The Value of a Dog

Gala. The million dollar dog.

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Okay, not a million, but certain the several thousand dollar dog. Between her rescue, heartworm treatment, four months of foster care, and now the broken jaw, this dog is costing some serious money.

I’ve been thinking about this fact. Why do we pour all this money into a stray dog from South Carolina? She’s just one dog, and a difficult one at that.

And then I think—it’s just money.

That’s the same thing I tell myself when my children cost a fortune or we lose money on something stupid or we need an expensive repair on the car or the house.

Because it is just money. And doing right by this dog is far more important than money.

A noble thought, but it won’t pay her bill. She’s not the most expensive dog OPH has rescued, not by far. I’ve watched much more expensive efforts be made by this organization to save a life. Not that they throw money around willy-nilly; they certainly consider each penny before it’s spent and they’ve made more than a few hard decisions. But it’s rare that money is the only consideration.

Dogs are expensive. That’s a fact that seems to slip the minds of plenty of people. And for whatever reason – ignorance or arrogance—there are plenty of people out there who don’t think a rescue dog should cost a lot. After all, a purebred dog could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. There’s a mindset that since you’re saving a dog no one wanted or possibly a dog someone threw away, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

OPH’s adoption fee is $335 ($375 for puppies, but you get a $60 rebate after you spay/neuter). This includes spay/neuter, vaccines, wormings (with puppies this can be 6-8 times or more), and microchip, not to mention the expenses most adopters don’t consider like the original health screening and treatment, transportation, and food. And with many dogs there are other expenses.

Dug had to visit the vet and be treated for demadex mange this week.

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(And before you freak out at the word, mange, Continue reading The Value of a Dog

Our Holiday Treats Came Early

Estelle arrived early on Saturday morning, a little weeble with a happy wobble. She glued herself to my side and remained there all day, nearly tripping me time and again. I was working on a holiday project in the kitchen and she stuck close periodically circling me and pressing her swollen belly against my side. Here’s the view I had of her for most of the day:

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Her sweet attitude endeared all of us to her quickly; her tail wagged nonstop and her appreciation for any affection offered was obvious. I trimmed her long nails and introduced her to the Frank bed. She didn’t seem to have much of an appetite and refused dog food until I fed it to her on the floor.

Edith was very interested in Estelle. Eventually introductions were made and for the remainder of the day Edith stayed on one side of me and Estelle on the other. I walked them together and they engaged in competitive peeing. Gracie gave her usual welcome, snarling from the other side of the gate, before retreating to her crate.

At bedtime I introduced Estelle to her new digs in the puppy room. The whelping box Nick built took up much of the room. I lined it with layers of quilts and towels. With the grow lights and the blooming flowers that share the room, I thought the whole set up looked quite cozy. Estelle not so much. She really didn’t want to be left all alone. It took a little convincing to get her in the box the first time and she continued to hop out of it each time I left, whining at the gate that blocked her escape.

I went to bed imagining I’d find her pressed against the gate in the morning, but was surprised to see that she’d decided the box was hers and insisted on staying in it for most of the morning. She swirled the bedding into a nest and lay in a corner, watching me. The tail wagging had abated. Could she be in labor? But we have two more weeks! Continue reading Our Holiday Treats Came Early