Okay, so I have this situation I'm trying to figure out how best to deal with. Back in June I got a chance to do something nice for someone, cos you know me, I like to do nice things for people whenever I can. This lady was trying to find someone to look after her dog, since at the time she had no job and she wasn't allowed to keep him at the place she was staying at. He was in a kennel for six months, but she was spending almost $600 a month for him to stay there, and pretty soon she couldn't keep up with the kennel costs. She had pretty much given up hope of ever being able to keep him, so she was going to have him put to sleep, until someone told her about me.
This was at the time I was trying to start my doggie daycare and boarding idea, and because I love animals, I offered to help her out, since she was all in tears about having to put her dog down. So we came up with an agreement that she would pay me $200 a month to foster him until however long it took for her to find a full time job, and a new place to live where she could keep him. At first she estimated it would be about five months or so, but now it seems to be going beyond that, and I’m getting a bit concerned, especially with my plans to move out in the summer time.
So I've had Calvin for the past six months, and at first things went smoothly, but now things are starting to get a bit tense in the house. Calvin is a really sweet dog, and is generally better mannered than my two boys are. But lately he's been getting way too excitable, and it tends to get my two all worked up. And of course it doesn't help that he's not neutered. He's been challenging the "pack hierarchy" in this house lately, which has been giving me cause for concern, because the last thing I need is to have to break up any real fights. Plus he's also kind of damaged any other chance I have to baby-sit any other dogs, since he's decided that anyone new coming into this house he doesn't like. I've been trying not to get frustrated with him, since he's a great dog on his own, but he's really testing my limitations now. He needs to get out of this house and be put somewhere where he doesn't have to compete against other animals, and he can have every bit of attention devoted to him only.
Which brings me to my really big problem: his owner. Now, on first meeting her, she seemed like a really nice older woman, but I've quickly realized just how unstable she is. O.o I've tried explaining the situation with her before, asking her why she doesn't just consider giving him up for adoption, since she hasn’t been able to take proper care of him for a year. But she refuses to give him up for any reason at all. She's the type of person who would rather put her dog to sleep than let anyone else have him. She's quoted, "He's mine, or he's no one's. I'd rather know that he's with God and waiting for me up in Heaven when my time comes, then we'll be together again."
Ahem. Not to sound rude, but... that is a load of bullshit. I have NEVER heard of anything so selfish in all my life! >.< So you'd rather kill your dog... the dog that you love SO much, because you don't want anyone else to give him a loving home and actually be able to take care of him? That makes no sense to me whatsoever. She argues that he misses her, and he's in pain and distress, and he can't bare the two of them being apart. And I've tried telling her... he's a dog! You can't place human thoughts and emotions onto an animal like that. How do you know what he's feeling? I mean yes, I'll agree with her that I'm sure he misses her. When she used to come and visit him once a week, he'd run to her and whine and bark and wag his tail and jump around all happy like. Of course! But to say that he's in such utter distress is ridiculous. There are dogs out there that develop anxiety disorders and whine and howl and chew at themselves and scratch and stuff. But he does none of these things. In fact he's adapted to the situations he's been in so well, being in a kennel for six months before he came here, and now being here for six months. He's a bit of an older dog yes, an eight-year-old Shep/Collie cross. But he has such a love for Life, he’s still got a good few years left in him! He’s a happy, healthy dog, who comes to you with a smile on his face and wags, and gives you kisses. And he plays, and he sleeps, and he romps around outside with the other dogs. He's clearly not shown any signs of distress. But she keeps on saying how, "He's in so much pain, I'd rather put him to sleep that keep us apart any longer." That just makes me so mad. >.<
And so now my plans to move out in June bring up the problem of trying to figure out what to do with Calvin. I doubt that his owner will have a job by then, seeing as how she's been looking for a year, and still hasn't found anything. In fact she still owes me for three months of boarding, and I'll probably never see any of that money. But it's not about the money, because she knows damn well that I'd keep him even if she didn't pay me, because I refuse to let him get put to sleep. But come June, I can't keep him anymore, because it's going to be hard enough to find a place where I can keep my own two dogs. So I've been trying to get in touch with her daughter, to see if she can help at all. I've been trying to get in touch with Calvin's owner, but she's still looking for work and is never able to stay on the phone long enough to have an actual conversation with. She hasn't paid a visit in almost two months, although her daughter came to take Calvin on a two-hour hike, and was also nice enough to chip in $40.
I just don't know what to do anymore though. I mean, by law I could claim the dog as my own, seeing as how I've had him for such a long amount of time. I could just take him by force and adopt him out to a loving home, but I'm afraid of what this woman could do if she got upset. She's already unstable enough as it is, and she could cause some sever problems if she wanted to, since we do have more animals in this house than we should. >.< So I have to be so careful with how I handle this. I don't want to get on her bad side, but on the other hand I have to do what's best for the animal. Right now, the only solution I can think of is trying to find someone else who would possibly foster him for free, since she has very little money to actually pay for him. But trying to find someone who will take care of someone else's animal for free might be asking a lot, unless she can at least come up with money to pay for his food. I don't know, but June will be here in no time, and I have to come up with some kind of solution fast, because this whole situation is just getting nuts. >.<