Having moved recently to rural Texas, I was out in our yard trying to combat the poison oak and weeds that seem to be as prolific as the fire ants. I was riding peacefully on my lawn mower when I spotted something moving in the woods. Having been warned about snakes, deer, pigs and other critters inhabiting the woods, I was instantly “on alert.”
Instead of making a slow dash to the house, I turned off the lawn mower and suddenly spotted a small, dark creature that I recognized as a puppy of some sort. It took me a while to coax him to come to me. What I saw saddened me. This dog was so malnourished, he could barely move. His ribs were jutting out and he was frightened of any human contact. He was limping, dehydrated and starved. He had no identifying tags and was in such bad shape, I assumed he was no one’s “pet.”
However, just in case, I gingerly took him around to my neighbors, who explained he was a “dump dog.” A dump dog I said? In my naiveté, I couldn’t imagine anyone abandoning this poor creature.
I have worked for Bark Busters as a freelance marketing consultant for years. I have heard about their mission to save dogs that have been abandoned, mistreated or abused. I have written about it, but I had never seen it firsthand. To say I was horrified was an understatement! Who could dump a dog like a piece of garbage?
Yes I understand dogs can be expensive with their food, vaccinations and preventative treatments. I have two dogs, one which we rescued from a shelter. However, if you have even one dog, you have a responsibility to take care of that dog.
Did this dog suddenly become inconvenient? Did they have a baby in the family and the dog became too much of a burden? Did they move into a new place that doesn’t allow pets?
I tried to think of all the excuses a dog owner could use. However, “dumping” the dog was inexcusable.
At a minimum, if you don’t want a litter of puppies, get your female spayed. There are many low cost clinics that offer vaccinations for free. You can contact your local Humane Society for a list. Also, if you can no longer take care of your dog for whatever reason, do the humane thing and take him to a responsible shelter or rescue group.
I carried the dog inside our house. He was famished and I resisted the urge to over-feed him because I knew he would get sick. He laid on my lap and probably would still be there if I didn’t need to work.
My initial thought was to nurse him back to health and then take him to the local shelter. After all, I truly don’t need another dog … and a puppy no less! So I resisted naming him for the first couple of days, fooling myself that I wouldn’t get attached.
However, knowing that some shelters have to euthanize dogs because of overcrowding, I just couldn’t abandon him – he had already been abandoned once. His soulful eyes tugged at my heart. After all, all he asked for was some love.
Meet Lucky, the newest member of our pack! Next time you see him he will be heavier and healthier!