A Most Unselfish Decision: Part Two
Yes, what to do with this smart, sweet, loving dog who just didn’t quite fit the quieter habits of my brother and his wife? Now, you know I hate being maudlin, and of course, I am completely objective when I say this, but my brother and my sister-in-law are two of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. And their solicitude for this dog is a perfect example. They could have just turned the dog over to the infamous Berger Blanc, a for-profit agency sanctioned by the city of Montreal to “shelter” stray pets until their owner shows up (more on the nefarious Berger Blanc later), turned their backs on him and went about their business. But no. Instead, they tried to find the dog’s owner (after all, he was groomed like a showdog, was perfectly healthy, fixed, house- and otherwise- trained)…to no avail; took him to a vet. Then they thought maybe they should just keep him, and everyone chimed in “keep it, keep it,” as if he were a brand-new sofa that someone had left on your doorstep. (Oh people who are good but whose goodness is powered by thoughtlessness rather than sober attention.)
After one week, they realized that he was too much dog for them, so they phoned me and we proceeded to check out pet shelters. Oh my…have you got a minute? (Okay…later at the all-night diner on Peel street…yeah, that’s right, the all-night diner. I’ll be dressed like a man in black; bring your tape recorder.) I don’t know whether I should thank God or Linda Robertson for her no-kill SPCA Monteregie in Ste-Angele-de-Monnoir, QC–and not only Linda, but her volunteers like Bonnie and Susie, and others whom I know are there working anonymously out there in the field, caring for and loving all the “discarded” pets whose numbers I know would fill an ocean.
From the first moment I contacted Monteregie (and it was a Sunday) to the time they agreed to shelter this lovely young dog was less than 48 hours. In the meantime, they posted on every pet finder site because it’s quite possible the owner is still looking for him. (I know that one of my nightmares when my beloved Fred was alive was of losing him somehow…I would have lost my mind.) It’s equally possible that the dog was abandoned; there was no micro-chip, no collar (which could have slipped off in his travels somehow; on the other hand, there was no indention in his neck fur either). There was a flurry of emails and phone calls back and forth, as I also asked different shelters to at least post his info on their websites. Our saviour there was Susie at Monte, who had him posted on sites I hadn’t even heard of!
My brother and sister in law showed exceptional compassion in taking in this dog, yes, but what’s really remarkable is that they evaluated what this young, peppy dog’s life would have been like living with them, given their habits and lifestyle. And, as much as they were fond of him (and he was easy to love), they decided in favour of the dog–not themselves, not their pride, not to assuage the ache of missing their own dog who’d died months before. They sheltered, fed, and cared for him while they did the most responsible, the most unselfish thing. I honour them for that. We love pets, we care for them, but we can’t keep them all. As to the latter, we are endlessly grateful to SPCA Monteregie. They are a force for good standing against the evil tide that washes these abandoned animals onto their doorstep. Because of Monte, we all sleep better at night. I know I do.