Dog Blog

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I came close to adopting a basset hound at City Animal Control on Tuesday.  I saw it on their Web site and went down late last week to look at him.  He was coughing and looked so poorly that I worried about his health, so I passed on adopting him.  I haven't forgotten my tragic experience adopting a pup, Bramble, at that facility years ago after losing Dolly.  We barely had time to name him before he died from distemper (after four vets misdiagnosed the disease--a titer test early on might have saved him).  So, once burned, twice shy at the city pound, which always looks nasty to me, compared to the county facility.  

I had forgotten that Bubba didn't look too thrifty, either, when he was in lockdown at the county pound.  He was skin and bone with a huge head atop his rail-thin body, but after a couple of months of TLC he filled out and was so beautiful.   This dog probably just had kennel cough.  All dogs leave shelters with the same affliction, which usually clears up on its own in three weeks.  I went back on Tuesday (the shelter is closed on Mondays, as I remembered after I drove all the way down there again).  I didn't see the little basset in any of the kennels and feared the worst, but then I spotted him out in the get-acquainted area with a young family.  He looked so forlorn and confused, but I thought he looked a lot cuter than the last time I saw him.  It was so strange; when he saw me, it was as though he recognized me, although I know that's impossible.  He'd only seen me once before.  

The child didn't seem to be showing him any attention, and the dog wasn't interested in the kid, either.  I didn't sense a good match there.  I didn't show any interest in him, hoping the family might pass.  I came back later that afternoon and he was back in the pen.  I was prepared to adopt him right then but was told he had already been adopted, by the family that had been there earlier.  I was relieved that at least he got a home and gets to leave the pound.  I said good-bye and wished him a happy life.  Of course, now I'm kicking myself for not taking him home with me when I had the chance.  He seemed like a sweet dog, and he was fairly young.  I guess the reason for my initial hesitation was Bubba's loss is still too fresh after barely two months.  I wish I could find another Bubba, but of course I know that is impossible.  There was only one Bubba, will only ever be one Bubba.    

I'll keep searching the shelters, and when the time is right, the right dog for us will appear. That's how it's always gone before.  You just can't rush these things, but I know Peaches is lonely for a buddy, and the pack seems incomplete without another dog.  

The Power Of The Dog

by Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way 
From men and women to fill our day; 
And when we are certain of sorrow in store, 
Why do we always arrange for more? 
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware 
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy 
Love unflinching that cannot lie-- 
Perfect passion and worship fed 
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. 
Nevertheless it is hardly fair 
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits 
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits, 
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs 
To lethal chambers or loaded guns, 
Then you will find--it's your own affair--'ve given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will, 
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!); 
When the spirit that answered your every mood 
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good, 
You will discover how much you care, 
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way, 
When it comes to burying Christian clay. 
Our loves are not given, but only lent, 
At compound interest of cent per cent. 
Though it is not always the case, I believe, 
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve: 
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong, 
A short-time loan is as bad as a long-- 
So why in Heaven (before we are there) 
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?



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