OK, maybe that's being a little melodramatic. But I got your attention, and that's exactly what I need right now.
I need help. I am tortured by the fact that when I got Marshal last fall, he was a shy, but happy, silly playful little man who immediately fell in with Fozzie and Dahlia and seemed happy here.
And then was adopted by a family who said they would never bring a dog back to the shelter, who then not only brought him back to the shelter but said things about him that brought about the dreaded label "unadoptable," which meant he came this close to death.
And that the shelter, who knew him well and knew me well, chose to take the adopter's word over everything they and I knew about Marshal--even though the adopter afterward strenuously denied saying that Marshal had an aggressive bone in his body.
And that now, having been through the repeated trauma of abandonment by people he trusted, and going back to the shelter, and perhaps knowing somewhere in his being how close he came to having his life extinguished, he is no longer the happy, silly carefree man, but a man who cannot go on walks with my dogs because he reacts to badly to dogs or people that he snaps anything nearby.
And a little man who once played and humped and wrestled and was so happy with my Fozzie, has now gotten into several fights with him so bad that he has scars that will forever give him that look you never want your adoptable pit bull to have in his profile shots.
The last fight was while I was away in Texas, so maybe the dogs were unusually stressed out. In the days since, Marshal and Fozzie are slowly getting more relaxed, less tense around each other, more joyful and playful overall, though not directly with each other.
But I can't foresee leaving them with anyone else again, so the rest of our summer contains no dog-free vacations.
I get stressed out thinking of leaving them, and thinking of traveling with all 3 of them. I can't walk all of them together, so I was doing 4 walks some days instead of 2...although Marshal doesn't even want to go on walks anymore, so that lets me off the hook.
I love my little Marshal, love watching him gradually open up and be more affectionate with me and especially with Florian, and love how he and Dahlia are such sweet companions. I love watching his process and thinking about how to help him overcome his shyness, and imagining the dog he can become. I love when he lets me cuddle him, and how he takes comfort in being very physical and close.
But it is stressful to have 3 dogs whose dynamic is tense, and stressful to know I can't travel. So I've listed Marshal online and looking for a home or a sanctuary for him.
I know I can find a wonderful adopter, who has a quiet home and another playful dog, and knows how to work with a shy dog, and lives in a place where the dogs can play and have fun and be stress-free.
I know Marshal can be more happy in a home where there's no tension with the other dog, and I know there are saintly adopters like I found for Lars and Star--two other challenging dogs who found very happy endings.
This is a tough experience, as I fear for the welfare of a beloved little creature that I believe in, but whom others have abandoned. But I'm going to keep believing in Marshal and working to manifest that perfect home for him.
Could it be YOURS?