Yes, I’ve been gone for a while. Like last time, time has gotten away from me and a lot has happened in my life since the last time I wrote a blog entry. You will understand after reading the following post. Like I mentioned in previous entries, as shelter volunteers we are confronted by the return of dogs on a semi regular basis, which is very sad. The top three reasons are: a baby is on the way or was just born, people are moving, and people are getting divorced. It is hard not to judge but I’m trying to keep an open mind and people the benefit of the doubt that there is really NO way they can keep the dog. I’m sure, though, that a lot of these people are not even trying. I want to concentrate this post on divorce and move, because personally I don’t have the experience of having had a baby, so I’m not getting into this right now.
Today we’ve had a dog returned after five years, after he had been adopted at 10 weeks old. The reason we were told was just what I’m writing about here: divorce and move. I can’t even imagine what this dog is going through. He was part of a family for five years and now he’s at a place that is different to everything he’s used to. Our shelter is a great shelter, but it’s just that: a shelter and not a home. Even though I don’t know the exact circumstances of this particular family and maybe there was really no way that they could have kept the dog, I really think that there is a way to keep your animals after a divorce. I’m not being judgmental here or talking about something I haven’t been through. I’ve been through both within the last year. I got a divorce and in the process I had to move out of my house. There is NO way I would have moved to a place that didn’t allow my dogs. I don’t have a full time job, which means I was not able to just go out and buy a house to have a place to move into with my dogs. I did try to find a house to rent but I have to admit in the defense of the people who have to give up their pets because they can’t find a place that takes them. In the process of looking for a place I found several places that allowed pets; pets up to 30lbs. I had to eliminate all these places because I have two dogs, a Lab (82lbs) and a Lab/Shepherd mix (75lbs). Eventually I abandoned the house idea and then I found a great apartment complex that didn’t only allow pets, there was no weight limit either. The only limit is the number of pets (two per apartment). Although we don’t have a backyard anymore, my boys are happy. We go for walks three times a day and at our last vet visit they both had lost seven pounds, just because they didn’t go out to the yard anymore to potty but we actually walked.
By telling my story I want to show people that it is possible to find a place that takes you with your pets. Just don’t give up right away. I don’t know what I would have done without my dogs during the time right after I separated from my husband. They were and still are my saving grace. I have rescued them once by adopting them from the shelter but they rescue me over and over and over again. I can’t even imagine having to give them up. Pets are not a thing that we can just abandon when life gets a little harder. They are part of our families and we promised to take care of them. They can’t just go out and find a place on their own. My boys are there for me every single day, so it’s a small price to pay to make sure they are safe with me.