Pawlooza last Saturday in London Ont was great. So many people and dogs! Other than a bit of a walk-around, I hardly saw anything of it other than our St. Thomas Dog Owners booth in Rescue Row. But the world comes by one’s booth, I found.
We didn’t take Leo and Charlie. Charlie likes a party, but gets bored and cranky quickly. Leo gets very enthusiastic at parties! While I felt a bit ‘odd man out’ without dogs, I found our booth provided a haven for dogs who wanted a little quiet time.
Touring Rescue Row
Next to us was the Chinese Crested rescue. They had several of these dogs with hairless bodies and long plumes on head and tail. I overheard them telling stories of their dogs to people flipping through photo albums. Horrific stories. One dog was left in the house, locked in, after the people moved away. Fortunately, someone suspected that she was in there, and she was saved.
Why, I thought, would someone leave a dog like that? Any dog, but one of these? These aren’t dogs you see notices tacked up for, saying “free puppies.” You have to go to a lot of trouble and expense to get one. So why would you then just walk away?
A magnificent black Standard Poodle across the aisle. A St. John Ambulance therapy dog now, he’d been taken from what sounds like an unbalanced hoarder. The man who rescued him had been looking for a Giant Schnauzer. He’d had them for years, but this time he wound up with a giant Poodle.
He said Giant Schnauzers end up in rescue care because people get them as puppies and then are surprised at how big they get, how much care their coats take and don’t want to be bothered. But how can that happen? Doesn’t the “Giant” in their name give you the tip off that this is going to be a big dog? They also are expensive pups. He said it’s easy to pay $4,000 for one. You would lay out money like that and not realize that it’s going to be a big dog and that rough beautiful coat requires a lot of brushing and clipping?
Why so many?
I passed by Friendly Giants Rescue on my one tour. A St. Bernard was lolling around, hoping for a home I guess. Sure, there are legitimate, even heartbreaking, stories of why someone has to give up their dog. But so many of them?
Do people get them as status symbols? Be the first on your block to have a hairless dog. Then you realize there is upkeep and expense particular to that breed and it’s too much bother? Or you saw the movie Beethoven and thought how much fun it would be having a St. Bernard living with you? And you forgot you’re already cramped in your tiny apartment?
I am so glad the rescue people are around, both for specific breeds and just for regular old dogs. Without them, I don’t know what would happen to these poor creatures. A woman at Boston Terrier Rescue told me a lady had made an 8-hour drive to Pawlooza, just to look for a dog at their booth. I hope she found one.