Rescue Journal

rizzo...a different kind of heartbreak.

Carol  ·  Nov. 3, 2012

riz has been really good up til now...ok he is still really good. but last night at about 6pm..i watched a switch get turned back on again. it was time to go home. he has fit in here so well and he seemed hardly to give his departing family too much worry time at all. this was fun and interesting so whatever, see ya later alligator.

but last night it started..hmm, where did he go?...when is he coming back?..hello??? i am ready to go home.

you are probably wondering how i know this?

it is because while i can't speak dog...i can SEE dogs. and rizzo has up til now... misunderstood why he is here.

when rizzo first arrived, he was a bit bewildered but he was game for giving it a try. so he stayed true to himself...nice and friendly but slightly reserved and aloof..not too upset and generally accepting of taking a short vacation here.

last night however, he started peering thru the fence boards, then standing up and considering the fence height. when i brought him back in, he started climbing up on my lap, occasionally giving little licks to my face and awkwardly sitting and looking at me consideringly. this morning he is even more demonstratively affectionate..occasionally pawing at me, licking my face and hands over and over....resting his chin on my shoulder.

if i was stupid, i would think this dog is starting to love" i have always been aloof and definitely NOT a lap dog" changing his entire, lifelong personality and becoming super affectionate and cuddly. awww...he really does love me.

well no. riz is really stretching himself to try to communicate wih me..."hey nice lady? are we done yet?...when can i go home?"
and he can't understand me when i tell him he can't. i tell you it breaks my heart.

strip away all of the angst and drama and the very basic black and white reason why rizzo has lost his home is because he is a shiba.

people really need to look at themselves, their lifestyle, their family members, and everyone's expectations of the dog they all want.

cuz if someone wants a biddable dog, or a cooperative dog or a dog who actually acts like a dog...don't go getting yourselves a shiba. go find a nice cocker, a poodle or even a lab but stay away from these highly intelligent and independent breeds which really are not even K9's but are more like an entirely new species.

rizzo is a cross between a cat and a human and he is as deep and complex as both species combined. and you absolutely have to have a true appreciation for the complexities of this fascinating creature to enjoy having him as part of your life.

however..the one thing that rizzo shares in common with ALL of dog kind is ...absolute loyalty to his family and loved ones. he will not willingly or easily forget and leave them behind. and it will be hard watching as the reality sets in and he finally accepts and realizes..his family is not coming back for him, that part of his life is over.


Marla in SD

My heart is breaking right now. Being a foster "mom" for 50+ dogs in the past (including the four who are "mine" now), it was always amazing what these poor souls went through in their adjustment. My heeler, Molly, has been with us for over four years, but every time we would bring a new foster in and they would get adopted, she'd act terrified for weeks after the foster left like she was wondering when she was going to have to leave. She's so smart, and she's mostly pretty secure in her home, but she still sometimes acts as if she's waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for us to drop her off in a parking lot somewhere so she can go through the living hell of trying to find her place in this world again. To the people who did this to her (she was pushed out of a pickup in the parking lot at the YMCA and waited for three hours until someone finally called animal control who turned her over to our shelter), I first have to say thank you for giving us such a wonderful girl, but also want to ask them how they could do such a cruel, terrible thing to such a beautiful, young, smart, loving little dog. Poor Rizzo... you've found a wonderful place to be, so please trust that you're in a much better place than you could be, and that someday, it'll feel like home...


I adopted a 7 year old malamute to a family. It took almost a year before she decided she wasn't just visiting and waiting for her owner to pick her up. She is an awesome family dog now, but it was a long time.


ditto maggie. if rizzos family and all the ones who are given away could only know half of what these animals go through it is heartbreaking.


i always think of the movie men in black, when tommy lee jones is missing his wife and will smith says well, its better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all...then tommy lee says yeah? try it.