Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tennessee aka. Bubba.

Remember that one time I picked up two stray dogs, and was stalked by a guard goat? Well, life has a funny way of coming back around, doesn't it? (Part One & Part Two of that particular story)

In January I picked up a Collie and a Mastiff X on the side of the highway, bordering on the city, I surrendered them to a pet hospital who then transfers them to the pound. I was adamant on knowing where they both ended up - so much so that I filled out forms stating I had first right of adoption if their owners didn't come pick them up. I was told that if their owners didn't claim them, I would get a call in 7 days. The next day I went to Vegas. I looked online everyday on the "impounded dogs" list, neither of them showed up. When I came home I called 311 and was told "Well, if they aren't on the website under impounded dogs, their owners must have come and got them."

Fast forward to last week (March) and an acquaintance of mine "shared" a Calgary Humane Society photo on Facebook with the caption "Look at that face." I thought, oh what a cute dog, and then took a second glance... I knew that dog...

Sure enough, there was my buddy... the Mastiff X. I looked through my photos of him and tried to compare it to the photos the Humane Society had taken of him. I emailed the Humane society and chatted back and forth with a lady who gave me some clues that indeed, this was the same dog. I decided to go see him, but wanted confirmation that I wasn't crazy and that he was the same dog - the one at the Humane Society wasn't neutered. That's a pretty good clue, and although I thought "my" dog hadn't been neutered I wasn't sure.

Fast forward to me calling the City... turns out that the person I had spoken too was just a city phone-operator, to actually get through to Animal Services you had to have a logical reason, and then they'll sneakily put you through to a number you aren't allowed to know. Stupid. Animal Services was honestly really great once I got through to them, two girls searched their files for about 20 minutes on a record of the dogs I had surrendered - they couldn't find any. Then I called the pet hospital - their records are destroyed after 2 months. Sigh.

So, I headed to the Humane Society - sure enough, it was the same dog. I was informed that out of town surrenders never actually go to the pound - they are immediately transferred to the Humane Society. Also, my name was never attached to this dog, meaning my paperwork had been lost. The Humane Society has seen him a couple times, they know his owners - who had declined to come get him this time around. 

They call him "Tennessee", his photos make him look much bigger than he is - he's probably only about 40-50 pounds. He's five, and a total love bug, and I thought for sure i'd be bringing him home.

Turns out my sweet little love bug has one little-big problem... severe separation anxiety, the most severe case that they have seen. What happens is that after a couple minutes of being alone he starts to cry, and howl - condo's and apartments are out of the question for him. Well we have a big dog with an even bigger dog bark, I thought, and very understanding, wonderful neighbors - no big deal. Turns out that separation anxiety, in dogs, is much more of a mental handicap than just an annoyance. What happens is that he literally goes into a mental breakdown state when left alone - even with another dog present, which is - of course - very unhealthy and damaging. The Humane Society has him in a pheromone collar to soothe him, but that wont "fix" his issues.

The Humane Society is being really commendable in how intensely they are screening homes for this dog. "Tennessee's" ideal home would be a stay at home mom, or someone who works at home and can be totally consistent and with him almost 24 hours a day. He shouldn't be left alone for more than 2-4 hours a day, and if it needs to be longer, they require that he goes to daycare. They claim that with consistency, and regular attention, most dogs end up getting over their separation anxiety - but they can't promise he will.

I went to visit with him and he lay forlornly on the ground as I pet him. I got up to sit on a chair and he started to whimper because he couldn't see me - it was very sad. It makes me sad to see something like this... why must humans create these types of issues? How do humans create these issues? It's just, plain, sad.

Anyways... long story short, I certainly can't own him. Who knows where I'll be in a couple years... plus, i'm definitely in a place where I have to work upwards of 8 hours a day sometimes... that just wont work for this big love bug. So that's the story of how this dog came back into my life, but can't stay. However, I am hopeful after talking to the many different, wonderful, people at the Humane Society that they will find him a good home that can work through his little issues.


  1. That is so sad! I hate people that get animals that cannot care for them properly. Hence why I don't own my own horse! At least he is not at the pound, and will hopefully find someone to love soon!

  2. Aw, I was hoping this would have a different ending, but it definitely doesn't sound like the perfect match. Poor dude. I hope he eventually finds someone that can hanng out with him all day.

  3. I know :( I went to the humane society thinking "this is serendipity, I have to adopt this boy!", but.. it's unfair to selfishly adopt just because you want a dog. One of the ladies said they have had really good luck with separation anxiety dogs, usually vets will come and get them, so they can hang at vet clinics all day. Which I think would be awesome.