From Animal Control with Love...

'I initially thought I made the worst mistake last Christmas. After another torrid sales season, my wife and I decided to do something different and donate money to charity instead of the obligatory exchange of superfluous gifts. After reading a heart-warming story of puppies rescued from a sewage drain, with cuter-than-ever accompanying pictures in the local paper we had found our charity.

Animal control appeared just as the name described -cold, desolate and demoralizing. Stuck behind the friendly, colorful, almost exuberant appearing Humane Society building, animal control was a maze of concrete and razor wire almost hidden in the over-growth. The mewing of kittens, screeching of cats, explosive barking of puppies and dogs all greeted us at the sign reading "honk for service". An overworked young woman opened the gate and we walked through what can only be described as animal hell. Forlorn eyes followed our every move. A beautiful collie barked hello, a group of disheveled pit bulls rescued from a local fight club huddled together in a dark corner. Dogs and cats were everywhere-the discarded, the used, the leftovers. I have spent the last 12 years of my life working in urban emergency departments and consider myself quite hardened, but tears began to form in my eyes. How helpless, how hopeless, how horrible.

My wife and I finally left crying, emotionally exhausted, & we decided something must be done. Something could be done-by us. I was in the middle of a horrible shift in the ER when I received the call from my wife. Two of the puppies we had played with were scheduled to be euthanized within the hour. Some of the more lovable animals are protected as long as possible by certain, brave, non-jaded employees. The terrible reality is most are euthanized after 5-7 days. The continual daily arrival of new animals necessitates this fact. My wife never had to ask, we had just adopted our first two puppies.

The cute little puppies turned into cute 50 pounders in a matter of months. Initially everything seemed to be a source of food or at least worth a chew. My wife's leather high heels seemed a favorite chew toy. I was beginning to think that the puppies were my wife's excuse to establish an entirely new wardrobe.

Initially the dogs were to be outside dogs. I always wanted a floppy eared southern dog sitting on my southern porch. We purchased crates, installed an invisible fence, and bought a bazillion dog toys. This lasted until the first rainstorm. Poor puppies, come inside, sit on the silk couches, look how cute. Okay, now the dogs are inside. Night-time in the crates. Damn 6am barking, who's turn is it to let them out to pee? Okay, now the dogs sleep on our bed. Actually they sleep wherever they please- the bed, the couch, our antique rugs.

I come home at all hours of the day and night. I'm exhausted after a long shift and what do I get: Unequivocal love, a greeting like I just returned from war, and wagging tails. My wife and I have adopted a bounty of joy. Our previously impeccable house is now a warm home covered with dog toys. I can't imagine our lives without our "daughters". Thank you Chloe, thank you Annabelle, we are truly the lucky ones.'

- Taras

1 comment:

Karin said...


I am a friend of your Mother's from long, long ago - we two Berliner met on a beach in Nassau in the early 60ies. I did visit once and met your sister as a little baby.

You do remind me of your Dad as I remember him from that time.

Your Mom just sent me the info on your dog -story, but after reading it, I simply had to write. Anyone who has the courage to go into these hell holes and then save one or two of them has to be a good human being.Just reading your story made me cry - and brought back memories: of my beautiful Yukon who passed away too soon, but prompted my getting really involved in rescue.

I work with WA Alaskan Malamute Adoption League (WAMAL) and now have three rescues living on my place besides my old newfy/lab Astra. The latest guy was supposed to be blind and had run out of time in Bozeman. I said I would foster him, but Chinook has decided he is going to stay here. He is not blind, just terribly shy, as is Tiva. Right now they are a joy to watch in the deep snow outside.

And, of course, Tiva has decided that the bed is the proper place to sleep and sometimes there is no room left for her human.

Bless you both and your two furry kids. Karin