A Tale Of Two Dogs

My mother's side of the family has a long past of mistreating the various dogs unfortunate enough to have them as their masters.

There were many as a child, but one will always stick out to me. His name was Samson, an English Pointer. It spent most of its life on a chain on the edge of the yard, ten feet at the most, tangled up half the time so he couldn't move. As with the other dogs,  he was acquired at some point of interest then utterly forgotten about barring cases of escape and therefore inconvenience, its care the problem of the children. I'd like to say I did a good job, but I didn't, though, tragically I did well enough to keep it alive for years. He hated being chained up, and broke a few in his time, but ultimately it was his fate to be a prisoner. I should've freed him to whatever fate, but I didn't, in spite of tears shed on my part. I don't recall what happened to him; I hope it was a happy fate.

I came home to visit the other day, and, yet again there are a bunch of dogs half forgotten about. One in particular, a blonde medium-smallish sort of dog, short hair. Outside to steal a smoke, I hear whimpering out back, and go to find Samson all over again, the poor thing chained up in the middle of the forest that is our back yard, tangled up to immobility. I released it, got it some water, and in the space of five minutes the thing would follow me, loyally at my side, to hell. Turns out, it's my sister's dog, a gift from a boyfriend that is no more, that she could care less about yet hasn't the guts to do anything about, nor does the rest of the family, so it spends its time dodging cars or chained to a tree forgotten about, as it's polite enough not to bark. I want to cry yet again.

Tomorrow, I will go to the car and the dog will follow me in, as it trusts me far more than anyone else in this house. I will drive it to the shelter and that will be that. By all mannerisms its a perfectly good dog and should find suitors quickly, not being the over-sized, over-noisy, or over-vicious sort. I hope it finds a worthy home. If not, anything will be a damned sight better than the fate it will suffer should I leave it here and try to forget about it, like Samson and all the others. Hopefully I'll have done a favor.
solowing solowing
26-30, M
3 Responses Jun 20, 2012

That's so sad. I don't understand how some people can abuse/neglect/mistreat animals the way that they do. I hate to say it but that dog was probably put to sleep because the shelters are always over crowded. I know people who think any kind of life if better than no life but I strongly disagree. You did the right thing, the best thing that could have been done for the benefit of that dog. I wish I had advice for how to deal with your family members who have no consideration for animals but the only thing that comes to mind is reporting them to the Humane Society the next time you discover a similar situation. They may be given only a warning the first time but they will eventually be fined and then even jailed. Additionally, they will lose the right to own a pet. <br />
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Those poor, defenseless animals, my heart aches with the thoughts of how much they suffered. <br />
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The worst thing a person can do, aside from directly abusing/neglecting/etc is to allow it to continue by not doing anything to stop it. <br />
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Sometimes, I feel at such a loss, so over whelmed by the knowledge of so much cruelty taking place, harming and breaking the spirits of so many unloved pets that did nothing to deserve the horrible fates for which they end up... but, we can't do that. <br />
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Some people need to be chained up and forgotten about. Some people have no consideration for the value of life, whether it be a dog or a person; there is suffering going on continuously but it's not for us to carry that burden. Instead, we have to reduce the suffering as much as we are able. We can't save them all but for the one(s) that we do save, it means the world to them and that's enough. One dog at a time

I can't imagine the dog being happier ignored and fastened immobile to a tree than released back to the spirit. It's not great that some shelters have to put timed-out residents to sleep. It's not great that your sister received an animal as a pet and has abandoned it. It's not great to have family members who would be so inhumane to living things. There simply has to be a boundary somewhere. The dog can't sit there, chained to a tree. It can't be left out there forgotten. No, it isn't great that healthy animals are euthanized. But we aren't going to convince people of what they ought to do, are we? No. We aren't. So these people will continue to procure animals they don't tend and will neglect them. I am a sucker for animal rescue, and I don't like that animals get put down, but what else is there? If you can't find a kill-free shelter, are you actually supposed to house the animal until you find a suitable adoptive family? Can you even have animals in your apartment? Can you really leave that animal behind with people you know won't take care of it? Something different has to happen. It'd be nice not to be judged harshly for being the one to stand up and do the right thing, even if it's the hard thing.

My sister wound up taking it to a shelter; apparently me telling her to do so actually meant something. I'd like to imagine that, being a damn good dog that wasn't too big, too yappy, and, hell, was even golden, it found new owners pretty quickly.

You're probably right. Who the hell buys a chick a fricken DOG as a gift???

The no-kill shelters are generally full...I live out at the edge of a major city, and I have accumulated all the dogs and cats I can afford due to what's probably people dumping them. Please spay or neuter your pets.

I don't own cats or dogs. I am a shelter for guinea pigs right now. I couldn't bear the thought of the pets being euthanized merely because their children-owners no longer wanted the responsibility of caring for them. My eldest is an animal handler, a natural at it too. I used to breed guinea pigs for pet stores but stopped many years ago. Afterward, I found out that many children get bored with animals and parents generally don't want the responsibility so they "release" the animal "into the wild." Out where I live, there are NO no-kill shelters. Because of that, there are frequent spay and neuter days where people can bring cats or dogs to be made sterile at no cost. The nearest no-kill shelter is too far for folks out here to travel, so pets end up getting abandoned, released, or euthanized. It's cruel. Be right now, we don't have many viable options.

Jeez, guinea pigs only live 5 years anyway...if they get put outside they are going to be predator food.

Yeah, that's exactly what happens. All animals deserve to be treated ethically. Dogs, cats, birds, rodents. People suck sometimes. I have one rescue who was replaced immediately by a bird the child wanted more than the pig... One rescue is being replaced by a miniature pig -- and actual pig. As if THAT is going to be easier to care for...

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Can I ask for a moment that you pause.... more dogs are euthanized than saved in shelters... if you can find a no kill shelter then fine, if not try to find it home first...

There is likely a rescue group nearby or in your town... shelters should be a last resort...

Ill help if I can

I'll see what I can do/find. I'm going to be leaving by Thursday, so I haven't much time. I'll ask everyone I know in the area (not many, I'll admit). Currently looking up things in the area.

Thank you...people don't know how bad a shelter can be... its better than a chain and neglect... I just am sure if given half a chance 99% of dogs could be loved...its effin sad that millions meet their deaths...its something that makes me feel sick inside.

It's a damned good dog. Mild mannered, 30 minutes of face time, and it loves me. If I had half a home, I'd take it, but I live in an apartment with three roommates, and pets are prohibited, so it's just not an option.

Frankly, the whole thing ****** me off because they should know and do better, but there's no point in lecturing people on their own cruelties. It won't go anywhere.

I am aware that taking it to a city shelter is tantamount to a death sentence. Imagine if the fire stations did the same thing with kids.

Its so unfair... a pet is a choice, you don't have to have a dog, or cat or pet...you went and got it! Of course you're right people aren't quick to see their own cruelty... I'm hoping you can find a local no kill rescue group...

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