Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Dog That Was Dumped so the House Could be Remodeled

Mom received this email from my former family. They took me to the pound (Silicon Valley Humane Society) last August (2004) when I was 10 1/2 years old. I've overheard Mom tell her friends that I was about to be "euthanized" (a big word that I don't know) and I was rescued at the very last minute by the San Francisco Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue group. Mom was my foster Mom but now she is my forever Mom.

What do you all think of the email? The former "family" claims they read my blog so please add your comments.



Dear Ms. Typaldos,

On behalf of my family, I thank you very very much for all that you have done for Ams. You fostered him in your home, caring for him the whole time. When he developed DM, you adopted him as your forever pet.

Words will never express our gratitude for your kindness and magnanimity. Unlike what you have thought, we truly loved Ams and will always love him.

I know that you may feel anger towards us due to the fact that we surrendered Ams. Indeed we were very hesitant to do so; however, we had no choice.

Currently, we are remodeling our house; therefore, we needed to rent a home. We were somewhat lucky in finding a house very close to our old house. The only problem was that the owner did not allow us to keep any dogs. During this time, we had debated on whether on not to turn the offer down, yet in the end, we decided that we had no other choice. It was neccessary that we picked a location closest to our old house. I cannot tell you how much work and dedication my family and I places in the rennovation of our old house. Each week, we work in the job site, sweeping the floors and cleaning the site up. In order to save us money, my father has even decided to work on many parts of the house himself such as putting up the cables and wires. Without living this close to the job site, we would never be able to do all of this.

Since the time that we had to give Ams to the Humane Society, we all miss Ams very much, unlike what you think. The week when Ams was at the Humane Society, each and every one of my family members cried. Sorrow filled the air, and no one was happy for one whole week. Now that you sent us the link, my family and I have been reading Ams' blogs everyday now. Again, we thank you for all the time you've spent in doing this.

Even my grandma in Taiwain asks us about Ams everytime she calls. She had lived with Ams a long time. When we had to give Ams to the Humane Society, she even included Ams in all of her daily prayers, praying that he would find a good home. She is very happy for Ams that her prayers came true. To add to that, even my Aunt in New York asks us of Ams all the time. She has also visited his blog for quite a while.

Since the time that Ams was taken in by the SFGS team, I have constantly stayed in touch with Sharon.

For many times already, I have asked Sharon if it would be possible to visit Ams, and she had responded by saying no for evey single request. Upon reading on Ams blog that he goes to El Quito park, we have tried waiting for him at the park, but we were not successful. This park is extremely close to my brother's school. Although we were quite unsuccessful in finding Ams at the parker, we were, however, able to see Ams crossing the street while we were driving to school. We saw Ams last Thursday and Friday. Even though Sharon has turned us down towards visiting Ams even though you may feel a grudge towards us, I would still like to ask if we could possibly visit our one and only dog.

My family and I thank you very very much for all that you have done for Ams. Like I said, words will never express our gratitude. We do hope that you understand the reason behind why we had to give Ams up. Again, thank you very much. We appreciate what you have done for Ams. Each of us feels really bad for Ams upon learning that he has developed DM, but at least we know that he has a wonderful family now. We will always read Ams' blog.


At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...


I would be unable to contain myself if I received this letter. I've remodeled my house, lived in it while doing so, and my precious pup enjoyed all the action because his family was right here with him. If I needed to live in my car in order to keep and care for my beloved companion, I would! Sam is obviously so much better off with a loving caregiver (that would be you). Never, ever would these sorry excuses for human beings be allowed to see him again...give up an elderly dog so you can remodel the house-please!

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

Things happen for a reason, I believe. Perhaps this family would have put down Sam as soon as he became ill. Instead they got rid of the dog for a selfish reason and as a result, when Sam needed a caring family the most, he had one. He is getting so much more than he would have had he stayed in his former home.

Most likely the parents made the decision to take the dogless home and this child may be just being loyal to them, or is brainwashed into thinking this decision was the only one there could be. But it sounds like he sincerely cares for Sam and would like to see him.

Whatever is true, Sam is lucky to have you.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Christine barked...

Hello Cynthia,

This may be a good time to teach the 10 year old a very important life lesson that when people make decisions to send a member of the famiy to the Humane Society, most dogs are put to sleep. Meaning this child would never see Sam crossing the street or in the park EVER.

His family's making excuses for sending their dog to most certain euthanization is pathetic.

If you read this child, former owner of Sam, the decision to send Sam to the pound was a selfish choice. No amount of tears or guilt would ever erase that fact had Cynthia not opened her heart and home to give your dog a great remainder of his life.

Your dog will NEVER understand how your family could give him up after he spent 10 years (your whole life in other words) loving you, just to be given up because he was an inconvenience so that you could have a nicer house.

I hope that you do not learn the lesson that life is cheap and to be discarded easily. Some day your parents will be old and feeble (god willing they live that long) and they may need your help to survive as Sam did. I hope you will not heed their lessons and send them to the euthanization camp because you have your own family and they are an inconvenience.

Please, do not get any more animals in your home. Animals deserve better than that. They are not pieces of luggage. They are feeling, emotional creatures. Can you tell me that if you played with Sam he didn't love you?

-Dog Lover

At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

I can only say part of my thoughts. I've spent 24/7 trying to save my not quite 3 year old now angel girl Zoey. She went to work with me, we had monitoring systems in her room so if I had to take a shower, what ever, that someone could see her. This dog was a faithful companion to this family and I'm sure completely confused and bewildered as to why he was thrown away when he was in the way. I only hope thier family is more caring toward them as they grow older. Nursing homes are full of "throw away" older Americans whose family memebers can't be bothered to visit. Sam is blessed to have found a loving home, willing to help him live out his golden years with the care and dignity he deserves. Bless you for taking him in. Cathy, Chance, Jaden and angels Zoey and Twinkle snuggled deep inside my heart

At 5:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

I am glad sam was helped and taken out of that awful place

i know you will do right by him

NOW for the heartless bastards who dumped him: i hope you regret that day for ever but since you think a dog ( or any other pet) is an accessory to decorating in the home you should never be allowed to own another and i hope you are blacklisted on every DNA list in the country you deserve it

At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

I was livid when I read this note. Having been in rescue a very long time I can assure you, we have heard it all. You claim to love this dog but after 10 years of his life with you, you simply throw him away because you are remodling your house. That is no different than thowing out the furniture because it doesn't match your home any longer. How callous of you! If you want to see a true example of love, take a good hard look at Sam's new person. We have laughed with her, cried with her and watched their daily struggles together. She loves this dog and is there for him when he needs it the most. Can you say that? NO! You do not deserve to see him and it isn't fair to keep trying. He undoubtably still remembers you and for whatever reason still loves you in spite of yourselves. The stress of seeing you again and having you walk out on him AGAIN, will do him more harm. Stop being selfish. He is extremely lucky to have found his guardian angel. Let him live out the rest of his life with someone who truely knows the meaning of love and is willing to give him her all to make those days the best they can possibly be. As for you, I hope and pray that if you ever bring another dog into your lives, you learn from this. Dogs are family and they are NOT disposable like last week's garbage..reguards, Tami

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

I am glad that you found Sam. I feel like I should be used to the attitude his former family had; I see it all the time. But, I will say that I would never in a million years give up my dog. We adopted our puppy when he was 8 weeks old. Even though I am a dog person and had always been around dogs - I had never raised one on my own. The timing was really bad. My fiance was in graduate school, I was working at my first full time job.

But, the really hard part came when our apartment was essentially condemned when the puppy was 60 pounds and not quite a year old. A lot of people told us that we should get rid of the boy to make it easier to stay in a hotel and find an apartment. Of course, we wouldn't. So, we spent a ton of money on a last minute reservation at a dog friendly hotel, spent a ton more money taking him to doggie day care since he couldn't stay in the luxury hotel room unsupervised and looked at over 20 apartments until we found a good one that could accomodate *all* of us -- my fiance, myself, and our puppy.

People should not have dogs if they are not willing to make them part of the family, and part of their priorities, for their entire life. People have full lives with work and friends and houses to remodel and pets to love. Pets have only their humans.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

I once had to move to a place that did not allow pets, so I understand that part of the family's dilemma. But I don't understand taking the animal to the pound. I made sure I had found a good home for my cat, with someone I knew and trusted, before I agreed to the move. I understand that sometimes people just cannot take their pets with them - but I believe they still have a responsibility to find them a good home.

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Elizabeth barked...

I am crying as I write this. i do think that Sam's former family loved him and that they miss him, but some people just don't understand that a pet is a lifetime responsibility. If you weren't allowed to have children at the rental home, would you take them to a shelter? You owe the same responsbility to your pet. Last summer my fiance and I bought a house two hours from where we lived. Every weekend we loaded up my beloved Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Baley (all 110 pounds of him) and traveled to the "new" house to work on it b/c it needed to be completely redone inside. Baley was in the final stages of DM - he was paralyzed and incontinent and very, very heavy, but we never would have let him go or left him behind. Yes, it was a major effort to get him into the car, keep him comfortable while we were working and get him back home and we were exhausted from caring for him all the time. But thank God we included him b/c he did not live to make the move with us yet I have fond memories of him "helping" with the repairs. Baley was always my priority but I have come to realize that other people have other values and other priorities and rather than judge them we should pray that some day they will know how to give that unconditional, everlasting love that our pets so freely give to us. Sam is in a wonderful home where he will get the love and care for like he deserves.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Pop the Dog barked...

Hmm, Sam, I agree totally with anonymous #2 at 10:42 PM.

I think that your Mom got you when she did was divine intervention, so that you'd get a second chance at a quality life even when you got DM. If your former family could give you up -- instead of getting a friend to look after you while they remodelled their home, or at least put you in a doggie hotel -- imagine how quickly they'd have put you down (no, no! don't imagine! grrrr)

I think it must have been heartbreaking for your former family to have given up a handsome, sweet dog like you Sam. Perhaps their situation was really bad and they had no choice and didn't know of alternatives.

It happens here a lot too, in Singapore. Like, when a family staying in a house has to downgrade and move to a flat, where big dogs are banned. Those dogs probably get abandoned or put down if no one else adopts them.

In doggie authority, I say your Mom is right not to let your former family see you. They gave up that right when they dumped you. Would they have this chance if she hadn't adopted you? They can continue to look at their photos and keep their fond memories, but have to stop thinking they have a right to a minute more in your life.

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Rosemary barked...

I once saw a film where a couple with a little girl got divorced. When her dad left for the last time she screamed and screamed from her heart in utter devastation and desperation. I cried!
Unlike Sam, her mother was there for her to pick up and mend the pieces.
Every time I hear of a dog being betrayed in this way, I again hear those heartrending screams and it breaks my heart. I cry.
Bless you Cynthia for helping Sam to heal his broken heart and for walking the extra mile with him.
In my humble opinion, I do not think that these people should be allowed access to Sam. He has enough on his plate. Leave him in peace to build his new life with his new, loving family.
Just what would these people do if landlords refused occupation by children???
Pray for them that they will come to understand the meaning of true love and commitment.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

Dear Sam,

Woof! You are indeed a fortunate dog. Grandma in Taiwan prayed for you to find a good home, and her prayers were answered. The email from your former family shows that they still love you. I know it didn't feel that way when they left you at the pound. But here's the thing about humans, Sam: you shouldn't assume because you never really know what they are going through. It sounds like economic considerations made it impossible for them to keep you. This is hard for dogs and dog lovers to understand, but it happens. If they didn't care about you, they would have left you on a street corner somewhere. I'm guessing that they thought the doggie shelter would find a good place for you to live (and that they didn't know there was another horrible possibility).

Good luck to you. I'm so glad that you've found a home as wonderful as mine is.

Your doggie friend,


At 4:00 PM, Blogger Brandi barked...

Putting aside the questionable reasons that Sam's former owners used to justify taking a large, black 10 year old dog to a shelter, (and as we all know, that's a triple wammy - large dogs are hard to adopt out, black dogs are hard to adopt out and older dogs are hard to adopt out) they should really stop and think about what is best for Sam now.

He would probably be very confused if he were to receive visits from his former owners. He has enough stress to deal with without adding the stress of visits from former owners. Seeing them leave him again might just be too much for him.

We all make mistakes, but that never excuses really bad ones. The most we can do is learn from them and try to do better next time. Hopefully, Sam's former family has done that and can leave him in peace with his new family.

-Brandi, China's mom

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

To those who criticize other people: only say something when you have been in the other person’s shoes. Living in the car to keep the dog? So if you have a family of 5 people, are you going to let your family along with a dog live in a car? Please be a lil bit more realistic. I am a dog lover myself, and it’s breaking my heart to see that Sam had to leave his former family. It sounds to me that the former family really loved and still love Sam very much, and you, “mom”, also took very good care of Sam. I was just wondering… after you received this heart warming email, what did you do? Did you reply to the 10 year old boy? It looks like you are kinda cutting the real story to your blame-the-former-family story and make it to be I-am-the-savior story……

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Sam the beautiful all-black German Shepherd Dog! barked...

I believe the boy is about 15, not 10.

Originally I had been told that Sam's family gave them up because they had to move from a house to an apartment -- financial hardship. However, it was a shock to discover that the financial problem was too much money rather than too little. They appear to live in Saratoga, the city that has more million dollar homes than any other city in California. And they are remodeling their home...not leaving it. Perhaps they could have given up the granite countertop and spent the money on a kennel for Sam?

I spend every day with Sam, a loving adorable dog unfortunately afflicted with an incurable and progressive disease. Today I spent $$$ on his medicine and swimming lesson, and 3 hours cleaning up his poop (the new medication is causing diarrhea). Written sentiments are worth essentially nothing in my opinion, actions are everything.

Sam's new Mom.

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

I have been reading these comments, and i am kind of shocked about how you are regarding this family. All of you people who are insulting this family obviously are doing so with no acknowledgment of their circumstances, rather you dont deem to care. Instead you throw these unwarranted insults. This family unfortunately could not facilitate a good life for the dog amidst the remodeling of their home (and folks, with all the municipal remodelling laws, you cant slap on a mansion to your old home. So what people said about how they are spending all this money on the home and getting rid of the dog does not apply. If they had the option of keeping the dog. They would have. NO ONE throws out a 10 year old asset without thought) This family thought it would be best for the dog if he had chances of finding a good home elsewhere. And he did. And to the new Mom. I REALLY appreciate what you've done. I love dogs, and Its nice to see you're doing so much for Sam. But please, focus on Sam. Use this site to tell everyone How he's doin. Dont spend all this time, stretching the truth to promote yourself. Dont be unrealistic. keep everything down to earth. here's what i say. Tell us how the Sam is doing instead of putting people down. Also. Change the titile to something more cheery. "The Dog That Was Dumped so the House Could be Remodeled" That title connotes a lie. As it is immoral, i suggest that it be changed. Thanks all.

At 4:35 AM, Blogger Brandi barked...

The last few 'anonymous' posters - who took the time to chastise all of us but didn't take the time, or have the guts, to sign your freakin' name:

I have to wonder if you're Sam's old family trying to make yourself feel better. I will admit that some people were a little harsh about Sam's old family, but it doesn't make their mistake any less deplorable.

A responsible dog owner would either a)make accomodations for their pet during a remodel or b)find a new, good home BEFORE anything was done to their home.

And if you really think people wouldn't dump a '10 year old asset', you're living in a dream world. This is America where a lot of people think everything - object, animal and sometimes a person - are disposable at the first sign of inconvenience.

As for you 'the title is immoral' - get off your high horse and face the facts. That title is not a lie. It may be harsh, but it is not a fallacy.

I personally think calling a family member an 'asset' is immoral, but to each their own.

-Brandi, China's Mom

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

Dear Sam's Mom,

When I read Sam's diary, I cried several times and I was so touched by your kindness. However, after you posted the previouse owner's kids' email without their permission and identified their city too, I am asking myself how is it that you can be so concerned about the dog while at the same time showing utter disregard for a member of your own species.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

I wonder...if the former family really had so much money, would they really need to do all this? Obviously they didn't have as much money as you thought they have, that's why they had to move to an apartment which does NOT allow animals. Mom, do you really think you make any sense? Not EVERYONE that lives at that city are rich.
One interesting point I want to point out, is that since you posted what the former family sent to you, I am curious if you have replied to them at all. If you have, why not share with us as well. Let's hear what you said to the former family.

Despite others, I can totally see that you love Sam very very much. He's adorable, and I hope he will feel better with the medicine you give him....

At 11:01 AM, Blogger tkallison barked...

I am concerned about some of the responses that have been coming in regarding this topic.

We are fortunate enough to own a previously neglected and untrained GSD. Our GSD was fighting for his life when a local rescue group stepped in and saved him as he was being prepared in the euthanasia room at the Fremont Shelter. No one would take our loveable Alex because he was so neglected that he was more than 30 pounds underweight and was very depressed. I am happy to report that after 6 years of loving and nurturing Alex, he is the best dog we could have ever asked for. We understand what the new mommy is now going through.

It’s hard to believe that the previous owners really did care about Ams aka Sam. From reading this blog for the past 3 months, I have learned a lot about the previous owners neglect. They never took the time to train him and left him in the backyard day and night. A dog that is properly cared for is a part of the family and is trained and allowed in the house. It is very sad that he never had that opportunity until he was 10 years old. Taking a dog home includes more than feeding him and playing with him in the backyard. Sam is very lucky to have his new mom and the fact that she has taken on this responsibility makes her a saint in my book. Thank God for people like Cynthia because she is doing everything she can to make sure that Sam lives the life he should have prior to.

For the previous owners, if you are reading these responses, the only thing I would ask is that you never adopt another dog again. It’s obvious that you don’t understand the responsibility that it takes to raise and care for a dog. GSD’s having the most loving nature and it’s really too bad because you probably never saw the real Sam as he was never encouraged to be a part of your family.

If you are the person who wrote the email to Cynthia, I hope that you have learned that owning a dog takes work and a lot of responsibility. Someday you may be a dog owner and I hope that you make better decisions for your dog(s) than you parents did for Ams. You have the power to become that person who sees dogs as a blessing and not a curse. I feel you really do love your Ams but you didn’t know any better. Hopefully you have learned a valuable lesson about life.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Pimm barked...

Sam, you are so lucky to be living with your forever mom instead of that family that abandoned you (and abandoned is the correct word) because they valued their own comfort and convenience so much.

I don't think that these people care about you they just care about themselves and just want to see you for their own selfish reasons. And I think that the people who are criticizing your mom don't know what they are talking about.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

Dear Cynthia,

After read Sam's blog for so many moths, I was so touched by your kindness and compassion. How lucky Sam is! Everyone appreciates and admires everything you have done for Sam.

But today I was so shocked why you can treat Sam or other pets you have so nicely and so kindly, however you use this cruel way to treat a kid? I believe he needs a lot of bravery to send you the e-mail although he got refused so many times already.


At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

to Brandi, China's Mom

it's not that I don't want to sign my name, it's just that even if you know my name it will not do you any good. What can you do just so you know my name? Find me? You are just plain nasty on blog. If I were from the former family, I wouldn't just come here to post some comments. Besides, talking to you is a waste of my time. I would rather just come and see how Sam's doing. He should be the main focus of this blog.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger Sam the beautiful all-black German Shepherd Dog! barked...

The reality is that the probability of adoption at a shelter of and OLD, BLACK, VERY LARGE (105LB) UNTRAINED, NOT HOUSETRAINED, GERMAN SHEPHERD IS ZERO. All of the crying over the importance of house remodeling and hurting the feelings of a high school kid does not change the fact that taking Sam to the pound was a death sentence.

Yes, Sam survived so this must be proof that in fact it's OK to take your old, black, very large, untrained, not housetrained, German Shepherd to the pound and hope for the best right?

Nope. The reason Sam was saved -- at the last minute -- was because I had told SF Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue that I would ONLY foster an older dog. The Rescue group felt they could have ONE older dog in their "stable" at a time, out of 15-20 dogs.

I encourage everyone to select the rescue group of their choice and agree to foster only an older dog. You will truly be making a difference.

Cynthia (Sam's Mom)

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Gail Sullivan barked...

Obviously I am not afraid to use my name and I am VERY sure I may make some enemies from these comments goes life!
DOG spelled backward is GOD!
Do any of you walk on water, put your pants on any other way than one leg at a time....shall I go on!
You are not GOD nor am I but... I RESPECT others not JUDGE them. Ignorance I try to correct by teaching and showing a better example as I may be ignorant in their ways and customs. Take a look at Iraq and think about it!

Cynthia I think it is wonderful that you can take in and foster senior dogs. You obviously have the facilities and income to have this privilege....and it is a privilege to have these wonderful animals accept us into their lives. And...Cynthia I am very sure you are a wonderful caretaker for them; should any of my animals need a home if I could not care for them I am sure they would be safe and well loved with you.

For me though....I don't think you would like me at all! A lot of fences to be mended.

Remember DOG spelled backward is GOD.

The dog is the one who loves unconditionally, doesn't care what you look like, how much money you make or if your wine glass is full or empty when you are at your "blogging station" chastising a 15 year old young man. He had lived 2/3 of his life with Sam and was trying to, VERY POLITELY, thank you for rescueing him. Not only was it not his choice...but HE didn't agree with it! He was a child and Ans was his friend. HE wanted to see AMS, to see that he was alright and not forgotten. I am sure if he had arrived Ams/SAM would have been exploding with delight to see part of his old family. The decision of the Humane Society to not allow visitation is understandable under the circumstances.

By the way, just for your information; calling the"SV Humane Society" a "pound" is outright RUDE and doesn't help any of us who are trying to do breed rescue!

The situation of having relinquished an animal who is older/not in the best of health/untrained or unsocialized to a shelter is not a choice that any of us who rescue like to see BUT it is far better than the last rescue that I took in. A VERY obese Pembrooke Welsh Corgi who had been EXTREMELY well cared for (teeth cleaned, groomed,etc though never exercised) that was left on a country road in the middle of a thunder storm and was on the verge of being killed by the pack of coyotes that were tracking him. His story most likely....elderly owner...nursing home or died,
relatives take in...little kids pull his ears, he snaps or growls at them...throw him out on a back road! Tell me who is worse really?
Thanks to my animal control officer
"Harold" is now mine.


This isn't about my stories and feeling or your stories and feelings.

A dog was giving up by owners (who I am sure didn't realize what the outcome would be). You and the breed club stepped in, SAVED, and he has a wonderful home and will for the rest of his life!

The people we should be angry MAD at are...the puppy mills, the backyard litter is a good thing...and most especially the "people?" who breed and train dogs to fight/attack for sport that use Jack Russells tied to a post as bait as they will defend themselves to the death! Lets get the "licenced" brokers(?)(state and federal) who purchase relinquished dogs and cats from anyone off the street (they are usually stolen) for a few bucks
and sell them for experimentation at huge profits! Let's put our anger and frustration in the right direction!

We CAN make a difference.

In are no doubt a great lady full of passion but please don't waste you energies in the wrong direction! This family too, have been victims!

To the young man and family who gave up Ams....this story actually has a happy ending. He is very loved to say the least. Maybe Cynthia will change her mind...her choice...and let you see him as I am sure you would a lot of tail wagging to say the least but this must be HER decision as she is his new Mom.

And especially to our young writer...please keep growing in the direction you are...your letter was amazing and I am sure your spirit reflects that. For your next dog...and I am sure that sometime you WILL have one, remember the passion all of these writers have whether positive or negative....every one of them cares and keep that caring alive in you are your actions.

Life is both bitter and sweet! My wish is for all to heal, Gail

At 12:06 PM, Blogger tkallison barked...

tkallison said...
Sam was the only victim! Imagine how much different Sam's life would have been had he been part of a family and trained. Sam was deemed unadoptable by the SV Humane Society because of his age and his lack of training. Had it not been for GSD Rescue this blog and Sam would have never existed.

Breeders do need to be responsible. But the important thing to get out is that people need to be responsible for the pets they bring into their lives and if they are unable to provide a good home and the proper care for the animal they should reconsider making that addition to their home. The shelters are filled with way too many unwanted and untrained animals.

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Candi Pugh barked...

I rescued a 5-yr old 80-lb giant poodle about ten years ago. When I went to the shelter to collect him I was told not to adopt him because he was a biter. His foster families had had to give him up because of this. Henry was a gorgeous, smart, loving dog who had been spoiled rotten by irresponsible owners and then dumped no doubt because of all the problems their naivete about this dog had created. And there were a few. He barked at top volume as soon as the car engine turned over. None of my friends would ride in the car with me; it was totally unnerving. He could not endure being left in the house alone; as soon as he was, he crapped on the floor. He barked incessantly when left, and even though he was inside the house, my neighbors complained sorely. (And I couldn't blame them; I could hear him a block away.)

I wound up having to buy a pickup truck and take him to work with me in the camper shell, since my job wouldn't permit me to take a dog into the office. He was content in the truck and I went out at lunch and gave him some attention and some exercise.

Sadly, too many dog owners imagine that owning a dog doesn't involve being a good citizen. By that I mean that a good citizen is a person who takes care of his/her possessions and ensures that they do not harm or interfere with or impose on others. A good citizen doesn't indulge him/herself as long as owning an animal is "fun" and then dump the animal on the community when stresses and/or difficulties arise. Finally, a good citizen trains a dog to be a good citizen so that no matter what happens, that dog will always be a welcome member of the community.

I kept Henry until his death. I invested hundreds and hundreds of dollars in training, which helped but never cured his long-standing bad habits. We reached a tentative agreement that his behavior should be more cooperative. Happily, he only "nipped" (could draw blood but never went for anything other than my fingers--and after he became MY dog, it was always MY fingers, never anyone else's--I would've trusted a child around Henry completely, oddly, because he wasn't a fear biter and he was very sensitive and protective of to the condition of others--I once watched him come to a screeching halt in front of two tottering elderly people making their laborious way down the trail--Henry walked very very carefully around them and then resumed frollicking).

And he came to regret his behavior. He was like an abusive boyfriend, fawning all over me after an incident. I used to say he thought I was the girlfriend of the leader of the pack.

This issue of what Sam's family did to him is far larger than a couple of selfish people who dispose of a dog as if it were a couch for which they no longer have room. And it's far larger than Sam, although he sounds like a great guy and Cynthia is special for rescuing him.

The issue that needs to go somewhere, tho', is not our annoyance or disgust with people who have already demonstrated that they are incapable of owning a dog.

From my perspective, we really need to find some way to make sure that people like this do not get their hands on dogs. People who do not pay attention to their dogs or who do not train their dogs or who just plain don't really care about their dogs create massive problems for the rest of us who love dogs. Such people, for example, are sometimes oblivious to aggression in their dogs, which can and has lead to dogs attacking children and adults and even killing them.

In my utopia every dog owner would have to bring their animal to the city's animal control center at regular intervals in order to demonstrate that their dog remains responsive, obedient, and well cared for. There are entirely too many neglected dogs, entirely too many aggressive dogs, entirely too many owners who are oblivious to their dogs.

Dogs who are tied up all day would not belong to their owners once such treatment was discovered. And people who surrender an animal who has lived with them for years so they can move conveniently close to a remodeling project would never be permitted to own another dog.

Those, it strikes me, are THE key issues, not whether people are rude or sympathetic to such behavior.

I am lucky enough to have the love of a passionate 8 year old GSD who, without proper training, might well have been a danger to the community. But with training, she's adorable and sweet and happy. And whatever's in her future, one thing is not, and that is that I ever dump her for any reason on earth. Her absolute loyalty has earned mine. But even if it hadn't, her dependence on me necessitates that I be responsible about everything I do that involves her.

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

I note with some humor that the original caretakers (I use the term loosely) state they were upset a whopping ONE WEEK over taking this dog to the local animal shelter (which is a death sentence for most dogs). That tells you all you need to know about how little they bonded with Arms. They probably get more upset over giving away furniture.

Auburn, WA


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