Monday, August 17, 2009

The Phone Call

It all started with a phone call. One I wish I never would have made. Two female German Shepherds needing to be re-homed, the family is moving out of state and won't be taking them along. The black and tan shepherd found a new family right away. That left Belle, a pretty white, almost 2 year old German Shepherd. People don't seem to want the white shepherds as much as they do the others. I know from experience if a home is not found in time, she will end up at our local high kill shelter. All of our rescues are full, as soon as dogs are pulled from the shelter, more are being dropped off.

After several nights listening to hubby ask me "where is my white German Shepherd?", I gave in, and made the call, the call I now regret making. The very nice lady that owns Belle, told me all about her. "She is a little timid and shy at first, but after a few seconds, she will warm up to strangers." She is missing her sister, the other Shepherd they re-homed. We spent a half an hour talking and she filled me in on everything there was to know about Belle. I told her I didn't want to see her go to the shelter, and if she fit in with my family, and no one else came to adopt her, then hubby and I would.

Two days later I get a call, asking me to please come meet Belle, and lets see how things go. Hubby believed we would be leaving her house with Belle that evening. I assured him, we would just be evaluating her. I must admit, we both had our hopes up. We didn't need another dog, and often times we tell each other we don't want another, but then we admit to ourselves that if by chance the right one came along, we would take that opportunity.

On the drive there, we were already discussing how she would be spending the weekends with hubby at work, and weekdays with me. As we approached the driveway, there she was, peaking out from behind her current owner. Long, tall, graceful, beautiful, white Belle, carrying a tennis ball in her mouth, very thin, as she has quit eating since her sister was adopted. She would drop her ball, and hubby and I would take turns throwing it. Never once, would she come close enough to either of us to allow us to pet her. She wouldn't retrieve her ball from our hands, if we didn't throw it. Instead, she would cower with her tail tucked under her, stretch as far as she could, then run and hide behind her owner. She let out a few growls every now and then. After awhile we finally went inside and sat down, hoping if we ignored her she would come to us. She clearly liked men better then women, and that is okay, as she did manage to sneak up to hubby and lick his arm and face very quickly; then just as quickly backed away with her tail tucked, and climbed across the sofa back to hide under her owners legs. This time a few feet away from me, with another low growl.

No matter how long we stayed, she wasn't going to warm up to us. Needless to say, we were very disappointed when we drove away. I know with lots of time and patience, and the right experienced dog owner, she would come around, but sadly, our home and our schedule would not be right for her. She has all the makings of a fear biter. With running the childcare in my home, with me alone with her and the other dogs during the day, we have to admit, she would be too much of a risk here.

I don't know what will happen to her. I don't know what her future holds, or even if she has a future. I just wanted to hold her, and tell her everything was going to be okay, instead, as we drove away, I had this overwhelming feeling that we failed her. I can only hope the right family comes along for her.

31 comments:

Laura said...

You gave her a chance just by going to meet her, so you should feel good about that. I'll pray that the right home comes along. Unfortunately, there are so many stories like this, and it is so sad.

Rae said...

After I read this I started trying to figure out a way for her to find a home. I am like you and want to rescue them all.

I hope someone comes along that can work to build this animal's trust so that she get the quality life she deserves. The part that I don't understand is how her owners can give her up. How do you give up a family member?

Since my husband and I retired we have considered selling out house and moving. The thing that holds us back is our dog. We are both committed to him. We would never consider leaving him behind.

I understand your dilemma and inability to take her. Children and fear biters are not a good combination. It wouldn't be a good situation for either.
I hope something good happens for Belle.

Dog_geek said...

Oh, poor Belle. Don't beat yourself up, though - you didn't fail her, and the right situation may still find her. There's no way you could risk having a dog like that around your daycare, no question. If only her original owners had put a bit more effort into socializing her, but I guess that is a topic for another day. I know you are disappointed, and it is so hard when you get your hopes up - even when you don't realize that you got your hopes up until it was too late. I hope that Belle finds a place that is right for her.

Betty said...

I can't say it any better than DG...you tried and that's the best you can do. Belle sounds like a challenge for anyone other than her current owner...and, you don't need that right now. I pray she will find a good home; and, that you and your hubby will find just the right dog in the future. I truly believe things happen 'for a reason'...a GOOD reason. So, don't think you failed her because you didn't. Just not the 'right fit'. Take care. I'll call you when we return.

♥Mimi♥ said...

My heart is breaking right along with yours. GSDs have such deep love and loyalty for their people. I have a feeling, though, that if she was away from her owner for a period of time she would bond well with someone else but for her to act excited about someone new on her own turf is asking a lot. My GSDs, and I've had them since 1980, would never warm up to anyone until they had met that person at least 3-4 times.

What might have been a good thing to do would to ask the owner to put her on a leash and take her for a walk...away from her home. I really do believe that she would adjust to someone new - she's young - but with her owner in the same room it just isn't possible. There is NO way my GSD would be all excited about anyone while I was nearby.

Dana said...

Atleast you tried:) very few people in this world can say that

jay said...

Kudos for trying. I have to agree, your situation is probably not right to take on a possible fear-biter, and it wouldn't do her any favours to do so and then bounce her, or worse, have her condemned to death for taking a chunk out of one of your clients' children.

Hopefully someone will come forward and take her. Have you contacted the GSD rescue people?

♥Caroline♥ said...

awww poor Belle...i hope that someone will take her. you tried.

troutbirder said...

What is it about people not wanting white GSD's? There are so beautiful. You made the right decision though.

BeadedTail said...

What a sad situation for everyone involved. You tried to see if Belle would fit in your household which is all you can do. I'm sending prayers that the right person finds Belle and is able to give her what she needs and build her trust again.

Tracey said...

I feel for you....I hope Belle finds a perfect home. You should not feel like you failed her though!!
Tracey

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

Ah T, so sad all the wonderful dogs needing homes. Even worse maybe are the dogs with with issues that will be even more difficult to rehome. You did more than most people just in going to see her. And then you spent some time trying to make it work.

I know that doesn't really help when it comes down to the bottom line, Belle's life.

People really need to understand that socializing the dogs that they commit to is so necessary to ensure the dogs, in the worst case scenario, have a chance at a new life.

On the other side of that, I am so glad that you kept the children foremost in the equation. Of course, I wouldn't expect anything else of someone as responsible as yourself.

aileen said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Betty

http://dogfurniture.info

tula said...

T- that's the right decision. as beautiful as she is, you know how important the right, SAFE environment for every family member is priority no matter how much you want to help. it is a sad story, but don't give up hope. someone else may have a big heart, time and the home that are a good match... hope! look at me:)

kisses,
tula

manker said...

prayers that G-d will find for her the right home.

gp

heatherbelle said...

You did your best and you can't ask for more than that..though I understand your disappointment and fears. Hopefully a good home will be found for her.

NORWOOD UNLEASHED said...

As much as we'd like to save all dogs, it's not possible. I think you made all fair efforts to give her a chance. I can only hope she has a happy ending.

NOrwood

Jan Mader said...

Once again your beautiful writing and story has me crying. You did your best that's all you can do. I so wish she hadn't been separated from her sister. I think she would have fared much better with her.

This is a sad story, but you and your husband are wonderful people who truly touch the lives of animals and people. Once again, thank you....

Jan said...

How disappointing for you and your husband. How sad for Belle. I hope she finds a happy home. You were right not to take her but it still hurts.

Stacy said...

Aw too bad! I love white sheps! They're great! I hope an unsung hero will take her!!

Anya said...

Touching story :(
I hope she will find a home !!!

Phyllis said...

It's a sad story for sure. You can't help what will happen to her; shame on her stupid owner for putting her in that situation to begin with. Why do people do that?!?

I love the white GSD and used to have one myself. They are gorgeous and I'm always tempted when I see one needing a home.

I know it's hard but don't think that you failed. You didn't. The owner did. The animals always, always pay the price of our decisions. You can't risk having a fear biter in your home with kids. It's a huge liability and you know that. You did what you could.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Wish you lived in Michigan. I was just to our shelter and a GSD is about to give birth this next week to a litter of purebred babies. The previous owner gave her up because she just didn't want to take the responsibility of the litter. What a pile of poopie. Happily, ours is a warm, clean, no-kill shelter. Holly, the manager, said that she will be screening very carefully anyone who wants to get on the list for one of the pups because they are to be home companions, not guard dogs or yard dogs or whatever. We also have a very strict spay/neuter policy. The momma is gorgeous! Skin and bones and here she is ready to deliver. I am so angry with her former people.

Wish I had the room to raise a litter because she'd be sitting next to me right now.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Come on over today and help us get the word out to the Eagles about Mr. Vick! We has a furry im-paw-tant bloggy post taday!

Lisa said...

awww poor Belle...I am so sorry things didn't workout for any of you. I hope someone she trusts will take her.

Akannie said...

Ah, T...

What a story. Little Belle sounds like a great dog, and wish it had worked out better for you all.

You know that God will give you more and more chances to continue your heart path. Love you...Annie

Carolina said...

Oh you must feel so sad for not knowing if she will be okay. But you gave her a chance and it wasn't right for both of you. You made the right decision, however awful it must make you feel.

Hugs

Carolina said...

Hi T, me again. I received a pawsome award and I think you really deserve it too. Actually you're the one who really deserves it, not me, but I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth. So, if you like to pick it up?

Hugs again

NORWOOD UNLEASHED said...

Hi T
Yeah.. glad to hear from you. And perfect timing. MOm says thank you for the birthday wishes. I hope all is well.
norwood -ooops upside down again.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

This happens a lot more than it should ... Sorry it didn't work out for you

I’m doing my rounds and just wanted to pop by and thank you for commenting at my blog last month. I appreciate your input.

DogsDeserveFreedom

Jan said...

Just curious if you are ok. Email me if you want. You don't usually go so long between posts.