Tag Archives: rescued animals

Origins: Luna

The only reason I can think of why I looked on the animal shelter website was my puppy biological clock was ticking…again…as usual. If that wasn’t it, I don’t remember why I looked. Either way, the result was the same. I visited the animal shelter website to look at the dogs they had up for adoption.

I saw her, our eyes met…well my eyes met with her photograph. She was a dirty, scraggly, terrier type looking out from her pen at the camera. She looked so sad…so lost. My heart broke and I called the shelter to see if she was still available. They told me that her holding period wasn’t up and told me what day it would be. I vowed I would be there as soon as they opened that day.

That day came and I went to the shelter. I wasn’t able to get there right as they opened, but it was early in the day. I requested to look at the dog. They called her inside and closed the outside door so she wouldn’t run back outside. She was scared and wouldn’t come to me. I decided right then I’d adopt her.

The guys told me how it was difficult to catch. Apparently she ran them tired. They weren’t even sure she was a female or male, even though the website stated the dog was a female. Either way, the dog was coming home with me.

The adoption process was simple: go to the vet of my choice, get a spay voucher, then return to the shelter to pay the adoption fee (most of which would be refunded to me after she got fixed) and take her home. Some vets require payment as service, but this vet required payment ahead of time, I suppose as a collateral thing. I didn’t have the money right off, but they told me about Care Credit. I signed up, was approved, and paid. Then off to the shelter to get my dog.

I learned on the way home that she got car sick. I cleaned up the car and took her inside. I bathed her and while bathing her, I either encountered a tick or thought about ticks. That led to the word lunatic, which led to her name Luna. It worked on all levels, she was a white dog and–I learned later–she was crazy.

I introduced Luna to the other girls. They didn’t mind her and she didn’t mind them. She was skittish of me, though. I let her be, confident that she’d come around eventually.

Eventually didn’t come for two weeks. Up until that time, I had to be gentle, move slowly, and use quiet, encouraging words. She’d cower in a heap. I’d scoop her up and bring her inside.

Then she got fixed and she opened up. She became the friendliest dog I had ever met. She begged for attention, jumped for attention, and barked for attention. Clara, who had been unsure of her at first, played with her and I nicknamed them Clair De Lune (my favorite Classical song). They were my rambunctious twins, inseparable.

When she met my dad, she fell in love with him. She insisted that he give her attention. He obliged. They became good friends. There was one time that she bit his shoe, but that was because he came into the backyard from the gate and she was protecting her territory.

After seeing her abandon my lap in favor of a male family friend, I figured that Luna’s previous owner was a male. I imagined that he was doting on her; they were best friends. Then one day she got out of the yard and she couldn’t find her way back. He looked for her, but couldn’t find her. She ended up in the shelter where I adopted her. I wondered if her owner would see me walking her and recognize her. Though I had already bonded with her, and she with me, I knew that I would give her back in that situation.

It never happened. I’m neither glad nor disappointed. It is what it is. Luna is my baby and she will forever be my baby.

Luna still begs for attention…actually it’s more like she demands attention. She can’t stand when one of the other dogs is getting love and not her. Often I have to pet Luna and the other dog at the same time. Of course that gets complicated when a third dog decided that she wants attention too.

I’ve learned a lot about Luna in the five years I’ve had her.

  1. Luna is pack oriented. When she’s not with at least one of the other dogs, she is a nervous wreck. I’ve walked her by herself and she usually walks directly behind me and keeps her tail tucked between her legs. That tail goes up and she walks ahead whenever one or more of the other dogs accompany her on the walk.
  2. Luna is a follower. She does whatever the more “dominant” dogs do. She follows the crowd. Whatever the crowd is doing, she’ll do too.
  3. Luna is hyper. Enough said.
  4. Luna makes a good, and annoying, watchdog. Everything is worthy of being barked at: squirrels, moles, swaying trees, the wind, nothing…Nothing gets past her. I try not to let her outside after ten because she’ll run outside and start barking just because she wants to bark.
  5. Luna is a great comforter. Whenever I have a panic/anxiety attack or am just not feeling well, I get Luna or have my boyfriend bring Luna to me. She sits on my lap, puts her paw on my nose and does whatever she can to make me smile and laugh. Once I start laughing, she gets excited and starts jumping around and licking my face. She is the only one that I have this bond with.

Luna annoys me something awful with her constant barking, attention-seeking, and jumping. I often tell her that I hate her and try to “give” her to my mom. She’s so frustrating sometimes. Yet, at the end of the day, I love that dog. I wouldn’t trade her for anything. Although an off button would be nice.

Until next time, pet me…pet me…pet me…pet meeeeeeeeee

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My Thoughts on Rescued Animals

*Disclaimer: I was a child in the early nineties, so my perception may or may not have been the actual perception of the adult world.*

Back in the early nineties, I never heard much about animal overpopulation. Yeah, there was talk about spaying and neutering, but I remember it being an expensive procedure and often female dogs in heat were just kept separate from the rest of the animals. Generally a female was spayed only in an emergency and males weren’t spayed. It was a fact of life that unaltered males roamed.

Generally pets were acquired from friends, or there was a sign in front of someone’s house announcing “Free Puppies” or “Free Kittens,” or people adopted strays. Those with money (definitely not my family) got dogs from breeders, those that didn’t have money, but still wanted purebred dogs got them from “breeders” (or puppy mills or backyard breeders as we call them today). Those with “Pedigree” dogs did have the bragging rights and those with mutts just shrugged and hoped that their dog was better than the pedigrees.

This is where my family got our dogs: from family friends, as strays, from oops litters of our own and others, and from breeders. Despite their origin, our dogs were family and were treated as such. We didn’t think about the fact that taking in a stray was considered a “rescue” or was “saving a life.” We just saw a dog with physical and personality characteristics that we liked and the dog became ours.

Fast forward to a few years ago. I was feeling the pressure to “rescue” because my family had never rescued animals in the past. Then as I read more and more literature, I realized that the term “rescue” is a broad term. The accepted term is used when someone adopts from a shelter or rescue, but I’ve seen people refer to animals they’ve taken in off the street, or those adopted off of Craigslist, or those taken in from a bad neighbor or former tenant.

That made me think about all the animals in the past and some of them could be deemed as “rescues.” Cujo, our Great Pyrenees/St. Bernard mix. He, along with a few other feral dogs, lived on a housing development construction site. My dad and the other workers fed this group of dogs to keep them from starving. Cujo, being a puppy, came home with my dad. Aztec and Muffin, brother and sister cats that we got from the shelter during the shelter’s kitten boom period. Penny, a rat terrier adopted from a shelter in OKC. I also got numerous rats from the same shelter I got Penny from. Zip and Bella, two Blue Heelers that probably got lost, but no one came looking for them. Others were Shaffer, Ares, a couple male rats that were abandoned at Petsmart, and so on. All of these animals can be deemed rescues…

But you know what? I never considered them rescues. They’ve always just been family members. When we adopted Ares we got a packet with coupons and on the packet it thanked us for saving a life. Saving a life? I never thought I was actually saving a life. In fact, Ares came from a no-kill shelter. So how could we save his life if he was in no danger of losing it? I realize that if I think too hard then my brain will explode.

I guess I have a different view on bringing animals into my home. They’re my family. I don’t like to look at where I got them from. I don’t want to know about their past. Their past doesn’t matter to me; only their future…with me.

To be honest, I hate the pressure that society puts on us pet owners to rescue animals because if you don’t you’re a heartless person. They don’t say that, but it is implied. Really, it is. Next time you watch those adoption commercials, pay close attention to what they’re saying and what they’re not saying.

I love my animals equally and I don’t feel that my rescued animals love me more or less than those I got from breeders. I can’t speak for everyone, though.

I apologize if this was a rambling mess. I just wanted to write out my thoughts. I also apologize for my long period of silence. I was ill for three weeks and in bed for most of the time I was sick.

So, until next time save a life and rescue a human. They will love you for it.