A week ago, I received the best news. One of the dogs that had been at my shelter for eight months was finally adopted. I was ecstatic. I cried a mixture of happy and sad tears. Happy tears because this little guy, Rupert, was so deserving of a loving family (they all are), and sad tears because I had developed a special bond with Rupert.
I was his handler for over five months of training courses. He wasn’t a very good student and together we failed the first Basic Training class, but in the second go-round we were head of the class. 🙂
Rupert had come to the shelter as a rambunctious 7 month old boxer/pit mix whose previous family used drugs in lieu of proper training to keep this energetic puppy under control. This lazy approach wasn’t effective, but with a lot of work from all the shelter volunteers, Rupert learned his manners and became a very polite little boy.
Three days ago, Rupert’s new family returned him to the shelter. I was shocked because I couldn’t imagine anyone taking this sweet baby home only to have second thoughts. But despite the tremendous strides Rupert had taken in his behavior, a chaotic life with young kids may have been too much for him. When Rupert saw the children playing he most likely got overly-excited, and when he decided he wanted to play too he scared one of the kids.
That was all it took for Rupert to find himself back in the confines of his little kennel. I went to see him today. He doesn’t seem too phased by what happened. Maybe he thinks he was just away on a mini-vacation. I hope that’s the case. The last thing I want is for this little guy’s morale to break. I’ve seen dogs shut down in shelters and it’s an awful sight to witness.
Until the day some other lucky family discovers this gem of a dog, I’ll enjoy whatever time I have left with this sweet baby and give him all the love I can.
If you’re considering getting a pet, please visit your local shelter. So many wonderful animals, like Rupert, are waiting for their furever home.