Emma was left at the pound in Wytheville, Virginia, sometime in late 2012 by a female owner. Oddly enough, in November of last year a male Norwegian Elkhound that looked to be purebred was also picked up in Wythe county by animal control. That's what Emma is, from all indications, a purebred Norwegian Elkhound. She has beautiful conformation, lovely manners and personality, but she has a white spot on her chest and a brown undercoat, both traits that disqualify her with the American Kennel Club standard. She is also a bit too small to meet the standard. I suspect that a backyard breeder who didn't know what to look for bought her for breeding, and then discovered that she would not produce high dollar puppies because she passed on the faults. Emma had at least one litter of puppies before she was turned in to animal control.
I can't quite imagine how anyone could drop such a wonderful dog at the pound. The only justification I can come up with is that the owner was aware of how dedicated the volunteers are there in working to save the dogs, and because Emma, then known as Daisy, was such a beautiful animal that surely someone would want her. The minimal effort it would have taken to place her by the owner, though, would have meant assurance that she had a good home. I have to wonder what happened to the puppies that this person who defaulted on her responsibility to Daisy had to find homes for.
|Not sure what the future holds|
Daisy went home with the young people and they renamed her Elsie. Being conscientious dog owners, they immediately had her vetted, spayed and got all her shots and then brought her home to their Basset Hound/Beagle mix. This dog and Elsie did not get along. Phoenix was a good dog and had been a great companion to his owners, but he and Elsie brought out the worst in each other. Although they made an effort to work with the two dogs, it soon became clear that Elsie and Phoenix were clashing and making everyone in the household unhappy. The young owners contacted the Wythe shelter volunteers, who were aware of my interest in Elsie and the loss of Tess. When they got in touch with me, I agreed to take Lily and meet Elsie to see if Lily would accept an adult female dog. The meeting went well and a week later Elsie came home with me.
|Emma, home at last|
I am Emma's third owner in her short life of 18 months or so. It isn't her fault that she has been bounced around a bit, but her life story is one that is repeated constantly in this country every day, and very often ends tragically in a shelter or on a roadside. Emma is beautiful and it was very little work to get her to fit into our little family (although we're still working on her feelings about the cat) so I feel like she would have wound up in a good home no matter what. But dogs require work, and time, and money. In my search for a new companion I've seen all sorts of excuses that people put forth to explain why they are giving up their dogs, but they all boil down to a lack of commitment and awareness that a dog would need more than they are willing or able to give.
If you want a dog make sure it's for the right reasons, that you have the time and money to invest in taking proper care of her and that you plan to spay or neuter unless you are a knowledgeable breeder. The right reasons of course can vary; every dog needs a job and being your loyal companion is the best job available. And when you are searching for a wonderful companion, check the rescues and shelters first. You would be surprised to see how many purebred dogs wind up dumped and unwanted. Not every dog that ends up in the pound will turn out to be a delightful companion, but far more good dogs are there than bad ones. Give a good dog from the pound a second chance, mutt or aristocrat, and you may find a hidden treasure.
What I'm spinning: Greenberry House hand dyed and hand carded Corriedale and alpaca blend. Singles done and getting ready to ply.
What I'm knitting: Garden Pond by Patricia Clift Martin in Fortissima Socka
What I'm crocheting: it's all hibernating
What I'm reading: Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais; Vindication by Lyndall Gordon.
Current sounds & sights for spinning along: Robin Hood on Netlfix
How the diet is going: Walking an hour in the morning with Emma and a half hour in the afternoon. Cutting back on sweets and not craving sodas anymore!