Update to this story. Seven days after being left at a vet clinic to be put to death, GeeGee has found a forever home with a wonderful family that will give her the life she should have had all along! She found that home through the woman that came to her rescue and helped to spare her from death through her efforts and caring. It didn’t take a superhuman effort to save this dog…it just took effort and caring.
When someone makes that incredibly difficult trip to the vet to have their pet put to sleep, you would assume they’ve tried everything they can. Whether suffering from an incurable illness, are just very old, or possibly the pet requires medicine or treatment beyond the owner’s finances, whatever the situation, for damn sure it shouldn’t be because the animal has worms!
Scoff if you will but keep reading as the story I’m about to tell is not fiction. And if you’re not surprised and astonished by it, then you’ve got one up on me for certain.
They’d had her for five years when they arrived at the vet clinic earlier this week. Explaining that the five year old Boxer mix who I’ll call GeeGee, had been urinating frequently and had bloody diarrhea too, they wanted her put to sleep.
Note, ordinarily I don’t use the phrase “put to sleep” since it makes death seem less deadly. And honestly my inclination towards political correctness is nonsensical considering the owner’s actions but I’m trying not to sound too angry.
Anyway, the dog seemed exceptionally happy and healthy in all other ways. With a little hair loss under her chin that could easily be attributed to a multitude of things none of which would warrant euthanasia, she had no visible ailments. When they shared her symptoms, the vet assistant suggested a simple fecal test might uncover the source of the problem. A test, which by the way costs $20.
The owners declined.
Stating they could not afford to spend a bunch of money on the dog. However they could afford the cost of euthanasia, which is considerably more than $20. Somewhat astonished by this, the vet assistant then asked the owners if they would like to be with her during the euthanasia.
They again declined.
When the owners left, the vet assistant did not do as the owners had directed as she and everyone else within earshot of them knew it was ridiculously absurd.
Frequent urination often means a urinary tract infection (UTI). Bloody diarrhea is a well-known symptom of certain types of worms which are easily treated. And hair loss, especially localized is often the result of allergies (like we don’t have plenty to be allergic to this time of year) or could be attributed to the cheap plastic collar around her neck. None of which would ever warrant or justify euthanasia. Ever!
And sure enough that’s exactly what they found. A UTI and whip worms. The small patch of hair loss is still up in the air but who cares.
With this confirmation, the caring employee called the owners and suggested that considering the treatability of these problems the dog should not be euthanized. Not even feigning interest in the dog, the owners made it clear they didn’t care what happened to the dog and if someone else wanted her then that was fine with them.
As if that wasn’t reprehensible enough, within 24 hours these same people, obviously unknowing that one of their Facebook friends is one of our shelter’s employees, posted the sad story of how they were forced to have their old sick dog euthanized. They elaborated on how empty their home felt and how sad they were. Until within 24 hours they were touting the new purebred puppy version of GeeGee they’d just acquired.
Can’t afford a fecal test but can afford to buy that purebred. Really? Does anyone else think it’s astonishingly pitiful that someone would rather say they killed their dog than that they gave it away?
So GeeGee is now with us. Sure she’s homeless. Sure she doesn’t have a family to call her own. And sure she’s living in a cage. Yet, in my eyes GeeGee is far better off than she was before. We care about her and want nothing but the very best for her. And most assuredly we’ll do everything in our power to find her a home where someone truly loves her despite not being a purebred and despite being imperfect.
For those that will read this and say I’m jaded, so be it! Say I’ve become twisted in my expectations of people and the treatment of their animals. And some might say I shouldn’t share such stories as it creates a false impression of what real animal lovers are about.
Certainly there are many people who rush their animals to the vet when they clip their nails too closely. Those that provide the finest care and will spare no dollar to do so. Those that would give up their own lives for their animals. And I adore you all…even the goofy ones who think dressing their animals up is just one more expression of their love. (Sorry my friends who do this. But you now who you are.)
But there are those that should never be permitted to have any animal, ever, for such carelessness as I’ve just described! They have no idea what real love and compassion for an animal is about. And while assuredly it is the animal that suffers because of it, such people themselves are surely lacking something important in their absence of compassion.
I originally wrote that I felt sorry for such people but honestly I just don’t feel anything that forgiving at all, so I erased those words. All I really feel is sorry for GeeGee and animals like her who must have suffered in silence…suffered in the absence of real caring for years.
Having now filled that silence with my outrage, I promise you GeeGee there are those of us who care greatly! People that haven’t even met you yet, that will make it their purpose to find you a home that is filled with the sort of love and compassion you should have known all along. That dear GeeGee, you can bank on.