Giving a Dog a Chance

Every day you see videos or pictures of dozens of dogs, every one of them needing a loving home.

Many are found, surrendered or rescued. There are broken bones, injuries, diseases, malnutrition and mistreatment. You can see the fear in their eyes and an emptiness that goes all the way to their soul.

Every night there are commercials on television that show the same thing, tugging at your heart to help support their work. It’s real, but seems so unreal.

Locally, there are some fine organizations that rescue, foster and help give these animals a second chance at life. For some dogs, it might be a first chance. Bred and abused or used for fighting, the wounds are both physical and emotional. Released from cages or heavy chains, or found on the street, these dogs do not know what a loving home is. They have had to fight for food or endure starvation.

There are many reasons why dogs end up on the street. Some run away, others are dumped. Their families move away and leave them, others are abandoned out in the country, and others are surrendered because people do not want them. They may be old or sick or have become special needs and their humans no longer want the burden.

Owners die or their circumstances change and they care enough to turn over their dog to someone who will help find a new home. Pets believe they have a forever home and do not understand why they are in a cage at a shelter with many barking dogs. What did they do to deserve this and when is their human going to return to get them? In many shelters, their time is limited and they might not make it out alive.

While in a shelter, this strange, loud place, many dogs withdraw. They shutdown or feel threatened. I would. These are not very good circumstances to be auditioning for adoption or fostering. Older dogs, missing an eye or blind, with urinary issues or that need surgery or special care, what is the likelihood of someone or family wanting them?

But you know, it happens. Many people are not looking for perfect, they are looking for a dog with character, spirit, personality or a dog that needs a chance to breathe and relax in a home, and to be loved. These dogs, many who have never had a loving home, are not broken, just needing someone special.

There are tons of videos showing rescued dogs in the worst condition, who have no reason to trust a human, but respond to kindness and in time, come out of their shell. To see an emaciated, injured and scared dog begin a transformation into a trusting and loving member of a family, that’s a lump in the throat moment.

I admit, it’s hard to resist a call for help. These organizations, some big, some small, are in constant need for funds. The people who work there certainly do not do it for money or fame. Medical care, boarding and travel expenses to pickup dogs is expensive, hence the constant plea for money. I don’t mind donating and encouraging others to do so, they probably get tired of the requests, but every donation can save a life.

This blog is about dogs, but there are cats and other animals in need. Sometimes it is a situation where a pet is sick and needs care, or a center needs help with food. How can you refuse? If you are able, you lend a hand.

It’s not how much you do, it’s that you can do something.

One thought on “Giving a Dog a Chance

  1. Thanks for writing about shelter dogs. Max, my little terrier, was a stray. He is older now but brings me so much love and companionship. Adopt don’t shop!


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