In the weeks that passed, my daughter came up with a name for her, Clementine "little orange". Curiously, Clementine likes oranges so it's a fitting name. It helped to be able to call her something now that she looks to be needing a new home. I taught her the "sit" command, and she does well with that. It became apparent she was "house broken" and luckily we haven't had to train her to do her business outside. These are all good things for a dog that needs a home. But finding a home has been difficult and the interest in Clementine has been nonexistent. So what to do now?
Adopt her. We have three older rescue dogs and that means a full house, but turning a young innocent dog over to the pound in an area where the animal shelters are overflowing is not an option for us. We are just not those kinds of people. We've successfully rescued dogs and found them homes for decades. We enjoy rescuing animals, but we are aware of the risks to us; that we may find ourselves sheltering one or two more dogs than we intended. It is still possible that we could locate a good home for Clementine, but as each day passes our attachment to her and her attachment to us grows stronger. We may need to expand the family by one more dog, and we know what that means. She needs to be spade and given her vaccinations. It means walks and cuddle time for a fourth dog, including food and baths. It means training her not to chew on the furniture and how to successfully get out of the pool if she falls in. Luckily, she has recently mastered that life saving skill. Essentially, it means providing her a loving home without depriving our other dogs the same level of care. Fortunately, Clementine has settled in well with our older dogs. In fact, she injects a new level of energy into the pack. But there is a downside to all this.
Unfortunately, I'm at a crossroads about rescuing dogs in the future. I can't continue to adopt dogs whose owners can't be found. And I don't know if I have the mental stamina to turn a dog over to an animal shelter with no guarantee it will be found a home. Yet, I find it difficult to look the other way when I see an animal in danger. It's a conundrum. One I hope I don't have to face in the future. But for now, we have a happy home with enough "cuddle monsters" to keep us busy.
by Chelse Benham (Lae Lae team member)