This is Ernie. Isn’t he gorgeous?
Ernie is a fine testament to why I despise most of the human race.
I was on my way to work Tuesday morning, in the midst of a torrential downpour, and I almost plowed right over him because he was out in the highway. Unfortunately sights like these aren’t uncommon in rural West Tennessee, so I really didn’t give it much more thought than I do every time I see a dog out roaming. Which is on a daily basis. But then later that same day I was coming back up that same highway and saw him again, only this time about a mile farther up the road. He was just trotting along the highway but stopping to watch every car that passed. It was then very clear to me that he needed help. I drove just a little way past him to a road where I could pull off and turn around, but I didn’t even have to turn around. As soon as he saw me pull off and stop, he came hauling ass to me. That was what he’d been waiting for. Someone to stop. Someone to help. Someone to SEE him.
He had on a collar, but of course there were no tags and no ID. Hoping with all that I had that he had someone looking for him, I loaded him up in my car and brought him home. I could NOT leave him there. I took him to the clinic to have him checked for a microchip (of course there wasn’t one) and to get something for his fleas and ticks, and I put his pictures all over Facebook on the shelter’s page, the vets’ pages, a county-wide lost and found page. The only responses I got were from people who live in the area where I picked him up. They all said the same thing…”He just appeared here about a week ago.” Y’all, dogs don’t just appear. They don’t just *POOF* materialize from thin air. This dog was dumped.
D and I have talked about it before, and we’ve agreed that we would not take on another animal for several reasons, so knowing that we couldn’t keep him I began trying to secure him a rescue. I didn’t even try to find him one around here. The good ones are ALWAYS stretched to the max, so I knew it would be futile. I know from volunteering with a few of them and from doing volunteer driving on transports that a lot of rescues down here transport to other rescues up north where the overpopulation isn’t as huge of an issue as it is here in the south. So northern and eastern rescues are where I focused. I emailed six lab and golden retriever rescues (since he looks to be a cross between those two breeds) that I was familiar with and knew to be reputable, and within 24 hours I had responses from three of them agreeing to take him. I talked with all three, picked the one I liked the best, checked them out thoroughly to be sure there weren’t any issues I wasn’t aware of before I initially emailed them, read reviews from adopters, called their vet, and spoke with other rescuers that had worked with them in the past. No one had anything but outstanding things to say about them, so I am now officially fostering Ernie for House of Hope Animal Rescue in Elkton, Maryland.
|“What is this ‘neuter’ thing you speak of?”|
He can’t be transported until two weeks after his vetting is completed, and that’s all scheduled for next Thursday, so he’ll be with us for at least three more weeks. During that time, he’s learning apparently for the first time in his life what it’s like to be a family dog.
|He never gets tired of chasing that which is thrown.|
And he has taken right to life as an inside dog.
We’re working on crate training and trying to nix some counter-surfing and food-stealing issues and working on using our inside voice (MAN, he is VOCAL! haha), but other than that, this boy has impeccable house manners. He’s gonna make someone an amazing companion pet, and I’m so happy to be a part of that process.
People, please. If any one of you reading this don’t have your animals spayed or neutered, do it. If you’re considering adding an animal to your family, look to a shelter or rescue, NOT a breeder. If any of you are forcing your animals to live outside alone and secluded from their family, bring them in where they belong. If you see an animal in need, for fuck’s sake, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT because chances are no one else will.