Tuesday, March 16, 2010


That's me in the picture at the top of this article back in the early 90's, and no that isn't a German Shepherd Dog, but I love all dogs and that little guy belonged to my sister in law. I send this blog out to four different German Shepherd Dog e-mail lists. However, I also belong to other e-mail lists as well. One of those lists is for all breeds of dogs whether it’s for show dogs, breeding dogs or pet dogs. It doesn’t matter, just as long as you love dogs and are looking to share information about them. Many times I’ll read some of those e-mails and it’s about topics or questions I may not see on my German Shepherd Dog lists. This morning someone was writing about a “little lost soul” Pit Bull puppy that once lived in her neighborhood. She was saying that this little puppy was being mistreated by her owners. The puppy was tied up all day without any human companionship. She would break loose from her chains and this woman would come to her rescue. She felt very sorry for the puppy and would care for it until the owners returned. This woman even went so far as to have the puppy micro-chipped with her own contact information in case she got lost.

Well one day this is exactly what happened. The puppy did get lost. She got the call when the puppy was found and brought to a shelter. They checked her for micro-chips and that is how she knew the puppy was there. They said she was to be put to sleep the next day if she wasn’t claimed. She must have told them who the real owners were so they could be contacted. It seems that the owners didn’t have enough money to take the dog back home again. The puppy was put to sleep and the caring neighbor is beating herself up for not going to get the puppy. She said she thinks about this puppy every day.

Another person writes about a min/pin tied up in the back yard in the harsh cold of winter. This is a type of breed that doesn’t have an insulated coat to protect him from the unkind elements of the frigid cold. She says she sees this little dog shriving and crying on a daily basis. She’s called the authorities but everything remains the same for this little guy. She wants to steal him, but knows that is out of the question unless she enjoys sitting locked away in a jail for who knows how long. In these instances, these stories are about other breeds of dogs. But it could be just as well written for a German Shepherd puppy or adult that sits on death roll in some shelter anywhere in the United States.

I’ve told this story a long time ago, but never on my blog so I will tell it again in case it may help even just one dog. I lived in the Atlanta Georgia area back in the early 90’s. I lived in a beautiful residential area where children played and many people owned pets. Across the street from us were neighbors that had two children and a beautiful female Cocker Spaniel puppy. She was maybe about 12 -16 weeks old. Both husband and wife worked all day, while the children went to school all day. I wondered why they got a puppy to begin with if there wasn’t anyone there to take care of her. They used to confine her on the front porch with a “makeshift” type of barrier at the top of the steps to keep her barracked in. Well like any puppy that is left for too long of a time, it’s going to look to try to escape. Time after time, she did just that.

Every time this puppy got off the front porch, she’d find her way over to my house. She was adorable as most Cocker Spaniel puppies are. But man oh man, was she ever fresh!!! She had absolutely no training or discipline which was understandable for being by herself all day. She just loved to use my hand as a teething “toy” until I trained her to let her know that it wasn’t. Wow……was she stubborn! She insisted on chewing on my hand. I insisted that she wasn’t going to use it for that purpose. This became a battle of wills, until she realized that I was so much bigger than her and I meant business. After a long fought “war” I won!

When the children came home from school, we brought the puppy back to them. This went on for awhile. Then one day the father came over in a “huff!’ He told me that I had some nerve taking his puppy into my house. A few more unkind words were exchanged and he and his puppy went back home. His wife came out later and apologized to me for her husband’s rudeness. She also thanked me for watching after their puppy. I gave her a few suggestions and tips about taking care of her little rascal.

Time went by, but nothing changed for the poor little puppy. It would break my heart hearing the puppy cry everyday locked away in her “jail” known as the front porch. How I wanted to go over there and take her off the porch and play with her and give her the attention and love she deserved and craved. My hands were tied as to do this would have meant I was trespassing on my neighbors property. Eventually the day came that we were moving back to New York. While packing up our belongings in the moving van, I could hear the familiar cries of the pathetic little “forgotten about” puppy. Do you know how very tempted I was to go over and scoop her up in my arms and take her back to New York with us? Heaven help me, but I was very close to doing just that, but I knew that I couldn’t. She didn’t belong to me and I would have been committing a crime.

Many times we hear about German Shepherds tied up and left outside in the harsh elements of the winter cold or the summer heat. Many times we hear about a dog that is being starved to death. We see them in the shelters, on the news or the internet. When is stepping in to do something to save an abused dog considered a crime? It is if we trespass while doing it.

I would probably be one of those people that you see on the six o’clock news shown in handcuffs being escorted in to a police car protesting all the way. Abuse, neglect, torture and total disregard for our beloved breed or any animal for that matter is something that I couldn’t turn my back on if I seen it in my own neighborhood.

I realize that I am just one person but there is a lot of other “just one person’s” like me out there. And if all of us people got involved with what is going on in our communities, perhaps maybe we would be responsible for saving one of the neglected “no hope” dogs that lives two houses down from our homes. His pitiful whining, moaning, and desperate barking continues with hopes that it reaches our ears. Someone will stand up and will be the voice for this animal and all animals like him. Oh I can hear some saying, “I don’t want to get involved. It’s none of my business.” Oh but it is our business.

When the parents of children make a conscious decision to abuse and neglect their animals, they have now taught their children how to deal with people, with animals, with laws, and anything else that may come their way. It’s alright to abuse. It’s alright to neglect. If you own it (as animals are considered property), do whatever you want to it. It’s yours. The law is on your side! These are the type of children when grown up with be with our children when they grow up! Scary thought!

Fixing an immoral society, happens one generation at a time. How we protect and treat the meek, the broken, or the hopeless is an indication of the moral backbone of a once great society. Once the moral fiber of a country is lost, the once great empire crumbles and we become one of many like us, rather than one that stands above the rest.

From the book:  "Shelter Dogs"....Photographer Traer Scott’s endearing portraits of dogs living in American shelters are irresistible and heart-rending – and make a passionate appeal to dog lovers everywhere. Some of the dogs subsequently found good homes; others were never adopted. The portraits reveal the strikingly intense emotion, dignity and, sometimes, humour and whimsy that Scott saw in each face despite the dog’s circumstances. By documenting the undeniable expressions of emotion in the dogs encountered in her volunteer work, Scott raises awareness of animal rescue causes, and especially the need for more adoptive homes for abandoned dogs. This book of true portraits of fifty beautiful shelter dogs is a poignant and loving tribute to all dogs.

My rating: reaching out and helping (within the law): (4), turning your back and hoping it goes away: (1)

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