16 year old owner surrender. Who does that ?
It’s tempting to leave it at that question with all the disdain and judgement it conjures up. In our ‘holier than thou’ minds we see some callous Scrooge like character gather this bundle of tired bones and drop it on the shelter doorstep, no backward glance to meet the brown eyes, somewhat clouded, that greeted him with devotion at the door the past 16 years.
It’s quite possible. It happens all the time. Legs start to buckle. Fatty old-age benign tumors develop beneath the skin. Visions of death and dying and all the anguish, vet bills, smells and troubles that goes with old age can cloud even the most steadfast pet owner’s thoughts causing him to act with a fear based mentality.
It’s also possible that the situation is just inherently tragic. The owner died. The owner went into hospice care. A worker at the shelter told me a story this morning of a couple who spent two hours sitting on the floor of the shelter saying goodbye to their dog. The woman was very ill and would soon be hospitalized. They were staying with her parents who would not take the dog. They had tried living in their car in order to keep their dog but the woman’s medical issues made that impossible. They left the dog in the shelter as a last heart-breaking resort. A nondescript medium sized brown dog in a sea of similar misfortune. Two months later a family with three children visited the shelter and fell in love with this medium sized brown dog. This story has a happy ending. Many don’t.
In the end the dog is surrendered. The deed is done. Whether done with a closed heart or a broken one it doesn’t really matter.
The question remains, what are you going to do about it?