsis…i was several thousand dollars in debt and totally broken hearted. for all of her serious problems, i was haunted by the loss of loving her and my own guilt that i couldn’t help her get well.

that was it….for the next 10 years…i barrenly lived dog free and concentrated on my family. evenually we bought stanley from a dilapitated back yard breeding shack selling cute, little mixed breed pups for 40 bucks. stanley survived my love of dogs…he lived happily and well loved until he was 16. it was during his lifetime that i started fostering cats and kittens for the spca and taking in the occasional stray to find them a new home. then i discovered private rescue when stan was 10 years old… we adopted tyra as a young puppy from a grassroots rescue society (she came with infected eyes, ringworm and demodex and was a total nutbar..back to the vet and obedience classes…deju vu and oh yay!)
once i found rescue..i was a born again rescuer…and poof for the next 15 years..i was lost in the endless stream of the unwwanted, the homeless, and finally the sick and the old.

but i remember benson and meghann and stanley and tyra and the lessons they taught.

i am glad i am not a trainer…i am glad i am not now a breeder…..but…not so sure i am glad i am a rescuer either if the truth be told.

all i know for sure is..ignorance is not bliss..and neither is actually really knowing. living with, learning from and loving animals…freaking well hurts.

ahh those freaking fingers of fate…they pinched me til i finally learned that animals were a helluva lot of committment, heartbreak and hard work….and if we really want to…even the most stupid (like me!) can actually learn from our past mistakes.

8 Comments on "the fickle-fingers of fate…"

  • christine says

    I sit here crying because for the second time i am not brining home the dog(s) i chose and bonded with over a picture.I would have loved that dog from the spca but they selected a better home than me,i must trust they are right.Now the 2 seniors i was hoping for are on medical hold.Of course i understand and want the best for those little rescue dogs but that doesnt make me feel less sad.My pets were very loved and well cared for even though i had to go to work during the week.I have to believe there is a little one(s) out there that some rescue thinks i am right for.Do i dare try at rejection again?

  • Emma says

    Yes Christine you do.

  • Deb says

    It’s not a rejection of you, Christine, because it isn’t about you. It’s about picking the home closest to “perfection” for a dog who deserves nothing less. If someone else fills the criteria and you don’t, for whatever reason, the dog’s needs dictate that the very best applicant becomes that dog’s family. Anything less than that would be irresponsible, and totally unfair to the dog.

  • Carol says

    deb is absolutely right christine. i have sent three of the saints special needs cats out to permanent foster with each of my kids. and while it APPEARED i let them all have some choice in the matter by getting them all to come here and meet everyone and see who they bonded with…i already knew which cats would suit both their human and existing animal families best and i did steer all of them to those very same cats.

    all of my kids are more than excellent homes but if any one of them had wanted conan the barbarian, i would have absolutely said no. but mia suits (smarties and ) brian and jenn to a T, and marshmellow is great for (bella and) lindsey and cam and i am pretty damn sure that sebastion is perfect for (lily and ) eric and ang and my sweet grandbaby too.

    it is always about finding the best mix and match that suits not only the animals but their families as well.

    the shelter staff did not pick a “better” home for the dog(s)…they just picked a “different” home, one they thought fit best for all involved.

    when god closes a door, he opens a window…your best new friend (s) is (are) coming, the time when he or she needs you above all others is just not here quite yet.

  • lynne says

    what about smokey and ewok they are great dogs. they are bigger but so sweet.

  • jan says

    Hi Christine
    I am sorry I dont know that much about your circumstances but could you let me know something about the friend you are looking for? we are working on our new website just now.

  • Kathy says

    Thanks for this, Carol. It’s comforting to know that someone as dedicated as you had some sad lessons from the past. When I was a young mother of two, I gave away a perfectly fine dog because she was ‘inconvenient’ and have never forgiven myself. I’m nearly 60 now, belong to a rescue group, and every dog I’ve adopted has been loved and cared for during its entire natural life.

    This is, in part, atonement.

    Take care and best wishes in all you do.

    Kathy

  • christine says

    Thanks for the pep,feeling better.
    I do see how wonderful ewok snd smokey are,but dont think i can manage that size of dog.But i will think on it some more.I work in a lumbermill and figure i have energy enough for seniors.2 seniors ideally could keep each other company when i am at work.I will email an adoption form over.And i will try to arrange a visit in the near future but i am traveling from the interior.

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