This week's Dick of the Week is a woman.
And a very stupid one at that.
I have never met her.
I have never spoken to her.
She's not a client at the Ranch and she's not anyone in my 'circle' but she's a MASSIVE Dick nonetheless.
And here's why.......
Many of you will know that the Ranch is home to one of the leading pet charities in the entire country, our senior dog and canine hospice sanctuary called 'Frankie and Andy's Place', so a lot of my work these days focuses on this mission.
Thankfully, we have our partner, the delightful Aunty Kris, who's keeping the guest dogs extremely happy down at DD in order that I can do this.
Thankyou Aunty Kris, you are indeed a gem.
Those of us in full time rescue spend a lot of time on social media looking for ways we can help dogs. (I actually can't stand Facebook because of the little tin-pot 'dick-tator' and his band of 'thought police' that run it, with their myriad everyday violations of the right to free speech but unfortunately for me, if I post what I truly feel about THAT as my Dick of the Week piece, I shall no doubt be cancelled and lose my right to rant, so, until there's a less Orwellian option, I shall STFU on that one.)
For rescues, however, Facebook has been a game changer.
Without it, none of us would be able to raise as much money, enlighten people to the plights of dogs not just locally but worldwide and get an incredible number of dogs into forever homes....and that is a good thing.
Nay, a GREAT thing.
There are a few special interest Facebook groups that are solely for people in rescue so that we can cut out the 'praying and sharing' brigade that clog up the comments on posts, enabling those really interested in helping to get the facts much more quickly.
One of these pages, which I frequent multiple times a day, is a posting service for people looking to re-home dogs safely and side step the possible dog flippers who frequent Craigslist and Facebook.
There was a post on there this week from a lady looking to re-home her dog.
Her post basically said that this was the dog's third home, that they had rescued her to give her a forever home and that she was a wonderful dog 'doesn't chew, doesn't bark, is great with kids and other dogs, gets up before the rest of the family to knead freshly made bread for breakfast, cleans the bathroom tile work, details the car and takes the trash out.'
Okay, I admit, little bit of artistic license here for jollification purposes, but she honestly did say that the dog is a great dog.
Oh, and she mentioned that her husband and the dog are super-bonded.
So, you might ask, dear reader, why the bloody hell is she rehoming this paragon of virtue?
Because she doesn't play with her other dog!
'They just sit together, they don't fight, they don't fuss at each other, but they don't play and we wanted to get a dog she could play with. They both just sit together.'
You have pretty much by your own admission said she's the perfect dog who never puts one foot wrong, you have actually said how sad it is that this is her third home through clearly no fault of her own, your husband is bonded to her and yet, here you are, on a (albeit safe) Facebook page, looking for a complete stranger to take her in?
Just because she doesn't go all 'Studio 54' and do the Lambada in the sitting room with your other dog? Which, gotta be honest, is highly unlikely to tick your other dog's boxes anyway.....
I saw a few of my rescue cohorts on there begging her to realize how lucky she is, that the dog sounds great and not to give the dog up, to please reconsider. So of course, being a know-it-all b*tch with an attitude and an axe to grind with people who don't commit to good dogs for life, I waded in.
Sleeves rolled up, mouth more like a trout than Angelina Jolie at a custody hearing, rolling pin at the ready, in I went, Boadicea-style.
"As a behaviorist, I would just like to weigh in here and offer my help, at zero charge. I think what your idea of a perfect relationship between canines in a household far differs to what those of us in the profession know to be a perfect relationship between canines. Please PLEASE message me and let me help you through this. There is no need to re-home this dog."
Response? Nada. Zip. Crickets.
Not even to tell me to f*ck off and mind my own business, which I'd have preferred over nothing.
I checked my messages all day, had quite a few from other people that had seen the post and said 'well done for offering but you KNOW that b*tch just wants to dump that poor dog, don't you?'
About 18 hours later, I had heard nothing so I posted again, then again, to which she replied 'Oh didn't you get my message? I'll be right with you🤨'
Another 18 hours, still no message, but there she was, happily answering anything about the dog to anyone who knew someone that might want to take her.
I am going to interject my own argument here to admit that yes, I think that her using a safe facebook page that's free of dog flippers and bait dog procurers showed less dickishness than some do, but come on....a great dog? Beloved by the family? Bonded to her husband? No bad behavior? Well behaved? But let's wreck her life one more time and force her out into the family life wilderness once more because it doesn't suit my carefully constructed picture book narrative where dogs romp like gallumphing spring lambs...whether they want to or not?
Scenes from 'Mommy Dearest' are playing in my head a bit, gotta tell you.
I put in one final Facebook pitch, explaining that just as with humans, some of the best dog relationships are those where needs are met in the quiet moments, sitting on a couch, breathing together, just offering calm companionship.
I explained that dogs 'are like humans, not everyone's husband wants to go to a disco with his wife, not every wife wants to go out and get rat-a$$ed down the pub with their husband...those excursions, those activities, account for such a small percentage of life, but it's the rest of it that makes up a relationship.'
Besides, who on earth wants a Jumpy McJumperson bouncing around 24/7 like the Energizer Bunny?
Give me calm and easy going any day of the week.
I have been honored to have had over 100 dogs either as permanent family members or as fosters in my own home. Each and every one has had a different personality, has had different things that make them tick.
Take Hoss, whose idea of play is to yodel at another dog, put his paw on their back and chase them until he catches them, then just stand and yodel at them a bit more. All of our dogs always thought he was a complete dill pickle and didn't play with him that much, despite his best efforts, but they loved him, adored him, anyway.
Or my darling Freddie, the love of my life, who was a very regal soul, far too lofty to get down and play with anyone, but was beyond kindly and empathic with every other dog.
Or Pete's incredible Levi, the love of his life, who did the best big dog play-bow of any dog, followed by a full 360 turnaround, while grinning ear to ear, any time anyone fancied a mess around. If they didn't that was fine.
Or conversely Steve Miller, sadly one of my only two dogs left, and a senior himself these days, who, from 6 months old, decided that he was Lord of all he surveys.
He STILL plays like a puppy with a sock or some freshly mown grass, but only on rare occasions would get jiggy and only then with his dearly departed BFF Noodle.
The rest of the time he'd maintain a throne like position on the couch daring anyone to as much as look at him unless they curtsied and tugged their forelock first.
(His nickname is Prince Joffrey by the way.)
My point is, the best families, the best packs, the best groups...have multiple personality make-ups and this is what makes life like a richly embroidered tapestry.
To cast aside something that clearly works beautifully, just because it's not exactly as you imagined it would be, well that's just stupid.
It's like going to the Sistine Chapel to admire the High Renaissance art of Michaelangelo, and tell everyone it's $hit because 'there's too much blue'.
But play those spoilt, selfish games with a sweet, unassuming dog's life and that's just criminal.
I would fully understand if she had adopted the dog and she had turned out to be a kitty killer, child chomper, husband hacker or mommy mauler...any of the above are fairly decent reasons to re-home a dog.
But rehoming a three time orphan because she's too perfect, in every way but one, is just...well..... it's dickish!
And that's why Mrs X, you are my most highly anointed Dick of the Week!