Thursday, December 18, 2008

Life is a crapshoot

Today I received one of those obligatory forwarded emails that we all get from time to time - warning us about how we should never trust our dogs because if we do, at some point in their lives they're going to run out the front door and across the street and get hit by some bus that just happens to be coming down the street at the exact moment that the dog is going to say hello to the dog who lives across the way - and it's all because we've taken for granted that our dog never does anything wrong and has always come every time we've called him in the past - and how if we ever have our dog off leash ever ever then we are the worst dog owner to have ever graced this world and we should be put to sleep for ever thinking that we deserved to bring a dog into our home - because we are dooming our canine life companion to a certain death at some point in the next zero to twenty years. It could come today - or it could come when the dog is nineteen years old - but safe to say - it's going to happen. And it's all because we got lazy and trusted our dogs.

I abhor that email when I get it. I think it's a pile of shit. You can read the fear mongering who-haa at if it so moves you. What bothers me about it is the fact that you cannot live your life around all the horrible things that "might" happen to you in some evil moment in the distant future.

I personally figure that I am here for a good time and not a long time and that is how I live my life - and that is how I let my dogs live their life, too. Maybe it's because of all the suffering I've done and all the suffering I've seen - but I am not interested in any more suffering - if one of my dogs want to stick their head out of the car window - I'd let them do it. Daisy liked to do that for awhile - so I let her. She doesn't do it anymore - and that's okay too.

I don't do anything that breaks any laws - and I'm also not stupid - I don't have any of the dogs offleash from my car into the front door of my house because there are a lot of feral cats in my neighbourhood - and you'd see 2 dogs scatter pretty quick when my car door opened - looking for a good chase with a couple of tasty kitties. And Buttercup would go looking to bark at someone who'd say "aren't you cute!" And Jack would just go looking to pee on something - but it would take me a LONG TIME to get in the front door - which I am NOT interested in! So long story short - we are on leash!

But my dogs probably do a lot of stuff that other people would send their dogs directly to the pound for - and I say - they think it's fun - so more power to them. Daisy likes to counter surf a bit - so I leave things in strategic spots for her. Jack sounds like he wants to kill you when he's engaged in play. Charlie is 1/2 sheltie, so there is no wonder that I have so many wonderful shots of him with his mouth wide open in full bark mode. Buttercup is perfect of course. There'd be no reason to send her back - except of course for her titsch of dog aggression :)

My point is - people have got to loosen up in my opinion - in that story - that dog lived for like 7 years - what's 7 x 365 days. That's 2,555 days. I'd rather live 2,555 days that are a ton of fun than 15 years - 5,475 days that are a complete bore. That's what I think - I am here to live, and that's what I'm trying to give to the sentient beings that have somehow made their way onto my ship.

You should try and stick your head out of a car window when the car is moving - it is a ton of fun and feels amazing. Don't stick it out too far though because that can lead to decapitation - you don't need to be stupid. And it also helps if you squint your eyes up a little.


  1. I was just thinking about your post & I wanted share my experience.

    I adopted a wonderful dog to an even more wonderful home a few years ago!

    The new owners were blessed with this wonderful dog for a short time, when visiting company in-advertently let the dog out - and the worst happened. He ran into the road, was struck & killed instantly. It happened in the blink of an eye.

    Now, I took some flack from fellow members in rescue for adopting to this wonderful family again!

    Yet, I was the one who was there to grieve with them, console them, counsel them & prayed in time, they would open their hearts to another dog in need. And about a year ago - they did just that!

    I never once, hesitated or considered not adopting to them again.

    Sometimes terrible things happen to really great people. Shit happens. And it could happen to any of us, anytime - with our own animals.

    While I believe we should do all that's humanely possible to protect our companions - life is indeed, a crapshoot!

  2. Anonymous12:46 PM

    I`m glad to read that post above.
    While I very much appreciate the work done by Rescues,some of them really do need to lighten up.

    Some of the restrictions placed on potential adoptors are insane.
    Fenced yards(different matter if it`s required by Law),requiring people to attend obedience classes.
    Many good people don`t have fenced yards and don`t want fenced yards.
    Many good people have NEVER attended an obedience class and have no desire,perhaps no time and perhaps no need to attend classes.

    People owned dogs long before there was such a thing as dog school.

    Personally I have owned dogs for a VERY long time and I went to one puppy kindergarten class out of curiosity.
    I would NEVER go to another class as a prerequisite to adopting from a Rescue.

    I am quite capable of teaching my own dog.
    Also this thing about matching dogs to adopters.
    That`s ok to a point but in the old days we walked down the aisles of our local SPCA and we picked a dog that caught our eye for whatever reason.

    There has to be a connection.
    A Rescue can`t determine that connection.
    What they should be looking for IMO are good decent people who adopt for life.

    Just as there are no perfect dogs.
    There are no perfect owners.
    You just need owners who consider it a lifetime commitment.
    In sickness and in health..
    That`s the most important qualification for adopting an animal.

  3. Good for you, Three Dogs Long, to adopt to that family again.
    There is no guaranty in life - not for people, dogs or any other living organism. I feel for every dog who never ran off leash, never followed a train, never chased a squirrel and never rolled in some sort of crap.
    Common sense and commitment to a dog is what matters.

    As far as mandatory obedience classes go, for many rescue dogs an obedience class is much too stimulating and existing behavior problems can actually getting worse. Rescue Group and Shelter adoption guidelines should be exactly that - just guidelines. Every dog, person and the relationship they have is unique and should be treated as such.

    A few year ago we fostered two Greyhounds, back to back. Would we wanted to adopt one, we would have been denies because we didn't have a fenced yard. As a foster home we were accepted, because the rescue group was in a bind. So it's okay to bend the rules, but only when it suits them. Rescue folks should be less lecturing and condescending and a lot more open minded.