I wrote about my friend Jeanne in my last entry. I have checked with her, and yes, she wants to follow the Daisy story, so here goes. This won’t be an elegantly written piece–I’ll just get the facts down. I’m tired! It took me most of my energy to actually do the Daisy rescue, and there’s not much left over for writing about it.
Here’s the nutshell version of the Daisy back story. I saw her picture one night on the Urgent Part 2 page on Facebook, in the photo album called, To Be Destroyed _______ (fill in the next day of the week). Urgent Part 2 is a person or group of people, anonymous, although I’m sure plenty of New Yorkers know the inside scoop. Urgent networks the animals in the three NYC ‘shelters’ (or killing factories): Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
I wished I hadn’t seen Daisy’s picture, once I’d read her evaluation. I thought she had no chance to get out of there alive, with an eval like that. I’ll add it to this blog post, so you can read it, too. I wonder whether you’ll notice, as I did, the apparent discrepancies between her owner surrender form and her eval. Anyway, I started networking her, but had little hope. If you scroll down the ‘thread’ under her picture, you can follow the story as it unfolded.
You’ll see there that I was absolutely delighted when I found someone to take her–someone other than me, that is. At this point, I need to give names to a few of the key players:
Deb, who’s the head of the rescue group which agreed to ‘pull’ Daisy. To ‘pull’ a dog means only that you call the shelter and say, don’t kill this one–we have another place for it to go. It does not mean that you physically remove the dog from the shelter. The transporter usually does that, or so I gather.
Helping Hounds is the rescue group in a city one hour away from me which agreed to take Daisy into its adoption program. Karen is one of the people in charge at Helping Hounds.
Patricia is a transporter in the NYC area. She drives dogs (and maybe cats) hither and yon, especially dogs rescued by Deb’s group.
The Mayor’s Alliance is a group of transporters who drive dogs and cats from the NYC area shelters to their ‘safe’ destinations–either to their new adopters (known as, ‘forever homes’, or, somewhat saccharinely :), ‘furever homes’), or to rescues.
Oh, dear, I’m so tired that I just have to get this down quickly, so Jeanne’ll have something to read. OK–after Helping Hounds had agreed to take Daisy, Deb arranged with the Mayor’s Alliance to transport Daisy. They agreed to take her all the way to Syracuse! I was thrilled. I had saved a dog’s life, but it was not going to come and live with me–hooray!
Not so fast, sucker. The next day, or two days, later, Deb called. The Mayor’s Alliance, she said, had some concerns about transporting such an aggressive dog. I didn’t buy this; I really didn’t. They transport aggressive dogs frequently. In fact, she’d accidentally sent me someone else’s transport form originally–not Daisy’s–and it said right on it, ‘aggressive’. So I argued, mildly. She started reading me the eval, as proof of the Mayor’s Alliance people’s concerns. It was, obviously, the first time she was reading it–kind of surprising and frustrating to me. I had read it over and over again, and practically had it memorized. I somehow knew from it, I guess by reading between the lines and taking into account her owner surender form, that Daisy was not truly aggressive. Famous last words, right? Nah, we’re good…just keep reading. 🙂
There wasn’t much I could do. Deb wanted to use Patricia, is what I think. I have no idea why, but she’d done the same thing in my dog Grace’s case. I guess she just likes to use Patricia. That’s a long story, but I’m too tired, so I have to sum this up really briefly, for Jeanne.
When Helping Hounds found out that the Mayor’s people wouldn’t drive Daisy because she was too aggressive, they backed out. After several other arrangements for Daisy’s transport had been made and discarded for various reasons, Deb told me that, in fact, the Mayor’s people had not refused to drive Daisy. So all of that was for nought, and because of Deb’s whim, I now have another dog at my house. I really could wring her neck. However, maybe it’s all for the best, because Karen at Helping Hounds hadn’t inspired much confidence in me. For one thing, she kept calling me by the wrong name (a similar one to my real name), meaning that she had not researched me, which is really not cool, in rescue land. You need to know with whom you’re working (although there wasn’t time to get clear whether I’d be fostering for her or whether she had her own foster, before Deb threw the monkey wrench in, so maybe we wouldn’t really have been working together). Also, before she had backed out completely (which I’m not sure she really ever did, and I will check–it was just what Deb said to me, and I no longer trust everything she tells me, for obvious reasons), she wanted me to take Daisy for two weeks, check her out, in terms of her temperament, ‘push her’ (meaning, try to get her to display the aggression they’d reported), and then, if she came through it all with flying colors and I told them she was rock solid, they’d take her. Did I mention that Karen is an attorney? 😉 Yeah, right, Karen, I’m going to tell you Daisy will never bite anyone in her whole life, so you can sue me. I wouldn’t tell you that about Lassie, for goodness’ sake. And I’m not even a trainer, which you’d know, if you’d checked me out enough to know my name…
The more I learn, the less I’m impressed by many rescues and rescuers.
Anyway, as I said, maybe it’s all for the best. Crazily, the Mayor’s Alliance did end up driving Miss Daisy to meet Martha, a very trustworthy transporter I preferred to use. I called Martha while she was driving, and she told me that Daisy was a ‘big mush’, current terminology for a dog who just wants to love and be loved. As I got out of the car at our meeting place, I saw Daisy’s tail start to wag, back there in Martha’s back seat. It was fun to meet Martha finally, after seeing her on Facebook and hearing about her from my artist friend, the woman who adopted Rupert, formerly Reynard. Daisy was sad to say goodbye to Martha, which was touching. I had had her pegged as a sensitive dog who attaches easily, and that was what she looked like, as we transferred her to my car (I had to climb in first, with beef, before she’d get in, poor thing).
Now I’m so tired I can’t even stay awake, so I’ll try really hard to be brief.
The ride home was uneventful. I couldn’t coax her into the passenger seat, but I handed beef bits back and petted her face. She was too excited to do potties when we arrived home, but I got her into her bedroom, and the other dogs didn’t fuss too much. I fed her, gave her water, and left her for the night. The next day–No! It’s TODAY! No wonder I’m tired–this was a long one! Anyway, today I began getting to know her. Here’s the deal so far:
She’s not aggressive, although she is the kind of dog who would not take kindly to rough handling, and who might let you know with what I call a feint–a fast movement which mimics a bite (by the way, Deb finally told me that she’d learned from Manhattan ACC that Daisy never actually bit anyone, but it was too late for Helping Hounds). Back to Daisy today–she’s perfectly housebroken–she held it from 5:00 that evening until 10:00 the next morning. Oops–I’m still thinking it was longer ago than it is–she held it from yesterday at 5:00 until 10:00 AM today. She’s not a greedy eater, but she likes treats. She ignores my cats. She’s extremely smart and easily trained. I thought I’d be telling you that her body language, when she hears my dogs through the walls and floors, doesn’t appear to indicate dog/dog aggression or even reactivity, but…guess what?
Things went so extremely well today that this evening I was able to introduce Daisy to my whole pack. How crazy is that? I thought I’d be keeping her secluded for at least two weeks. This dog was made out to be Cujo! Instead, after one day she’s snuggling with me, sniffing gently at my cats, and starting to play with my dogs! I’m sure there will be plenty more to work on, but whatever they’re doing to evaluate dogs, it’s not working well. As if we didn’t know that…(eye roll).
Daisy’s coat is in rough shape–dry, flaky, shedding. My friend Kate said to give her some eggs, and in about two weeks I’d see a difference, so I made her two scrambled eggs, and enjoyed watching her gobble them. So far, eggs and cheese are her favorites. I gave her a skin supplement, too, with fish oil and other stuff in it.
Earlier today, when I still had no idea of introducting Daisy to anyone, I’d planned to let her out in the yard after my other dogs were sleepy, hoping they wouldn’t look out and see her. So, in an effort to exhaust them pleasantly, I rented the fenced pasture at the veterinary therapy/rehab place near here, and let ’em rip (not Grace and the other oldsters, but the ones who like to fly around and catch balls in the snow). We were there for a long time, and they are indeed quite exhausted, and I’m sure the exercise helped their meeting with Daisy go well.
So it was quite a day. It’s been quite a week, with all the ups and downs of Daisy’s rescue. Jeanne, I’ve felt very lonely at different times during this–I keep thinking back to Soyer, and how I wasn’t alone at all when I met him, and how, even later, when everyone else had quit, you were always there. I felt so afraid and alone, wondering if Daisy was going to bite me. But writing this has somehow made me feel less lonely. I’m glad to have a good report for you, and now I’ll go and try to remember how to attach her Facebook ‘thread’ to this, so you can read her eval and stuff.
Tomorrow it’s the note factory, bigtime–Itzhak Perlman playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. How I’m going to get it all done, I don’t know. I will, though, and I’ll give you the Daisy report tomorrow night or the next morning. Thinking of you with love, and a hug ((( Jeanne )))