It’s been a year of milestones including (in chronological order) – losing my job, losing my Dad, getting married, losing a dog, changing my career, turning 50 and a family member experiencing a sudden medical emergency with an initially grave prognosis (she’s much better now, thankfully). Naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot of thinks – about what I’ve achieved, what I haven’t, what I need to let go of, what I can still reasonably hope for, etc. So I’ve decided to get a sportscar and a mistress.
I’ve always hoped to have a small beagle sanctuary (small as in number of dogs and small as in size of beagle). My idea is to get the word out locally that, assuming I have space and resources, I could provide an alternative for beagle owners considering taking their dog to the pound. I am not looking to buy dogs or adopt dogs who have other people willing to provide them homes. Rather, I’d like to be a last resort safety net for beagles whose owners can no longer care for them for whatever reason and haven’t found a home for them for whatever reason. Due to the popularity of the breed here, there are dogs who, for example, have been hunted and/or bred but received little vet care over the course of their lives. When they become too old, lame, what have you, the owner might consider taking the dog to a pound. Another example – dogs who are gun shy, won’t hunt, won’t stay with the pack, etc. Basically if you have no home for your small beagle and are planning to take him to the pound, I’d like to provide my home as an alternative.
I have the heart and the mind to do the work and, having owned several beagles over the years, no illusions about what would be involved. (Baying? It’s music to my ears!) And our house is in a semi-rural setting with sufficient space to readily accommodate a group of beagles. I’ve accumulated a fair amount of supplies over the years (plenty of bowls, buckets and basic dog stuff-n-things). So what’s stopping me?
Well, not to put too fine a point on it but DOLLARS. Money can’t buy me love but it can buy vet care and meds, food (which I still make 100% from scratch), Kuranda beds and replacement supplies for items which wear out (blankies, collars, toys) etc. I’ve never been in a position to properly fund a beagle sanctuary and so for years, it’s been back-burnered, waiting on my ship to come in. This is the year I have come to realize and accept: there is no ship.
I know many readers are rescuers, some official with a name and a designation from the IRS as a charitable organization, others simply taking in an animal in need now and then, whenever they are able. And I know we all appreciate that most rescues and sanctuaries are in constant need of donations. Only scam organizations like the Humane Society of the United States are paying people six figure salaries. Most of the grunt work in the rescue world is done by – well, us grunts.
I have always valued the input I’ve received from the YesBiscuit community so I’d like to ask for your guidance now. Should I go with my heart and try to manage a small beagle sanctuary, even if I start with just one dog and never have the means to progress or would it be sensible to let go of this dream and move on?
(Sidenote: For those interested, I do not know when, if ever, I will return to blogging about animals being killed in shelters. I do not feel able to do that at this time. I have maintained the blog because I appreciate the community here and because I would like to write more consistently one day. Possibly, if I do go with the beagle sanctuary, I may blog about that. You know, as an inspiration/horrible warning to others.)