A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

January 7, 2008

The Trouble With Dogs is …….

Bandit our Foster Dog  They just keep showing up at our place.  Just before Christmas I noticed two dogs running down our road, one was a blue leopard spotted Catahoula dog, the other a smaller dog with a predominantly white body.   The dogs were running behind a pickup truck and so I thought they must be with their owner.  The dogs disappeared down the road and I didn’t see them again for the rest of the afternoon. 

That evening as I was feeding the girls they all of a sudden stood bolt upright with their ears at attention, facing the fence that adjoins our driveway.  It was dusk and I looked out toward the driveway but could not see anything, then I looked down and there right at the fence sitting quietly was the smaller of the two dogs.

I went out and shooed the dog away and he went to the bottom of our driveway and sat there.  Ric then came home so I asked him to see if he could get the dog to leave, he tried to get the dog to go but it just moved a little way and again sat there.  So Ric went and picked him up.

Now those who know us know that Ric always grumbles about our dogs and acts as if they are really not his interest.  However he enjoys walking them, plays with them and even lets Toby share his recliner with him.  As much as Ric grumbles about dogs (he has a theory that I attract them – not quite sure how to take that!) he is a dog lover at heart.

The trouble is once you have made that move to pick up the dog then you have to decide what to do with it.  The options in our area are very limited.  Our city and county do not place animal control or animal welfare high on their priority list; apparently they feel it is not their problem.  There is a city animal shelter but the time allowed for the dogs to be adopted is extremely short and with the number of stray animals in this area the chances of adoption are slim.  While I appreciate that the city shelter is a better option than turning a dog loose in the country to fend for itself, I personally have a hard time taking a dog to the city shelter knowing that the chances are high that it will be euthanized.

So we find ourselves once more “fostering” a stray dog and trying to find a good home for him.  We have lady in Clovis who has does some private rescue work who is trying to find the dog a home, but to date there are no takers.

The dog is a great dog, about 8 months old and extremely smart.  He looks to be a red heeler cross and watching him run (which he loves to do) we suspect that there is some Border Collie in him.  He is a medium sized dog and has a white top coat with a liver undercoat giving him a chocolate speckle appearance.  The dog has a two-tone facemask in chocolate and caramel, with the “false eyes” that some dogs have.  Because of his masked markings we have called the dog Bandit.

Bandit is definitely a high energy dog and one that needs to be kept occupied either by a an active family or by being given a job to do.  He is super fast when he runs, and as I watched him I thought he might make a good flyball dog, so I have been in touch with a flyball club in Albuquerque, New Mexico to see if they have anyone who might be looking for a dog.  A big thanks to Deborah Morse from the Duke City Chile Dogs Flyball Team and Joyce Fay from Bro and Tracy Animal Welfare, Inc.  for spreading the word on Bandit in an effort to find him a permanent home.

It saddens me that yet another good dog has been dumped in our road (by the way the leopard spotted Catahoula has taken root at our neighbors to the North of us, they had just lost an old dog and while they had told me they were not going to keep the Catahoula I noticed yesterday that he is still there so hopefully he has found a new home).  I have never lived in a community where the stray animal problem was so bad and also so ignored.  I am aware of several people who have tried to work with the local authorities to improve the situation, but who have become dejected and defeated by the constant refusal to acknowledge that this is a problem that the city and the county do need to take more responsibility for.

For now Bandit is residing in our livestock trailer, we have not tried him with our other dogs to see how he gets along and I feel part of the reason for that is that we feel once we take that step we will be in danger of keeping him.  We already have four dogs and just cannot keep every stray dog that shows up on the property.  I am sure there will be others in the future.

Hopefully we will soon find Bandit a loving permanent home.  He really is a great dog and in the right home he would be a loving, happy companion.  Certainly he deserves better than being dumped out on a road in the winter and we will do our best to ensure he never has to encounter that situation again.

Rosemary

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