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Guardian German Shepherd Dog Rescue NE IN

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Thank you for your interest in possibly adopting a rescue-foster homeless German Shepherd Dog (GSD)

In adopting a rescue foster you would be agreeing to adoption procedures and requirements of the differing Rescue Group of your choice.

Please fill out the Adoption Application form WHEN you are CURRENTLY ready to adopt. (-and not untill AFTER you'd be done with whatever you currently and/or are planning to accomplish FIRST!) Keep in mind that pet fosters that have become ready for adoption must leave ASAP in order to make space for yet another urgent death-row shepherd into rescue, -to a screened and approved home/family only.

If you'd feel un-fairly scrutinized, please ask nicely for the reason of a question asked! It will be GRATEFULLY given! Please convey respect and patience, afterall, our work first off is WORK OUT OF LOVE for our breed(s), and boy, is it WORK! ...were we to put you into it, you would likely run off like one shot out of a rocket, screaming on top of your lungs, arms flailing! ...it is, not easy work! ..furthermore, in the shadows of those words, lies various realizations, of heart-wrenching agonies to sometimes total elations (for rescuers) -that you could not begin to fathom. After many different experiences [as a full-fledged active 24/7 rescuer] from various situations, the rescuer BECOMES a changed person, forever. ..certain attitudes about people in general, inevitably change.

Little children with the big breed shepherd dog

German Shepherds are wondrous canines, quite un-cannily and keenly intelligent (-you think YOU're the smart one?! .. >chuckle< !! :-) -and typically naturally active and rambunctious as puppies. They easily knock over un-supervised little children and require consistent and positive training (-keep sessions light and happy to keep pup interested, above all; REMAIN patient and persistent at all times, pup WILL eventually "get it", if not, there's something wrong with YOUR training approach!). It is never NEVER EVER... a dog' fault, whenever something goes wrong, it is YOURS and yours alone! Afterall, YOU are the one in charge, caretaker, teacher and the RESPONSIBLE one, of your fur-kid! Dog bit somebody, dog destroyed somebody's something, ran off, etc etc. ..your RESPONS -ibility! ..never put it on the dog, it does not know! ..you're the teacher! ..got a problem?! ...p l e a s e, consult with a CANINE BEHAVIORIST who has/is plenty experienced with the particularities of the GSD mind/mentality! ..no, not all do, make inquiries!! (-afterall, is a Beagle the same way?! ...is coffee the same as tea, etc?!)

Above ALL, ..NEVER ever negatively lay your hand(s) on a pup/dog, it is UN-CALLED for (-and GUARANTEED WILL start create sense of hostility, outward toward anyone/anything; UN-happy IM-balanced dog.) Your TONE OF VOICE and general behavioral manners, are your communication device(s), the overall all-important UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE, with your pet. They read off of you like that! (>finger-snap< ) The SAME goes for this; RAISE your children in a positive manner, ..what do you get?! ..raise your children in a negative manner, what would you get, then?!

"Un-controlability" is one of the many sad reasons why pups up to about teen-age stage (around 2 1/2 yrs old) -are given up on.

Once grown out of their super adorable puppy stage and into a possible destructive stage ("hormone / growin'-up rage / rebellious/misunderstood stage"!), -un-informed / in-experienced owners give up on trying to raise them when they'd suddenly realize out of frustration that that cute however super affectionate un-controllable over-grown fuzz-ball have become "too much" for them to handle, ..to just raise!

One thing's for certain; you should NEVER acquire a young one, IF you had not FACTORED IN what puppy/young dog REQUIRES, in its new home, FIRST. Which would first off be to safely be able to CONFINE the pup either in its own size-appropriate black wire-crate and/or a gated area (-usually in the kitchen, with hazards secured away) -when not spending time with, SUPERVISED! KEEP THE PUP SAFE, away from your general things. (..would you leave your toddler to roam the house while you go visit somebody, shopping, etc?!!)

To obedience train and continual stranger socialize with people and other dogs AND expose to different environments and situations ( ;use common sense and good reasoning here) -the pup/young shepherd in POSITIVE manner WHILE it grows, IS crucial for its survival in its still in-experienced young home/family. Balance in all, is key.

P l e a s e, (-all pet rescue groups beg on knees;) try not to be the same IDIOT, and acquire puppy-ownership WITHOUT being properly equipped!

Raising a puppy with small children IS wonderful, it has many advantages both ways, when done in reasonable and common sense manner! ( ;the puppy has its razor-sharp teeth and claws [keep claws safely clipped], the child has "bats 'n hammers 'n such" (arms/hands/legs/feet, and yes teeth too!) W A T C H both parties, at all times when together. The puppy raised with the child in a loving and careful manner, WILL become its best friend, companion and protector, THE .. best, visa versa. ..with gentle guidance and proper training! :-) ..hard to do?! Not at all! Afterall, you have all the trainers, canine behaviorists and councellors out there to help you when in doubt/have questions! (-and please make use of them! ..cost too much?! ...WHY, did you get children????????!!! Thought a pup "wouldn't cost that much to have"?! ...think again!)

Adopting (saving) a grown GSD from a public shelter

Since usually and typically a GSD mentally does badly in public shelter environment (due to first off sense of despair in the air/environment, smell of death -in whichever way, other dog's incessant crying in their own confined jail cells, sudden separation/loss of family, overall terrible noise, etc) NEVER attempt to socialize your child(ren) with the young to older GSD INSIDE THE SHELTER ENVIRONMENT! You WILL NOT get a good predictable assessment. As we are all different, so are the GSD's! They can behave erratically and un-predictably [in the shelter environments], with any one person and different with another! Afterall, the overall shepherd's personality and etc. is UNKNOWN in the public shelter! ..unless it's been in the shelter so long that it doesn't give a damn anymore, plainly put! :-/ -yes it takes on attitude! They are NEVER themselves, also in un-socialized im-personal public (private owned) kennels aswell. Their persons remain im-balanced and in-secure. (-law-enforcement working K-9's have a different mentality and attitude about their kennel living arrangements! Although many now get to go home with their handlers to their families! :-)

GO AWAY (away) from the SHELTER COMPOUND with the shepherd, take it with you (and shelter worker) to any park, large remote parking lot, commuter parking area, school grounds, to your own home's back-yard (-if it's close, and don't take it inside yet!) -etc.

Let the shelter worker give the shepherd space/a few minutes in the new strange area (=sniff around 'n pee..."hello, this is me, I was here"!!) AFTERWARD, start make contact with the "eager to get the 'H' away from the shelter environment pronto", confused, scared and misplaced-sensed shepherd. (This is also WHEN an evaluator should/ought to make his/her tests with the shelter shepherd!)

At the very least give 1/2 hr for socialization with the shepherd, while YOU -the parent, hold the shepherd's leash at all times. (-remember; the shepherd can "feel you" via even the subtlest tug of the leash too! Yes those too are "language" coming from you aswell!) Toward the end it would have relaxed enough to fairly show you its basic general overall demeanor (-naturally not guaranteed!).

He/she would know, that it is in a NEUTRAL AREA (overall safe(r) sense) -and become more curious about you/wanting to acquaint with you, then. Meet and greet one by one, and NOT BEFORE! DO NOT bring (bribe) treats with you to give, as that would only corrupt the shepherd's (general) interacting demeanor with you! (=no fair reading!) Use ONLY continual friendly TONE OF VOICE, gentle pads and slow touches.

Give treats once in your vehicle and in its new home IF you'd have brought it home! (..please please please?! :-)) It will give him a good feel about you and of its new general home environment. (-don't let it drink too much water first day home as gastric torsion could become possible.)

NEVER have children crowd around and over an in-secure shepherd (even if it acts friendly), never. As break-of-skin from nervous snapping is highly possible. ABSOLUT ONLY, have quiet and CALM behaving children around an unknown new shepherd.



Outside living dog

WHY would you want an out-side living shepherd?! ..it's a recipe for disaster! ..>deep sad sigh< ..please discuss with shelter mngr, trainer, your vet and/or rescuer, to try and understand the repercussions of "the slighted angry shepherd"! ..raise it on a chain.. and you'd be raising a GUARANTEED law-suit, to bleed you OUT of your personal finances, WHEN.. at some point, it would get loose! ..and/or get ahold of a child/person, at any given time, on your property.

A German Shepherd Dog is an EXTREMELY family oriented canine. Do NOT mistake to think that the shepherd "does not know" what goes on "in that box of yours" (house), he KNOWS! He knows that his family GATHERS in there, ..WITHOUT him! You think he's happy about that?! ..he's EXTREMELY, as a deeply feeling shepherd gets; HURT. ..lonely, set aside, an un-important thing! ..you think he can't DISCERN that?!

"...oh he prefers to stay outside, when we bring him in he tries to get out!' ...same ol' ignorant sad line!!! YOU ARE W R O N G! WHY, does he NOT want to be with you in the house?! I'll tell you; because YOU are not making him FEEL WANTED and WELCOME, in your home! .."un-easiness", makes him want out. TRUST these words (..reead myy lippzz) = He fervently WANTS to be WITH YOU, at all times. (big fat period!) CONSULT!

Please, do not keep an out-side dog.

Rescue groups in general do not adopt out fosters to become out-side dogs, nor to become some pretty "house-hold item" to match furnishings! SOLELY to become FAMILY MEMBERS only, INSIDE its new HOME.



We are a family with decades of experience with German Shepherd Dogs, and other shepherd breeds of the bigger size! (-which we also foster now and then!)

Since we lost our 2 awesome shepherds to old age/ bone cancer and Gastric Torsion (bloating of the stomach) yrs ago, we decided to dedicate a little rescue work for German Shepherds, which has grown a little more since then! Thanks to PETFINDER.COM! >Big thumbs up< ! :-))

Our foster furkids live with us in our home, and basically go everywhere with us. They are very well cared for and are viewed/treated as family members aswell. They come from all kinds of backgrounds, so please inquire about the particular shepherd that you might be interested in. Our fosters are adopted out sterilized (neutered male/spayed female) and vaccinated and on prevention.

We have a legally binding adoption contract which must be signed upon adoption. We do normally not send out an adoption application as we prefer to talk with an adopting prospect! If we feel that you and your home environment might be appropriate/suitable for a particular foster dog, we'll then come and visit you in your home if you wouldn't live too far from us (-otherwise another rescue agent closer to your home might come and visit with you). We only adopt out in-state Indiana and the surrounding states, depending sometimes a little further! In order for you to meet a foster dog, you MUST be approved first, as it will save both our time! If you do not have any particular shepherd dog knowledge/experience, we REQUIRE you to research the breed first, before you'd eventually inquire! We'd also need your veterinarian's name, name of practice, address and phone number along with three personal references (please have those required informations ready when calling to inquire about a particular shepherd).

Adoption fees vary and are up to about 300,00 (-also depending on what may have had to be done to the shepherd) -to cover for their multi transports, sterilizations, vaccinations, medications, micro chipping, tests, grooming, feed, toys, doggy blankies, general care, time spend, ETC! Expenses add up very fast!

Please keep in mind when adopting, that we operate our rescue group SOLELY out of our own pockets, and from the adoption fees. We receive absolutely no other funding from anywhere else. (-unless we'd be so lucky to get an offer of a spay/neuter donation fee, HW prevention medication, etc. which we'd be immensely grateful for!) - Which would cover for the fosters' vetting (sterilization, vaccinations, tests, various meds), transportation (gas, drinks and most times food), adoption processing (phone calls, phone calls and phone calls... and various office items, e-mails; TIME!) and general daily care (feed, treats, toys, bathing items, blankets, etc) -and for replacements of what-ever a foster may "accidentally" have destroyed during its stay! (i.e. pup and/or new nervous dog!)

We are running our rescue group as a hobby, so certainly do not make any money off of it, rather it can become quite costly!

If you'd like to sponsor a spay or neuter, please ask for our vet's phone number where you can pay into our rescue vet account! Thank you so much! :-)

We do not believe in "casually breeding" any animal, as we feel that breeding should and ought to be left to PROFESSIONAL BREEDERS only! Breeders that have knowledge about genetics whom can avoid potential all kinds of physical and mental problems, that otherwise could entail in careless (ignorant) breeding!

The reason why there are so many rather pathetic looking socalled "purebreds" out there, is due to most times greedy ignorant backyard breeders who truly are only out for two things basically; to make money and/or breed their dog "that has such unique features"!! (Go figure!!) ... and want it bred "before their darling one dies"!!! (-unfortunately only too common! :-( These people would just be ignoring the statistics!

Truth is that about half of a litter would never live out their lives, the other half.. barely.

Please SPAY and NEUTER your pet, there are so many wonderful advantages to sterilizing a pet, please talk to your veterinarian. Pets WAY outnumber people in the world, please go to your local county animal control shelter, humane society and contact rescue groups, to find your new wonderful, loving, devoted and loyal life companion. They are so many out there, please save their lives; DO NOT BREED!

Remember; Backyard breeders are not very well liked, and PET MILLS MUST BE BANNED! (True nightmares for the badly bred mill pets! Please search for a documentary about Mill bred pets and see/realize for yourself! :-(

Pets are beautiful spirits too with their very own unique wonderful PERSONALITIES, and not to forget their UNEQUALLED devotion and loyalty! Please, save their lives; please speak up FOR them when you can! Dont' let them be born into careless handling, misery and a VERY short life, ASK people if their pets are sterilized, if not, ask them why not!! All fosters of any breed -and ALL of us rescuers are surely thanking you for your support and kind consideration! :-)

We all thank you for NOT purchasing a pet from a pet store (-highly likely a millbred pet!), or from a careless backyard breeder! :-/

Donate a BedWe use Patented Kuranda Dog Beds because they are durable, chew proof and easy to clean. If you would like to donate a bed to us, click here.



Guardian German Shepherd Rescue, NE IN

North East Indiana
Phone: 260-319-1099

Email: Twosocks04@aol.com
Click here for a list of pets at this shelter



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Donate a BedWe use Patented Kuranda Dog Beds because they are durable, chew proof and easy to clean. If you would like to donate a bed to us, click here.


"Interview at a dog pound":

Interview at a Dog Pound... Part I :

As a journalist, I decided to go to the dog pound, and interview some of the “inmates”. I wanted to know what it was like in there from their perspective. What follows is not for the faint of heart.

I entered the building, and one of the workers accompanied me to the holding area. This is where dogs are kept before they are allowed up for adoption… IF they are allowed up for adoption. If the dogs are found to be aggressive in any way, euthanasia is employed. Fortunately, if “fortunately” is the word to be used here! This is an establishment that use lethal injection, not a gas chamber.

The pound worker led me past a big steel door that says “Employees Only”. “What is in there?” I asked. From the look he gave me, I knew that this is where some dogs go, and never return. We moved on to a row of kennels. The dogs were barking loudly, there was the acrid smell of urine and feces, and a feeling of despair seemed to permeate the room. “Go ahead,” the worker said. “They’re all yours”.

"PETEY", I looked into the first kennel, and saw only the back of a medium sized dog who was curled up in the corner of his kennel, shivering. He was mostly white, with some black spots. “Hello?” I said. “May I come in?” He lifted his head, as though it weighed more than he could bear. When he looked at me, I could see he was a Pit Bull. His eyes were gentle, but filled with grief. “Enter,” was all he said. I stepped in, closing the gate behind me. He put his head back down, facing away from me. I crouched down a few feet away. “My name is Pete. Petey my Master called me,” he said, still not looking at me. “Why are you here Pete?” I asked. “I am here because Master cannot afford to move to another province. I am here because someone with power said I am vicious, and a killer. Someone who never met me. Master took me for a walk one day, and some lady started to scream when she saw me. I got frightened, and barked at her. The dog police came, and they took me away. I have been with Master for 10 years. The last time I saw him, he just held me and cried. He kept telling me he was sorry. I worry for him. Whatever will he do without me?” Pete shivered even more. A tear slid down my face. I am supposed to remain objective, but this was wrong…so wrong. “Thank you Pete.” I said. He said nothing as I got up and left his kennel.

"POPPER", the kennel next to Pete’s held a very young looking dog. Pure Border Collie by my guess. He stood on his hind legs, looking at me through the gate. “Hello. My name’s Popper. He tilted his head. “Are you here to take me home?” “No, I’m sorry,” I replied, but I would like to talk with you". ”Sure". What would you like to talk about?” “Popper, how did you come to be in this place?” I asked. Popper dropped down from the gate, with a perplexed look on his face. He walked to the back of the kennel, then back to the front. I noticed he had one blue eye, and one brown. He was quite beautiful. His black and white coat was shiny and thick. "I am not certain WHY I am here. I think maybe my family will come back for me. They bought me when I was only 6 weeks old. I remember they said how intelligent Border Collies are, and how it would be so easy to train me. They were very excited at first. The little ones played with me all the time. But the trouble is with little Masters, they refuse to stay in a group. I constantly had to nip their heels to keep them together!" He looked confused. “Why won’t they stay in a group?”, he sighed. “So I did what I thought I should do. I am not quite sure why the little ones screamed when I did my job, but they did, and the Masters got very angry at me. They also got angry when I had to relieve myself, and did so in the house. I am not sure where they expected me to go! All they said was that I was the smartest breed in the world, and I should just KNOW better! Then they left me in the yard for a month or so. I got bored a lot, and I dug holes in the grass. The next thing I knew, the Masters brought me here!” Popper jumped back up on the gate, his white paws protruding through the links. He looked at me with his lovely eyes, and asked “Will you please let them know I want to come home? Please tell them I promise I will be good?” “I will Popper,” I said.

"SPARTAN". My heart was breaking. I was beginning to regret coming here, but their stories had to be told. I moved along. The next dog I saw looked to be easily 100 pounds, a Rottweiler. He was handsome indeed, except for the scars on his face and back. He tilted his head, and looked me right in the eyes. “Hello. Who are you?” he asked. “I am a reporter,” I replied. “May I speak with you for a little while?” ”Most certainly. My name is Spartan. You can come in, I won’t bite,” he said. “Thank you Spartan. I will.” I entered his kennel, reached out and stroked his giant head. He made a loud grumbling noise, and closed his eyes. “Spartan, why are you here?” Before he could answer my question, he was suddenly in the grip of a nasty coughing spasm. It sounded painful. “Please excuse me,” he said when it passed. “Kennel cough. It seems all of us who come in here get it. “Why am I here? Well, about two years ago, I was born in the backyard of some person I can’t even recall. I had 11 brothers and sisters. I recall a day when a big man came and gave that person some money, and took me away from my mother. They had to chain her up, as she was very angry that he took me. They chained her and beat her. I came to know the man by the name of Jim. I overheard him telling his friends that I would grow up to be big and mean like my mother. But as I grew older, all I wanted to do was play and be friends with everyone. Jim said I needed to be taught how to be mean, so he chained me up in the yard. No more house for me, he said, I was too spoiled. When people came by to visit, I was so happy to see them. I wanted them to come and play. But that made Jim angry, so he beat me with sticks and chains. When he came near, I would roll onto my back so he would know I wasn’t a bad dog. That made him beat me more.” Spartan’s eyes clouded with grief. “Then he brought me here.” I reached out and stroked Spartan’s massive gentle head once more. “I am so sorry Spartan. Some people are just plain evil.” I gave him a kiss and left his kennel. As I walked away, Spartan called out, “What will happen to me, nice lady?” I shook my head. “I can’t say Spartan. Maybe someone kind will come and get you. We can only hope.”

"PATSY". I walked a little further down. I could see a shape moving at the back of the next kennel. “Hello?” I called out. Suddenly the shape lunged at the gate in a fury, barking and gnashing its teeth. I stumbled backwards, and crashed into an adjacent kennel. The other dogs began barking loudly and jumping at their gates. “Don’t go near her,” a small female voice came from behind me. “She’s mad". I gathered myself back together, and saw a little brown and white Jack Russell Terrier behind me. “Thanks for the warning!" I was still trembling. Across the way, the other dog, apparently a Husky and German Shepherd cross, was glaring at me, lips curled back revealing brown stained teeth. Her ribs and hips showed through her dull, matted grey coat. The little dog invited me into her kennel, and I gladly went in. “Who are you?” “My name is Patsy.” The little brown and white dog held a paw up in greeting. “My owner surrendered me. She said she wanted a cute little dog like the one on the TV show, Frasier. She didn’t bother to look into the type of dog I am". Patsy heaved a sigh. “I suppose she expected me to just lie about and only need a short walk each day, just like Eddie, but my energy was so high that I needed to run and play.” She glanced at her surroundings. “Now I am here. I suppose it could be worse. I could be like.. her.” Patsy looked towards the still growling dog across the way. “What happened to make her so vicious?” I asked. “From what we could gather,” she replied, “she was found tied in a back yard. She only had a three foot chain. Some days there was no water. Rarely was there any food. One day a nice neighbour came by and brought her some meat. By then it was too late. She was already mad. She broke off her chain, and bit the poor man badly. We know she will be going behind the steel door. I am sad to say, I think it will be best. Perhaps then she will know some peace.”

Just then, the door at the end of the building opened, and a woman stepped inside. All the dogs began to bark wildly, then one by one, they went quiet. I whispered to Patsy, “Who is that? Why have all the dogs gone quiet?” Patsy breathed deeply through her little nose, and closed her eyes. “SHE is a Rescuer. Can’t you smell it?” she asked. “Smell what?” I was confused. “Compassion. Love. Sorrow. It emanates from her pores. She is here for one of us, but nobody knows who just yet". Patsy looked hopeful. The Rescuer moved from kennel to kennel, looking at each dog. I sat quietly watching. I could see tears in her eyes as she made eye contact with each one. She stopped at Spartan’s cage and spoke quietly to him. “No more beatings my man. No more. You are coming with me. From here on in, it’s all going to get better.” The Rescuer produced a leash, opened the kennel door, and took Spartan away. As he walked beside her, his little stubby tail wagged with delight. Patsy sighed again. I could see the disappointment in her eyes, and it grieved me.

They all had the same look, as they watched The Rescuer depart. “I am so sorry Patsy", I said in a whisper. “But you are a little dog, and everyone loves little dogs. I am convinced you will be rescued soon.” Patsy’s brown eyes twinkled at me, a little bit of hope returning. I had heard and seen enough. I needed to tell people how it was for these unfortunate creatures. They were all here through no fault of their own. I stood to leave. I passed by many other dogs I did not interview, looking at each one, wishing I could take them all home with me and give them the love they deserved.

I stood by the door taking one last glance back, when it opened, and one of the pound workers came in. His face was drawn and sad. He walked by without a word, and stopped at Pete’s kennel. I heard him take a deep breath, then he paused, and opened the kennel door. The words were muffled, but I am sure I heard him say; “I’m sorry old boy". He came out, with Petey in tow. The old dog’s head hung down in resignation, and they both disappeared behind the big steel door.

Interview at a Dog Pound... Part II

It had been two weeks since I visited the local dog pound and its denizen. The story, not surprisingly, had attracted a lot of attention from rescue groups in the area. They were pleased someone from the city paper had taken the time to write a story on why dogs end up in the pound. It was hoped it might raise some awareness. I found my mind wandering back to that sad place time and again. I wondered how feisty little Patsy was, and if she had been adopted yet. I also worried for Popper, the young Border Collie. I was deeply troubled in my spirit. As I sat staring blankly at my computer screen, trying to concentrate on another story, I felt the familiar warmth of a little chin resting on my knee. “Hi Sweetie.” I stroked the soft fur of my own dog, Sophie. She always knew when I was upset. They all seem to just know. There was then a gentle nudge of my arm on the opposite side as my other dog, Banner, vied for my affections. Border Collies, both of them. “I have to go back,” I said, looking into Sophie’s intelligent eyes. “I have to know.”

RETURN TO THE POUND!

Once again, I found myself in that foul smelling kennel area. No matter how many times you clean a place like this, the stench is always there. It must be hell for dogs, having such a keen sense of smell.

Pete’s old kennel had a new tenant, some sort of Labrador mix. She was black with small white markings on her chest and paws. There was a food dish in the corner, the kibble untouched by the look of it. She lay on her side, whining. I could see she had recently had pups by the swollen teats. Poor girl. I moved past the Lab, to Spartan’s old kennel. Empty. Good. I held my breath as I approached Popper’s kennel, hoping beyond hope that he had been adopted. I was not prepared for what I saw. This once proud, handsome young Border Collie was now a quivering mass in the corner of his kennel. He glanced up at me briefly, a flicker of recognition in his eyes, then he began to cough violently. His tail was tucked tightly between his shaking legs. “Oh Popper!” I cried. “What has happened to you?” Popper simply cowered into the corner, shrinking away from my voice. “It’s his breed,” a familiar voice spoke from behind. “They’re too sensitive. The noise and smells drive them crazy. Intelligent fellows like him can’t take the long hours of boredom and lack of companionship.”

I turned around to see my little friend Patsy, the Jack Russell Terrier. I peered through her kennel gate. “Ah Patsy,” I shook my head. “I had hoped you would have found a nice home". “I did,” Patsy replied. “Well, at least I thought I did. The day you came here, someone came in and chose me. It turned out the same.. another person who wanted a cute little dog, but not the work it takes to keep them happy. She brought me back just three days later, tired of my constant playing and running about, bouncing off the furniture". Patsy stood on her hind legs, resting her little paws on the gate. “But guess what? A man and a little girl came here yesterday, they smelled VERY good too! They petted me, and played with me. Then they threw a ball for me. I brought it right back to them like a good dog!” Patsy was becoming very excited. Her stubby little tail wagged rapidly back and forth, making me grin. “They kept talking about something called flyball! The man said they were going to go talk to someone named Mom, and maybe they would come back.” I smiled. Maybe they would come back.

In the meantime, I had some questions for Patsy. “What has happened in here since my last visit?” She dropped back down onto her haunches, and became sullen. “I hate this place,” she said. “That Lab down there?” I nodded. “Well, she came in with ten puppies. Someone just dumped them all like garbage at the front door. That was last week. Five days ago, some of her young became very, very ill. I remember smelling the sickness.. the smell of blood. The workers came in, they called the sickness Parvo. They were very agitated. Six of her young died, the other four went behind the steel door.” Patsy shuddered. “She has been mourning since, and will not eat". “Lord have mercy,” I whispered. “That’s not all,” she said. “The disease has run through the kennel, and others have gone behind the steel door. I suppose I was lucky, I was vaccinated. So was Popper, but he has The Cough". As if on cue, Popper once again was seized by a coughing fit behind us.

“I have to get out of here", Patsy wailed. “I am so frightened!” Once again I was questioning the logic of my return to this God forsaken place. “Oh Patsy,” I opened the door to her kennel and picked her up in my arms, cuddling her close. I could feel her trembling. “You smell different,” she said suddenly stopping and sniffing me. “You.. smell.. like one of.. THEM!”

“Them?” I asked. “A Rescuer!” She sniffed me once more, her little tail wagging rapidly. Just then, the door to the kennel room opened, and a pound worker and a man with a little girl came in. The little girl rushed toward Patsy’s kennel, but stopped abruptly when she saw me holding her. “Oh no!” she wailed. “You aren’t taking my dog are you?” I quickly put Patsy into her waiting arms, and said “No young lady, she is all yours! But take very good care of her, she is one special little dog”. “Yay! Daddy look!” She squealed as Patsy planted little dog kisses all over her cheeks. “Daddy, is she really mine?” “Yes honey, she is really yours!” Her father beamed. The worker instructed them to be sure to bleach the bottoms of their shoes as they left, and I saw a brilliant sparkle in Patsy’s eyes as she looked at me over the shoulder of her new little master. This time, I was certain, it would be okay.. at least for this one little dog.

As I left the building, and the many sad and despairing dogs it held, I could not help but wonder how anyone with a heart could abandon their beloved and devoted pet. Ignorance and selfishness are the cause of so much grief. These amazing animals give us humans their whole hearts. They serve them, protect them, and give them unconditional love regardless of how they are treated. Their capacity for forgiveness is something I will Never comprehend.. and yet they are so often treated like trash by the very ones they trust.

Their loyalty is repaid with blind indifference.

Opening the door to my car, I wiped a tear from my cheek, and looked down.. “Patsy isn’t the only dog who will find out what flyball is, right Popper?” Popper looked up at me, a glimmer of hope returning to his glazed eyes, his tail wagging slightly between his legs. I knelt down, cupped his sweet little face in my hands, and looked him in the eyes. “It’s off to the vet with you, and then when you are well, you are going to meet your new brother and sister!"

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

This is a work of fiction, and as such, I have chosen to end it on a happy note. I truly wish all shelter stories ended in such a manner, but sadly, this is not the case. For most animals, the story ends quite differently. According to the Humane Society in the USA; THIRTY EIGHT ANIMALS PER MINUTE are put to death for no other reason than THEY EXIST! Responsibility begins with YOU. Copyright; Sally Hull, July 6th, 2006