05 April 2011

Sweet Georgia on my mind: The middle

Having just been given a bundle of pit bull in need of some rescuing and learning that our two favorite rescues were full-up, we found ourselves lacking a clear vision for next steps. Additionally, since this had come up a bit suddenly (as in, "I'm on my way with a dog I need to give you. Where are you?"), we hadn't even eaten our lunch and I was getting a bit testy due to the hunger pangs. So we headed home.

As we walked into our condo, I mentioned that we might do well to at least give poor Smelly (as we were temporarily calling her) a bit of food. I was certain she had gone a long while since her last meal and wouldn't turn her nose up at anything we had to offer. Chris announced that while that he thought that was a good idea, he was giving her a bath first—no arguments. We were only going to have her around for another hour or so, but it could at least be a more pleasant hour. 

Chris has a whole routine that he goes through with T2 and baths. Lots of talking and finger massaging and "good, good girl" comments are included. The canine lady on the receiving end gets a lift in (whether she wants it or not) then gets wrapped in a warm, fluffy towel at the end and lifted back out again to commence the zoomy, air-drying portion of the process. I wish I had thought to take a photo of this little girl's bath (most likely her first bath ever). You could just see in her face that while she might not entirely understand what was going on or why, she was willing to let us do what we needed to do and be a good sport about it.

After a little running around when she was finished, she came over (smelling delightful!) to the kitchen area of our loft where I was putting together a little kibble and ground chicken for her. Not enough to make her sick, since who knew what or when she had last eaten, but enough to stop the grumble in her belly and buy a little more affection from her. I set the food down and watched her wander up to it for a sniff. I'm not sure she entirely understood what I was putting on the floor. She was just beginning to realize that it was food and that the whole bowl was for her when she heard Chris coming toward us, having finished cleaning the tub. Bless her heart if she didn't completely abandoned that bowl of food immediately, prance over to check on him and give his hand a little lick before finishing her meal.

"What luck—someone has left a fluffy bunny for me to nibble on!"

Somewhere in the process, I texted a friend who had a connection with one of the larger shelters here in Chicago. I was hoping she had insight into their policies on taking strays. She did. Without going into the gory and disappointing details here, I'll cut to the chase: The shelter publicly states an open policy for animal drop-offs and relinquishing. The catch is that if the animal brought in is a stray, it goes immediately to Animal Care & Control. I have yet to see that fact in any of their literature—and believe me, I've looked. So that was the end of that option.

Apparently this next step in the process was going to take a little more thinking than we had anticipated.

The next day seemed to bring no further ideas, insight or options other than the acknowledgement that T2 would be staying for an indefinite time at sleepover camp. As the owner of our daycare/sleepover camp facility put it, "Three bitches in one home is too many." (We later revised that to "Four bitches in one home is too many," which I continue to quote every once in a while when the occasion suits.) The other realization that came was that we couldn't, if she was staying for more than a few hours, continue to call her Smelly. This is how she came to be known as Georgia...sweet Georgia on my mind.

The next several days were a whirl of activity and stress. I took little Georgia with me every time I walked out the door, extolling her virtues and need for a home to anyone within listening distance. We posted on Facebook. We made flyers and tacked them up at Starbuck's, pet stores, the lobby of our building. We drove to our daycare/sleepover camp each day to drop off a day's worth of food for Toni and Téa. (Yes, I know it would have been easier to take it over in bulk, but I felt like I wanted to do something for my own girls every day as well and taking them food was about all I could come up with.)

"I just met a cat! I am pretty sure it didn't want to be my friend—even though I think I would have liked it. Exhausting!"

As you may remember, we love our vet and our vet loves us. I just knew if I took Georgia to the vet with me to post a flyer, someone there would click with her, either adopting her themselves or sending a friend or family member our way who would fall in love with her. As I was pulling up, I got a call from a potential adoptive family (actually, the friend who gave me the down-low on the shelter process I mentioned above). They had fallen for sweet Georgia, but well-meaning friends/volunteers (from the shelter mentioned above) got involved. My friend felt compelled to explain (aka, drag out in great length in the hopes that she would feel better delivering this difficult and unfounded message) her explanation for what we suspected from the minute the well-meaning volunteers laid eyes on sweet Georgia: She seemed fantastic, but gosh, you just never know with a pit bull so there was no way the friends/volunteers could give their approval of her...since she wasn't part of their program. So the recommendation was, if this friend wanted a pit bull, skip Georgia (apparently now known in their minds as The Loose Cannon) and take one of the shelter pit bulls. (For the record, it has taken me a long time to tell this story because of this particular part of it. While this family may not have been the right family for Georgia, neither she nor we deserved the behind-the-back treatment and excuses aimed at her pit-bull-ness that the volunteers brought to the situation.)

With that on my mind, I walked into the vet's office with my "dog available" flyer...and stopped dead. No one I knew was at the desk (I basically thought I knew everyone). So I hemmed and hawed and stammered out my story and handed over my flyer to the new person. And then I just stood there. I was done. I had no more ideas, no other places I hadn't paraded her sweet face and posted a flyer, nowhere to take her little self except back to our homewhile our girls remained in sleepover camp purgatory (comfortably so, of course, but Glenda the Good Witch had it right when she said to Dorothy, "There's no place like home.").

So I did what I am certain anyone in my position would have done. I took Georgia back to the car, had a good cry and then drove her home. 


  1. I often wonder what people use as their justification when they try to undermine others. Did it occur to her that she was also making a negative impression on not only the breed, but on shelter dogs in general? I am really curious to find out how Georgia's story ends up!

  2. that sweet girl is so lucky you were willing to take her on, even if it was temporarily. which maybe...it wasn't? I'm sure you will find a good home for her, one way or another. and huge props for making the sacrifice of boarding (and missing) your own dogs in the meantime!


  3. So are you going to keep her? You are soo good :) (((HUG)))

  4. Oh my goodness - I'm on pins and needles! I really want you to keep her, all the girls to get along and THE END, HAPPILY EVER AFTER and all that. I'm so very impressed that you too her on and are working so hard at giving her a better life. You're right about those shelter folks - what happened to open minds? Or is the exception the Pitties? Many hugs your way - I can't wait to hear more. Take heart!!

  5. oh bless your heart for all your doing. we know all too well when pibbles end up in your hands at unexpected and sometimes inconvinient times but we've never had the heart to not take them in. i think we may have SUCKER tattoed on our forheads lol . we hope you dont mind us ( the pittie pack ) following your journey along
    nice to meet you , you are a pibble angel

  6. what an incredible story. you guys are such an inspiration.

  7. Georgia is beautiful! She looks like she belongs with you, but oh, how difficult it would be to live with three (four?) bitches. You're doing a great thing. And I'm dying to know what's next!