Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Foreclosure Pets

Tomorrow we're going to meet a pure-bred Doberman who may end up in our family. It was an unexpected surprise when this lead came my way. We aren't looking for another dog, but having a male Doberman is something that we've been considering for about a year now. Just my kids and I. My husband loves all animals, but isn't sure that we need yet another big pet. After all, he humored me about the horse that died suddenly seven months after we got him. The chickens were my idea--and they were all slaughtered by some kind of critter right before Christmas (we have since replaced them with chickens who don't seem to understand the concept of laying an egg). But another dog? That's sure to be a long-term commitment.

Doberman Pinschers are great dogs. Bred as personal protection animals, they are the smartest and most loyal pet that I've had. I know that every dog lover is partial to a particular breed, and I can't see myself ever owning a different one. They are so protective of my family and me. For example, our property is completely fence and gated. When we arrive home, we take the little kids out after the car is unloaded. If we step into the house to drop something off, our dogs sit (and so majestically) at the door of the van until the last child is removed. They follow us around the house and, if they're outside, will look into the windows so that they never lose sight of us.

Their level of protectiveness was proven to us over Christmas. My sister and her family came to stay with us for a few days. It was Christmas Eve and, after 7:00 p.m. Mass, my brother-in-law wanted to take my sister out for dessert. We had their teenagers with us. Well, my BIL didn't plan on the "Temecula schedule"--where everything closes at 6:00 p.m., Christmas Eve or not.

They returned to our home before we did (we've perfected the after-church chat--and we like it!), and let themselves in the gate with the remote. On our way home, I got a call from my sister in a panic. She said that the dogs had surrounded the car, were showing their teeth, and growling. They refused to exit the vehicle until we arrived. Now, I found this odd because one of our dogs has known my sister and BIL her whole life and the other one for many years. They are not strangers to the dogs. I told my sister that she must be joking and to get out of the car. She refused.

When we pulled up, I couldn't believe what I saw. The dogs were holding the two of them at bay until we let them know that their presence was not a threat to us. They released immediately and my sister and BIL were able to exit their car and run like mad stroll to the door. I was really impressed and proud of our protective dogs.

This brings me to the topic of the post. Like I've said before, we don't have our TV hooked up (except to a DVD/video machine), we don't have a newspaper delivered, can't get a radio signal, and are, basically, cut off from all civilization. The only news that I have access to is on the Internet--which, I have to say, is a great way to get your news. No disturbing video. No endless news teases. No blowing every little thing out of proportion. I get to choose the stories that I want to read about. So, when I saw this article, it was a new concept to me--pets being abandoned at foreclosed properties.

Just when I think I've seen it all, I read about homeowners leaving their pets to die a slow and painfully agonizing death for no reason, except for the fact that maybe owners are angry at the banks for giving them a loan that they wanted, but couldn't afford. Don't get me wrong. I'm no PETA activist, and not much of a pet lover at all (except for my Dobies, of course). But it's not right to make a living creature suffer when all you have to do is drop it off at the animal shelter, or, at the very least, have it humanely euthanized there for a very low fee, if anything at all.

By the way, did you catch that part in the article where it talks about houses being "ravaged" before they're repossessed by the banks? That should take at least another 200 points off a credit rating score. My gosh, people do have some righteous indignation going on for something that they were partly responsible for. So, why not just abandon the animals, too? Who cares. It's all everyone else's fault anyway. If the pet dies, then those banks are really going to be sorry.

It seems, though, that no one is as sorry in the end as those tortured "pets".