Rescue Journal

it doesn't take much

Carol  ·  Jun. 1, 2008

some people believe that dogs are these little china things that can be broken if everything is not perfect in their lives. sadly enough there are others that think dogs are built out of rock.

both wrong.

dogs are soft branches that bend and blow in the breeze. they don't need to be managed within an inch of their lives, and they don't want to be cut completely free either.

i get such a kick out of watching humans freak out over a dog's special needs. the trauma, the drama, the savior routines is like watching "the apprentice" in high speed.

it is no big deal to make a dog feel better. give them the medical care, the meds, the surgery, the special food, give them the bath or the trip to the groomer. take some time to make them smile, touch their face and kiss their head, take them for a walk, or a swim, or to dairy queen for an ice cream cone...let them make you laugh, share with them your lunch, your couch, your bed at night and then just let them be. you can figure out the specifics with a little bit of thought and a large dose of good old common sense, based in reality not fantasy.
i hung robert e. bootstraps rusted chain to our door. i want it to remind me of all of the dogs who still have them. rescue does not have to be this big, huge, dramatic and perfectly planned and executed really is quite simple. unclip the chain from around their neck, and help them to feel good....for a day, a week, a year or ten.
it is not that complicated. it is not that heroic. it is just a simple thing.



To clarify, "good enough" means giving everything one can to a dog, even if it does not come up to the expectations of some "expert" or expert wannabe. "Good enough" means that all emotional, physical, mental and psychological needs are met. Vetting is done when required. There is plenty of opportunity for exercise. The best food for the dog is available.
The most important "good enough" in our home is that Mac and the other dogs are all safe. MacKenzie has to be separated from the other dogs for periods of time in order to keep her from resource guarding and injuring another dog.It is something I detest, but it is necessary. It is not a perfect situation, but it is "good enough". Mac gets hours and hours of full-out cardio exercise every week to keep her body healthy. She gets a ton of attention, and as much affection as she can tolerate. She sees her Vet regularly to get medication to keep her from having a heart attack when she hears loud noises of any kind. She had a seizure once, and I worry about that, but there has never been any sign of a second, although we have meds in case she should. She has toys to keep her nimble mind busy, a soft, comfy bed, people who love and protect her, and me, who believes in all that is good about her.
Perfect? No, not in my mind. Good enough? I really hope so.


That is just the best feeling to see a dog that has long lived confined albeit a chain, pen, rope, off unemcumbered to explore on it's own. Talk about heaven to a pupper...


if the "good enough" home means no matter what, someone will always be by their side.

the "perfect home" for kenzie would and chris and angelina on a deserted island in the middle of the empty, she has done well enough, considering.


Of course ours was far from the "ideal" new home for MacKenzie. She "should" have gone to a home with no other dogs. She "should" have been seen by a trainer who would have "whipped her into shape". She "should" have had multiple therapies. She "should" never have been given a chance to prove herself. She "should" have had her movement restricted. She "should" have been fed a certain diet right away. She "should" never have been allowed near children. She "should" have been considered too broken to fix.

What she was is loved, held (when she could stand it), protected from that which frightened her, fed good quality food as often as she would eat, given time, space and trust. Sometimes things went well, sometimes not so much, but 8+ years later, she is a happy, healthy pain in the ass who I love like crazy.

There was no other home available for this dog. It was our "imperfect" home or the big blue needle. Sometimes "good enough" is good enough.


"it is not that heroic. it is just a simple thing."

Not to the dog who has been rescued, Carol, especially from horrific situations (not that Robert E.'s situation was anywhere near the worst with which you've dealt, not by a long shot). It is my firm belief that a rescued dog, coming from some hellish place, never forgets her/his rescuer, and the relationship between the two is magical. My MacKenzie and I have a very strong bond, stronger than that of any of my other dogs, including Kirby, who is my heart. Kenzie "knows", and I know she knows.

Yvette~Turtle Gardens

Just like little Suru who lived 17 years on a chain - he loves his freedom to go outside freely, unencumbered with a chain around his tiny neck. It is a joy to watch him wander around sniffing. Now that rescue doesn't hurt the soul - it heals it!