Letter writer: A letter from Fido

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Hello family,

This is old Fido, writing from the fear and discomfort and relentless frustration of instinct of my life now, in a little cage at the incredibly stressful and incessantly noisy and confusing no-kill shelter.

Would that I had gone deaf and not just incontinent in my old age, I wouldn’t mind quite as much, but alas, ’twas not to be. I just grew old and frail and useless, precious little joy for you from my company, just work and expense — vet bills, pee pads, doggy diapers, ruined carpets, paper towels and enzyme cleaners.

I don’t like the food here. When you unceremoniously dumped me off the other day, you failed to mention my preferences to the guards, I mean kind strangers, I mean my new guardians.

I hope the little human who pulled my tail so hard and painfully that I growled is fine, and does not feel bad for me, or confused by my sudden absence from the family. Would that you may have considered training the child to not pull my tail so hard, or better yet, at all.

The strain of my body has grown heavy as my heart now is; the light of my spirit has grown dim, and here in this prison, I mean shelter, dimmer still. I overhear them talking about me. They say I am not adoption material. Who would sign up for the financial responsibility and care requirements of an old sick dog such as myself?

There is a thread of hope to which I cling, a dream — that some kind soul in the foster program will take pity on me and take me home with them — O home, people I know and trust, the comforts and safety, the familiar smells — how my old tail wagged when you came in, oh, but I digress.

So yes, it is possible, possible. I hear them say I am a strain on the foster system, which is intended for homeless animals (oh right, that’s me now). That precious few are willing to take hospice dogs (that’s me now).

I thought my humans would be more humane. I would rather have been peacefully released from this failing body in the comfort of my own home. Or, as a second less expensive choice, in the company of my trusted family at the vet’s office. I thought my forever family would have had more loyalty, courtesy and cojones to see me through to the end. ‘Twas not to be.

Languishing and lovelorn (and feverishly stressed out)
and still with affection (every time the door opens I am hopeful, I look for you),

Your faithful friend and good pup (remember when?)

— Fido (please come back)
via Dawn Eareckson



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5 thoughts on “Letter writer: A letter from Fido

  1. Big Al

    I used to frequent the Asheville shelter hoping to find a rescue dog that would knock me off the fence to adopt, but the shrillness of the barking within those confined spaces drives me all but running out the door. I admire what the shelter stands for and don’t know what can be done, but I share “Fido’s” anxiety.

    • Sasha

      Wow, really? If you think it’s bad being in there for a few minutes, imagine how stressful it is for the dogs that have been abandoned and are forced to live there. Could you be any more dense?

    • I wonder if the author is referencing a particular shelter. If so, Brother Wolf gets my nomination. While BW started out with good intentions, the conditions at their shelter have continued to deteriorate. I was there this weekend and was appalled at the overcrowding, noise, smell and poor general conditions their rescue dogs are subjected to. Most of the dogs were depressed and many were in crates that were way too small for them. Many of the “un-adoptable” had blankets and barriers around their cages so they were not able to get much ventilation. There is a valid argument for quality of life over quantity. Additionally, their adoption rates are much higher than the other animal welfare organizations, leading to overcrowding and exceptionally long stays (we saw a dog that has been in these conditions there for two years now…). At any rate, I think it’s time for Brother Wolf to reevaluate their relationship to the hapless animals it serves.

  2. Lulz

    LOL, what do you expect when Fido is a victim of being an accessory. It’s as if people try an outdo each other with dogs, tattoos, which beer they drink and the things they consume. The old dogs get dropped off at the shelter when their owners tire of them. The tats are going to be an issue for many of the fools though. Especially in their old age with wrinkled skin LOL. So the old dog should consider that as karma in a way lulz.

  3. The Real World

    I don’t think I even understand the ultimate point Dawn is trying to make.
    — To beat up the former owners? Why? Unless you know the details related to the surrender then you should just be thankful they didn’t take the dog into the woods, chain it and leave it to die. Yes folks, in 21st century America, with all of our resources, people still do things like that. It’s horrendous.
    — Is she trying to appeal to a potential adopter? Well, with 30 years of sales and marketing under my belt, I say for sure — that was not the way to do it! People go to adopt life not adopt near death.

    Karen makes a very important point, “There is a valid argument for quality of life over quantity.” The shelter should take the high road and if a worthy adopter is not forthcoming in the next couple of months, then let the dog go peacefully. There is no good reason to make it endure a difficult environment for its’ age and frailties.

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