Basenji Rescue: Month Two Begins
There has never been a moment over the past month that I have wanted to give up, but there have been quite a few times when I have wanted a rest from my duty as the foster dogdad for Guru. There have been the times of walking him when a yapper dog comes lunging at him and he freaks out, galloping like a manic horse and the hair on his back stands up like a Rhodesian Ridgeback. There was the moment me when the dog sitter called me in New York to say that he would have to bow out of the gig and had no recommendations for a replacement. There were the many moments when I had to calm him as a far more aggressive tiny dog came charging at him and I held him, comforting his fear and said "Please don't let your dog approach, he's a rescue dog that doesn't socialize well with other dogs" as the other guardian failed to pull in the leash of her out of control mutt yapping and niping away while the guardian sneered at me as if I were harboring a vicious wolf. There were the afternoons when the little girls with off leash yelping white poodls pointed at Guru freaking out at the bay window as they giggled and let their hyper high-pitchedl pooches' frenzy escalate.
It reached a fever pitch Tuesday morning when I spoke to the rescue "sponsor" in Sacramento and pleaded for options now that I'd come to the end of my dog sitter resources and saw no remaining options, and she, in a sterile, heartless voice said "Sounds like we need to have Guru put down." The silence was followed by a surge in me that I've not felt in years, not since losing my parents, other relatives, close friends and partners who fell to the late '80s and early '90s plague. Clear of sentimentality and charged with a sense of a warrior that I thought had long ago died in me, I replied. "That is not an option. You have to explore every option to make sure that this dog is afforded what your organization claims to be. I intend, even if you refuse to help me, plan to rescue this dog. Whether it's in my home or a better option for him, I plan to rescue him." If there was any question of summoning the strength to persevere as he peered up at me with flawless almond eyes clarifying his unwavering trust and deep need for the protection that I refused to let loose of.
Forty-eight hours later, I am feeling that I am at a better place. After at least five or six hours of googling and phoning, I have found what I think is a far more experienced and resourceful dog sitter. This morning, I took him to a new vet. After going to the Grand Central Terminal of the SF SPCA where it seems the main human interaction is the screaming out of the word "Next!"it was a shock to be greeted at the Animal Hospital of Diamond Heights by two sweet young women cooing at 8 a.m. "Oh, what a sweet and gorgeous dog."
Much as I denied that it was important to me, at the end of the exam I was near tears when the vet turned to me and said, "Guru is lucky to have found someone who loves and cares so much for him." After beginning the week feeling that all the systems I'd spent the past three weeks to put together had fallen apart, at the moment I feel new and better ones have been put into place. These could fall apart when I head off to Portland Monday. But I still refuse to even consider the option so coldly suggested by the rescue group on Tuesday.