The horse's pasture to the East...

Monday, March 21, 2016

MINIVER and My Thoughts on Dogs , Waiting...

I am sitting here on the floor with Miniver, my big beautiful girl. She's part St. Bernard, part Great Pyrenees, and part Bernese Mountain dog. She is one of the sweetest souls in the body of a dog that I have ever lived with. She weighs more than 150 lbs, is so big she can rest her head on my dining room table, and her back legs are giving out. She is only six or seven years old.

I brought her home knowing this might happen, but I also had hopes it wouldn't. I thought if I used the services of a chiropractor, used Reiki, home made food and excellent grain free kibble, brushed her every day, played with her and loved her, took her on long, slow easy walks for exercise, did physical therapy ... I thought if we did all of these things I could head off her collapsing back legs at the pass. A massage every night, arnica for inflammation these past several weeks, supplements, prayers. Nothing is stopping the inevitable. AND I AM ANGRY!

I am so angry I can not see straight. I'm pissed off at the fools who do not spay or neuter their dogs. I am infuriated at the back yard breeders who breed their dogs so they can sell cute puppies without checking in to their backgrounds, certifying that hips and joints are healthy going back for generations; that food, exercise, love and a really good reason is there for bringing puppies in to a world where hundreds of thousands of dogs are being put down for lack of space in the shelters. 

Do we all love our dogs? Of course we do. I've had dogs in my life since I was four years old with only a lapse of four years during that time. I can not imagine my life without my dogs. They are my constant companions, every single one of them. And Miniver has been one of the best. She loves without reserve, worries when I'm not here. She sleeps next to my bed and moves from one room to the next with me during the day, never misses her time at the barn. 

The day that I injured myself in a gate between my horses she stepped up, backed the horses off and supported me. She put herself at exactly the place she needed to be so I could lean on her. No one taught her that. She just knew what to do. And when I came home from the emergency room she was at the door waiting, crying, worried because she wasn't able to come with us. She, again, put herself exactly where she needed to be so I could lean on her. No complaints, just patience. And today I need to be here for her because her legs are giving out. There's nothing wrong with the rest of her, just her back legs. Her hips hurt and her back feet curl under her. 

Who's fault is that? It's the fault of the people who allowed her mother to breed with her father. Why weren't they spayed and neutered? BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE LAZY! And it's the fault of the backyard breeders who do not take the time it takes to learn what to look for in a breed of dog, ANY breed of dog. Nope. Just got to have all of those cute puppies without thinking about the long term consequences. Why do they do that? Because they're greedy, thoughtless and LAZY. And it's also the fault of the jerk who threw her away, leaving her out on a country road frightened and bewildered, because it turns out she was going to be big and inconvenient. She was shot and hit by a car before she was found. She was only less than a year old and weighed more than 80 lbs. 

That cute little rolly polly puppy began to grow up. Well f@#cking duh! She'd been at the shelter for seven weeks without coming out of her kennel when I met her. Volunteers were afraid of her because she was big. No one thought to check for injuries and, being the stolid soul that she is, she didn't complain. We found the injuries after we brought her home. Her tail was broken in three places and she had buck shot in her. The Vet who did the spay for the shelter did nothing about her injuries. Not his job. Nice guy. (AS$HAT!) I figured it out with the help of a Vet I go to. I found the injuries by running my hands over her body. 

Why do people still show so little sense? I just don't get it. You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to understand the basics. If you're not an expert who has an exceptionally good reason to breed dogs, i.e.. cattle and sheep dogs, watch dogs, service dogs, companion dogs then STOP making puppies. STOP IT! And if you're bringing a dog home be prepared to pay for neutering or spaying, PLEASE. Please, for the sake of all the unwanted dogs who sit in cement cells waiting for someone to save them, PLEASE no more unchecked breeding.

Will people listen to this? No. I don't think any of us will. People like me will go out and adopt or rescue dogs who need help and thoughtless people who want puppy duppy wuppies will keep on bringing dogs in to the world. Other's will dump them because they don't understand the word commitment. They find out raising puppies is work, not just cute photo ops. And they cost money to care for and time and love, endless, deep, soul searing love. 

So here I sit on the floor writing this, giving Miniver yet another massage, rubbing her shoulders and her head in my lap, drooling on the key board, waiting for the Vet. We're going to try steroid shots and B and multiple vitamins, hope we can back the inflammation off for a while longer. Aside from the fact we don't have the money for an operation for her hips (and I won't do a gofundme for that either. Too many people who really need the help for me to ask for what is my responsibility to manage.) I won't put her through the pain, fear and long hard recovery process to keep her for another year. I don't believe in doing that to dogs. As much as I want her here with me, it isn't right.

Apple is here too with her head resting on Miniver and her feet on my legs. I'm not crying. That will be for later when Miniver leaves us for her next plane of existence . Instead I am enjoying an afternoon with her stinky self, big head and giant paws on my legs and big, brown melty eyes looking at me with absolute trust. But heaven help the jerks who did this to her if I ever meet them. I am full of wrath today, pure unadulterated anger, a terrible need to hit them in the knee joints and let them see what a brave dog deals with for the love of their human. 

Please, all of you, when you decide you want a dog consider going to your local shelter. If you can't have a dog then volunteer or donate things like old, soft, clean towels and blankets, paper towels, money for food and veterinary services. Offer to walk them, throw balls for them or bring in beds that you see on sale. Those cement floors are hard and cold. And please, PLEASE, SPAY AND NEUTER your dogs. Our dogs are such a gift in our lives. Be an adult. Do the right thing. Feed them as well as you can afford to. Keep them clean and safe. Spend time with them. That's all they want, just love. And take pictures, lots and lots of pictures. That's all you'll have much too soon.

I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling because that is what I do... with Minver and Apple, listening to a Kansas wind and waiting...

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