This isn’t posed—just our youngest son’s dog’s true nature shining through. She has a beady, glittering quality that amuses.
Each of our three kids have their own dog. My husband and I joke that we don’t get the best animals for our children. No, we prefer rejects and animals that no one wanted. Most of our dogs came up from the South on rescue transports. Most of them have hopped out of the car that brought them north, hopped into our van, and that’s it! They begin a new life with us.
It’s easier and more economical to “adopt” a dog from the South. They are over-run with animals, due to the lack of ability or interest in spay & neuter. One of the rescue workers shared with me that the shelters even euthanize puppies because there aren’t enough homes available.
When we got my oldest son’s hound (who hails from Alabama), I inquired about a 3-legged hound puppy I spotted in the office. One of the worker’s said, “Oh! She came from a little of pups that was shot,” she shrugged. “This is the one that survived.”
Though I wanted to ask more, it was evident the worker didn’t want to discuss details.
…I love animals. I love life. It’s easy to villainize the person who did that to a litter of puppies. Right?
Except. I’ve seen for myself how it is for some of the rural South. Years ago, I drove my tractor trailer miles along a single-track dirt road in WV, headed to a cattle sale barn I’d never been before. Alone with my dog, no GPS, and no cell signal— I was scared. It wasn’t clear yet if I’d chosen the right road. The only way out would be to back my truck out the way I’d come for miles.
Crawling along in low gear, I had time to look out my windows. It was a warm Sunday afternoon, and nearly every home I passed, the people came close to the road to wave and watch my truck go by. I’ve never experienced anything like it. They were so friendly and acted as though my truck was a parade coming through town. Something to see.
What I saw is that they lived in shacks. Literal shacks. Very questionable roofs. They had gardens. Run-down vehicles permanently parked. A couple critters. And not much else.
Some people simply do not have money for extravagances like spay and neuter. And more mouths to feed? Impossible.
Judgement and condemnation helps no one. Understanding does.
So I do have an affinity for the outcast dogs from the South. It gives me so much happiness to be a part of the solution with my small life and giving our silly southern dogs their big lives with us.
Back to the fact that—while we don’t get “the best” dogs for our children, neither do we like mediocrity. So we go ahead and get them “the worst.” Which for us equates to endless entertainment and joy…
*(I have nothing against purebreds, breeders, and those who prefer a magnificent animal without murky backgrounds! I guess we have a penchant for…hounds that can’t track, hunting dogs that can’t hunt, and cattle dogs so sensitive that they won’t herd…)