Go, Dog, Go.

Back at the beginning of the pandemic, I kept hearing about tons of people adopting pets because they were feeling alone and isolated. I said to Steve, “How long until the surrenders start?” Aren’t I the optimistic sort?

If we had stopped time when this piece was written, everybody could laugh at me and say I was an old grump and I shouldn’t have worried. But time went on, and my worst fear came true. tons of pets of all kinds are being dropped off or abandoned. I know it’s complex. I know that food prices are going up and there’s a vet shortage, but I think a lot of these people simply decided the pets were too much trouble now that they headed back to work. Now that they were no longer bored and alone, they no longer had time for them, so they gave them up. This sounds just like what happens when people get their kid a puppy for Christmas and when the puppy is no longer cute, they give them up.

This would bug me anyway, but it really bugs me right now. Even though some would call me a “royal turd”, I have put a lot of thought into finding Tansy a new home, and if I thought she would have been happy staying with me, I would have kept her without question. Finding her a new place was done for her benefit. Also, I have offered to help out financially if anything came up that the person couldn’t afford. I’m not kicking her out of my life. I just think she would be happier in a bigger place with access to all the fun things I probably couldn’t provide.

Also, I didn’t just decide I couldn’t do it anymore and surrender her somewhere. I agonized over where I thought she should go, asked a lot of questions, and weighed all my options. I also told the person that if it didn’t work out, give her back to me and I’d find someone else. I’m staying in her life. I’m going to see her again.

It kills me to see people just deciding that this animal that they said helped with their mental health is too much work, dropping them off, having no idea where they’ll end up. Some of these animals had been adopted from rescues. Now they’ve been abandoned again, probably compounding the issues they already had.

And some of the issues could have been prevented if people put some thought into what they’re doing. If you adopt a dog, and you spend all your time with said dog, you have to know that if you leave it alone, it’s probably not going to go well. So before you head back to work, start getting your dog used to some alone time. Get some training ideas. Actually anticipate what your dog might need before you head back to work just hoping for the best. If you look at adopting a dog, and you are warned that they have high needs, think about whether you are able to keep giving the dog what it needs when your life returns to its normal level of activity. If you can’t imagine that working out, maybe don’t adopt that dog!

There was one sentence from that optimistic blog post that stuck out to me.

But if this survey proves anything, it’s that our pets helped us through the most challenging of times, and that as long as we continue to cherish and nurture our bond with them, they’ll be there for us during tough times again.

Or you could just dump them off as soon as they become inconvenient.

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1 Comment

  1. You’re the realistic sort. Anybody who knows anything about people should have seen this coming from miles away. “Our lives have been completely turned upside down and it’s hard to cope. I know, let’s add an extremely demanding family member to the mix” was never going to end well in a lot of cases.

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