Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Meet Douglas!

This is Douglas, our first new addition to AARF's rescue/adoption program since we lifted our freeze. Like every pet that comes to AARF, Douglas has a story...

Douglas and his canine sibling were turned in by their owners to Paulding County Animal Control. The reason - they were moving. This is one of the most common reasons why people give up their pets, and, one of the most difficult reasons to understand. Rarely does anyone decide on a Tuesday to move, pack up on Wednesday, and drive way on Thursday. Usually, there are months, or at least weeks, of planning. And often, people just don't include their pets as part of the planning. I understand that sometimes circumstances do require that moves happen quickly and pets can't be included, but those situations are rare, and definitely not the case with Douglas.

Anyway, he and his canine sibling were dropped off to face the uncertain future of a pet at animal control. Many of the shelters are so full right now that owner surrenders are often euthanized on the same day. Fortunately, for Douglas, he was given a short reprieve at the shelter, which is staffed with incredibly caring and dedicated folks. Douglas' owners told indicated on the shelter paperwork that he was heartworm positive and they had known about it since November 2007 and had done nothing to treat it. I don't know how the shelter workers keep their cool in situations like this - it would be hard not to just lose my temper on a daily basis.

Douglas' sibling was adopted within a few days after someone read a post about them on Craig's List. But, since Douglas was heartworm positive, no one came for him. The shelter volunteers reported that he just sat in his kennel and cried when his companion left. I wonder if his owners think about what he went through - losing the only home he's known, entering a shelter with a companion, only to lose her and be left alone, struggling with a preventable illness and the inevitable fear he must have felt. Do you think it keeps them awake at night, thinking about Douglas?

Douglas' story touched one of our volunteers who has experience helping dogs recover from heartworm treatment. Douglas began his heartworm treatment on 9/2, and has a long recovery ahead. We know he has been heartworm positive for at least a year, and probably even longer. But his body will be easier to heal than his spirit. Douglas' foster mom tells us that he is a very sad boy, showing no real engagement with the life that is going on around him. But, he does want to be with his new foster family, and that's a good sign. He is in a loving foster family, and they will work as hard to heal his soul as they do to heal his body.

Do his previous owners think about him? I think about them.

Douglas' wish list: a new dog bed, soft toys, chew toys, flea medication. To support Douglas in his physical and mental recovery, stop by one of our favorite pet supply stores (Park Pet Supply and Mom and Pups) to get something from his wish list or visit our donate page.

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