The Responsibility of Animal Ownership

Stray border collie pup

If you are not interested in or capable of being a responsible animal owner, then don’t get an animal. Of any kind. Not even a fish.

I have spent the last week caring for a stray dog. I think he’s been dumped. I’d love to be wrong about that, and if I am, then this post is for all the other animals that get dumped.

This little border collie guy is sweet. He’s super friendly. Almost too friendly for my need-my-space nature. Housebroken. Neutered. Intelligent. Chocolate-brown eyes. He’s been somebody’s dog at some point, and it hurt my heart to see his thin little body parked on my porch 10 days ago.

But this afternoon, I have to take him to the animal shelter. We scoured the neighborhood, trying to find his people. I posted him online. I tapped my network of hundreds of people in hopes of finding him a forever home. I just ran into the local vet this morning to see if she recognized him.

No luck.

I hate that I have to take him to the shelter, but I can’t keep him. I live on a purebred Black Angus cattle ranch. Every single calf and mama are brought right up my driveway to the calving barn, and we’re just tipping off the long season of calving. As sweet as this border collie pup is, he’s terrible around the cattle. Barking, chasing, the works.

To intensify matters, he gets in cahoots with my two and a half year old border collie, Doc, which really makes the house of cards fall into a pile. Plus this pup won’t stay in Doc’s pen. Having the two of them together this past week has been a trial, and I’ve watched two and a half years of training start to slip through my fingers in the space of 10 days.

I am thoroughly disgusted right now. Mad that this dog was dumped. Sad that I can’t find an owner or a new forever home. Hating the thought of the trip I have to make this afternoon.

Animal ownership is a huge responsibility regardless of what type of animal it is. If you are considering the addition of a pet, please remember the responsibility that goes along with having a love-you-all-the-time member of the family.

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