For the love of Dog – A postscript to Glazer’s story, by Marilynette Cox

After Glazer and Sara passed away in 2006, I would jot down notes of our adventures or of a particular habit or amusing thing they would do.

I did not want to forget what they were, what they meant, what they brought to our lives.  One day, I simply sat down and started writing and did not stop until it was pretty much done.  Just as I knew Glazer so well, I knew she would want to tell her own story.

Last One Together

Wanting another Boxer, I happened upon a brochure for a Boxer rescue organization. We applied, were accepted, and adopted our boy Skylar who was three at the time and is now twelve.  Seldom has God put a dog in the world any finer than Skylar.

I’m the type of person that when I go in, I go all in, and that was how it was with becoming a part of the dog rescue world.  Twelve to fourteen hours a day was not unheard of for me, and I never worked as hard at any paying job as I did for the rescue.  Everything from pulling dogs from shelters, taking them to their first vet appointment, settling them into their foster home, interviewing potential applicants, and the best day of all – Gotcha Day!  In rescue, 99.9% of the time, you have no clue when the dog was born so there can be no celebration of birthdays, so we celebrate their adoption day which we call Gotcha Day, ‘cause that was the day I gotcha for my very own.

As if my level of commitment was not enough for one family, I had to drag my husband into it as well. He became our bookkeeper and at the time of his retirement from rescue, was paying bills for an average of 90 dogs at any given time to 30+ partner veterinarians.

Boxer in shelterGiven my history in rescue, I can say with some degree of knowledge that there are probably between 200 to 250 homeless Boxers in the state of Florida at this moment, perhaps even more.  That is just one breed, in one state.  The rescue we worked with ran $200,000.00(+/-) through their books annually – a tremendous amount of suffering on the part of the dogs, and a tremendous amount of money that has to be raised to care for them.

There are probably five top quality Boxer breeders in the state of Florida, maybe even less than that, to tell the truth.  So where do these hundreds upon hundreds of Boxers come from every year?  They come from unregulated and unlicensed backyard breeders.  You’ve seen the signs tacked up on telephone poles – puppies for sale of every breed imaginable.  Hobby breeders they like to call themselves, people who will sell a puppy to anyone who waves cash in front of their noses.

And what about the other “elephant in the room”, the thousands upon thousands of dogs and cats that are euthanized every year at local shelters?  County animal shelters run the gamut from downright horrid to top quality, but one thing they all have in common is too many dogs, cats and horses.  And that is the biggest elephant in the room – the conversation about mandatory spay and neuter.  One thing is for certain, until we address these two issues, backyard breeding and mandatory spay and neuter, these countless hours of work and care and huge expenditures of money will never end.

dog-shelter

If you are thinking of adding a dog to your family, there are hundreds of breed specific rescue groups in Florida, from Afgan Hounds to Yorkies, and everything in between.  Consult with the omniscient Google for a rescue in your area.

If you are not adamant about wanting a specific breed there are just as many all-breed rescues that serve the Lake County area.  Again, Mr. Google can lead you in the right direction.

Our local animal shelter is Lake County Animal Services located in Astatula.  This is a high kill shelter which means that if the dogs and cats are not adopted within a specific time frame, they are euthanized.  So if you are a looking for a pet to share your life with and literally want to “save a life”, go to the shelter.  In addition to all these options, we also have the Humane Society of Lake County located in Dona Vista, the Leesburg Humane Society, and South Lake Animal League in Groveland.  Of course, they all have cats – lots and lots of cats too.

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I would like to thank all of you who took the time to read and follow the My Name is Glazer series.  I cannot imagine life that does not include at least one dog, preferably two, so when I first heard the following poem, I welled up with understanding tears and a tug at my heart.  It seems to be inspired by Paul Harvey’s famous narration of “So God Made A Farmer.”

MyNameIsGlazer1

So God Made A Dog

And on the 9th Day,

God looked down on his wide eyed children and said they need a companion,

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody to wake up and give kisses, pee on a tree, sleep all day, wake up again, give more kisses, and then stay up till midnight basking in the glow of the television set,

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody willing to sit, then stay, then roll over then with no ego or complaint dress in hats they do not need and costumes they do not understand. I need somebody who can break wind without a first thought or second thought. Who can chase tails, sniff crotches, fetch sticks and lift spirits with a lick. Somebody no matter what you didn’t do, or couldn’t take, or didn’t win, or couldn’t make will love you without judgment just the same,

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs, yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend all day on a couch with the resting head and supportive eyes to lift the spirits of a broken heart,

So God made a Dog

It had to be somebody who would remain patient and loyal even thru loneliness. Somebody to care, cuddle, snuggle and nuzzle, and cheer and charm and snore and slobber and eat the trash and chase the squirrels. Somebody who would bring a family together with selflessness of an open heart. Somebody who would bark, and then pant, and then reply with the rapid wag of tail when their best friend says lets go for a ride in the car,

So God made a Dog

God said I need somebody who would stand at your side when the world around you collapses. Somebody to lie next to you during the long nights of pain and sorrow when it hurts to move, or talk, or think, or be. Somebody to stand guard, play games, snore for hours, and repeat as needed. Somebody to give you strength when you have none of your own. Somebody to fight when you have no fight left, to hold onto your soul as if it were their favorite toy, playing tug of war to keep you in this world. Somebody to be your companion and guide in this world and the next. Somebody to wait for you on the other side or stand guard in your absence until they can join you for eternity,

So God made a Dog

(Author unknown – at least I cannot find it – even with Mr. Google)

Marilynette Cox, Guest Columnist