Yesterday I watched a repeat of Oprah about the “Hidden world of puppy mills.” I only watched the last thirty minutes, but that was enough to do me in.
I picked the show up about the time that they were showing scenes from an animal shelter in Ft. Worth. After talking about the pet overpopulation, they started talking about the process of choosing which dogs to put down. The camera panned the dogs waiting in their cages marked with a big red “E” for euthanize.
That’s when I first started to get all choked up.
Then they actually showed scenes of the shelter employees putting a dog down. I couldn’t hold it back, the tears just started flowing. And the worst, absolute worst part was when they showed them dumping trash bags that contained the dogs’ remains into and old, ordinary trash dumpster.
Let’s just say that the Golfer is really lucky that I didn’t immediately jump into the car to drive to the animal shelter to rescue every dog there. Instead, I thought I’d take a minute to talk about our great doggy adoption experience and encourage others who might be thinking of getting a dog to do the same.
We went to three different shelters before we found him. I had always said that our next family dog would be a shelter dog and I was holding true to my word even though there was a pet store filled with cute little puppies just down the street. Instead, I drove 40 miles away to look at a Maltese mix that I had seen on the county’s animal shelter Website.
When we got there we had to walk past lots and lots of cages, each filled with two or three dogs a piece. Most of them were large dogs; dogs that are darling and cute as puppies and then eventually grow up. When I asked the shelter worker about this she told me, “The small dogs and the puppies are always the first to be adopted.” It made my heart ache.
When we first laid eyes on Freddie, he was pretty pitiful looking. His hair was almost completely covering his eyes and his legs and feet had been shaved.
They took us out into a caged in area so we could interact with the dog. We had done this before with several dogs during our two previous visits, but none of the dogs would interact with the boys. None of them seemed like a match for our family (which is important any time that you get a new pet.)
But this dog was different. He didn’t run around the cage or run from the boys when they tried to pet him. He simply sat quietly and relished the attention. As the boys were petting him, the Cheese looked up and said, “And I will call him Freddie.”
There was no way I couldn’t leave him there after my child had given him a name. Just no way.
As I was paying the $50 adoption fee, the lady at the counter had asked me if I knew that he had been adopted a couple of days prior and had been returned.
“What reason did they give for returning him?” I asked her.
“They only said that he acted scared and skittish.”
I decided that we’d take our chances.
Freddie is one of the best dogs we’ve ever owned. He spends his days quietly laying on the upstairs landing, giving him a good view of the outside. He hardly ever barks and was already potty trained. The worst thing that he has ever done was knocking over the trash can to help himself to some leftovers, but even that was minor. He likes to get on our bed and mess up the pillows whenever no body’s home which drives me crazy but I can’t bring myself to punish him since I’ve never actually caught him in the act.
We love Freddie and he loves us. He even traveled home with us to Oklahoma over last Christmas break. He was the best traveler out of all of us. He’s a good dog that’s just happy to be here.
And we’re so glad that he is.