Friday, July 22, 2016
Pups In A Dumpster
My father was the town marshal in two small towns we lived in. He was not only the the police officer but he had many other titles as well. One was dog catcher. That means he was the person responsible for stray animals.
Too many of the strays were pets that someone no longer wanted. The person would take the pet for a ride in the car. When the person felt the pet was properly disoriented the pet was put out of the car and the person would drive off.
It seemed that dogs were the most abandoned pets. Perhaps it was because cats tend to fend for themselves while dogs feel themselves to be part of the family.
It was so hard to find homes for the abandoned pets. They usually had to be put down. Daddy hated having to do that. But we could not take them all in either.
Since then I have wondered if the people who "dump" their unwanted pets stop to think about what they are doing. At best the animals will learn to cope with their surroundings and survive there.
But what about the feelings they experience. They must wonder why the person they depended on to care for them would just leave them in an unfamiliar place.
We have always taken pets that someone else did not want or were unable to care for. Once they are able to forgive us for what someone else did to them they make fantastic companions.
We lived in an isolated area of the city. Apparently people felt it was a good place to dump their dogs.
Our next door neighbor was a caring woman. She could not stand to see those poor dogs wandering around wondering what to do next. She took in any dog she found. She had well over a dozen dogs.
She had very little money. To feed the dogs she would put them in the back yard and toss dry dog food like chicken feed. Then she stood with her broom to make sure that no dog ate more than its share so they all had some.
Her house smelled of dog urine even though she washed her wooden floors with bleach every day. it was not ideal but at least she tried to care dor them.
There was also a junkyard across the street. A woman had inherited it when her husband died. She took in more dogs than the neighbor. At times she had more than 2 dozen strays in her office. It did not smell nearly as good as the neighbor's house.
She did have her office cleaned once a day by some of the guys working there. But she did not let the dogs out of the office so urine was not the only odor there. But again they were fed and watered. They had a place to stay.
Needless to say my own family got into the act. However I severely limited the number of animals at a time.
One day my second son came home with the nastiest dog I ever saw. He was leading it with a piece of twine he had tied around its neck. He told me it "followed him home". Could he keep it?
It was a mediumly large dog with long hair. The hair was matted and tangled. It was full of dirt and heaven knows what else. I told him no. That dog could not stay.
Eventually I told him that the dog could stay... in the yard. My son built her (of course it was a her) a dog house. He filled it with straw to make her comfortable. He bathed her with the hose and plenty of soap. She did not look too bad after that. But she still had to stay outside.
She seemed happy at our house. She had regular meals and was putting on quite a bit of weight. The kids played with her so she had companions.
Soon she was in the house for short periods of time. Then longer periods of time. Yes they wore me down. Besides I soon realized that the reason she was gaining weight so nicely was that she was soon going to have babies.
The day she had her babies the kids were all at school. She had nine puppies. They were not pretty babies. When the time was right we found good homes for them. The dog disappeared one day and never came back.
My husband and his partner were demolishing a building. They were working one day and heard squealing tires and a thud. When they went to investigate they found a doberman laying in the street. She (of course it was a she) had been hit by a car. The driver did not stay to try to help her.
Because she was hurt and scared no one could get close to her. My husband had the idea to put a blanket over her so she could not bite them. He put her in the car and took her to the vet.
Her hip was shattered. The vet said it was like a jigsaw puzzle. Her leg was broken in three places. The leg was set and a cast put on it. My husband brought her home. Of course he and my children adored her. She liked my husband and my oldest son. She was halfway afraid of me I think.
We had to be out one day so we locked her inside and our male dog was in the back yard. When we came home they both met us at the front door with big smiles on their faces.
Needless to say she was going to have puppies. And she was still in her cast.
After she had the puppies she was highly irritable. The day she snapped at my daughter who was a toddler was the day I told my husband and son they would have to find her a new home. They found homes for her and her pups. I did allow my son to keep one of the puppies.
A friend of mine was taking the trash out one evening. He heard a noise in the dumpster near his dumpster. When he looked inside there was a littler of what looked like beagle puppies. They were barely of an age to be away from the mother.
He wanted to keep them but there were too many. And they were so full of worms. I finally convinced him to take them to the Humane Society. They were real cuties. They should have been able to find good homes for them once they were healthy.
Then I was sitting on the same friend's front porch one summer evening. We were enjoying the cool down after a hot day.
There was a gas station just down the block and across the street. I saw two men get out of their truck. I assumed they were getting gas. The dog got out with them.
They got their gas and got back in the truck. Then they drove off as fast as they could. They went right down the street my friend lived on.
Then I saw that poor dog running as fast as he could to catch them. They were laughing as they drove by obviously proud of the despicable thing they had done. I did see the dog a few times looking around. My friend said that someone had taken him in. I was glad for that.
Perhaps someday someone will explain to me how people can do something like that.