The St. Louis Senior Dog Project is a not-for-profit dog rescue organization specializing in older dogs but taking in and finding homes for dogs of all ages...even puppies. Meet and adopt your new best friend 11 to 3 Saturday and noon to 3 Sunday, July 28 and 29 in the Kirkwood Petco near I-44 and Lindbergh and 11 to 3 Saturday, July 28, in the St. Louis/Makenzie Petco. To see which dogs will be there as well as other adoptable dogs, go Here.
The picture at the top is a good news story. He's another one of the Redbone Coonhound puppies who grew up at my place and found good homes. We need the happy ending stories because sometimes this rescue business is just too sad. And that's the kind of week I've had.
When something sad happens, as it did Sunday, I sometimes find myself trying to wind back the clock. What if I'd turned at the last moment and said, "No. I think I'd rather take that dog back home with me today. He's comfortable with me. You can foster some other dog."
Because if I'd said that, the dog would still be alive. I know that. I liked the dog. He liked me. He'd been with me for five days and I was already thinking of him as a keeper -- the kind I might want to keep for myself.
But he was also an "easy" dog -- a dog I thought would be perfect for a new foster. So I sent him home with the new foster family, and within the hour he was dead. Frightened in his new environment, he'd bolted, run into a busy street and been hit by a car.
Although all such losses are tough, this one was especially so. He'd touched me and I'd felt particularly pleased that we could rescue him. I felt pain also for the young volunteers who'd carefully brushed him at our adoption events. And especially I felt for the new foster couple who'd been so excited about taking this dog into their home.
So another unhappy ending. I also received an email this week from someone who'd adopted a dog from us five years ago. That dog also had escaped and been hit by a car and killed.
It's not all happy endings. Sometimes it's downright heartbreaking.
I read an essay by another rescue person who was frustrated and saddened by the news that the sanctuary she'd send a rescued dog to had turned out to be a disreputable place that was shut down by authorities who found many neglected dogs there. This person was ready to quit. She thought she had rescued the dog...and then she had actually sent in to a worse situation.
That's what we all fear....or what we should fear most. We need to check carfully before sending rescued dogs on to new homes or other rescue groups or sanctuary. These dogs deserve our best. But sometimes even our best efforts aren't enough. Something goes wrong. Pulling a dog out of a shelter or an unhappy situation is easy. Finding happy endings is not so easy. We do find them, but not without a lot of sad days when things go so wrong.
St. Louis Senior Dog Project