It never gets easy

Published 9:08 am Friday, March 15, 2013



A few months ago I told the tale of Muffin, the Boxer who was pushing her dead pup, trying to give it life.

I was so struck by it all that I had to leave the shelter. Muffin went on to produce four beautiful puppies who all now reside in loving homes. No one could know for sure but the signs are all there of what Muffin’s life was, we call them puppy machines.  These animals have one job to do and rarely receive any socialization.  The shelter has the job of turning these dogs around and showing them there is more to life than what they’ve known.  Nearly always they can be rehabilitated and found loving homes, not so with Muffin.  Every ounce of training, time and socialization was afforded to Muffin and though she improved she refused to give up the trust.  Out of nowhere and unprovoked Muffin would snap at you.  She’s clipped at least four people, me included.  Her time was running short and I begged FHS to let me try one more thing, which I was graciously granted.  I called Boxer Rebound up in Illinois and spoke with Jeanette, the proprietor.  This dear lady gave me my Monty and is a mentor of mine.  Jeanette is in her 80s and to this day puts me to shame with her energy and devotion. I explained Muffin’s story and offered to pay whatever it took if she could live out her life at Boxer Rebound.

“Our compound is packed,” Jeanette said “all our vet techs and volunteers are holding Boxers too.”  “It sounds familiar,” I replied.  “If I’d do this for anyone, I’d do this for you,” Jeanette went on, “but that poor girl is suffering and you’re not doing her any favors by keeping her alive.”  “Thanks anyway Jeanette, I thought I’d try.”  Jeanette could sense the anguish in my voice and said one last thing, “Leonard, God bless your heart, but you cannot simply love them all into submission, and believe me I’ve tried.”  With that we both tearfully rang off.

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