Rescue Journal

the truth hurts

Carol  ·  Dec. 13, 2014

so the second part about lying is sometimes in rescue we actually encourage the telling of lies because we make telling the truth so freaking unpleasant.

how many times have you heard people involved in rescue guilting or shaming folks who are for whatever good or stupid reason...offloading their family pets.
craigs list ads, rescue board soon as someone is getting rid of their pet we all jump in in a frenzy.

in the beginning I used to have a problem with volunteers making guilt laden comments to owner surrenders here but thankfully not any more.

there is no point in making someone feel horrible about dumping the dog. to me the bottom line has always been if the animal is no longer wanted then the animal is better off here. and I am thankful that the animal actually safely made it to here.

it is far safer for folks to invent 10 really good excuses on why the animal must go then it is for them to stand up and honestly say..i pretty much suck at pet owning.

if we don't make it safe for folks to tell us the truth we really can't complain all that much when their stories get pretty creative and stray far from the truth.

and sometimes by taking that animal in and not lathering on a ton of guilt..folks think about things a little bit deeper..sometimes they even realize they made a mistake.

I remember a shiba from a few years ago...the other family dog died and since his death, the shiba would scream whenever he was left out in the yard. since the dogs were always left out when the family went to work..this became a huge problem. when they contacted me and asked me to take the dog..i did do some problem solving with how about letting the dog stay in the house? but that was not the real issue..the real issue was one of the owners did not have any kind of bond with that dog. shiba's are hard to bond with esp. for folks who like cooperative, friendly and affectionate dogs. shiba's can be distant and aloof and they are not too into pleasing humans..they trot to their own little tune.
anyway..the dog came here and i blogged about this dog quite a bit because I found him fascinating and hugely appealing. everything this dog did or didn't do, I thought was pretty damn cool. and because I liked him so much and he was pretty upset about losing his home, he actually really liked me a lot too. so I blogged all about this too.
and guess who was reading the blog? suddenly the owner who was not bonded with that dog started understanding the dog a bit better thru my eyes, started seeing a side of him that she was unable to see before, suddenly she realized that she did love this dog, that he was really special and giving him up was a terrible mistake.
she called me up and said she hadn't been able to stop crying since he had come here...she did not know that she loved him until it was too late.

now I could have been a hag and refused to return the dog because I have done that many times before. but this time was different..this person "got it" she realized that she was the one that had gotten the dog all wrong and she was big enough to step up and admit it. the quality of the home had never been in question..the problem was a dog that was a poor personality match for one of the family members and this created continual conflict between the dog's human parents.
anyway that adorable little shiba got to go home and this time his home was all in agreement..they loved that little dog and his differentness.

I was kind of disappointed tho..I would have loved to keep him!

but the point to this is not how great I art..the point is not burning bridges, not slamming shut doors on peoples faces, leaving folks some dignity even when they are making a huge mistake. the point of everything we do in rescue is to keep minds open and wondering and pondering and learning and thinking.
not slamming them down so all they remember is the humiliation and pain of being chastised and treated like some loser human being.

maybe kindness and understanding to the owners doesn't help the animal they are abandoning...but.... maybe it will help the next.

the truth doesn't have to hurt if folks are brave enough to just say it.



But how will I feel superior if I don't get to judge people, hmmm?


Thank you for this insightful post. I will admit that I often had "not so kind" thoughts about owner surrenders - never said it to them, but certainly had a very self righteous conversation in my own head about it. You have given me a lot of food for thought tonight -as always.