Monday, October 12, 2009

Enie Meenie Miney Moe

Cosmos has been gone for a week; there's a hole in my heart and an empty space in our home that can't be filled. Sunny is enjoying being top dog, but every time I leave him alone in the condo for a period of time - and it happens regularly, I come home to a dog that seems very depressed. Enforced solitary confinement. That's why I've always kept two at a time.

While I'm still beyond hysteria about Cosmos, it turns out that he lived beyond the average life-span of a Dal. If the rescue people who gave him to me are to be believed (when they originally gave me his age upon adoption), he was 13 1/2 years old. I thought Dals lived to 15. It turns out that their lifespan is 11 to 13 years. Cosmos was a miracle in yet another sense of the word.

But he's gone. Getting a new dog is not going to change that fact. Sunny needs a friend. I need something to fill the void. There are dogs being killed in shelters every single day because they are "inconvenient." And Risa has put the bug in my ear that I should go directly to a shelter to adopt, rather than through an adoption agency.

I would have gone through my last adoption group, but G- (Cozie's and Sunny's Godmother) said something so horrible to me about the care I gave Cosmos, the choices I made on his behalf, that was so hurtful and utterly untrue and uncalled for after I let her know he had passed, that I don't think I can ever talk to her or her group again. I'm beyond grief that I couldn't do more for my boy, but I was working pretty-much 24/7, especially towards the end, to alleviate suffering and give him every chance I could. I could NOT drive him to San Diego three times a week for dialysis. I could not handle it physically (I am not well myself), Cosmos definitely couldn't have withstood it, and what about Sunny who would have been left behind while we were gone 8 to 10 hours a day, 3 day s a week? I do not believe that it would have extended Cozie's days in any meaningful way, and would have added to his suffering. He was not a car dog in general; he'd get car sick and sleep uncomfortably if forced into it for more than maybe 2o minutes at a time. It wasn't feasible. But I have been condemned and I can't deal with those people ever again.

So my option has mainly become shelter dogs.

My nightmare in the past was walking the rows of cages, some marked with "E" for euthenasia on their last day. How do I choose? Who do I pick? How do I play God and help determine who lives and dies? But Risa told me that I don't have to walk the rows any more; I can look at the dogs on line and narrow the choices down. We would specify which dog(s) we would like to met, and they would be brought to an area that we AND Sunny could make introductions in. Sunny's opinion counts a lot here. He will play a very important role in determining who his next best friend is.

So I've been looking at dogs on line, and narrowing down the choices based upon my current living circumstances and those that I know I will be moving into next summer. And I'm left confused and horrified. 80% of all shelter dogs in Los Angeles are killed for lack of interest. I have narrowed down the search to over 20 individuals. Of all these wonderful dogs, only 4 are going to survive. How do I pick? I can't take all of them in! I'm still left in the same position of playing god.

How do I do this? Play God and determine which one of these dogs will live an leave the rest to an uncertain fate? And what of all the wonderful dogs I excluded in my search based on age or breed? In former times, they would have been part of the mix too! So much suffering. I don't know how anyone can go to breeders when there are so many loving pets, individual and distinct personalities, waiting for a 2nd chance at the pounds, in adoption centers. (I haven't adopted anything but a rescue in my entire adult life.)

What I know is that I have, unwittingly, stumbled into the role of God again. Last week, my hand was forced. I applied needle and drug to my best friend in the world and ended his life. Now I am looking at all these dogs, and by making a selection just out of this group, am condemning 16 of the remaining furballs on my list to death. And by avoiding the selection, 17 of them will go. I'm screwed. Let the nightmares increase.

I will probably choose Sunny & my next best friend on Friday or this weekend. I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

Scout calls to my heart. But I can see where you have a problem. You can't judge on the picture alone. Can you schedule play time with them and see how they interact with you and Sunny. Maybe Resa or Eric can come with you? To be there for a second opinion as to watch how the animal interacts with you and Sunny.

Good Luck my friend. It is not an easy choice.

Carol said...

Feel good that you're doing something to make the world a better place by giving one of those dogs a loving home. Tragedy is all around us every day, and even though you can't fix all of it, you CAN fix some of it. It's a hard, wonderful thing you will be doing. I'm looking forward to hearing stories of your new friend.

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

Hi Laura:
It's Carol Lee - delimom's daughter.
I was so sorry to hear about Cosmos- it just broke my heart. I was looking at the photos of the dogs that you had found at the pound . Have you thought about adopting a German shepherd. German shepherd rescue of Orange COunty has dogs and some puppies available. Here is their website have photos of the dogs , plus a little bit about them.

You will know the new dog when yu see, and he or she will know that they are meant to be with you.

Please take care of yourself,

Carol Lee

janel said...

Maybe this will help you decide... you have a lot of labradors and a few shepherds on that list. I have a lab/shepherd mix. She's the sweetest dog, however, she sheds like CRAZY. I mean hair EVERYWHERE, nonstop, year round. I won't ever choose one of those breeds again. And I am not a neat freak, and I love this dog with all my heart. But I think the shedding is hard to take when the dog is mostly indoors rather than an outdoor dog.

I like the Corgis, and the cairn terrier looks very sweet.

Good luck, and brava for your bravery in getting a new dog and saving one at the same time.

LI Laura said...

Hi Laura~

I'm so glad you are considering some BBDs (big black dogs). They are the least likely dogs to be adopted. My BBD is the sweetest girl ever. Luckily, the town shelter she came from is a no-kill shelter.

I also love Roscoe's face. :-)


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