any rescuer who rescues and houses multiple animals..is going to have the occasional rocky boat day.
i know folks who have one or two or three dogs who have the occasional difficulties...or folks with one or two or three cats and have issues with the cats scrapping once in awhile or pissing on the furniture.
multiple animals mean multiple personalities..some of them not always that nice too. and who do rescuers rescue anyway...not those perfectly well behaved and well socialized healthy young perfect beauties...nope..rescuers pretty much end up with animals who are Problems.
if folks have challenges managing their own multi-pet homes and for them multi-pet usually means five or less...who in their right mind would think that rescuers who are continually bringing in new animals all of the time should experience even less challenges.
the difference between rescuers and your average pet owners is...we have a lot of experience living with possible animal social time bombs...and that experience is not to be sneezed at. for all of the people who actually believe that they could run saints better than me..they would not even survive one night with our core group of boat rockers...maybe they could handle them individually but not on your life, all together like me.
i was talking to mo tonight and i said to her...not one single person freaked out and said swinger needed a behavioralist or to be kept separate and confined or a sent to a different home or to be euthanized when that freaking horse walked up behind me and for absolutely no reason bit me really hard in the ass. but if a dog had done it, that is exactly the kind of things we would hear...because dogs (and to a lesser degree...cats too) are absolutely forbidden to bite.
horses can do it...donkeys can do it...pigs can do it...parrots and bunnies and hamsters can do it...young human children can even do it but god forbid if any dog young or old happens to do it...the shit literally hits the fan.
honestly..poor freaking dogs.....how utterly unfair.
dogs get in trouble because they live with humans who think they have all of the answers about exactly how dogs are supposed to be. and it puts a lot of pressure on them if they don`t happen to be who we think they should be.
every animal is unique...just like humans. they need different things, they have different personalities and different coping mechanisms. they even have different rules about what they like and they don`t like, about what makes they feel comfortable or uncomfortable and how they each react to these things.
dogs are not our modern day stepford pets. they do not come with a pre-programmed genetic mind set that can match every single human personality. they do not come with a black and white rule book that tells exactly how they are to be in order to pass the perfect pet test of the majority of humanity.
and i firmly believe that most dogs do not need a trainer or a behaviorist to make into the perfect pets..what they do need is to be cared for by humans that accept certain facts...like...they are actually dogs....not some idealized stepford pet.
we get pissy with our loved ones once in a while...we bark and snap at each other sometimes too. we get into bad moods when we are sore or tired or have had way too much stress that we have to deal with too. we get mad at folks who push us around or treat us disrespectfully or try to take our stuff or just will not take our hints to get the hell out of our face and give us some space if you please.
but let a dog or a cat get pissy with us or with someone else....we decide they are a BAD dog or a BAD cat...geez..they must be DANGEROUS and we had better deal with that!
give me a break here..the serial ax murderers in the domestic animal kingdom out to cause serious harm are really very few and far between..most of them are just simply communicating to us their needs in their non verbal and animal way...and our heads are so far up our know it all asses that we cannot even listen.
we should try to open our ears...clean out all of the know it all crap about how dogs SHOULD be that is collecting dust in our heads and just try to hear what they say.
and i will guarantee you that what they are saying most is...i am a dog and i like this and i don`t like that and i want to do this but i don`t want to do that...and then we can respectfully try to negotiate a happy middle ground.
there is no doubt that dogs living with humans need to have some boundries and limits to keep them and others safe...but for goodness sakes..let them still be who they are, don`t try to re-make them into little robot dogs...it messes up their good dog brains.
but hey...thats ok cuz we are human beings and they are just dogs...and not even very good dogs if they are causing us problems today.
i would rather be a rescuer than an average pet owning person...rescuers `get` that not all days are perfect, that some days bring problems and that we have to be the ones to find the solutions...and every solution for every problem is going to be different....it is what makes us pretty good at our jobs....we don`t expect to have all of the answers..we just have to be willing to open our minds and work it thru the very best that we can.
we know the animals around us are not perfect..most of them are as far from perfect as most humans are too. wow, what a concept...animals like people are flawed individuals with great value too.
and that is what i try to remember in rescue when our animal boat starts rocking...just do the best that we can and most of the time (but not always)...it will turn out maybe not perfect but at least reasonably ok.
at this stage in my life, with some of the problem dolts that i am living with..ok..is really ok.