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When Things Sometimes Don't Go So Well

Updated on March 18, 2012

Life Isn't Always As It Seems


Looks Are Deceiving

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, life throws you a curve ball or two. Meet Boy Dog, on the left and Girl Dog, on the right. Cute, aren't they? They came to us as a result of my wife's desire to contribute to the attempt to help prevent "kill shelters" from destroying these beautiful animals.

This story begins and ends at Animal Compassion Network in Asheville, North Carolina. ACN and Brother Wolfe Animal Rescue, also of Asheville, are non-profit organizations. Like many others across the country, these groups rescue animals from other shelters that euthanize unclaimed pets, many after only 72 hours. These no kill organizations clean the animals up for adoption and find foster and permanent homes for them. That is another story into and of itself. (see the link below)

My misses, Sophia, just happens to be a nature lover and could no longer stand idly by while this practice continued. She got involved, trained and excited about the prospect of helping these animals find loving homes. The organization was fabulous. They provided medical care, food, toys and love to each animal that came their way. So, Boy Dog and Girl Dog came to us over the weekend. We would act as foster parents until they got adopted.

Look at their faces! How could anything go wrong? Right? Wrong! Boy Dog and Girl Dog exhibited abandonment issues almost immediately. (Apparently, when dogs are taken from their mother and pride prematurely they tend not to want to be left alone.) We understood that and acted accordingly, trying to provide love and attention in the appropriate amounts without adding to an already difficult time of re-acclimation to new environments. Both Sophia and I had been dog owners before and we currently provide safe haven for our two cats, Tigger and Sydney.

To make a long story short, Boy Dog and Girl Dog began to yelp almost uncontrollably once we left their presence, meaning just into another room. We knew they were just being puppies so we tried everything we knew and researched things we didn't know to come up with answers that would be beneficial for them and for us. Needless to say, nothing worked. The animals were only satisfied in our presence. Okay, so sleeping on the hard floor was okay for night 1 and maybe even 2, but the prospects of that going forward were dimming.

Adult Anatolian Shepard


A Down Day

Recognizing that we were unequipped to help these two dogs (more than likely a cross between German and Anatolian Shepard's) we succumbed to the disappointment of calling the agency back for the animals best interest as well as our own sanity. We didn't want to let the dogs or the agency down, but felt finding people more equipped than we were was in the animals best interest.

You may have already drawn your own conclusions about this story and/or of us, but this is my point as well as the point of this hub. People want to contribute to their communities in a positive way. Our intentions were certainly good. But sometimes, things just don't work out as planned and in the process one feels the anguish of failing. Both of us will recover, as will the dogs, who will eventually find the right fit for their temperament and personalities. ACN will insure that!

Yet, when things don't go right, even though you seemed to have done all you can, there are lessons in every situation, be it decisions made, acknowledgements about mistakes or by coming face to face with reality. In the moment, you do what you can, in retrospect you learn a lot about yourself. I know I did, and truthfully, sometimes that learning is hard and many times the learning brings back other memories of similar experiences. It did for me, and that too was hard.

Of this, I am certain. If we truly desire to do the commendable things, for ourselves and for others, our best intentions sometimes will go awry. It may be our fault or through no fault of our own we find ourselves in the school of life. In either case, the old adage applies, "it isn't what happens to us that's important, but it's what we do about what happens to us that matters." In this case, it broke our hearts to know that for this set of pups and for this particular scenario, returning them to find other foster parents meant, we failed.

Other opportunities to help will come and because of what we learned about ourselves here we will better be able to handle them. Sometimes, as in this case, even in middle age and with love and goodness in our hearts, trying to shake the ickiness of failure hurts!

Tomorrow's another day and "this too, shall pass."

Example of a no kill organization


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    • profile image

      Elisa Van Arnam 5 years ago

      you guys rock

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank you Mary!

      Thanks for fostering and rescuing too! We will try again later when our circumstances permit. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I greatly appreciate your continued support!



    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      As a dog lover, I really enjoyed reading this Hub. I have fostered and rescued so many doggies. Wish I could do more. You were not a failure, at least you tried!

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 5 years ago from Asheville NC

      @ Ruby H. Rose,

      Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I greatly appreciate it!

      @ Justateacher,

      Again, never just a teacher! Also good human being!!!

      Thanks for the comment!


      Thank you my friend, and I know you know! I have to admit sometimes I feel I've moved on so much I ought to own stock in Atlas Van Lines! LOL! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      @ Dee aka Nonna,

      They were adorable pups, Nona! And even though we only had them a few days, we're still going to miss that cuteness that is part of who they were. (As seen in the photo) I'm grateful you read it because I know you appreciate the honesty behind it!

      Thanks Nona!

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

      How very sad. Those little face are adorable. My oldest son adopted a dog that had been abused. He (dog) had a hard time warming up to people and would hide in a corner when people entered my son's home. On one trip when I visited for a couple of day...Bailey (dog) eyed me very cautiously before finally deciding I was OK. We developed a great friendship. He as a real sweetheart, everyone was heartbroken when he died.

      You and your wife are doing a wonderful thing. Good Luck to you and thanks for sharing this experience.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are so right; intentions and reality don't always mesh, but oh well! We move on, content with the fact that our intentions were good, were just got in the way, as it seems to do from time to time. Great hub!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I am glad that you and your wife tried to help these adorable puppies...I have rescued a few puppies and dogs in my life, as well. Like you said sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't...I was usually too stupid to realize my limitations and so spent many restless nights up with sad puppies...and usually ended up with new puppies because I could not bear to part with them...

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Very good to know, thanks