Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Weekend

It was an eventful but productive weekend filled with unexpected additions, great fun, food and friends.
I started Friday by picking up a dog that the breeder was surrendering to rescue since she had too many. It was a short drive for once, only 20 minutes away from my house. I arrived at her home and it was an education. Although I have been involved in rescue for a few years already, my transports have always been dogs that were already in the system and were travelling between foster homes or on their way to their adopters. It was my first visit into a breeding operation.
She invited me into her home, which looked like any average home around here. I could hear many dogs barking, but didn't see any. It smelled "doggy" but not dirty like urine or feces. I'm standing in this woman's kitchen talking to her and she opens a door to reveal a room full of dog kennels-like something you would see in a boarding kennel or vet office; maybe 20 of them all with a dog inside an approximately 4x4 foot enclosure.
Her animals seem well cared for and she cried when I left with the dog, but I had to bite my tongue. I had to be sympathetic to her because I didn't want to alienate her in case she needs to "get rid" of more breeding stock in the future. Ultimately my true sympathy lies with the dogs living in kennels with their only purpose to breed and supply puppies while millions die in shelters every year. I can't help but feel some amount of guilt for not speaking for them; for smiling politely, taking the one dog and driving away.
The dog was terrified on the drive to my home, but within 12 hours his personality was starting to show. When A came home from work, she immediately started lovin' him and I had the brilliant idea of keeping him as a foster- of course I let her believe it was her idea and 48 hours later he has emerged as a friendly, lovable dog.
Saturday was a more happy and positive adventure when A and I loaded up our crew of misfits (4 of them) and drove 2 hours for a reunion/party for our rescue. What a wild time it was with 32 people and 95 dogs! One lady hosted it at her home in her large fenced yard. I finally got to meet so many people that I have only corresponded with through email and put faces with the names. Even though many of us had only just met, we felt like old friends united in the love of the animals. Our conversations picked up just where we left off online and we joked and teased each other like we get together every weekend.
I was the silent auction coordinator (although I have never done anything like that before) and have been working for more than 2 months to get it all together. I was nervous about handling such an important fundraiser. I'm happy to report it was a great success and we raised more than $1500 for our rescue plus more than $100 cash for the local shelter in addition to donations of cleaning supplies/blankets/food, etc. I was blown away by the generosity of these people.


tommy said...

Way to go on the silent auction... so with your fosters,do you name them? Or do you just wait for whoever is adopting them to do that? You're good people. :)

Mel's Way or No Way said...

Thanks Tommy. Dogs from puppy mills have names on their paperwork for registration with the AKC but since they have never been pets, they have no idea what a name is. My last foster came with a livestock tag on a chain around her neck. She was #207. We name them and sometimes the adopter will change it. The dog I picked up Friday already had a name and responds to it.

Jude said...

I'm surprised you didn't come home with 20 dogs! I hate puppy mills.

We rescued one from a mill, fell totally in love with him in a few short days and then he came down with parvo. We tried but he couldn't be saved.

Keep up the great work you do.

Mel's Way or No Way said...

Thanks Jude.
I was thinking maybe I'd put together a swat team and go in to liberate the prisoners. A would shit when I come speeding in the driveway with a car full of dogs.

CJ said...

As much as I'd like to save them all, I have to focus on the fact that I make a difference in the ones I DO make a difference too....puppy breeders have their own hell to live once their days are done!

crystal said...

What a greatweekend! As nice as it would have been to tell the "breeder" that she is killing innocent animals just to make some money, you handled it the smart way. This way she will hopefully continue to witness the honorable acts of people like you and start making smarter decision. I know how you feel though, breeders make me sick!

vixen kitten said...

Thank you for making this world a better place.

You are our hero... words could never adequately express the gratitude of our hearts.

~vk & Honey~

JennyMac said...

puppy mills break my heart...bravo for fostering.

King of New York Hacks said...

Brilliant work. I bow down to you..