Roughly a year and a half ago, we decided we had a Bob dog shaped hole in our hearts and our family – and it was time to fill it. So I looked around at rescue groups and shelters in search for a non-puppy that could fill that hole. We had an uphill battle. Our living situation included 2 kids, 2 cats, and 1 dog. We needed to find a dog who could handle all of those three things. During that time, I started following shelters and rescue groups online to get an idea of what they had in terms of dogs.
One day, I thought I had found the right dog. Right age – right temperament, etc. Off we went to the humane society.
And discovered that the online info on that dog excluded two important facts – home must have no cats or kids.
So we wandered around the kennel to look at the dogs – our hearts breaking at the fact most had strict stipulations excluding them from our consideration. NO cats. No kids. No other dogs. Near the end of the search, we came across a kennel containing two puppies – two pit bull puppies – a white one and a blue one. A girl and a boy. They were happy to see us. The blue male was all over getting pets – the other was more mellow and very patient with her kennel-mate. “Too bad it’s a puppy” was remarked – then gave final pets through the fence and moved on. We went back to see a couple we thought might had possibility. And ended up walking by the puppies again – this time they were curled up with each other – the white female seemingly taking care of the other one. We commented how sweet they looked – then went home.
The next morning – I got up and informed G we had to go back and get that white pit bull puppy. All night, she was on my mind – she belonged to me – to us – I knew it. We went back to the humane society with our other dog in tow, knowing if we liked her, they would require a dog-to-dog interaction first. They encouraged us to just meet her with Harry in tow – toss everyone together and see how it went. Harry acted like a grumpy old man – and Maggie was a puppy – wanting to play with everyone and see everyone and get pets and all. Her personality came out the minute she was with all of us. Each time Harry warned her to back away from him, she did immediately and without any aggression. The woman who oversees these meet and greets was impressed. When I expressed concern, she assured me that the way Maggie was responding to him was actually perfect and respectful and wouldn’t lead to any big issues as long as we keep the upper hand. G who was skeptical looked at me after the meeting and was like “we have to take her home”. Yeah, he was in love too.
When I was filling out all of the paper work for the adoption, I learned something that had me in awe. Maggie was actually a puppy from LA. A rescue group working with a rescue group in our area to pull dogs from high kill shelters so they would have a chance of being adopted. Once pulled, they would get a vet OK, then were brought up to Oregon for adoption. This sweet 3 month old puppy was on her way to being euthanized had someone not pulled her from this shelter. She had only arrived to Oregon 4 days before we adopted her. Wow.
Since then, anyone who reads this blog will know how much we love this crazy pit-a-roo. She is goofy and silly and thinks she is the size of a terrier rather than a pit bull – but it’s all good. She is crazy smart – she brought Harry out of his depression after losing his friend Bob – and she befriended one of the cats who acted annoyed but her purring gave her true feelings away where Maggie was concerned. When people freak out about seeing her pit bull self, I tell them to not worry about her – worry about the other dog who is truly more aggressive. Fuck, worry about the cat who is more aggressive than Maggie.
Why am I reminiscing about her journey to us?
One of the rescue organizations I still follow (and donate money to) is working with a rescue group in California to pull dogs from high kill shelters for transport to our area. Today they are flying 40 dogs up into our area. These dogs range from healthy dogs who just need a chance to find a home (not a count down for death if they don’t find it in a set time frame). Other dogs have some health issues that will be worked through so they can have a good home.
Reading through some of what the other rescue organization has written about their experience operating in California, I learned something that makes me even more thankful for whoever rescued Maggie. They commented that because pit bull breeds have the bad reputation, they usually have less time to be adopted before euthanization. They told the story about rescuing a pit bull who was half the weight he should have been, clearly hurt – and 2 hrs away from being killed. He was so neglected that no one realized his jaw was severely broken. Today, he’s happy – he’s healthy – he’s in love with his foster sister (another pit bull) – his behavior is great – he’s just shy around new people and given his history that isn’t too surprising. Learning through this story that Maggie likely had less time to find a home in CA through the high kill shelter, I’m even more grateful to the organization that rescued her from the shelter and sent her this way.
As I am reading through the trials and tribulations these groups are having getting these 40 dogs ready for transport to Oregon, I am in awe of how much work they are doing to save these animals. I am truly grateful for people who give so much of themselves – time, energy, money and heart – to doing this sort of thing. One rescue org is documenting in a very transparent manner how much money they have had to shell out this past week and for what to get these dogs home. They have documented all of the coordination, last minute issues that arise, and other things that have them not sleeping at night. And I am grateful for all of it.
I know how much happiness these dogs can bring to these rescuers – but I also know how heart wrenching it can be too when an attempt to save one fails. All I know is that two groups helped bring a lot of happiness, some WTF moments, and laughter into our house – all because they rescued my Maggie. I am happy to see and support other similar groups (or heck, maybe they are the same ones) doing it again.