lets ditch the pretty wrapping….

Posted: September 6, 2014 at 8:21 am

rescue is not the warm and fuzzy, we are so wonderful, shiny happy internet picture that the public believes.
and we are not the ethical, intelligent, do everything right in rescue angels either.

last time i looked there were 50 rescue importers bringing more dogs into canada…if they each only bring in 20 per year thats a thousand new dogs every year. don’t get me wrong..if i want to go across the line and rescue a US, indian, chinese or turkish dog.. i am going to do it because i rescue tons of nobody wants them BC dogs.

my issue is with fulfilling a public demand…i really do not give a shit if mr and mrs john smith cannot find their idea of their perfect puppy to adopt here…oh well…maybe they should re-think their wish list because if you truly love dogs…you can and will love any kind of dog. it is not the breed, the look, the size that matters..it is the heart and soul inside. the outside of dogs is just the book cover, its the inside that matches and melds with our hearts.

i think once we start caving to public demand and rescuing those that selfish and uneducated people say actually have value, we cease to be rescue and just become brokers..providing a product that someone says they need.

wanna know how mad it makes me to reduce our beloved saints to a product status. i sp[end years living with some of them, getting to know every nuance, every quirk, every heroic and shameful thing. they re not products..they are furry and feathered people to me.

if someone suggested that we bring over indonesia girls to marry our sons because canadian girls are not interesting enough..i would be sick. i would be more than happy to help an indonesdian girl escape poverty, abuse and have a chance for a better life. but to bring her here because someone wants to own her? screw that.

i have said before that i don’t care what we do in rescue as long as our motives are pure. pure motives will not profit from others, pure motives will not allow another to suffer… no matter what. pure motives will MAKE us find a way to do things right.

and this is not easy or pretty or even all that popular at times but rescue is like an onion…stinky, eye watering, filled with peeling layer after layer of trying to get it right.

no rescue should be telling you how wonderful they are..we are too dirty, angry, frustrated, wounded, lost and afraid to be wonderful. but we are strong, and we do know right from wrong and we committ to living it every single day.

is there wonder in rescue?

yes there is…but it is in the we don’t give a shit what kind of animal you are…you are utterly precious in every way.

when joe public gets that..our animals will not need to be “saved.”

13 Comments on "lets ditch the pretty wrapping…."

  • Penny says

    Love this blog, Carol.

  • pip van nispen says

    Brilliant ~You continue to put into words that make sense those troubling thoughts about some rescues that I feel are not right but seem so righteous~Thanks Carol for sharing your perceptions!

  • Glenda says

    Spot on Carol! I just had a chat with a person who would not have a dog who sheds, or is white because they want a “clean” dog. It was all I could do to be quiet. I don’t think they should have a dog personally, if that is what matters. Once again you have put into words what I could not.

  • Helga says

    You take home and come to love the ones who need it most. These are living feeling creatures not lifestyle accessories or fashion statements.

  • Marianne says

    I know EXACTLY who I’m showing this blog to!! Well said. I get my knickers in a real knot over this exact same thing.

  • Tracey says

    …”if you truly love dogs…you can and will love any kind of dog. it is not the breed, the look, the size that matters..it is the heart and soul inside. the outside of dogs is just the book cover, its the inside that matches and melds with our hearts…”

    That’s it! That’s exactly it! For all species.

    And it is not just the general public who would benefit from grasping this concept, but some of those runners-of-rescues/shelters, volunteers-at-rescues/shelters, staff-at-rescues/shelters could use of dose of understanding as well. 🙁

  • I’d agree with about 90% of this except maybe ….

    “mr and mrs john smith cannot find their idea of their perfect puppy to adopt here…oh well…maybe they should re-think their wish list because if you truly love dogs…you can and will love any kind of dog. it is not the breed, the look, the size that matters..it is the heart and soul inside. the outside of dogs is just the book cover, its the inside that matches and melds with our hearts.”,

    That’s not entirely true – or fair. Breed has a lot to do with what’s ‘inside’ and matching the right dog to the right family is important. This comes across as ‘if you want a dog any ol dog will do’ and that does reduce them to a commodity. I love border collies, I love their constantly happy Type A energy and think they’re a constant lark and just amazing – I also know that they’re not the right dog for me. I love watching them – but I just don’t have the energy to match. Dobe’s are beautiful dogs, elegant, graceful, nice dogs, but they just don’t melt my heart. An 18 month old great dane would be a disaster in my 83 yr old mother’s senior apartment, but a nice 7 or 8 yr old little maltese would be just the ticket. Dogs aren’t a one size fits all (literally).

    I rant and rave and lather at the mouth as much as the next sensible rescue person in this country about the wholesale importation of dogs, BUT there is (even for me) the exception to the ‘rule’. To use your human analogy

    “if someone suggested that we bring over indonesia girls to marry our sons because canadian girls are not interesting enough..i would be sick. i would be more than happy to help an indonesdian girl escape poverty, abuse and have a chance for a better life. but to bring her here because someone wants to own her? screw that.”

    That’s human trafficking and it is both sickening and an abomination. OTOH – I happened to meet, fall in love with, and marry an Australian (and a lovely man he is too) and he moved here with me. In order for that to happen – we had to be pretty damned sure of ourselves. We couldn’t just move in together and try it on for a while and send him back if it didn’t work out. There were a gazillion financial bureaucratic and legal hoops that had to be jumped through and the entire process took almost two years to complete. Yes, there were probably a million middle aged available men in Canada then – if not more – shouldn’t I have married one of them? It certainly would have been easier. But that’s not who I fell in love with. If someone goes on holidays to Mexico and falls in love with a little beach dog and wants to bring it home. Well I might roll my eyes at them a little – but I’m willing to give that you don’t always know where you’re going to find love. BUT (and this is a BIG BUT) …. you better be willing (and I’d like to see) to navigate a process that is at least half as hard as bringing my husband here was (sign a bond – I had to), full medical examinations and disclosures (he had to) …..you get the idea. and it’s still a very different thing than the wholesale importation of foreign dogs by so called rescues.

    I’d love to see the rules tightened up, I’d love to see the rules we have now enforced, but I wouldn’t want to see the process locked down so tight as to deny the ability to help when there is a true humanitarian crisis (was Katrina the doggie version of the Boat People?) or to deny someone the perfect canine companion if that should so happen.

    Just my $0.02 worth.
    OE

  • DB says

    My count is 104 Canadian Rescues which import dogs … more & more new ones popping up daily.

    Regular ground transports, from the USA, into Ontario alone (since Jan 1, 2014) have brought in 800 dogs.

    It is not so easy to track the ground transports which terminate in the US & the Canadian rescue meets the transport in the USA. Even more challenging are the foreign groups which are sending dogs either by air cargo or with a ‘soft hearted’ Canadian willing to be a ‘flight accompanier’. However, with the ones identified the number of dogs which have entered Canada from other countries (USA, Dominican Republic, USA, Bahamas, Mexico, Jamaica, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Kosovo, Albania, Romania, Korea, Thailand) we are way over 1000 dogs since Jan 1, 2014.

    That does not include cats arriving from the USA, Egypt etc.

  • Carol says

    point well taken OE but i would like to add that while breed/size may influence who an animal is…it is far from the end all or be all of who each individual dog is. for example many seniors looking for a small “easy” to manage dog would do far better with a rock solid, calm, wise, older mid-large mixed breed who is capable of being a thinking caring partner to them. and we are getting to the point when we think calling what amounts to animal trafficking… ‘rescue’ and that makes it ok. i will help animals on any corner of this planet…but when i bring in the few that we do from other places…it is NOT to sell them to new homes. i bring them here to my home because it is better than where they are…if they find an adoptive or foster home, great. if not…whatever, we love and care for them here for the rest of their forever. as “rescuers” we are not just the first stop…we are also the last stop so if we adopt out 1000 dogs…we better be willing to take 1000 back again because we are forever responsible for every. single. dog.

  • Won’t disagree with that at all. And somewhere out there may be the world’s most perfect for me couch potato border collie LOL (actually she’s a pyr border collie cross – the world’s most confused dog)

    I think of responsible rescue, the same way I think about responsible breeding – the key word is responsible – I am responsible for, and to, that life. 🙂

    Ultimately though when a family or person is looking for a dog, we can make recommendations, we can make suggestions we can act as facilitators using our knowledge and experience to help match them to the perfect dog for them – the choice will be, must be, always has been theirs. We’re doggy match makers. We might think that our senior adopter is better off with “a rock solid, calm, wise, older mid-large mixed breed” but if the ‘connection’ doesn’t happen we can’t force it. And we shouldn’t. I don’t think that means we bring in dogs to ‘specifications’ or based on demand or what we think will ‘sell’. Rather I think it means that if we don’t have what they want, or the dog we have they think they might want we’re not happy is a good match – we recommend them to someone we trust who might have what they want/need.And hopefully through that process we educate a little.

    The dogs come first, (last, and always), and their needs are our primary concern. But if the goal is for every dog to have a home (and while that may be an unattainable ideal goal in the here and now I do think it’s the star we’re all reaching for) then I think we also have to wear our customer service hat – just a little bit now and again.

  • Mark says

    Also agree with 90-95% of above, however, matching the right dog to the right family is important. and unfortunately that sometimes comes with required preferences.

  • Carol says

    i do understand this mark…BUT when we give birth to our children, we get what we get and we damn well better be able to love with all of our hearts whoever it is. i am not saying folks should just grab any old dog and they will love them and everything will be perfect. i am actually saying pick your dog by the personality of the individual dogs not by his/her looks, size or breed. and it is possible to love and cherish no matter what…5 of my 6 dogs, i had no prior knowledge of until the day they entered my home as “my” dog…i couldn’t even initially touch june or luna. phoebe was the only one that i knew before i adopted her and she is a royal pain in the ass. but i worship the ground that all of them walk on, quirks, wrinkles and all. ok so maybe i am one of the few who can and will love any dog but i do think people keep the loving some really great dog’s doors locked because of real inane reasons..like breed, age, size and color. to me that means they are more of a thing then a unique and individual being.

  • Carol says

    actually what i really want to say is this…a few years ago, a nice lady showed up here and wanted to adopt brown buddy, she said she really wanted to give a senior a great home for their last few years. buddy is a permanent sanctuary dog..not because of health or behavioral issues but because that dog is so deeply attached to me, it would break his heart if i sent him away. so i told her he wasn’t for adoption, but since she was a really good home, i introduced her another super great dog..same age, same size..but with an even calmer and sweeter personality…but she wasn’t a chocolate lab so the lady wouldn’t even look twice at her and said after one quick look…”she really doesn’t do anything for me….” and i knew at that moment she was shopping for a dog by external looks and not for the real dog living inside. we don’t have any of those kind of dogs here.

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