Bide-a-Wee, Concluded

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bide-a-Wee, Concluded

(Being the continuation of "Bide-a-Wee Boooo! Hssss!")

Jumping to Labor Day 1991, Florence (Mrs. Jim) Flood, a devout cat person but whose heart is open to anything with four feet, knew that I was a dog person.

"Can you look after a dog for us for the next day while we find the owner?" she asked. "We took her home last night but she's making my cats uncomfortable."

If anyone thought I was a pushover for the ladies Cooke and Huebner, when Flo brought in her latest rescue project, I rolled over on my back and let my belly get scratched!

It was a gorgeous 55-60 pound female Dober­man, about three years old, ears uncropped, tail undocked, more fawn-colored than black, slightly cross-eyed, and extremely well-kept.

A little under-sized for the breed, but she was a beauty!

"Someone's gotta be looking for her," I told Flo.

"I'm putting flyers up today," she said. "I'm sure we'll get a response right away. The owner must be worried sick!"

That "one night" quickly became 20 months as no one responded to Flo's "found dog" flyers.

"Gretch" (as I dubbed her) had been dumped, another four-legged end-of-Summer casualty.

Since she and my huge (120 pounds) Rotty-Pincher mix "Breed" became fast friends and proved endlessly entertaining together, I re­solved to keep her.

Gawd, how they played together! Whole heads disappeared into one another's mouths as they exuberantly rough housed, or chased the ruby dot of a laser-pointer around the living room!

I took her over to Aquebogue Animal Hospital where my old college classmate Gary Brown, DVM, not only pronounced her to be in tip-top shape, but after shaving her down, found the surgical scar on her nether region.

"That is a first class spaying operation!" he ad­vised. "They may have adandoned her, but she was well cared for while they had her."

Which made her appearance, with only a simple, unmarked leather collar, on the streets of Westhampton Beach all the more puzzling.

And while Florence never gave up hope of finding her owners, Gretch became a regular Chez Speir.

Some weeks later, someone wanted to know why I had Bo Bishop's dog Casey.

A HA! A clue!

Gretch and I tracked down Bo and presented ourselves.

He did a double-take as I explained things.

"Whoever told you that is right," he said. "She's definitely a ringer for Casey, but I just left her at home."

In brief colloquy, Bo revealed that Casey had been adopted out of... wait for it!... Bide-a-Wee as a puppy.

Double HA! Another clue!

I called the offices of Bide-a-Wee, explained the situation, and requested that they check their records and see if Bo's Casey was part of a litter.

"I'm sorry sir," the gal answering the 'phone said. "We can't give out that information."

"Look," I explained. "We're simply trying to learn if the abandoned dog we rescued might be part of one of your litters."

"I'm sorry sir," the gal repeated. "We can't give out that information."

I took a deep breath, and tried anew.

"Wouldn't Bide-a-Wee be interested to learn if one of the dogs they'd adopted out had been an end-of-Summer dump?"

"I'm sorry sir," etc., so I discontinued the con­versation as I don't do well with automatons.

(It was like talking to Hank Tucker, pull­ing the ring-on-a-string out of his neck.)

I dropped a brief note to Buffy Cooke, hoping that she could help with the impasse, but I never heard back from her.

From that point forward, Bide-a-Wee has been marked lousy in my book.

In Spring 1993 when I had to reluctantly put Gretch up for adoption... she was just too needy and would bark for the entire time she had to be left alone... it was ARF I contacted, and who got the donation.

And furthermore...

While this is Jeanne's deal, not mine, when she enrolled her puppy-boy Rosco in Bide-a-Wee's Dog Park, he came home with fleas!


1. Ray Overton said...

Its sad that you had such a bad experience with Bide-A-Wee. But I am sure there are others like me, whose experience was just the opposite. I adopted my first dog, a purebred Samoyed, from Bide-A-Wee about 20 years ago. My family had previously adopted a mixed breed terrier from Bide-A-Wee shortly before that. In both cases, our experiences with the staff were excellent. I thought their application process was a bit much, but when you consider the consequences of a poor match of dog and owner, I believe they are really just doing their due diligence. A good part of their dogs come from people who did not do their homework on the breed. In my case, the prior owner of my Samoyed did not understand the amount of care it took for a dog with that thick white coat. The Bide-A-Wee folks made certain I was aware of the various traits of the breed before allowing me to adopt her.

One thing I would like to point out (something that I hope is obvious to everyone, but I am not certain) is that the comparison between the adopting a dog from Bide A Wee being more difficult than adopting a child is a tremendous exaggeration. As someone who has done both, I can assure anyone reading this blog that the two are not even close. Too bad there wasn't such a difficult screening process when you were either a) having a child of your own, or b) purchasing your pets. If they were in place for those cases, we would have fewer pets up for adoption and much fewer abused and neglected children in both the foster care and adoption networks.

Hyperbole? Perhaps, but "a tremendous exaggeration?" Not so.

But the rest of your comment, Ray, makes Bide-a-Wee's reluctance intransigence in helping with l'affaire Gretch that much harder to understand.

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