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Monday, September 8, 2014

Oh This Bleeding Heart

 Every once in awhile something will happen in life that you just weren't expecting.  You may do your best to try and avoid the situation, but there it is relying on you for survival.  My family helped a little, lost dog this weekend and it has tested faith in myself.

Am I a bleeding heart liberal?  No, if I'm anything it's probably a bleeding heart Republican.  It is important that we understand the distinction.  I believe that we all need to take responsibility for ourselves and for our offspring.  At the same time, I help people and animals when my help is needed because I don't believe that this is the Government's responsibility.  Please understand that this is not an attack on social programs.  That's all the politics I'll ever write about here because it gets people steamed up.

It breaks me up to know that someone would abandon a sweet, little dog.  It is also not my responsibility to care for this lost dog.  My responsibility is to my family and my own dog.  While it tears me up to pass the care off to someone else, that is exactly what I did.

Our parish is equipped to receive a lost pet and network on its behalf.    This family is ill equipped to handle such a task.  Should my own pet be robbed of his back yard because some terrible dog parent allowed this sweet, little guy to run free?  The answer is a resounding H to the L-NO!  There's no way I can deliver it to its impending death either because after around 5 days or so, the animal usually gets the gas at the parish animal shelter.  As a responsible dog parent, just having this roamer on my property feels wrong because of the possibility of him carrying something that could hurt my own beloved pet.  A see-saw of worry ensued.

Here's where my faith is in myself is tested.  I could easily have "shooed" this pup away.  That's what everyone else did.  One lady saw us hanging signs to find the owner and said, "I saw him and I felt so bad."  Well, you didn't feel bad enough to stop and help did ya lady?  My children witnessed kindness to a creature that had nobody to care for him.  He spent three days being fed and watered, with a dry place to sleep.   We tried through 4 different sources to locate his human family.  He had two lovely children petting him.  This mother had three days of worrying if he was carrying intestinal parasites or some other dog problem.

To relieve my own worry and to prove that I am not a selfless individual, he was taken to the first person who was willing to take him.  She wanted him for her kids.  Now homeschool focus can resume and the worry beads can be put down.  The thing I keep saying to myself is that the dog's life is better now than it was 5 days ago.

This is the responsible and sensible move.  Why then does it feel like I'm failing the dog?  It's because of this bleeding heart.  Those mental muscles need to be flexed again to convince myself that this is the best possible thing for this little guy, and for my family.

To make myself feel better, we will make a donation to a local no kill shelter.  We will also seek out volunteer opportunities at one of these places.  At the very least, my bleeding heart can have a little focus.  The kids can continue to understand what kindness means to someone or something that cannot repay you.  Here's to hoping that the dog has a new happy life.

As a PSA to pet owners, please microchip and or tag your dog or pet!  Don't get a pet if you cannot handle that pet!  If you actually care, go out and volunteer to help!

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