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Happy Tail: Disposable Pets? How do you explain to a dog?

Buttercup is now in home #6, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, awaiting a return to home #5, which will be her 7th home. Peg writes, remembering her return to Sugarfoot, 'On the way home she put her head on my lap and looked at me with her big brown eyes questionably. How do you explain to a dog that has been bounced around back and forth that it isn't their fault? How do you tell a good dog that they didn't do anything wrong? It would be hard enough to explain to a person but how do you make a dog understand? Click on headline for story with photo(s)
The next earlier Happy Tail: Happy Tail - Less than perfect Posted August 22, 2013

By Peg Schaeffer
News from Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 270-378-4521 or 270-634-4675

I had gotten a call from someone who wanted me to take some puppies they had.

They were small breed puppies which are easy to place so I stopped by. There were two puppies with their Mom, a Pug/Beagle mix, named Buttercup who was tied in the yard. The owners' concern was that the puppies were becoming more independent, wandering from their Mother's side, and they were afraid they would be hit by a car. One of the puppies had been promised to someone so I took the remaining one, at cute yellow puppy they called Socks. Socks was placed the very next day.

Buttercup was placed at Sugarfoot after her last puppy found a home

They asked if I would take Buttercup once her last puppy went to his new home. I agreed and picked her up on June 22. Buttercup was a sweetheart and settled in quickly. One of the reasons a lot of dogs feel at home right away is because they have a huge area to play in and are no longer tied to a chain or confined to one spot. She made friends easily and it took her no time to discover the comfort of the bed.

She was spayed to be ready for adoption

She was spayed three days after I brought her home so she could be available for adoption. On June 29, just a week after I brought her home a man came to the farm looking for a dog for his family. They had a little boy and his wife was pregnant. Buttercup went up to him and when he stooped down to pet her she licked climbed onto his lap and licked his face. So Buttercup went off to her new forever home.

And they lived Happily Ever After - nope. In July I received a call from her new owner. Buttercup was a good girl. They loved her but their landlord told them they couldn't keep the dog. So on July 15 she came back to us. The family came with her. She was happy to see me and was proud of her new family. They said their "good byes" to Buttercup and the husband lingered with her after the rest of the family returned to the car. He gave her a final hug and left her.

Sugarfoot became Buttercup's home, then her 4th

So Buttercup was back at the farm and playing with her friends. She had home #1 as a puppy, home #2 was Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, home #3 was the little boy and his parents, and now she was back to home #2, which became home #4 now.

In the time Buttercup was gone we got in a puppy, Sami, and they became inseparable friends - playing together and helping me feed the horses. So Buttercup settled back to her rescue home and life on the farm.

She found a new home at an adoption fair

On August 17, just a month after Buttercup had come back, I took her to an adoption fair. A couple with two little girls fell in love with her. They came the next day and adopted her. So once again Buttercup went home with a family to love her. Forever? Nope. She was adopted on a Sunday and on Thursday I received a phone call. Buttercup was a great dog. The girls loved her. But....the landlord decided to sell the house they were renting. So could Buttercup come back and would I keep her until they found another place to live?

After home #5, Sugarfoot became #6

Of course I said yes. So Buttercup came back to us from home #5 and now we were home #6. I met them at the convenience store. Buttercup was on a leash and happy to see me but again because she was proud of her new family. As they lead her to the truck she sensed something wasn't right. She put her paws on the mother asking what she had done wrong and gave the little girls kisses. She jumped into the truck happy to see her friends but puzzled as to why she was leaving a family again.

On the way home she put her head on my lap and looked at me with her big brown eyes questionably. How do you explain to a dog that has been bounced around back and forth that it isn't their fault? How do you tell a good dog that they didn't do anything wrong? It would be hard enough to explain to a person but how do you make a dog understand?

When we got home Buttercup got out of the truck and was greeted by Sami. Sami was thrilled that her friend was back and they trotted off together. It's a good thing that dogs are more resilient than people because after all of this a person would definitely need therapy.

Buttercup now waits until her family finds another home and she rejoin them

So Buttercup is with us again. She'll stay here until her family finds another home and then they can be rejoined. But how long will that take? What if they find another home and dogs aren't allowed? What happens to Buttercup then? Do I adopt her out to another family and home #7 or do I just let her stay with us?

As much as we love all of our dogs we know that they need to be with a family. But is it fair to let her bounce from home to home until she finds the forever home?

A plea to please keep commitments to your pet

We are a disposable society. We have disposable cameras, disposable phones, disposable diapers - everything is disposable. Everything can be replaced. That is not true with pets. They are a responsibility that is yours from the time you bring them home until it's time for them to cross the Rainbow Bridge. Please keep your commitment to your pet - it's only fair.

"A dog is not a thing. A thing is replaceable. A dog is not. A thing is disposable. A dog is not. A thing doesn't have a heart. A dog's heart is bigger than any "thing" you can ever own."

This story was posted on 2013-08-25 03:04:43
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Happy Tail: Buttercup and Sami

2013-08-25 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer. Buttercup left plays with her best friend, Sami. Sami has found a Furever Home, and Buttercup, a sweet lovable dog, awaits a reunion with her family, in what will be Home #7 for her. - Peg Schaeffer
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