Inconvenient Truths

Somebody asked me today if I wanted another dog. The person didn’t know that I already share my home with five dogs, and that although I’d love to have twenty more dogs, I don’t have the space, the resources, or the energy to care for more than the pack I have now. That didn’t stop me from asking questions. What kind of dog?  A husky/shepherd. How old?  Fifteen…but a very young-acting fifteen. Why do you want to get rid of it? Oh, I work so many hours and my son (also fifteen) is never home..although he really doesn’t want to get rid of the dog. But…it’s really not fair to the dog.

Uh oh.

Really? It’s not fair to the dog? I hate that excuse. I hate it because it makes people sound like they care when they really don’t. Do you want to know what’s not fair?  Having a dog for fifteen years and then wanting to give it away because it’s no longer convenient to have it.

Here’s a dog that has known one home and one family for her whole life. Now she is a senior who has already lived beyond the ‘normal’ expected lifespan, and her people, the people she has obeyed and protected and loved for her entire life are ready to throw her away like a broken toy. The truth is that she probably won’t live too much longer, and abandoning her in what may very well be the last year or two of her life is cold and cruel.

Stop fooling yourself. Stop pretending. The truth is that you don’t give a shit what’s fair for the dog.

The truth is, when you decided to have a child, you didn’t say to yourself “I’ll take care of this kid, but when it gets inconvenient I’ll put him up for adoption.” The kid has been plenty inconvenient. Without even knowing you or your son, I am confident of that. How many times did you change his diaper when you were out in public? How many nights did you lose sleep because he was crying? How many times did he get sick when you had other plans?  How many times did you have to drive him somewhere when you were tired after a long day at work? How many times did you have to scrape money together to pay for an unexpected expense? How much has your food bill increased as he has grown into a teenager? How much damage has he caused that you’ve had to pay for? None of that stuff is convenient, but you still did it. You did it because your kid is your responsibility.

Well guess what? A pet is a living thing. Being that it is alive, it has an expected lifespan. When you take on the responsibility of a pet, that’s exactly what it is; a responsibility. A pet is not a toy. It is not a hobby. It is a living, breathing creature and it did not ask you to buy it or adopt it—that was your choice. Your pet is not a disposable commodity.

But, you can’t say all that stuff to people. Not really. Because by the time you say “The truth is that you don’t give a shit what’s fair for the dog”, they’ve stopped listening.

So all you can do is make suggestions. A dog walker once a day? Doggie daycare once a week? How about Camp Bow Wow? Even one day a week will improve your dog’s life…and you know what? It will tire her out. For days. Even better, they are running specials all the time, and they are located conveniently alongside the freeway.

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Belinda’s owner didn’t want her any more, so she put her in a bag and put her out in the yard – where she lay for four days suffering in the SC summer heat, until animal control picked her up. (she kept Belinda’s puppies, though.) I didn’t write this blog post about Belinda, but it made me think of her.

I know we live in a disposable society…but ask yourself this: it’s made our lives more convenient, but has it really improved our lives? The landfills are full because everything we buy is disposable, or we view it as though it is.

Shelters are full for the same reason.

It’s not fair, and that’s the truth.

——————————————-

Here is the story about Belinda that I wrote for Pet Pardons News that never made it live. I am hoping it will answer the questions some of you are posting in the comments about Belinda, and that you will use the petition link at the end of the article.

A twenty-nine year old Florence woman was arrested and charged with “ill treatment of animals” Monday  in Darlington County South Carolina. Veronica Crawford tied her dog, Belinda, in a bag and left her lying in the backyard for four days. Only Belinda’s head was left exposed while she lay, cruelly restrained, in the summer heat.

According to Captain Andy Locklair of the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, Crawford called Darlington County animal control on Monday, June 11. Crawford told animal control that she no longer wanted her dog and asked them to pick it up. Animal control informed her that because she was surrendering her own dog, she would have to bring the animal in to the shelter herself and fill out the appropriate forms.  Crawford told them she had no transportation, so they made an appointment to come by her house on Thursday. Allegedly, Crawford then “bagged” her unwanted dog and put her outside like a bag of trash.

Locklair said that on Thursday, Crawford called animal control a second time, asking when someone would be there to pick up the dog. She told the secretary who answered  the phone that her dog had been tied up in a bag on her property since Monday.

Animal control contacted the sheriff’s office, and deputies were sent to Crawford’s residence at 1103 Foxhall Drive in Florence, where they found the hound mix lying in the hot sun, restrained in a red bag with only her head protruding. She was severely dehydrated and had an embedded collar. Belinda was taken to the Darlington County Humane Society shelter to receive medical treatment.

Greg Vaught of the Darlington County animal control office said the dog “was in pretty bad shape.” But he added that despite her ordeal, she was in good spirits.

“She is a very friendly dog,” said Vaught. “She was just as calm and as nice as she could be.”

When the judge on the case learned that Belinda’s puppies were still at Crawford’s home, he ordered them removed. The puppies are being cared for at the shelter and will soon be put up for adoption.

Belinda is now recovering in a foster home. The woman fostering her has noted that although “Lindy” suffered such cruelty, she is still gentle and craves attention.

Crawford was arrested on Monday and booked at the Darlington County Detention Center. She was released after posting a $2,500 surety bond.

A petition has been created to demand prosecution of Crawford. A donation is requested after you sign, but signatures are recorded whether a donation is made or not. Darlington Rescue has also started a fund in Belinda’s name, to raise funds to help the dogs in their care. Donations can be made on their website.
Please sign and speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.

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About yelodoggie

C.A.Wulff is an author, artist and animal advocate. She has been involved in pet rescue for over twenty-five years. She has written two books about her true-life adventures living with an ever-changing house full of pets: Born Without a Tail, and Circling the Waggins, and a guide to animal advocacy using the Internet as a tool: How to Change the World in 30 Seconds". Wulff also writes a pet column and book review column for the Examiner, and is a contributing editor for AnimalsVote.org. She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.
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21 Responses to Inconvenient Truths

  1. Lindsey says:

    Thank you for this blog. I have recently subscribed and have loved all the posts. I am a recent dog owner. When I got married a year ago, I also married a 6 year old, shelter dog–a lab/border collie mix. That dog has become my baby. Now I cant imagine a life without a dog…and never will. He has enriched my life more than I thought it could be. Thanks for all this useful information and showing me others are just as compassionate about dogs as I have become.

    Like

  2. sue says:

    I love this blog and this is the total truth I have nine dogs and I made a 15 year or longer commitment to love and take care of them

    Like

  3. KATHRYN says:

    I AM SICK TO DEATH OF HEARING, SEEING, WITNESSING THIS SHIT. I WATCHED ‘ONE NATION UNDER DOG’ ON HBO LAST NIGHT AND STILL HAVEN’T RECOVERED FROM WATCHING, FIRST, 6-8 ADULT DOGS BEING GASSED IN A TIN BOX, AND, THEN WATCHING 4-6 PUPPIES PUT ON TOP OF THE DEAD ADULTS AND THEN THEY WERE GASSED!!! I DON’T THINK I SHALL EVER GET OVER THAT!!!!! pls excuse my capitals….but i NEED to yell, scream, banchee about it. REST IN PEACE YOU POOR, POOR BABIES. GOD LOVES YOU (AND SO DO I).

    Like

    • yelodoggie says:

      That portion of the documentary was excruciating to watch. I will never ever get over hearing their piteous cries as they were gassed. We must outlaw gas chambers throughout the US.

      Like

  4. Clarice says:

    Great post!

    Like

  5. Caitlin says:

    When I saw Belinda’s picture and read about her horrific plight, I cried. It is beyond my comprehension how people can be so barbaric, callous, inhumane, and indifferent in their treatment of animals. PLEASE tell me this owner was charged with animal cruelty!!!!!

    Like

    • yelodoggie says:

      She is being charged. When the judge found out that Belinda’s puppies were at the woman’s house, he ordered them removed. I wrote the story up for Pet Pardons news, but it has not gone live yet.

      Like

  6. Wendy Tridigo says:

    Did Belinda survive? They should do the same thing to her owner. It’s a good thing I am not nearby. I would think nothing of gunning her down.
    Wendy

    Like

  7. where is Belinda?????? is she going to get a forever home????

    Like

    • yelodoggie says:

      Kathryn, I just appended my blog post with the article I wrote about Belinda for Pet Pardons. It should answer a lot of questions, and also gives a link to a petition.

      Like

  8. I have to say that you have covered an area of betrayal that sets my hair on fire. When an elderly dog becomes inconvenient because it may start going senile or to the bathroom in the house or need medication….so they simply dispose of their elder dog. A dog that has lived and known one life for 15 yrs. and someone wants to scare the dog in old age by placing it in a strange atmosphere or an uncaring pound environment to die? A dog that lives to 15 deserves to live the few more days, months, maybe years in the place it has always known, and the owner home or not it is a better place for the 15 yr. old dog (bad excuse).We owe them the dignity to peacefully reside without change in their elder years even when they become harder to take care of. Instead many chose to place them to live in an unknown scared state until it passes….a betrayal that is simply one of the worst in my eyes.

    Like

  9. Irv Oslin says:

    Another aspect of that copout – Gee, if I can get rid of the old dog “for her own good,” I don’t have to go through the heartache of her dying.

    Like

  10. nancy5vic says:

    That was disturbing. You sure shed light on some tough stuff. I admire your passion and perseverance. You are making a difference!!

    Like

    • Wendy Tridigo says:

      I knew it would be too much for me too handle so I took a walk outside during that portion. I’m afraid that those who really needed to see this documentary did not see it.

      Like

      • yelodoggie says:

        It was sort of an odd documentary, I thought. I couldn’t really figure out what it was trying to say. It seemed like the three parts were not very related.

        Like

      • Wendy Tridigo says:

        I totally agree. I was hoping it would incorporate more about rescues and pulling dogs on death row and transporting to safe havens/rescues.

        Like

  11. Pingback: Inconvenient Truths | anniesjungle

  12. ouacstowohio says:

    As I read this again, I can only think of the daily posts I share of abandoned dogs and feel disgust.
    If you cannot love from the beginning, middle to the very end of your pets life, just don’t make the commitment in the first place.
    My resentment for this behavior of cruelty only festers as I spend days on end caring for my elderly dog dying of cancer. Medication around the clock, bleeding tumors, proper food changes, cleaning and coddling my sick dog when he is down. But, I still want just another day, I look forward to the good days he still has and pray for more. I loved him in the beginning, the middle and to the very end, because he deserves this. They all deserve this!

    Like

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