Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Responsible Animal Companionship Part 1

My dog "companion" SANDIE 10 yrs old

When my husband and I "rescued" Sandie for our life long companion (not "ownership" because she is not an object, she is an animal) we did so from a kill shelter and she was scheduled to be put down and we were told she was not adoptable.  We went back and forth with the shelter (which today is now a no-kill shelter, recent decision and new management) about Sandie and why she was returned to the shelter two times and not adoptable.  Finally we reached an agreement with them that we would under no uncertain terms house her with another dog.  She was not able to live in the same home as another dog.  We agreed to that and have stood by and will always stand by that agreement.

All of the dogs that we have ever fostered or owned were rescued from kill shelters.  We have never bought or been given for "free" a dog.  We're allergic to cats so we've never had any of them.

Do I think that every family is meant to rescue a dog from a kill shelter or no-kill shelter.  In a perfect world, yes!   I am totally against animal breeding and have been my whole life as far as I can remember even as a child.  I started rescuing animals from the streets since I was about 7 years old.  It started with a seagull (one that was hit by a car at the beach and left to die on the street) and went from there.

My husband and I have been involved in animal rescuing, fostering and rehoming for a long time.  But the day that we rescued Sandie we stopped our work in rescue and rehab and rehoming.  We dedicated the rest of Sandie's life as the only companion animal in our home.  My husband can tell you (and probably will as one of the comments here) that we are never happier than we are today that we made that decision.  When we travel, she comes with us.  We stay at hotels and motels that allow animals to stay there.  If you need a list of hotels and motels where you are traveling to take your dog, just go to this organization online, Pets Can Stay,  and seek help from their search engine.  You can also google "hotels and motels that permit animals in ....." (and you type in the name of the city and state where you will be).  All of the Motel 6's that we have ever stayed in have permitted animals. The Marriot also has a search engine of their hotels and motels that permit animals to stay in the room.  I have to tell you that the pickings were slim when we first started this traveling with Sandie.  We stayed exclusively at Motel 6 but we have been discouraged with some of the ones we have stayed in and are seeking other hotels with refrigerator/microwaves in them so we can bring in our own food and her food (which includes canned vegetables that need to be refrigerated after they are opened).

I'm not saying that everyone should take their animals with them when they travel, I'm sharing that it's an OPTION.  I know members of my family who kennel or put their animals with friends while they travel.  Those are other options.  Our decision to bring Sandie with us when we travel happened when we kenneled her and she became very ill there (away from home in another town in California) but she has done well over night in our home veterinarian office.  So it all depends on what works for you and your animal companion.  This topic will be continued.


Maureen Timerman said...

We were blessed with a wonderful rescue/service dog for my husband. He was a trained Parkinson's dog. He saved my hubby's life more than once!
I also have a rat terrier from a kill shelter, and an Old English Sheepdog, from a rescue that came to me heartworm positive...he is now 10 and an old man, lived with us now for 7 years.

Suburban Style Challenge said...

I agree that rescue is the way to go. There are so many shelters and breed-specific rescues that it's nearly impossible to NOT find a dog that suits your lifestyle and desires.

Our dog is a rescue twice over. The shelter we got her at--a no kill shelter that's local in the Chicago 'burbs--pulled her from a kill shelter 3 days before her kill date. She was about 8 months old. She was a handful at first, having spent nearly her entire puppyhood in a shelter, but learned quickly and is now the poster-dog for shelter dogs everywhere. No one can believe such a pretty, well-behaved dog came from a shelter. The pretty is all her, but her behavior was all our hard work and responsibility.

I also agree that traveling with your pet is always an option, and can be fun if you're taking a road trip. My husband and I haven't done it, but we're fortunate enough that my parents are nearby and LOVE watching our dog, so it's win win for both of us :)

Anonymous said...

All of my small pets have come from rescue - some directly from the dog catcher!

I currently have an older (11) dog who was given up by the only family she ever knew. She now has separation anxiety and isolation distress. She also has hip dysplasia and arthritis. She can snap for various reasons.

I got her a Thunder Shirt, pain meds, anxiety meds, and melatonin. She is now on antibiotics for an infection. Soon we'll start acupuncture and swimming.

Her last years will be her best years!

John Mullin said...

We are so happy to have Sandie in our lives. As others say said there were unknown problems that we have had to deal with, but we take them in stride as a part of our commitment to our companion Sandie.

Beloved said...

I find the timing interesting. Just this morning, while walking our boxer with my son, he said he resented the word "pet," as our dog is a member of the family. We agreed that companion animal was the best compromise we could come to. Our dog Sando (I laughed when I read Sandie) always travels when we do, and in addition to the chains you mentioned, La Quinta Inns and Suites are also pet friendly. They're a favorite place of ours to stay when road-tripping.
Great post, thanks.
Peace and good.

Diane said...

we just got back from camping and while we were gone got a downright nasty voicemail from our neighbor saying we should know better than to leave our kitties alone while we were gone. Now this guy knows we consider our cats to be our children, not merely "pets".

We had left Sunday at noon and returned Wednesday at 1pm. We had left plenty of food and water and lots of extra litter out so they would have been ok. This is the only home Oliver has ever known and goes spastic just going to the vet. Harley hates new people, and new places so a cat kennel wasn't an option.

Now even though I know they would have been fine alone, we had Tony's mom sleep over from Monday to Tuesday just to play with them and keep them company so they didn't think they were being punished or anything.

What got us mad was Tonys mom told us the neighbor who left the VM saw her walking into our place. He was watching her so she said hello, and he didn't really answer so she went into our place. So the neighbor knew someone was there, and still left us the message saying what bad people we are!

Last night when I was at work, all the neighbors were out chit chatting and the one who left the message said something to the affect of, at least someone cares about your cats. That set Tony off. So in front of all the neighbors Tony explained that

1 - if you knew us, you would know we left out more than enough of everything the cats would need.

2 - you saw his mom so obviously someone WAS there.

3 - our cats are our children and we would never harm them in any way!

The neighbor tried to say he didnt know how long she was here for because he didn't see her car. But then also admitted he was at work during the day so he really didn't know.

We think he was just mad because he offered to watch our cats last time we were camping and we declined because we were only 10 minutes away and planned on stopping home each day to check on them. Tony asked him if he was the one watching the cats was he going to stay there and play with them all day? He was like well.. no I work. So Tony was like exactly, mom doesn't work so has the time to come hang out here while we are gone.

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