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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'll Be Right Back!

In the veterinary field, off hours phone calls are the norm.  Like it or not, they happen.  They don't always happen at the most convenient time, but we all deal with them the best we can. 

In the animal rescue field, off hours phone calls are the norm.  Like it or not, they happen.  They don't always happen at the most convenient time, but we all deal with them the best we can.

When my phone rings, I never know which is awaiting me at the other end of the line.

A phone call from the police department during off hours is not uncommon since my clinic acts as animal control for several local communities.  The police have brought me stray animals, running at large animals, hit by car animals, and animals that were passengers in car accidents on the highway. 

The phone call on Sunday was no different, and yet it was very different.

The police called because they had a dog they needed to bring in to the clinic.  This was not different from any other day.  This dog was not a stray dog or a dog running at large, and this is what made this story different.

The dog was sitting along the side of highway 69, the main highway running through town.  A local resident had called the police after witnessing a car stopping at the side of the road.  When the car drove off, there sat the dog.  He is an approximately 8 month old purebred German Shepherd.

Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea.  These people obviously cared about the dog.  They left him with his toy, and some kibble.  The kibble was left sprinkled on the side of the road.  If this is not love, then I am not sure what it is.  (insert sarcastic undertone here)

Wait.  I do know what it is... stupid...and I don't use that word lightly.  There is a difference between the words stupid and ignorant.  In my book, stupid is a choice that is made despite obvious evidence that it is a bad choice.  Ignorance is the lack of knowledge present to predict an outcome of an action or choice. 

Abandoning your dog on the side of the highway... STUPID! There is no possible way you could NOT know that this is a hazardous situation for the dog.  What you may not know, is that it is illegal.  What you may not know is that you have also created a traffic hazard.  Another car could easily have swerved to avoid hitting your dog, and hit another vehicle.  How would it feel to read that in the paper the next day?

Let us discuss the choice of leaving kibble on the side of the road, a highway, where you just abandoned your dog.  Did you really want to give the dog a reason to sit by the road until he gets hungry enough to eat.  That's right, you didn't wait around to see him get hit by the semi tractor trailer truck whose driver couldn't stop in time to spare your dog's life.  Well, your dog didn't get hit fortunately, but he easily could have.

Let's discuss the choice of toy that you left with him.  It is a small Great Dane, possibly Scooby Doo, figure.  It is a kids toy, possibly from a kid's meal.  It is so small in comparison to this dog that swallowing the entire thing or a piece of it could put this dog at risk for foreign body obstruction.  This toy or its parts could easily lodge in his intestines, blocking passage of food and other stomach contents, until there is rupture of the intestine, and subsequent death. 

As a matter of fact, when I posted this photograph of the "toy" on Facebook, another veterinarian was the first to comment, " Did you take this out of something's stomach?".

Your dog is now safe. He is warm.  He is fed.  He will hopefully soon have a new family that will not make the dangerous and irresponsible decision that you made.  He has a new name, Dietrich.

While I see your stupidity through your actions, your dog saw what he thought was your loyalty.  He certainly gave it to you.  He did not run away.  He didn't check out the new surroundings.  He didn't chase any squirrels.  He didn't trot up to the nearest house.

He sat down. 

He sat down right where you left him. 

He sat down right where you left him and he waited.

He did not sit because you so thoughtfully left him kibble.  The kibble still sits beside the road.  He sat down, because he was awaiting your return.  He knew you would come back for him.  You didn't have to say the words "I'll be right back," for him to believe them.  He just did.

He gave you love and loyalty.  He hoped for that in return. 

I wonder if you looked in the rear view mirror after you left him.  I am sure he watched you drive away.  He was confident that you would be right back.

I don't know if the witness was able to get your license plate numbers.  What is comforting for me is the fact that neither do you.

If you are interested in adopting Dietrich, there is an online application on our website, .

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DIane Strome said...

Not only stupid but cowardly. I would hope his actions haunt him for a long time. But I somehow doubt it. Dietrich is better off without him. I hope he finds the loving home he deserves. Both my dogs are rescues and a blessing in my life. I'm glad they found me.

Tammy Hartwig said...

Sadly, this is far to common place; I've seen it too many times myself. I once had a beautiful Golden Retriever 5 MO pup that actually was hit by a car and had a compound fractured hind leg. Judging by the severity of the infection, this poor guy laid on the side of the highway for at lest 3 days and was at risk of losing that leg. He had external stabilization apparatus (you can see photos of Joe o my FB). We saved the leg and he now roams 60 acres!

This whole thing outraged me! I definitely understand not approaching an injured animal but, call someone to help!! Realistically in today's world, how many people passed that pup that did NOT have a cell phone? Very few I am sure.

I LOVE reading your blogs as we often think so much alike. I have often explained the difference between stupidity & ignorance just as you have. Thanks for this explanation to MANY at one time.

After losing my very elderly GSD, I just may be interested in this guy (also,my service dog is now 9 YO so, he may make a great replacement) but, I have no doubt that this beautiful boy will find a home very quickly.

Thanks once again for all you do!!

Barbara said...

Thank you so much for being there for Dietrich and all the others that cross your path. I am having a hard time with all of this, because all the animals I have are rescues. I volunteer and foster for several rescues and if I could I would love to take them all with me when I leave Animal Control or any other shelter where I have to leave them behind. I belief that people should not get a dog or any other animal if they can't/won't care for them, and I get very outraged that crimes against animals are punished by less than stealing a chocolate bar from a convinient store ...

I am grateful that there are people out there like you that are able to help and who find it in their heart to make it a way of live rather than a living ...

I wish I could do more, especially for Dietrich - his story touched my heart, since it is the story of so many that are faithful to their owner that just leaves him/her, faithful to their owner that beats and abuses them, faithful - eternally hoping for better times and all along thinking it is their fault they are not loved.

The dog I have now was a bait dog and it took me 7 month, several foster puppies and dogs, my cats and lots of love, kisses and hugs for him to come around ... people just don't know what they do to the soul of these pets as they do have one contrary to popular belief.

At this time sadly I can't provide Dietrich a home; however, if he should find one in Florida, or in Georgia, I would love to be part of his transportation leg to get to his new home. I shared his story and hope he will find a great home although Tammy's place sounds wonderful ;-)

Thank you for all you do!


Anonymous said...

It's against the Law to abandoned your pet 717B.8!
On the bright side this appears to be a highly placeble dog and hopefully will be into a real home very soon.

Anonymous said...

Agape Fosters-It's against the Law to abandoned your pet 717B.8!
On the bright side this appears to be a highly placeble dog and hopefully will be into a real home very soon.
Humans can be highly irresponisble, selfish and selfcentered, and here is just one more example of it.

ameow2002 said...

I hate people!!! There is stupid and then there is intentional cruelty which is what this was. These 'people' no more cared for this dog than they do anything else they are tired of. Illegal, immoral and evil! This kind of stuff just infuriates me and we see way too much of it especially in Iowa with our virtually non-existent animal protection laws.

Anonymous said...

Talk about sick people.... I don't know how a person can do this. I am a dog lover and live on a 160 farm... So mine has a lot of land to roam in... Just so sad. Glad the dog is safe... I hope he finds a good home.

Mel Battison said...

I realize this was just posted last week, but is there any news on Dietrich? Has he been adopted yet?

Mel Battison said...

I realize this was just posted last week, but any news on Dietrich? Has he been adopted yet?