Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sweet Returns

Could you give up a child because you were moving?

Me either. However people give up their pets without a backward glance. That's how Otto came back to me.

Otto is a perfectly behaved, red, chihuahua mix. He has a low, raspy bark and he is houstrained and crate trained. What a guy. I call him Judge Otto because he tends to be a very serious fellow and high on mannerly behavior.

I fostered him eight or nine months ago. He was adopted by a couple in their 70s who swore to me they were looking for a family member and they had never given a dog away once they brought it into their family. They said that if, for any reason they couldn't take care of Otto, one of their grown children would take him. Fine. So I allowed the adoption.

I called them a couple of times to see how he was doing in his new home and they always said he had fit in as if he had been with them for years. I wasn't surprised. He really is a fabulous guy. One of those dogs that is a total joy to foster.

Months glide by and I get a call from Claire (ARF's animal intact officer) who tells me that Otto is coming back. Seems that his adopters are moving to an apartment and don't want to take him because he would probably bark too much.

Huh? First of all, dogs bark. Get real. Second of all, Otto only barks when he sees someone approaching the house. Third of all, he has a husky bark which is far more pleasant than the normal shrill terrier bark I hear most often in my house. (Sorry, Gypsy!) Fourth of all -- Damn it all! How could they? How could they use such a flimsy excuse to drop Otto off at the veterinary clinic like he was a bag of laundry?

I just don't get it, people. Do you not understand that dogs have feelings? They have a tough time adjusting to new homes, new people, new beds, new routines -- but they do it! And they do it far more cheerfully than we humans do! So, when you adopt a dog, for heaven's sake, take it seriously! If you are the type who can bring a dog into your home for nine months and then turn your back on it because you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, you're moving, your work has picked up, you're taking university classes now, or whatever stupid excuse -- then do us all a favor and buy yourself a stuffed animal.

Thanks for letting me vent. Otto and I feel ever so much better!

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