Monday, September 17, 2012

Rescue Saints

As I have often said, dog rescue is not for the faint of heart. It is frequently heartbreaking. Too many dogs are being bred on purpose and too many dogs breed "accidentally" because their owners will not spay or neuter them. The only people who should even be thinking about breeding dogs are people who are devoted to a specific breed and who are active in the show world. That is a very limited number of people. These are interesting times for Greyhound rescue. Interesting in the sense of "May you live in interesting times." Tracks are closing down. The Greyhound racing industry is hitting hard financial times, and thousands of dogs are in need of rescue. The sad fact is, many thousands will not be rescued in time, but will be destroyed. Greyhound Adoption Center is unique among rescues in that it has kennel facilities for up to fifty dogs. And recently, the kennel has been operating at close to capacity. As racing kennels and breeding farms are being emptied, we are seeing some old dogs who had the bad luck to be chosen for breeding when their careers as racers were over. Eight and nine year old brood bitches and breeding studs are not at the top of the "adoptable" list. So when one of them finds a home, it is a cause for great joy. Yesterday, that happened. Some people are rescue saints. About four years ago Greyhound Adoption Center had a hard to place dog, a handsome dog with "issues". Then a couple, knowing his history, took him home, loved him, and gave him a wonderful life. Last week, while he was running around the backyard, one of his legs shattered. The nightmare of any Greyhound lover. It was bone cancer, and the dog had to be euthanized immediately to put him out of horrific pain. The couple was devastated with grief. But they knew that there would be another hard to place dog at GAC. So yesterday they went to the kennel and made friends with an eight year old who had been used as a brood. She also had a broken ankle that had not been attended to and so it healed incorrectly. She's a dark brindle with tuxedo markings and her face is beginning to turn grey. Against all odds, she has a wonderful new home and will live out her years as a treasured companion. The grief of losing a dog is unspeakable. People have to come to terms with that loss on their own timetable. But some people are able to reach out to another needy dog as a way to cope with their loss. Bless them.

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