Thursday, September 9, 2010

Babies, Dogs and Full Time Work ... Oh My

I ran into an unfortunate situation yesterday. It's one that happens so often and it really bothers me. I would like to spread the word about something that is very important to many people ...

You Do Not Have To Give Up Your Dog If You Or Someone In Your House Has A Baby

Believe it or not, people have been having babies for centuries! And guess what?! They didn't get rid of their dogs just because of the new baby. There are many different ways you can manage to have both! *gasp*

Yesterday, a lady told me about her wonderfully trained, 4 y/o GSD who suddenly needs a new home ... why? Because her daughter just had a baby. It's a "preemie" (4 weeks early) and she's concerned about the dog hair and the baby's under-developed lungs. The dog is great with kids and has never shown any issues but she tells me that she doesn't think the baby can breathe in the dog hair.

I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to shout. I wanted to jump up and down. I wanted her to come to the shelter and watch as they PTS so many unwanted dogs and cats who'se owners decided that it was "unfair" to keep them when they couldn't make time for them. It's ok, MY dog will be adopted because he is such a great dog. Uh huh. Right. News FLASH! They are all "great dogs" but that doesn't hold off the needle/gas/bullet. ASSHAT

Instead of saying all that, in my wonderfully tactful way, I said that are ways you can manage the hair if you actually want to. So I ask why she doesn't contact a groomer and have him groomed every 3 or 4 weeks for the duration of the time that the baby is "at risk"? (And how long would the baby be "at risk"? 4 weeks? 6 months? Big deal - we're talking about a dog's life here, not some stuffed animal - and I can tell that she's attached to the dog at least a little) She tells me that the dog doesn't like the groomer she took him to a while ago, so I respond with "why don't you find a different groomer then? There are at least 3 in this town and there are usually others in different towns if you want to go farther out". I also tell her that sometimes the dogs take a bit of time to get used to grooming (after all, it's the groomers job to clean parts of a dog that many dog owners never bother to even touch - of course he may be a little leery about some stranger bathing him! That's what training is for dumbass).

She also tells me that it "wouldn't be fair" to the dog to keep him since they won't have much time for him when the baby comes home. If I hear that phrase one more time I'm going to go postal.

Right .... because giving away your dog is MUCH MORE FAIR than spending a little less time with him for a few months. There are at least 3 adults living in the house ... I'm sure ONE of those three people can spend an hour or two with the dog a day. That's not THAT much to ask. Yep. Instead, it's better to uproot your dog, abandon him, let him think that his family doesn't love him anymore and dump him off to the first person who shows an interest. Let's hope they don't euthanize him when he becomes too much for them, or is too big, or is too hairy. Right. That's much more fair than spending a bit less time with him while the preemie baby is "at risk".

Yep. I might have pissed her off but by the end of the conversation, she was starting to make plans about how she can manage to keep the dog. I hope she does because it's not that easy to find a home for a 4 y/o GSD in our town.

Maybe there IS some hope for the Asshats of this town ... maybe.


Flo said...

This is something I will never understand. Never!!! A few years back we got evicted from the house we were living in and had 3 dogs at the time. We had a bit of time finding a place, especially since one dog was a pit bull, but we eventually did. There was no thought of giving up our dogs. None! I would have lived in my car first. When I bring an animal into my life it's for ever. Now we own a house just so that can never happen again. How can people do that???

Anonymous said...

Huh, I feel the need to point out that I was born TWO months early with near fatal heart issues, but I was just fine with the three hairy cats my parents had. Couldn't this lady manage to at least keep her baby away from the dog for the most part until it was stronger? Vacuum more? Something?!? I hope she changes her mind and keeps the poor dog. I think I need to go hug my (absolutely non-disposable)dog now.

Granite State Pet Sitting said...

It Kills me to see how many people give up their beloved dogs when they have children.

GoLightly said...

Great post, and I would have gone postal.

Kudos to your restraint..

Calsidyrose said...

Superb post--and I agree with GoLightly about showing restraint.

People have to drag or carry their pets into the Shelter so they can tell the Intake folks that "we just don't have time" for the dog. The dogs know how horrible the Shelter is--you can see it in their eyes and body posture. And most of these owners calmly, almost casually hand over the leash.

There is a weird flip to the "baby-in-the-house" problem--we get a fair number of adopters who have toddlers, and the parents want to adopt the tiniest, most nippy little Chihuahua available. The dog is freaking as the kids grope to "pet" it. Often, the Mom is pregnant. Why on earth someone would want to ADD an animal to their house when their kids are running round pulling dog toys off the PetsMart shelves is beyond me.