I was recently contacted by a woman who lives in the Courthouse, the Brooklyn building I had previously lived in for seven years. Her twins just turned one and are more mobile now — so her dog of three years is getting the boot.
She claims Murray is skittish around them as well as protective and aggressive when it comes to his food. Meanwhile the adults in the home can handle his food and food bowl without a problem. What preempted her email to me was a recent nip Murray gave her son when the tot found his way over to his food cabinet.
She wanted my help in rehoming Murray. I explained the process to her, she would have to sign a waiver and normally pay a surrender fee but because we would need some time to place him I waived the $150 fee. She assured me she could realistically give him one more month. The clock was now ticking for a dog whom she loved and cared for for three years.
My husband Jason asked me why I was helping her if I was so aggravated by the situation.
I suppose the biggest reason is because at 18 pounds and fluffy, Murray is a very adoptable dog. He’s the perfect apartment pooch. I suppose the other reason is because this woman contacted me in 2010 about adopting a small dog. Pregnant and unemployed at the time, I wasn’t actively doing rescue but I told her I’d keep my eyes open. Shortly after, she went out of town for the holidays and came home with Murray. She adopted him from a shelter down south when he was just a pup.
So I guess you could say that if it weren’t Murray, it would have been one of my dogs and the rescue would therefore be contractually responsible in assisting her to rehome him.
Over the course of one weekend, Murray’s need for a new home became urgent. He lunged at another dog while her mom was walking him and bit her ankle on the re-direct. Still without any open foster homes, I went out on another limb and shared Murray with the New York City rescue community. The following day a friend put me in touch with Dog Halsey who runs Ready For Rescue. He had an open foster home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Thankfully I had my rescue partner Michele to vent to via text. When I told her about Doug she asked, “You think we really can’t place him?”
I told her “It’s just that she’s now all of a sudden in a rush and I don’t appreciate her pushiness at all. The whole thing puts a really bad taste in my mouth. I can’t begin to tell you what I think of yuppies who can’t make it work. I almost disrespect them more then those who typically ditch their animals.”
When I told the woman that there was a rescue willing and able, she informed me that Murray went to her friend’s place in Brooklyn. She kept me and Doug waiting for yet another day as she pondered yanking Murray from the friend to give him a real shot at him being properly rehomed. Turns out she is is secretly holding out hope that the friend will keep him, so she passed on Doug’s open foster home.
Needless to say, Doug was annoyed with this woman and I think, possibly even annoyed with me.
During the following week and a half, I made two unsuccessful attempts at following up with this woman after inquiries started rolling in about Murray. My third attempt was quite curt. While apologetic, she replied that she had been in the hospital and that her friend is going to keep Murray. I told her that was great, as long as this friend didn’t plan on starting a family of her own some day. I warned that if she does, there’s a good chance that Murray could find himself in the very same predicament.
Had we placed him, we only would have put him in a home with an older person, or older couple, thereby limiting that risk. She didn’t seem to care.
I’m happy Murray got a home. But I’m even happier to be done with this woman.
On March 21, 2008 our dog’s fate was sealed and my life was just weeks away from changing… forever. Four years ago today was the day Ella was brought into Brooklyn Animal Care & Control, a high-kill shelter in New York City, after someone had caused her severe physical harm: both of her front legs were broken.
She was rescued by an animal welfare organization, we went to meet her, took her home and the rest was history. Actually, I lie. “The rest” was at times extremely stressful and challenging, the details of which are outlined in her blog. But adopting Ella taught me so much and opened the door to my passion for rescuing animals, specifically pit bulls.
There is so much about this breed of dog that tugs at my heart strings. For starters, they are grossly misunderstood. There is no other breed who responds to the human/dog relationship like pit bulls do. This is one insight into the fighting dynamic they suffer. But it is also the reason they are able to recover from insane cruelty. I am inspired by my dog, and by others like her. Happy Re-birthday Stinky Mama!