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Location: Midwest, United States

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Shelter Dog

My dad was a champion Labrador, my mom a driven Border Collie...
and I'm the resultant mongrel.

I suppose I may have had a better time of it if I were pedigreed. Most people SAY they hold mongrels in deep appreciation (“hybrid vigor” and all that) but, truth be told, we’re all drawn to good breeding, paperwork in order, and “status.” So be it. I’ve romped a bit, sniffed out a lot of interesting places and humped a few legs in my day. It wasn’t a life of privilege...then, again, I wasn't exactly cut out to be a "show dog."

Yeah. I'm a mutt. Deal.

As it happens, houses are sold, people move on, and there’s no place for a mongrel.

Off to the shelter I go.

I’m wise to the merry-go-round. I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve had a few owners. Yes I have. I loved ‘em all, but I was beaten mercilessly by one, ran away from another, suffered mightily under the third, and the fourth just...well...abandoned me. So it goes. We mongrels understand. It’s our lot...our fate...our destiny.

We're disposable.

So now I’m a shelter dog, and what you see is what you get. I’m well aware my muzzle is grizzled (more than just grizzled...). I’m well aware that my hips aren’t what they used to be and I won’t be leapin’ onto the back of the ol’ pick-up (as if I ever could). But, hey! I’m house-broken (most times), and I’ve got a lotta affection and loyalty to offer to anyone who will accept me for who I am.

It won’t be easy, though. My last two Masters changed me. One was feckless, leavin’ me easy when the leavin’ was good. The other cruel. Too cruel for words. I’ll nip (OK, OK...I bite) when reminded of THEM. I’m wary. I’ll admit it. I’m a “fear-biter” and I’ve got good reasons. Trust me on this. Look, I know that a grizzled muzzle isn’t all that appealing. And I know that I’m timid and shy and overly fearful. Heck, I’m a shelter dog...and we’re just like that, ya know?

Still...still...there’s a home for me somewheres, no? There just HAS to be someone who will love me enough, and trust in me enough, and delight in me enough to take a chance, work with me, accept me, love me and cherish me enough to allow me to open my heart and TRUST that I can be the companion they seek and need.

But, sadly, I’m just a shelter dog. Things haven’t exactly worked out the way I had dreamed...
* * *

DOH! I gotta check if this is a “No-Kill” shelter. I’ll get back to you...

* * *


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ohhh, i know. how sad. especially in light of the foreclosures, etc. i've got two mutts and it kills me i can't handle more...

Tue Oct 07, 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

"i've got two mutts and it kills me i can't handle more..."

Break my heart why dontcha!?! I was hopin' you'd adopt me...

Tue Oct 07, 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

OMG What a sweet lonely face... Can I have him?
Or are you adopting him??????

Tue Oct 07, 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I'm sorry. I was still lost in metaphor...(that was a self-portrait).

Wed Oct 08, 12:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't bear to think of dogs in shelters. I would bring them all home if I could. People really should be held accountable for they way they treat animals. The sadness you see in the eyes of some dogs is dreadful. That's it - I'm crying now....

Wed Oct 08, 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger anna said...

I happen to think mongrels with grizzled muzzles are quite handsome. I've taken in a few of my own over the years, but I admit I struggle with their standoffishness (I know, I know - not really a word) at times.

Wed Oct 08, 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger anna said...

Oh... and some of us kinda like to be bitten. *batting my eyelashes*

Wed Oct 08, 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Ok then... can I just adopt you?

Wed Oct 08, 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt E. Om said...

there’s a home for me somewheres, no? There just HAS to be someone who will love me enough, and trust in me enough, and delight in me enough to take a chance, work with me, accept me, love me and cherish me enough to allow me to open my heart and TRUST that I can be the companion they seek and need.

I don't know. It *is* hard to wrap one's mind around the concept/possibility/truth there might not be such a home, especially when the desire for same is seemingly hardwired into us. It's almost as if there is an inbred sense of, dare I say it, entitlement. Many brilliant minds and hearts have postulated theories--philosophical, biological, spiritual, psychological-- as to the why of it all and, in the end, IMHO it boils down to whether or not you have the "loving home" card in this lifetime's deck or you don't.

I don't much care or bother anymore with trying to understand and/or make sense of why things are what and the way they are. I've been shifting into accepting what is because a) things are what they are and b) as long as I'm taking in oxygen, I have to live with things as they are.

I've wanted what you want for as long as I can remember. I still hope but now I also am aware there is no guarantee there is a lid for every pot.

Man, was that a ramble or what? Thank god my next patient is here.

Thu Oct 09, 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an interesting post...perhaps you should post it in the personals.

I do so hate cruelty, but it seems to be out there in full supply of late.

Thu Oct 09, 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

shelter dogs are the best, the most thankful, the ones with the best hearts

Fri Oct 10, 01:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ponygirl said...

I once rescued an older dog when I lived in San Diego. Near dead from starvation and bald from untreated allergies, he turned out to be the absolute best dog ever.

Grateful to be alive, happy all the time, playful, respectful, a great guardian dog for me and my cats. He shared my life for six years and I taught him sign language as he grew deaf. He would always turn to look at me to see if I was saying anything to me.

He was the best - just wish I could have gotten him as a pup to save him from all the abuse he suffered. Miss him to this day and have his picture in my livingroom.

Sun Oct 12, 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ponygirl said...

Oh... and if you are anything like that old dog I had, Jonas, you can come live with me any day!

Sun Oct 12, 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Oh, Sweet jeebus! Where to begin!?!

Ms. Tempest, what can I say? We're simply simpatico.

Ms. Cheese, I already knew you have a heart of gold!

Selma! Dry those tears!

Anna, you drive me crazy (in a good way). By the way, I'm already pacin'

Ah, Bodie, how I do love your rambles!

Oh, Anon, I don't see me posting any personals anytime soon. My heart's too raw.

What can I say? Shelter dogs like me like dear hearts like flutter and ponygirl.

Thu Oct 16, 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Mom to the Girls said...

OMG J. I'm in the middle of adjusting to the fact that my 'girls' are going to be moving on to new homes and it's killing me. Every fibre of my being is acheing. I know they are going to good homes, but they were shelter dogs when I got them. OH, this comment makes no sense but I am overwhelmed.

Wed Oct 22, 08:51:00 AM  

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