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What was this woman thinking? (dog story)

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 05:18 am
Is this supposed to be a heartwarming tale?
my comment at end.

Border collie back home after 11-day trek
Dog journeyed from Bouldin to Northeast Austin, fighting flooding, hunger.
By Ben Wermund

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Shep was waiting eagerly at the front door when Maureen McKeon and her family returned to their South Austin home from a Sunday afternoon shopping trip.
"Look, he's waiting for us," McKeon's 10-year-old daughter, Clarissa Crockett, said when she spotted the family's newly adopted border collie. But when Clarissa opened the door, Shep bolted, heading south on South First Street.
McKeon promptly called her friend Margaret Dahl, Shep's previous owner , who had brought the dog to them the day before. Over the next 11 days, Dahl headed a search that included covering South Austin with posters, offering a reward for Shep's return, putting ads in multiple newspapers and on Craigslist and making calls to nearly 1,500 homes.
Shep, meanwhile, was determined to make it back to Dahl 's home in Northeast Austin - an eight-mile, crosstown journey that would take place during the flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine.
Dahl had gotten Shep from the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter when he was 4 months old after hearing that he was going to be euthanized if he was not adopted. Dahl already owned two rescue dogs and said she intended to find the puppy a new home as soon as possible.
After she brought Shep home, however, he became a part of the pack, fitting right in with her other two dogs. Three and a half years later, she decided to give Shep to McKeon. "Here, he has to compete for attention with two other dogs and a cat," Dahl said. "At (McKeon's) house, he would have four people to dote on him."
On Labor Day weekend , she took Shep to his new home. On her way home, she said, "I immediately thought, `I shouldn't have gotten rid of that dog.'"
McKeon said the dog was clearly unhappy, too.
"There were times when he would be quiet and he would be at my seat and he would start to cry," McKeon said. "I knew he was sad; I knew he missed Margaret."
Then he was gone.
A little more than 24 hours after bolting from McKeon's home, a dog fitting Shep's description was spotted about 10 miles east of McKeon's home near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
A woman who had seen the Craigslist posting called Dahl and said she has seen the dog on FM 973.
"I went out that night to find him, driving up and down the road, going 20 and frustrating all those wanting to go 60," Dahl said.
She pulled over and called for Shep, but didn't spot him. She began to wonder if the dog the woman spotted was even Shep. She worried he would get hit by a car - "He's not good with cars," she said. She worried coyotes would get him.
Dahl put an ad in the Bastrop paper and then returned her focus to South Austin. She said she paid someone $175 to call 1,500 homes in the McKeons' Bouldin Creek neighborhood and ask if they'd seen the dog. She posted fliers all over the area and updated her Craigslist postings every morning. She spent hours each day driving around, calling Shep's name.
Two days after Shep ran away, the storm hit Central Texas, flooding most major waterways in the area and many streets as well. Dahl began to give up hope.
"I actually called Solid Waste and asked them if they had (found the body of) a dog with a chili pepper collar, and they hadn't," she said. "That gave me a little hope, but I really didn't think I was going to see him again."
Then, about a week later , Dahl received a call from Alex Lugo, who had spotted Shep at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and U.S. 183 - about three miles northeast of McKeon's home.
Lugo, who has rescued numerous dogs from the side of the road, recognized Shep from the description in Dahl's Craigslist postings. He pulled over, grabbed the beef jerky and leash he always carries in his car and headed toward Shep.
"I pulled over and tried to get him," Lugo said. "He sort of saw me and ran into the woods. I followed him through the woods a little bit, but he just kept on going."
Lugo called Dahl and left a message letting her know where he spotted Shep.
"He's really close to you," he told her. "It seems like he's heading back to your house; he's within five miles now."
Dahl got Lugo's message after returning home from her daily South Austin search.
"I had a feeling: `I know this dog is coming home tonight,'" Dahl said. She left the fence gate open and went to bed.
At 2 a.m. Sept. 16 , Shep's distinctive bark rang out at the back door.
"He walked in like nothing's happened, like he'd been outside on a normal day," Dahl said. She fed Shep, who had lost about 5 pounds during his journey, and he went straight to sleep, she said.
Dahl wrote an e-mail telling everyone of Shep's return. "Oh what a beautiful morning!" she wrote.
A week after Shep's return, Dahl said it has become clear the journey changed him.
"He's more self-assured in a new, aloof kind of way, and a little more open to strangers," she said. "He seems to have grown up and knows it."


So, she removes this dog from the only pack he has ever known, consisting of TWO OTHER DOGS HE HAS BONDED WITH, because she believes he needs more people to dote on him?

If I were Shep, when I walked in the kitchen, I would have pissed on her leg and said "Thanks for nothin'. Now, where's my wife and best friend, the other 2 dogs?"
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 2,681 • Replies: 18
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 07:27 am
Yeah, I agree.


Quite a tale about his making it back, though.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 07:48 am
@ossobuco,
dogs are cool.

people, not always so much.
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 07:55 am
@chai2,
Yeah, if I were Shep I'd have been ticked. It might have been different if Shep was unhappy where he was but he didn't seem to be. Some people just don't understand animals have real feelings. They miss out on so much because of it. I'm glad Shep is back where he wants to be.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 08:28 am
I think there must be more to the story.

A lot of people are having to get rid of their pets because they simply can't afford to feed them. Maybe she had to cut a dog from her pack and the last to come was the first to go. In that case, by finding a new home for the dog instead of taking it to a shelter she was doing a good thing.

Or, maybe she got sick or hurt. I have a three year old half border collie and he is amazingly energetic. He needs lots of exercise at the minimum of once a day. I could see that as a reason that she might have had to find a new home for the dog.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 09:29 am
@boomerang,
Well, it would have been no shame to tell the newspaper she couldn't afford the dog anymore, or that it was more energetic than she could handle.

What? She was embarrassed to say she couldn't handle/afford the dog, but willing to say she didn't consider the animals feelings, and was treating him like an inanimate object? Then was willing to make 1500 phone calls to find him?

Shep make his voice heard in any event.

I say "Shep for President!"

Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 10:14 am
@chai2,
I second that! Shep for President!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 10:46 am
There is a very good book which people here might enjoy, entitled The Hidden Life of Dogs, by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Miss Thomas is known to the academic world as an ethnologist, and is already a published novelist. I think any of you would be entertained by this book.

There was one poignant passage about the pugs. One female just pestered one of the males constantly, and he would behave as though he couldn't stand to have her around. Then she fell ill, and had to be taken to the vet. They tried, but they couldn't save her, and after several weeks, she died. The male pug at home became more and more anxious waiting for her to come home, for all that he had previously acted as though he couldn't stand her. Eventually, he seemed to realize that she wasn't coming back, and all the joy went out of his life. I don't recall this for certain, but i believe he then wasted away and died himself.

That's not the central theme of the book, so i haven't spoiled it for you. I highly recommend this book.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 11:01 am
I don't know what motivated her to give Shep away, but she said on the way home she regretted it. And, you have to admit, she moved heaven and earth to find him. It's not like she didn't care about the dog. I think we need more insight into what was going on - I know what she said, but that may not have been all there was to it. You have to give her credit for her response when she found out.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 11:09 am
@Mame,
True, Mame.


Set, I think I remember about that book, but never read it. Thanks for the reminder.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 11:10 am
Ta . . .
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 11:45 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

I don't know what motivated her to give Shep away, but she said on the way home she regretted it. And, you have to admit, she moved heaven and earth to find him. It's not like she didn't care about the dog. I think we need more insight into what was going on - I know what she said, but that may not have been all there was to it. You have to give her credit for her response when she found out.


Mame, I not directing this at you at all, and it isn't even about the dog. It's just an observation.

I have noticied that when someone relates a story, posts an article, etc. in which a person states why they did something the following occurs...
People start posting that they don't know why the person did what they did, said what they said, there must be more to it, etc.

HOWEVER...

When someone relates a story, posts an article, and questions why a person did what they did, the following occurs...
People start posting that they have to assume that since the person stated why they did something, that must be the reason.

damned if you do, damned if you don't

I notice the same thing is going on in the passive agressive thread...."well, maybe the person does that because....", but if it was a thread with a different flavor, the same people who be saying something differnt.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 12:10 pm
I just put the book on my amazon wish list (whether I get a book there or not, I like to have the list somewhere other than my own computer) and saw Elizabeth Marshal Thomas has another book, The Social Lives of Dogs -
http://www.amazon.com/Social-Lives-Elizabeth-Marshall-Thomas/dp/0743422368/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285265306&sr=1-3
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 12:13 pm
@ossobuco,
Thanks . . . i'll check that out . . .
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 02:59 pm
@chai2,
Sometimes people post things from the news, everyone chimes in with their opinion, and then we find out there's more to the story, more which can affect our opinion.

Personally, in this case, I don't think she was a bad woman. She took that dog in so it wouldn't get euthanized. She already had two dogs. She kept it for 3.5 years. For SOME REASON she gave it to the McKeon family. She regretted it within minutes, and then made huge efforts to find it when it ran off. So, she wasn't a bad woman and I don't think she deserves to be tarred and feathered. Because she's not a bad woman, I also think there must be some reasonable explanation.

That's what I'm saying. She sounds like a decent person. So I'm not ready to hang her. That's all.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 07:04 pm
I didn't say anything about tar and feathering her.

I said if I were Shep, I'd piss on her leg.

That's the only way I'd have to show her what I had to say.

If I were Shep and could speak, I'd ask her why she thought it was ok to take me away from 2 of my own kind. And why she thought I needed 4 extra humans to dote on me, when I was really happy with my 4 legged pack.

If she said that wasn't the whole reason, I'd asked her why that was what she told the newspaper.

Then I'd piss on her leg.

After that, we'd be cool with each other again, although I'd think twice about getting in a car with her.
I'd be a border collie, and smart.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 09:16 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
I have noticied that when someone relates a story, posts an article, etc. in which a person states why they did something the following occurs...
People start posting that they don't know why the person did what they did, said what they said, there must be more to it, etc.


Because we know that journalist and/or their editors often leave out pertinent information. Especially in human interest stories.

Because we know that people aren't always honest about their motivations.

Because we know that people don't like to admit their "faults" (like poverty or illness).

It isn't all that hard to read between the lines.

It's like when they interview Jeffery Dahmer's neighbors and they all say "he seemed like such a nice guy".



ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Sep, 2010 09:28 pm
@boomerang,
Who knows any of us. I can imagine being the woman to let the dog go, especially given to someone she knew and I take the dog knew.

This might have been doltish re the dog but was not meant ill, I'm sure.

I've never let a dog go, but then I'm crazy. Or, maybe I would.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Sep, 2010 05:18 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Quote:
I have noticied that when someone relates a story, posts an article, etc. in which a person states why they did something the following occurs...
People start posting that they don't know why the person did what they did, said what they said, there must be more to it, etc.


Because we know that journalist and/or their editors often leave out pertinent information. Especially in human interest stories.

Because we know that people aren't always honest about their motivations.

Because we know that people don't like to admit their "faults" (like poverty or illness).

It isn't all that hard to read between the lines.

It's like when they interview Jeffery Dahmer's neighbors and they all say "he seemed like such a nice guy".


....and include the REST of my post in your quote boomer, and you'll get the full meaning of what I was saying...

HOWEVER...

When someone relates a story, posts an article, and questions why a person did what they did, the following occurs...
People start posting that they have to assume that since the person stated why they did something, that must be the reason.

damned if you do, damned if you don't

I notice the same thing is going on in the passive agressive thread...."well, maybe the person does that because....", but if it was a thread with a different flavor, the same people who be saying something differnt.



That's something I also notice people do....they extract the part of the quote that supports one aspect, but leave out the part that changes the meaning.

What you did boomer, is pretty much exactly what I was talking about.
You damned me by a partial quote.

I'm pretty sure I've heard you say pretty much that you have to assume what a person is saying is what they meant, when someone else comes along looking for other meanings.
0 Replies
 
 

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