Sunday, September 13, 2009

supply drive: D9 needs a kennel!

I have always strongly believed that sheltering/kenneling rescue dogs is not conducive to finding them new, wonderful forever homes. I am now more convinced of that than ever. I have been telling myself (and everyone else) that I can't take in any additional dogs unless I have foster homes lined up for them. I think it's very important to get the dogs into loving home environments where they can learn manners, socialize, and discover the life they always deserved in the first place.

That's all well and good, but unfortunately, it has become increasingly apparent that I don't really get to choose when I take in a new dog; it just happens. Slim and Mia were dumped with me; we found The Lady Motley thinking she was lost, only to discover she had been abandoned. These are all dogs I just "wound up" with, and clearly I have a duty to take care of them, even though I'm plum out of fosters.

Happily, Mia and Lady have both found fosters. But Slim remains at the vet, and honestly I don't think I could hope for anyone to take him right now: this is a young, healthy retriever who has been kenneled for three weeks. He has ENERGY! He wants to PLAY! Like so many sheltered/kenneled dogs, he's accumulated so much pent up energy, he's almost uncontrollable. I need to get him out of there, but there's no foster in sight.

I am going to bring Slim home and kennel him. Obviously this is not ideal, but my house is very full with four large rescues (one of whom is somewhat picky about his canine company). I literally have no space for an extra crate. But I do have a very large yard. I am planning to acquire a crate, shade cloth, and some sort of dog house and Slim will stay there while I'm not home to supervise, and while I am home, he can run and play with me and my dogs, like he should be able to. He can go for longer walks with me, and we can start working on his manners, his leash training, and his house training. It's not perfect, and it's not a long-term solution, but I need to start socializing him and working with him so that I can then find him a long-term foster or a forever home. At my house, Slim will get what every young, healthy dog needs: lots of exercise, a chance to stretch his legs, time in the house learning about the joys of the couch, and training.

In the future, after Slim has moved out and on to a regular foster situation or a permanent, loving home, I will use the kennel for other "emergency" or short-term needs. If I am forced to take a dog outside of the vet's business hours, I can keep him/her separated from the other dogs until he's vetted and deemed non-contagious; and if I end up in a situation like I am with Slim, I'll have an option that's better than 24/7 kenneling. No dog who is sheltered or kenneled long term gets the sort of interaction and exercise a dog really needs to be healthy. So I need to make sure these situations don't arise in the future.

So, all of this is to say: I need supplies! If anyone has a big outdoor kennel (I'm talking about one of those chain link "dog run" type things) that they'd be willing to part with for $100 or less, I'll take it! I'd also gratefully accept donations towards the kennel at I can contribute some funds of my own, but every little bit helps!

I also need:
  • a dog house of some sort (large)
  • a large sheet of vinyl flooring (which I'm going to use to deter digging out)
  • a large sheet of shade cloth
  • a big bucket to ensure plenty of water is available
  • TOYS to occupy a bored young dog during the times I'm away
  • a dog bed (one of the plastic, elevated kinds that you can keep outside)
Please let me know if you can donate any of these items. Thanks!

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