Mar 03, 2010 - 7 Comments - Off Topic -

It Must be Hard Being Righteous All the Time

I’ve been silently following an argument about the lack of support in the shiba rescue community. The main point is, there seems to be a lot of shiba owners, but not enough shiba rescuers.

The thing is, a lot of pet owners are not interested in helping out homeless animals. Everyone have seen the sad SPCA commercials and take pity on the animals on the screen, but nothing more. Should we expect pet owners to step up and give a lending hand to those in need?

From the recent shiba meetup I went to, there was a very contrast group of members. There was families, couples, friends, and potential owners. Everyone leads very different lives, are in different situations and the only connection that brings everyone together is the love for our dogs.

I would never judge someone for not doing charity work. I’ve never been a big fan of volunteering at soup kitchens or hospitals. Is it right for someone to tell me off because I am not being generous enough with my time or my money and I am not helping out with their cause?

Also, not everyone is fit for volunteer work. There are people who cannot bear to see the sight of a dog who may not be there tomorrow. There are people who care too much and have to help every dog. There are people who cannot foster due to financial, living, and/or work obligations. Out of the three I mentioned, I am very much in the third category.

Here’s my situation:

Financially, I am pretty much at the end of the stick. I am counting every penny I am spending and there are saving goals I want to meet. I will be getting a very big increase in expenses soon and I do not want to wonder if I will have enough money each month. I want to achieve financial stability and volunteering doesn’t only take up your time, but gas and money.

I’m in limbo in regards to the living situation. I will make an announcement on it pretty soon but I’ll explain more about my current lifestyle in the next paragraph.

Though I work a ‘9-5’ job, I have sporadic days where it can turn from an 8 hour day to 10 or more. It takes me an hour to go to work and back. This makes 12 hours of not seeing my dog. Don’t worry, my dad takes her to work with him and does all the potty duties (hehe I said duty). I would never put the burden of another possibly unstable foster dog on him. I also know, he is not the greatest with proper training. You ought to hear all the fantastic tales of Pongy’s adventures out in the wild..

By the way, fostering isn’t just sticking the dog with your dog. You don’t just cross your fingers and hope that your obnoxious dog will only teach the foster the ‘good stuff’ and none of the ‘peeing-on-the-carpet’ stuff. Other than time you are willing to put in, you will get frustrated and annoyed. As a dog owner, I am sure you already know the obligations of looking after your own dog. You can’t go out for long periods of time unless there’s someone to check up on your dog. Imagine having a completely new dog in your house by him/her-self and the amount of destroyed furniture that will be waiting for you. Also, some rescues don’t pay for vet fees or that night where your foster ate some unmarked pills emergency fees. If they do, you still have to front the money first. For someone with a tight budget, 500 dollars is not money you can just throw down at a moment’s notice.

I am not trying to discourage people from fostering. I truly think it would be a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, it is not something you should jump into because you ‘want to feel good’ about yourself. It’s like owning a dog, except you can’t dump a foster on Craigslist. Isn’t the reason of fostering is to keep them off the streets?

So am I perfect foster candidate? Hells no. Am I even a good dog owner for my dog? Heh, let’s not even talk about that.

What are my options to help out if I cannot foster? Transport runs, monetary donations, and any other help that rescues need.

The thing is, all of the above usually takes up time. I feel that time is just one thing I cannot spare. I want to enjoy life and I hate to say it but the stress of fostering doesn’t seem to outweigh the benefits for me right now. Maybe in about 5 years, I will be more stable and have less of an entitlement attitude. Maybe I will arrive at that conclusion sooner. Who knows.

However, I will follow through on my ‘new year resolutions’. I will pick up pet transport runs again and continue to work on my web project in regards to it (thanks for reminding me Ting!). I will set aside money (very measly I am afraid) to donate to a shiba rescue. I will get involved in a shiba rescue, regardless of the fact that I feel that I will be an extremely flaky member.

So maybe the original poster got the point across. By saying some extreme words, the lurkers such as myself are riled up. Touche.

7 Responses to It Must be Hard Being Righteous All the Time

  1. Mongoose

    I’m with you. I couldn’t foster a dog if I wanted to; I just don’t have enough time or money to bring a problem dog into my home. Besides, Tinky-Winky and I are monogamous. I couldn’t imagine bringing a second dog into our lives.

    Second, I don’t help rescue organizations because honestly, I believe people are more important than dogs. When I donate my money it goes to people in genuine need, not to dogs. What others do with their money is up to them, but that’s the choice I’m making.

    3 Mar 2010 - Reply
    • Jenny

      Exactly. People can choose to do what they want with what they have.

      3 Mar 2010 - Reply
  2. Jen

    Interesting post.

    Rescue volunteerism is hard, fostering is harder… and with the uncertainty in my own personal economic situation… it made both even harder.

    So, I agree. You do what you feel you should or could. The fact that you want to help at all speaks volumes for your character (if that matters at all!) and Pong is a lucky dog.

    3 Mar 2010 - Reply
    • Jenny

      I don’t know how you do it Jen! I’m barely starting out in the ‘real world’ and I am exhausted.

      3 Mar 2010 - Reply
      • Jen

        Well I’m not doing it now, because three dogs is my general limit (not saying I haven’t done 4, but I prefer to limit myself at 3!!) but I’m so grateful for the chance to be raising a rescue puppy again! I feel guilty about not fostering, but I love what we’re doing with the new pup and our two shibas.

        In the ‘real world’, you have to look out for yourself, family and your dog(s) first. Just like you are doing, prioritizing. Everything else you can do in rescue is a bonus, but never let your family unit suffer because of it. Thats why I’ve had to let otherwise great dogs go, I loved them, but they weren’t right for everyone in my family. And that’s why I can’t do as many transports as I’d like to, or foster for rescue groups – its just not a right fit for my family.

        While its more expensive, its less stressful overall for me, to foster independently (that is, I pull from the shelter and I find them a home). I can’t get into rescue organization mentality and personality. Righteous is a good word for it ;)

        But like I said, rescue work can be a goal for you – and just the fact that you give a damn enough to consider it is pretty awesome!

        5 Mar 2010 - Reply
  3. jenna

    Just a quick FYI – some rescue groups DO pay all vet costs WITHOUT you having to front the money first. NYCSR does.

    7 Jun 2010 - Reply

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