Hello everyone, and welcome to the blog of the Underhounds! Today, we are playing a game of cards. Today, I ask you to understand, and listen. I ask you to first, draw your queen (or king) of hearts card. I am honored to gather today over our deck of cards and your cups of coffee as you cuddle with your dog and read my blog.
I’m going to bring to your attention a harrowing issue we are dealing with here at Underhound: Adoptions are down, and we currently have 41 dogs in our care. To those of you that may not have a full understanding of what that looks like: That means that there are 41 “stand-still” spots for other dogs that we cannot save. 41 other dogs who are potentially facing euthanasia. 41 dogs who are being neglected on the streets. 41 dogs being scared in their homes, and counting the days down until they are dropped off at a high kill shelter, or tossed on the side of the road.
Now, this article is not meant to make you feel guilty, or sad, or to make despise human kind. My hope for today is to bring you awareness. Don’t get me wrong! I’d love to play the “you-should-adopt-a-dog” card because “adopt-don’t-shop-makes-you-a-better-person” card. The, “Why-the- %&*^- did-you-BUY-a-dog?!” card. Trust me; I’d love to be the woman who plays all of those cards. I am an adopter, myself. I am a foster. I work for Underhound Railroad. But I am also an educator. I try to be open-minded. I am a teacher. A social worker. A writer. And I believe there is a time and a place for people to preach and people to write, and people to educate, and people to understand, and listen. And play the open mind card.
When I speak with my friends, my family, and my co-workers, a statement I often hear in regards to fostering dogs is: “I wouldn’t be able to do it. I wouldn’t be able to let the dog go.” My reply is as follows: “If I can do it, anyone can.” And when I say this, I mean it with my whole heart. It is true that I let myself fall in love over and over again. It is not easy to let a dog go. But someone has got to pull their Queen of Hearts card out and let it get played. And I know that once I let a dog go, that is ONE more dog that Underhound can save. And when 40 of us do the same thing as me, that is FORTY dogs that are saved. This is selflessness. This a sacrificing a piece of yourself every time you say good bye. Adoption is selflessness also. A more permanent selflessness, if you will. You see this when the adopters feel sad “taking” the dog from you, after you’ve homed them, and loved them. You also see it when they, too, open their hearts and homes to a life-long commitment for that creature you so loved, that stood by your side for months. That is selflessness. Someone else has pulled their Queen or King of Hearts from the deck and played it. A foster’s Queen of Heart card? It is bent a little but it does not rip. You just stick it back in the deck and play it again soon. Why? Because there are 8 million dogs and cats that enter shelters in the US every year. More than HALF of them will not make it out alive (the Dog Rescuers site). That is why. And please, for those of you thinking about adoption, or fostering…reach out to us and talk with us. Do not jump into it because of the goodness of your hearts. (We know you have that, or you wouldn’t be on the Underhound blog right now)! But please. give it some consideration, first. It is a commitment, and nothing to take lightly. Thank you so much for listening to me today with your open mind. Please do think about pulling your Queen or King of Hearts from the deck and playing it with me. After you pull your card, check out our adoptables.