DEAR DIARY,

Dear Diary,

I haven’t written for a while because it’s been a hard few weeks. On top of all the regular stuff, the snow is so high the dogs are simply walking over the fence these days. One more task – shovel and/or chase.

We have a lot of dogs right now, which is good because it means we have saved a lot of lives, but our foster homes are full and we are at our limit.  There are nine dogs living in the house with us and while that’s happened before this time is different. Two are long-term care and one is most likely palliative care – again.

One of the dogs in foster care is eight years old and I guess people consider that aged because we haven’t had much interest in him. Where he is now, we have to pay a dog walker each day and that will soon become overly expensive. Two other dogs in foster care have been so traumatized by their life experiences that it will take a long time to love them better. There is a dog from Attawapiskat that is now in foster care in Timmins. He was attacked by a pack of dogs and his injuries will need time to heal. We have one pup and she came to us on Valentine’s day. She is the only surviving pup out of a litter of five and she is just four weeks old.

Taking care of the dogs isn’t what gets me down though dear diary. We do our best to manage but it is people that make some days harder than others. A card I created to raise money for a dog in need was posted on the Attawapiskat Facebook page and the handful of comments were unkind, unfair and without thought. The same woman in Fort Albany popped up and used things to her advantage and to the detriment of the dogs yet again. She claims we are taking dogs out of the northern communities and selling them for “high prices”. How can someone be so mathematically challenged as to not understand that we pay to fly the dogs out, transport them south to Muskoka, vet and care for them until we place them and receive an adoption fee of $350. The rescue she is affiliated with in Barrie charges the same but doesn’t deal with the far north communities and certainly doesn’t take the number of sick and injured dogs as we do. Someone else said we should be rehoming the dog and not using her to make money. Don’t really know what to make of that comment as it would mean placing a dog with broken and infected teeth, a skin condition caused by malnutrition and a rare and unusual tape worm. Her vet bills to date are $2,230 and we haven’t had her spayed yet. I don’t understand why people, so often, cause unnecessary harm. It is all quite disheartening.

We are at a standstill and without more fosters we can’t take anymore dogs. Many people don’t want to foster because they fear the emotions of loving a dog just to let it go. I understand that but I don’t accept it when the alternative is so grim. All too often, when a rescue can’t take a dog, the dog suffers or at worst, dies. I know how hard it is but the dogs are worth it.

Must be the time of year that is making me feel discouraged. I ache in too many places, I need my eyes checked and I cancelled my knee surgery. I should be planning a spring fundraiser but my creativity isn’t flowing. Maybe I should hold a contest for ideas.

For fourteen years, we have overcome though and I am sure we will again. The snow will melt and the dogs will be contained once again, dogs will be placed to make room for others and who knows, people may change.  Thanks for listening dear diary and I will write again soon. S.