Sunday, July 20, 2008

If they follow me home, can I keep them?

Yesterday, I needed to make a quick stop at the local pound to drop off some raffle tickets to a volunteer. Enroute, I found a lovely creamy coloured dog wandering down the side of the road – a golden retriever/lab cross I think. I slowed down but kept driving, and she came running after the car. After a couple of blocks, I stopped and opened the door to see if she had any tags and she literally flew right into my lap and hopped into the back of the vehicle as if she belonged to me.

I took her to the pound, where she was well known – yet another owner who would rather risk his dog becoming road kill and pay big bucks to get her out of the pound than contain his precious Peaches - GRRRR. But what a lovely girl!

The volunteer was just returning from walking Roper......flip flop goes my heart.....a senior border collie who was picked up as a stray a couple of weeks ago and no one claimed. Oh.... My....doG. What a sweet, sweet, sweet dog he is and so well behaved too! And he's good with other dogs and with cats. He’s a fairly small little guy (as border collies go), probably around 10-12 years old, with a matted coat and flaky skin that suggests the lack of a healthy diet or frequent grooming. And he has the calmest, gentlest, softest eyes that plead for some lovings. I just wanted to gather him up and bring him home!

And then there was Brazil – a Caleb look alike, not quite the same as the original but with the same basic features - muscled brindle body, eyes that melt the heart, sweet disposition but full of energy too. This beautiful girl will make someone a great pet.

The young and beautiful ones I don’t worry about – they will find homes. But Roper.....a senior......not looking his best.....oh, that one just breaks my heart. I wonder if there’s room to squeeze one more little old dog into this little old house?

I really must stop dropping by shelters!


Anonymous said...

Well, I think that if you can make it work, Roper should come live with you Jean!

You could give this old BC such a good life, and I'm guessing all your "herding" gals might sniff at him for a moment, and then say, oh well....but I could be wrong.

Of course, easy for me to say. Potentially lots of health issues with the older ones, I know....

Please keep us posted about Roper.


Jean said...

Ha ha - the last time I brought home a senior male border collie, Charley thought he was a gift just for her! She totally flirted with him! Unfortunately a palliative dog I was fostering at the time had very different ideas and needs.

It's tempting - he seems like he would be a good fit with my crew.
However,vet and food and supplement costs, house size (600 sq ft), city bylaws, landlords, retirement plans..... so much to consider.

I've always said the most important principle to remember in rescue, as in gambling, is to "know your limit, play within it". I've seem too many animal lovers become almost paralyzed with stress because they take on more than they can physically or financially handle.

I prefer to err on the side of caution and have energy and money left over to help others in rescue than to spread myself so thin my own critters get shortchanged.

The challenge is to determine just where my limits are...and what they will be when I retire in two years time.

If it is meant to be, Roper will still be there when I figure it out. And if not, he will have gone to a good home. They are a no-kill shelter, and I've known senior dogs to be there a year or even two before the right person finally comes along for them. And the staff there don't just provide food and shelter, they provide love.

Anonymous said...

Well Jean it is definately a hard call for Roper and you. Old dog can be expensive but not always, then again so can young dog. I found that out BIG time.
He does sound like a wonderful dog and I'm sure the old gals would love and old handsome gent to hang out with.
As for the by laws? Could you put him down as a perment foster. Here fosters don't count in the total.
Just a thought.