Last week I got an email from a local Dal friend to tell me that she heard via another friend of a 10 year old Dal boy who was soon to become homeless, along with his 3 year old Shih Tzu companion. Their owners were unemployed, had lost their house and would be moving to Chicago to live in a relative's home but could not take the dogs. This is a common problem right now, people who are forced to give up their homes and leave their pets behind.
Although I have always been involved in rescue, I am not of the "rescue them all" mentality. Many dogs become homeless because of health, temperament or training issues that make them poor candidates for new homes. I also get very tired of the idea that everyone should rescue a homeless dog, especially a mixed breed, instead of purchasing a purebred puppy. Not everyone is prepared to or can afford to take on someone else's problems. Not all homeless dogs are adoptable. And many people prefer to purchase a purebred puppy and should not be made to feel guilty for that.
We've had little success in finding homes for dogs over the age of 5 or 6 too, even though older dogs can make outstanding companions. People don't want to acquire a dog with the idea that they will have it for fewer years, so didn't hold much hope of being able to help with this one.
I posted this story to my Facebook page and was delighted when my friend Kim responded that they needed a new dog, having recently lost their older dog. They had never owned a Dal, but were acquainted with mine, and would be interested in considering this one. Another friend responded that she would be willing to foster both dogs for awhile. I was a little nervous about the whole thing as there are some less-than-sweet elderly Dals, who are poor candidates for adoption by anyone.
I called the dog's owners and made arrangement to visit on Saturday. Kim & Rin & I met there and visited the dogs. I arrived first, and when I went in Dal Max covered me with kisses. Well, that answered the questions about his temperament! Max was a handsome, beautifully marked, black spotted, ear patched boy, obviously from good bloodlines, but bred by a teenaged girl from South Dakota who has gone on with her life. No breeder to take responsibility for him. He was grossly overweight (his owner referred to it as his "winter weight") because he was on self-feeding (as opposed to "portion control" which works best on Dalmatians). Other than that he looked very nice and was obviously much loved.
To be continued . . .
Note: In answer to a question posted on my blog, Letty and Weather are Arboks. Mariah is an Argus daughter but is older than they are.