So much of being in rescue is a lot of judgment and I know it scares people away from rescue and adopting in general. You are asked a lot of personal questions about your life, your capability as a dog owner and who you are as a person.
I definitely don’t feel like I’ve been the world’s greatest dog guardian. I have had a dog for 12 years now, and the same one, plus another one that joined our team the last 2 years. There have been so many close calls, some freak accidents, some just plain old inexperience. When I look at peoples applications applying for dogs, I appreciate honesty admitting to making mistakes and seeking to learn from them.
Here are some amazing ways that I have almost come to lose my pets or end up in a seriously bad situation with them:
- Lock The Gate
Within the first half hour of adopting my first dog, he managed to get away from me while we were both in the backyard, came within 5 feet of getting clocked by a car and ran away in the forest for 15 minutes. It was a rough start.
2. Pool Fail
While in a neighbors backyard with me, he fell into a closed up pool that had accumulated ice and freezing water over the tarp. I was able to guide him to the side and check him for hypothermia
3. Eyes Open
During a run through the forest, he fell on his face with his eyes OPEN and looked up at me with a twig sticking out of his eye. The vet said he came within a millimeter for ruining his retina.
4. This Is Corny
I left two cobs of eaten corn on a coffee table. When I returned to the room both of the cobs were gone. My dog had inhaled both, and was about to have a major bowel obstruction. Sadly, my other dog had to have his stomach pumped too by proxy. They were very high but survived.
5. A Crumby Situation
I gave a 2-inch piece of bread crust to my dog. Minutes later he was found whaling his paws against his face and scratching his gums as they bled. While I thought he was dying, he had gotten a piece of crust stuck to the roof of his mouth that was preventing him from swallowing.
6. Escape From The Pack
A dog walker lost sight of my dog and found him scared under a car where my dog refused to move from. Luckily he did not get it by another vehicle.
7. Dog Fight
The most traumatizing thing that happened was when my young (neutered) terrier decided to entangle with a Shar Pei mix I was holding that happened to be in heat. Let’s just say there was a lot of blood and screaming. All ended up okay but I did faint in the process.
Dog owners need to be honest – we make mistakes, it doesn’t make us bad owners, only if we don’t learn from them. I’ve learned a lot in the past 12 years of dog ownership, and I don’t expect that to stop. I will however be honest when I’ve goofed up or have a chance to gasp and say “THIS WAS A TEACHABLE MOMENT”.
Has your dog ever given you a “teachable moment”?