Sunday, November 22, 2015

An Emotional Dog Rescue Day: Transporting Oscar

Oscar, scared in the front seat of our truck
We've been doing dog rescue transports for years and it's only once in a while that we are the emotional first stop when a former pet parent abandons their dog. Saturday, November 21 was one of those days involving a 9 year old mini-Dachshund named Oscar who weighs only 8 pounds.

    I (Rob) did the transport while Tom ran errands so we could get everything accomplished. II met Oscar's dad in the parking lot of a hotel about 40 minutes between where he lived and where we are located. I was the first leg of a transport that would take Oscar to his new home in Rhode Island.
   Oscar's mother and father adopted him as a puppy when he was less than a year old. They raised him. He became part of their family. Then, the parents had a human child. This is a story we hear way too much in rescue.

EXCUSES FOR ABANDONMENT COMMONLY INCLUDE:  "I had a baby and the baby has allergies to the dog, OR  I'm afraid the dog will hurt the baby, OR the dog is annoyed when the baby punches the dog or pulls the dog's tail (what dog wouldn't be?)"

OSCAR'S FEAR   - This time, the dad, who was obviously bonded with Oscar, was an emotional wreck.  When I met him in the parking lot of the arranged transport place, the dad got out of the car with Oscar, who knew something bad was happening. Dogs know. They sense people's emotions and watch people's actions.  As the dad gave me Oscar to hold, Oscar snapped at me - he was scared He didn't know what was happening to him.  

WHAT DO DOGS THINK WHEN BEING ABANDONED?  Dogs wonder "who is this new person?"  / "Why is this new person taking me away from my dad of 9 years?"  /"What's going to happen to me?" /  "This new person doesn't know anything about how I like to play, sleep, eat..."  /"I'm afraid!" 

SEEING THE BOND WITH HIS DAD - Knowing Oscar was afraid, I let  him sniff me until he settled. Then I held the leash as his dad walked from his car to my truck, putting in Oscar's 2 beds, blankets, container of food, and bag with medical history, etc.  Each time Oscar's dad took a step, Oscar stepped with him. I could tell they were bonded.

WHY WAS HE BEING ABANDONED AFTER 9 YEARS? - The dad said that although he had some allergies to Oscar's short, red, fur, his little girl has allergies, too. I held my tongue, because I have to focus on the dog. ** I wanted to tell the little girl to "deal with it and take benadryl" for 5-6 more years so Oscar could live the rest of his short life out with his only family. But I didn't.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT DOGS, ALLERGIES AND KIDS - It's a fact that if you have a dog in your house and a child is born, the kid may get allergic reactions. HOWEVER, if they're continually exposed to the allergens, they eventually develop antibodies and resistance to the allergens (That's what allergy shots are- they inject the thing you're allergic to, into your bloodstream so you build up immunity to it).

THE EMOTIONAL ENDING - When I saw the dad hug and kiss Oscar goodbye, If I wasn't so emotional I would've been somewhat angry -because it was apparent to me that it really wasn't the dad's decision to let Oscar go. The dad cried and couldn't contain himself. Of course, neither could I. I cried, too. The dad could barely say anything other than "I'm sorry." He got in his car and continued to cry, as I did when I got in my truck. Oscar just stared up at me. This was heartbreaking.

Rob, Oscar and Trudy
THE RIDE TO TRANSPORTER #2 - I drove Oscar to Trudy, who was the second driver in the chain of drivers between Maryland and Rhode Island, where Oscar will live out his senior years with an older couple who previously had a Dachshund named Oscar who passed recently. I played music and talked with Oscar as I drove to meet Trudy. I kept him on the front passenger seat, continually rubbing the fur on his head and back of his neck, calming him (although he was still shaking in fear all the way to the next stop).

TRUDY TRANSPORT - I met Trudy at a predesignated spot and Oscar got more scared all over again. He snapped at first, but then warmed up. He had no idea what was happening to him. Again, it was heartbreaking to see this little guy so frightened. We quickly posed for a picture together, contacted the rescue coordinator that we were 15 minutes early, and I loaded Trudy's car with Oscar's stuff. Again, I got choked up as I watched her drive off. That poor little dog just lost his family today.

THE RESCUE- It was only thanks to Donna at Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue, that a home was immediately found for Oscar. Thanks to Katie in Virginia who set up the transport and managed to get all of the drivers who volunteered. Thanks to 8 drivers in different states from Maryland to Rhode Island who took time out of their Saturday to bring an innocent, abandoned, scared dog to a new home.

Dog rescue really takes a village, and it takes an emotional toll. However, we do it for the dogs.
People need to know that adopting a dog is the same as adopting a child - it's a LIFETIME commitment.  For more information about Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue, and for all of the dogs who are looking for a life-time home, visit: If you can't adopt or foster a dog, please consider making a donation that goes to the veterinary care of all the dogs we save.- Rob

POST TRANSPORT UPDATE: Rescue coordinator, Donna Gerhauser said: First, I want to thank Katie Wehner for pulling together this transport and all of the wonderful people who helped get Oscar to his new home. He is with his new dad who is over the moon in love with Oscar and overwhelmed with gratitude. I know it was sad and confusing for Oscar to leave his family but I really believe that this match was meant to be. Rob, I think that this Oscar was sent by his predecessor to mend his daddy's broken and lonely heart.

Fortunately this story had a happy ending.  

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next