We didn’t panic, but we did lose power for two days (and went through pretty severe gadget and internet withdrawal, probably more-so than heat withdrawal). Between the news, facebook, twitter, and everything else, the big storm (32.4 inches of snow here in around 36 hours) has been well covered, so instead of going on about it, I’m just going to post some photos from the big event (and a couple from the December snowstorm).
I’ve been lagging behind in my blog posts… probably something to do with going back to work. My Xbox 360 has been complaining a lot too about how I’ve not been playing very much. One piece of important news that I haven’t posted about yet is…
We adopted Pete! Pete was our foster dog (of course), and we really liked him. He was adopted out to a family, but he didn’t do well in their home — he would bark all day long while they were at work. We never had this problem when he was at our house, so we’re assuming it was because he was alone there, but had Max here to keep him company. In any case, he was returned to the rescue, and we staked our claim.
Pete’s about two years old, and is a smallish Chocolate Lab. He’s small, but still pretty heavy — 75 pounds or so. While he is generally pretty mellow, we have noticed that he seems to have some minor issues needing work. When we first had him, we thought he was a dominant dog, but now we think he’s somewhat submissive, but wants to be dominant… so he tries to act dominant whenever he can (kind of a bully). I’m sure we’ll work out his issues over time.
One embarrassing event with Pete was two weeks ago at the Reston Dog Park, when he lifted up his leg and peed on the leg of a man at the park. Kathie was the closest and apologized profusely; fortunately the man was very friendly and understanding. We’re not sure if Pete was marking his “property”, or was just aiming for some spot on the ground and didn’t care who was in his way, but we’ve been keeping a close eye on him at the park since then!
Kathie has written about Pete on her blog as well, of course!
If you haven’t been watching “Iggygate” on the news, here’s the short scoop: Ellen adopted a dog from an animal rescue. After a couple weeks she decided it wasn’t working out, so she gave the dog to her hairdresser. This violated her adoption agreement, which said the dog goes back to the rescue if she can’t take care of it, so the rescue went and took the dog. She had an emotional breakdown on her show begging the rescue to give the dog back to the hairdresser.
News coverage has been excessive, and a piece on CNN’s Anderson Cooper was very one-sided and made the volunteers at the rescue sound stupid and cold-hearted for doing such a thing. The rescue has been receiving many threats of violence over this.
Since we’ve volunteered for an animal rescue for many years, and we have the same policy about giving away dogs, I felt I had to write to Anderson Cooper after seeing his video.
After watching your comments with Erica Hill about the Ellen DeGeneres dog adoption situation, I felt I needed to give you some perspective on the other side of the story.
I volunteer for a dog rescue in Virginia. Our rescue, and many in the country (if not most) have the same policy – if you can no longer care for the dog, it must be returned to the rescue. The reason is simple: once we take in a dog to one of our foster homes, we are responsible for ensuring the welfare of that dog. Before a family can adopt from us, we do background checks, house checks, and interviews. We want to ensure that the adopting family will be responsible dog owners and treat our dogs the way we would.
If a family gives away a dog, the rescue has no idea if that family adheres to the same philosophy as the rescue. Perhaps they plan to install an invisible “shock” fence, or to build a dog house and keep the dog outside rather than inside. Both of these situations, and many more, would not be acceptable dog treatment by most rescues. Most rescues do make provisions so that if there is another family you wish your dog to go to when you pass away, are called for military service, etc., we will hold the dog and ask the new family to apply so that we can do our background checks.
Looking at it from a more personal perspective might help: Let’s say you have a dog named Danny, who you love dearly, but for one reason or another have no choice but to give him up. You have a friend who you know and trust, and give Danny him, knowing Danny will have a good home. You say “let me know if there are any problems, since I have another friend who can take care of Danny instead.” Two weeks later, you ask your friend how Danny is doing, and your friend says “It wasn’t working out so I gave him away.” I think — I hope — that you would be upset by this, and would make an effort to get your dog back so that you could give it to your other friend. This is exactly what the rescue has done in Iggy’s case.
Volunteers at dog rescues work very hard to rescue, rehabilitate, and find new homes for abused, runaway, and unwanted dogs. We see terrible cases of abuse and neglect, and it is our mission to ensure that these dogs never go through that again. The dogs live in our foster homes with our families and other dogs, and are treated as part of our family until they are adopted out. We receive threats — even death threats — from people when we do not approve their applications.
I hope this gives you some additional perspective on how animal rescue organizations work, and why dogs need to return to the rescue rather than be given away.
Thanks for listening,
Kathie snapped this great picture last week of Max helping me out with my web surfing, so I thought I would share:
We’ve been fostering for Lab Rescue again, and recently had a new foster dog, Jake. He was quite a sweetheart, and a big attention hog. For the first few days he and Max didn’t get along — Jake was trying to assert dominance over Max, and Max is a total wimp by nature and let Jake walk all over him. It got to the point where Max wouldn’t go into our dog room to get water if Jake was around, and wouldn’t even come back into the house from outside if Jake was anywhere near the door. So, we had to get involved and build up Max’s confidence and demonstrate that Max was ahead of Jake in our family hierarchy: Jake wouldn’t be fed until Max was done, he would sleep in a crate in the family room while Max slept in our bedroom, and he wouldn’t get attention unless Max got some first. After a few days of that things became more balanced, and he was a great foster dog. He was adopted last weekend by a family who’s been spoiling him rotten — just as a lab should be spoiled!