Dogs, Wild and Abandoned in Hard Times

Yukon undergoing socialization training.

   The present terrible economic conditions have intensified the problem of dogs being abandoned at rural Dumpsters and going wild. The owners apparently hope that someone will pick them up and this sometimes occurs.  I have a soft spot for dogs and have three of my own. I don’t need, or want, another. Yet, if a dog is friendly and will come to me, I try to do what I can for it. A recent example was Yukon. This was a mixed-breed Australian shepherd. This male dog stood about 18-inches high, was mostly white, had differently-colored eyes,  and a dark ring of fur around one eye.

Yukon with collar

  Yukon proved to be friendly and intelligent, but had an injured tail with a broken segment and exposed raw flesh. I knew that if I took it to the local animal shelter, it would be put down. I decided to give Yukon a chance. 

  Some three weeks, $200 later and an experience with an Elizabethan collar, Yukon had  its tail fixed  and its shots. I ran a newspaper ad to get it adopted.  This was successful.  I found a home for it. I cannot say what ultimately happened, but I had done what I considered to be my part.  Similarly, I recovered a golden retriever puppy, Ajax.  I had it 

"I think I have something for you," was the line I used to get this pup adopted.

wormed and had given it its puppy shots. I found a home for it by approaching a family in a parking lot.  My pitch line was, ” I have something that you might want.”  The puppy was irresistable, and its fur was a perfect color match to the daughter’s hair. When I last saw them, the girl had the pup clutched close to her in as real an example of “puppy love” as I will ever see. 

Hera. Looking for placement and a chance for life.

My present rescue is Hera. She is an apparent cross between a white lab and a shepherd and …? She is a another smallish dog, very intelligent and friendly. It was obvious that this nearly 1-year-old dog had never been inside a house or car. She had never climbed stairs, been on a slick linoleum floor or walked on a leash. 

  She is now in the “civilizing stage.”  I am getting her use to living with people, other dogs and teaching her some doggy  social skills. She is old enough to be beyond the chewing- the- house- down 

Mister, can you spare a home?

stage. I am still having trouble teaching her not to tip over trash cans and tear open plastic bags. This was apparently how she was surviving. 

  This experience has not been all bad, because it has forced me to clean up my back porch. As long as I keep a close eye on her there are no problems, it is when she is left alone that she gets into “trouble.” After I get her over can dumping, teach her to walk on a leash and have her spayed she will be a fit pet. In the meantime, I have to keep my “daddy stuffs” picked up just as if I had a 2-year-old child in the house.

  These few dogs that I have rescued were very fortunate. Many people in this economy have been forced to move and either adopt out or abandon their pets. Similarly, dog shelters are feeling the pinch of decreased public funding and private gifting. Spay and neuter your dogs and do what you can. Our canines deserve no less.  I use my dogs to help retrieve my deer and other game as well as guard and companion animals. For more consult my book, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound.

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