Who’s their buddy?

By Rosalie Tirella

While driving on Route 20 last week to visit my friend, her husband and four kids, I decided to stop by the Buddy Dog Animal Shelter in Sudbury (right on Rt. 20!). Last March, after my beloved retriever passed away, we drove all over Central Massachusetts in search of a new best friend for me. I ended up getting my peppy, adorable little Siberian Husky-mix, Jett, from the Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street in Worcester. But we spent months driving to all kinds of shelters in Worcester County/Metro West looking for a good canine match.

One of the animal shelters we visited was Buddy Dog – a no kill shelter in the middle of the chi chi Lincoln, Sudbury Concord area. It is sad – these upper middle class folks have a ton of money, big houses with back yards. etc and yet they still dump their dogs and cats, puppies and kittens.

It broke my heart to see all the BEAGLES that were up for adoption when we were at the shelter. Obviously, the good folks of Weston, Concord etc saw the Westminster Dog Show (maybe even in person and not on TV!) and decided to get what they saw in the show ring/on their TV screen – the #1 dog – Best in Show for that year: a BEAGLE! And it was a lovely Beagle – two years old and full of self-confidence. And beautiful markings.

So all these r ich Metro West families went out and bought a Beagle – to keep up with the Boneses! Probably without researching the breed!

And guess what? These folks got themselves lovely dogs who are also: difficult to house train, love to bay/bark, and a wee bit stubborn. They did not end up with what I ended up with my retrievers (Jett’s a bit more high maintenance): a wanting-to-please dog that makes a great family dog. They got sweet BUT super hunting dogs, who love to follow that trail to the very end – even if that means leaving their neighborhoods!

So, when the wee Beagle puppies grew up to be a year or 11 months old, and lost their puppy adorableness, AND these fmailies got to realize what kind of breed/dog they chose – most likely on a whim, the dogs were DUMPED! At Buddy Dog!

How sad to see the sad pooches! All the love in Buddy Dog, a very nice animal shelter, cannot compare to having a loving forever home – even one that doesn’t include a big fenced in yard!

So what do I see at Buddy Dog almost 8 months later? More Beagles! Five or six this time! They all look like purebreds! They are all sweet and good looking. Who will adopt these dogs now? HOw long will they have to wait before they can be loved by a family – or even a great single person or couple.

And that’s my next point: HOw long will they have to wait? Some of the same dogs we saw last March at Buddy Dog were still there! Most of them are overweight. And one of the dogs I saw last time – the one shelter volunteers told me has been there for almost FIVE years!!! – has truly given up. He does not run to the front of his kennel to greet potential owners when people walk by the kennels to look at the dogs up for adoption. Nope. This poor soul, doesn’t approach you, stays in back. In fact, he is usually lying down, his face near the back wall of his kennel and his rump sticking out to face the visitors!

This dog is more than depressed! This dog knows and lives with despair every day!

And yet when the Buddy folks told me it costs $300 to adopt a dog, I thought: My God, how will this mutt get a home, when he’s got all this emotional baggage and they want $300!

Buddy Dog: When a dog has been living at your shelter in a kennel – living in a big cage really – for a half year or more than a year, why don’t you just give him or her away? Why don’t you try to find him or her a home in a nursing or rest home – as the home mascot? Why not give him or her to an elderly person on a fixed income who would love a little chihuahua or terrrier mix?

Why not help the dog find a forever home by GIVING HIM/HER away. Six months away from a pack/family? Six months without a home? It’s like being in prison.

Be a Buddy, Buddy Dog, and all you no-kill animal shelters! If the animal has been with you for months or YEARS give them away to a good home or non-profit!

Be a real buddy to dogs and cats!

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