Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another Dog Dilemma

When you're involved in rescue, especially in a leadership role, you meet a lot of people. One person I got to know is a very well educated and dog savvy person who is retired from the military. Shirley has been helping many rescues out in the area by working to rehab their dogs recovering from orthopedic surgery. Also because she has many years of training dogs, she has also been taking on their behavior challenged dogs as well. Shirley was living on a very large estate with a kennel where she housed about 20 such dogs and was assisted in this task by 2 people. She took on one of my severely abused foster dogs. Shirley worked with him, and truly made a huge difference for Leon! He is a pretty well adjusted dog because of the year that he lived with her. I visited her at the estate often and got to know some of the other dogs that Shirley had in her care.

A year ago this past December, Shirley took in 2 female puppies (some kind of beagle and terrier mixes) from someone who was giving them away on a busy street corner. One of the puppies I was totally taken by. Each time I came to visit, I'd spend some time with the puppy. When Carl would come with me, he'd visit with the puppy too. The puppy named "Kenzie" is a very laid back little girl and was really getting picked on by the other dogs. At one time I was supposed to take Kenzie but with the unexpected and unplanned arrival of Hamlet from the rescue, we decided we couldn't take her. My last contact with Shirley was last fall. During this time I've never forgotten this puppy and neither has Carl. By a series of events Shirley has once again crossed my path, and she still has Kenzie, who is now about a year and-a-half old. However Shirley has moved far south from us, and is now living in a place with 21 dogs, has no fenced yard, and no kennel runs. Each dog has an area of the home and barn that they stay in--They don't have much outdoor freedom and are leashed walked and then put back in their crates. Shirley is caring for all the dogs alone. Needless to say, I think Shirley is in over her head, but I won't pass judgment, and would never suggest that. With the passing of Cowboy and no plans on taking any more fosters from the rescue, I feel like we now have a place for Kenzie. However I'm torn. Our crew is in a good place right now. There's a real peace among them. I know that a new young dog (that's never been inside a house) may very well change that. But Carl and I continue to feel sorry for Kenzie and can't stop thinking about her; especially knowing how she is being kept. I know all too well the time it takes to care for our pack, so I am quite sure that Kenzie is not getting the care or the attention she needs and deserves...

So, my question I'm putting into the cosmos of cyber-space is, is feeling sorry for Kenzie, wanting to make a difference for her, and not being able to stop thinking about her a good enough reason to take her? I just don't know--My heart says it is, but my head is saying "What are you doing, are you crazy? I'll admit there are a lot of reasons not to take Kenzie, but is not being able to forget about her a sign that I shouldn't?


  1. I vote for finding Kenzie a home of her own. A home where she can be The dog. You have enough on your plate and need and deserve along with Carl and your other dogs the peace you have earned.

  2. Take her! You won't rest until you do.

    Give yourself a timescale - and do it on the premise that should it not work out after that time that you will re-house her yourself to another loving home.

    You might be surprised - and it could all be fine. I tried it with my partners cat when he moved in as i wasn;t happy where it was. Sadly, after 2 months it really wasn't working out and she began messing everywhere - we re-homed her and she's absolutley fine and happy again now.

    But, I'm so glad we gave it a go - otherwise it would always have been...what if...

    It sounds like your friend is doing her absolutle best - but it wouldn't be a bad thing if Kenzie was re-housed by the sounds of it anyway - either with yourself or somebody else with more room and time.

    Good luck - keep us posted!

    Houdini x

  3. After reading this I would say you have already taken Kenzie into your heart, she is just not in your home physically.
    There will always be a little more work when a new member comes into the fold, but she'll find her place, and if she's smart she'll follow the other dogs habits.
    Right now, she is just happy to get the small amount of attention she's afforded, a bowl of food, and water, and a place to sleep, a far cry from what she could be experiencing as a family member living with your pack....
    It's warmer weather ahead, so much easier to train her, than in the throws of winter when she may be more reluctant to venture outside.
    Go get her, and bring her "home".

  4. I think you already know the answer in your heart. Let Cowboy be your guide...what would he say? Afterall, you took him in, gave him hope, a stable home. Does Kenzie deserve as much?

    I look forward to more posts that include Kenzie.


  5. Oh Yes Yes Yes take her!!! I have always had some kind of beagle mix dog and now with my "all" beagle I will tell you that I would not trade her for the world. She is a stubborn little thing but she is so loving and kind too. It must be hard for you thinking about Kenzie. If she is easy going she will fit right in with the boys and Wendy. I know you will give her such a loving home. I look forward to an update :)


  6. Reading your post about Kenzie, to us shows how much love you have to give.
    This is really not a spur of the moment decision but rather one that you obviously have contemplated for some time.
    Go with your heart, if you choose to give Kenzie a home and it does not work out you can re home her, but you would have given of your love and the opportunity for her to live in a real home environment.

    “Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions.”

    Sheila & Bob

  7. Oh my! I think I would have to agree with Callie - maybe finding Kenzie a home of her own would be the best thing, even though in your heart, you want her with your pack. But, with that being said, if you brought Kenzie home with you until you find her a home, you're already re-adjusting the pack while she is there.. so why shouldn't she stay?
    I know if it were me, she'd be home with me and dealing with pack adjustments... but then, I'm a softie. It's the hubsters who keeps me in check or else I'd be running a sanctuary!
    In the long run, your heart will tell you and Carl what to do.

  8. This is a tough call.

    If I were in the same situation, my main concern would be whether or not I had the time to work with a dog of this age (likely because I have a dog of this age! Lol!).

    Otherwise, I'm sure she'd love being with pack (as most dogs do!) and she might even breath a little more life into the old timers.

    In the end, I'm sure you'll do what's best for your pack and for her!

    Good luck!


  9. I know its difficult when you want to rescue everything.
    I am sure that wisdom will prevail! My only advice in making this decision comes with two questions:
    1. "How will it affect the dogs in you current pack"? and
    2. "At what point, would you think you would also be 'over-your-head'".
    Remember, once you are "over-your-head" everything falls apart and the other dogs will then be compromised too.
    Good luck! I had a similar situation this week and opted for logic over heart.

  10. Yes I agree, I think you've already made your mind up to take her. And like the others say, if it doesn't work out you can re-home her. Sounds like anything will be better then the home she's in at the moment. Sue x

  11. I fink you know the many ways you can help the Kenzie... and I fink you know the answer.

    Follow your heart.

    wif love from the Luke

  12. If she's stayed in your heart all this time

    AND she is still available,

    THERE is your answer!


  13. Dear Kim and Carl,

    Your hearts are wise; follow your hearts.

    Your hearts have their reasons that your heads know not.

    Cheyanne R.G.
    P.S. Kenzie sounds delightful with lots of love to share.

  14. I like this post and so appreciate your visit to my Alphabe- Krow post. em...4 of them ...3 outside and one inside...ages 18, 15, 5 and 4. Our 5 yr old, Murphy, was a rescue of sorts...long story. He really needs a new home...Sweetpea is our oldest, Cocoa next who is Sweetpea's daughter and then our mini-Schnauzer Reuben...Peace

  15. Dear Kim

    Although new to the blog world I have been in animal rescue for many years. My wife and I have faced such a dilemma many times and always follow our hearts not always with the results we had hoped for. But part of the world of a rescuer is finding what’s best for the animal. If you don't take her on then you will never know the outcome, and you will always have that in the back of your mind and heart. Give yourself the peace of mind that all rescuers seek with each dear little soul that comes our way, I implore you.

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  17. Kim,
    If you and Carl have been thinking about Kenzie this long and still thinking about her, I guess you know the answer.
    Can't wait to see the new addition!
    Happy Easter to you and all the four legged friends which touch our lives daily.

  18. It sounds like she is already yours. Could you set a time limit for yourself to find her a new home and then see how you feel?

    What a hard dilemma.

    Perhaps your trip to PA will give you some time to get this in perspective.

    I always say, though, listen to your heart.

  19. Kenzie has been living in your heart for a long time.
    You will not be able to remove her.
    In the night when you awaken- you will still think of her.
    My thoughts are take her- and if it is not workable- you can pick a home for her- and for your heart- so you will know you did the right thing
    Doing the right thing is so hard sometimes. But all of a sudden you will know what to do.

  20. I think you have the most beautiful moon in the sky.
    I saw your moon last night

  21. Kenzie would be a very lucky dog to have a fur-ever home with you!
    Follow your heart,

  22. Kim, I'm a little late responding because we've been away, but I wanted to through in our bit! First of all she's a Beagle cross which obviously makes me biased, but secondly I think your priority should be to get her away from her current situation - then make a decision about whether she stays as part of your pack or gets rehomed. Eoiher way, you will be doing her an enormous favour.

  23. I am late to the discussion...I have driven countless dogs and fostered many, sadly their golden faces begin to blur and I forget their names - but then there are those that stay present in my minds eye. Perhaps there is a reason both you and Carl haven't forgotten this pup.
    Ben's Momma

  24. "I'll admit there are a lot of reasons not to take Kenzie, but is not being able to forget about her a sign that I shouldn't? "

    You answered your own question there.....don't forget to show us photos of her, when you bring her home!!

    Happy Easter to you and your family,

    Gill in Canada


Speak--I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by today!!