I make a point to visit the San Diego Humane Society on a weekly basis these days. I feel the need to rescue somebody, and we have room for another dog in our home, as long as it is around the same size of the dogs we have now.
I have only had one somewhat heartbreaking experience, and that was almost two weeks ago when I foolishly got my heart set on a Brussels Griffon/Terrier mix. The good news is he got adopted. The bad news is it wasn’t by me. I have to learn to not get my hopes up, and instead get into the mindset that if someone beat me to the punch, that is still one less dog in a shelter.
Sadly — and understandably — about half the dogs at the SDHS are Pit Bulls. The stigma attached to this unfortunate breed has led to their situation mostly due to no fault of their own. As I pass through the aisles of cages I acknowledge the ones who stare out so forlornly, even speaking to some of them. “Aren’t you a pretty girl,” or “Hey, sweet boy,” but that is as far as it goes.
Some of the smaller dogs are boarded with other dogs of similar size and temperament. As I roamed the viewing halls this morning I noticed a very sad-looking tan terrier mix in a cage all alone. His info indicated he was about two years old, and had arrived there two days ago. My rescue instincts kicked in a bit, but I continued to wander down the other halls just to cover all bases.
Once I finished my rounds I gravitated back to #C684 to take another look. He hadn’t moved much, and continued to look very sad, confused and lonely.
I decided to inquire about the little fellow, and I found out that he wouldn’t be available for adoption until July 21st. There was already someone interested in him, but no guarantee that they would take him. If they didn’t, I would be next in line for consideration. Regardless, I found myself filling out the familiar blue form with the usual questions, then waiting for my name to be called so they could put me in their database. I couldn’t help but feel somewhat somber and out of place.
Within five minutes I was called up, and the nice young woman behind the desk smiled and said, “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but are you the same Kelly Danek that does traffic on KSON?”
“Yes, that’s me,” my mood lifting,”and I don’t mind at all.”
She beamed and excitedly told me how much she and her mom loved KSON and how she couldn’t wait to tell her mom she had met me. We chatted a bit more about the station and the on-air personalities as she typed my info into her computer.
We chatted a bit more, and she gave me instructions on when I could call about the dog’s availability and what time I could visit if the other party chose not to take him. She also gave me a bit of background on how the dog got there; it turned out he was removed from a home and the owner taken to the hospital, but that was all she could tell me. I assumed that his situation may have something to do with having to wait until July 21st, in case a family member came forward to claim him instead.
Do I feel hopeful? Somewhat. Ambivalent? Perhaps for now, as I have not officially met this dog; I have only seen him through the bars of a kennel. Can this feeling of potentiality encompass my heart without setting myself up for disappointment? I think so. Do I feel proud that I have taken the first step in rescuing somebody that may very well enjoy the same advantages that our own Griffin experienced when we first brought him home over six years ago? (Who Rescued Whom?) Yes, but why am I now crying?
Because amid all the red tape, paperwork and uncertainty, a confused and dejected dog must wait — and he is in good company.