Body Shaming - Age Discrimination - Something to Bark About
Two weeks ago we got in three new dogs at Mountain Haven. One ten plus year old male Pekingese, one four plus year old Male chihuahua pug mix, and one three year old Female cattle/heeler dog mix. The pups were brought straight into the bathing room to get bathed so we could get a better look at them while reviewing the paperwork that came along with them. The two boys smelled horrible and had bad skin and bald spots on them. We checked the ears and noted they were filthy and a definite source of odor. A preliminary cleaning was done of the ears and the dogs seemed to love being towel dried and held. However for two dogs that supposedly came from the same household, these two clearly disliked each other so we separated them into different rooms so they each have space of their own to roam and make themselves at home on fluffy beds.
Now we turned our attention to the female cattle dog mix named Maybel. Maybel isn’t from the tornado crew. She is a three year old, sweet as sugar, demure, and quiet overweight girl with a very sparse coat. So sparse that I now understood the physical description of her that said, black, white and pink. You can definitely see her pink skin.
The pups have all been seen by the veterinarian and the two boys were neutered last week as well. The Pekinese has a coat that was clearly chopped with a scissor. His face though can melt your heart in an instant, and he is sweet and affectionate.
The Chug is a lovely little guy too..he just doesn’t like the Peke boy. He loves Maybel though. Who wouldn’t love her? She is quiet, and just wants to stay in her comfy bed and watch whatever is on Netflix or Amazon. You can sit with her..she loves that too. But she is sad, and not outgoing at all. A kind, gentle soul that has us puzzled. We called the shelter where she came from and got some background. Maybel has lived her whole life at the shelter in Alabama. She watched silently as her siblings got adopted until there was only her. She moved to the office where she had some human companionship, but no one would adopt her. Why??
Because she was born with the sparse coat and it never grew in. She wasn’t cute and fluffy like her siblings. She never even got a second glance, or a chance to be a great loving companion to someone or a family. She isn’t what people want. My heart breaks for this love. The veterinarian at the Alabama shelter said she sent her to us because she felt she would have a better chance getting adopted. We posted her picture and no one has come forward for her yet. But it has only been a couple of weeks. Still throughout this quarantine I have learned something that truly breaks my heart equally as much as some of the sad cases that come through our doors. What I have learned has me somewhat mortified and concerned. She is not old at three years of age, but the comments I hear are that she “Isn’t what I am looking for”, “I want a running companion”, “I am really looking for a puppy”, “I was hoping for a different cattle dog type”.
Since this COVID19 quarantine, we receive calls daily asking to foster a dog. I explain what we have and the answers I receive make my head spin and my heart ache. Very few people want an older dog, very few want a dog that isn’t cute, fluffy and a puppy. Some have even gone so far as to say they were hoping for a purebred. They are missing the point of fostering, they are missing the point altogether, and well, they are missing out period. I have never been the one to be difficult about placing a pet, but come on folks, if you are against a perfectly fine temperament dog that wants nothing but to love you and be loved then you are biased and guilty of ageism and body shaming. To this all I can say is, “ok, never mind, Next!”.
You see we don’t care at Mountain Haven how long it takes we will find these babies a good solid home in time. We see the beauty in these dogs and until such time as someone else does, they will know love, they will know companionship, they will live as a normal, loved pet. We don’t believe in age discrimination, body shaming or prejudice of any sort. We push through our broken hearts to help and nurture these broken souls. And in time the right person comes along. The right person knows, it’s not always about what you want, it is truly about what these little lost souls need.
Maybel has needs, Maybel has love to give. She is learning to just be with you, she doesn’t care if we are old, or overweight, or losing hair. She sees beyond that.
Food for thought, my friends. xoxo-Janine