Guard Dog Blog

on Livestock Guardian Dogs and small farm life…

A whole lotta passin’ the buck goin’ on…


Partial family portrait

Partial family portrait

I just saw 11 pups (the 12th stayed here in a great home) and 2 moms off to BC, via Regina and Calgary.  Easy to write about, not so easy to accomplish.  My family took the lot on for several weeks, vetted them, got let down by the previously arranged air transport and together with a committed trainer/dog person I know from social media, got them across nearly 3 provinces by land via some wonderful volunteers.  We drove the first leg, 5 hours each way.  Given that this is Canada and it’s the beginning of December already, getting them where they needed to go was no small feat. We’re worn out, physically, mentally and financially.  The whole experience was and is enlightening but entirely maddening.

We gave and gave and gave and others gave time and money so that we could do it… and of course it was completely and utterly worth it, but many of us will never do it again.

I don’t ‘do’ rescue anymore.  This situation with these beautiful dogs is a good example of why I don’t, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it simply because –


There, I said it.  I’ll say it again in case you think I made a mistake.  IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM.

I won’t do it again, because I shouldn’t have to do it and neither should most of the people doing it now. They do have to, however – much more than they can handle owing to the fact that there are people doing it for all the wrong reasons, doing it badly and taking no responsibility for the outcome.  Those who do it to make themselves feel better, to make themselves more important in their own minds, doing it because they think it needs doing, doing it because it allows them to hate on their fellow man in a legitimate way…. these people should NOT be doing it.   Those who are doing it so that they can be whitewashed dog brokers, and those doing it so that they can flex their muscles, pull strings and leave people in the lurch who need them the most – well, I wish I believed in hell so that I could believe there was a special place in it for them.



The only ones doing it should be the ones working themselves out of a bloody job, the ones who know that doing such a thing is entirely possible.  The only people doing it should be the ones who see themselves as a last resort, a safety net that isn’t a first and only option and who are emptying spots, not eternally filling them without end.

Harsh?  Maybe.

But here’s the thing.


There is no reason these dogs shouldn’t have had a placement in this area.  NONE.

Actually I lie, there is one.  The only reason these dogs legitimately needed to be sent from a province that is actively importing dogs from the U.S to a province where they have done a better job of management is a lack of personal responsibility.

All I hear from certain shelters and most rescues is how irresponsible and stupid dog owners are, how horrid they are for giving up the dog that ripped up their couch and tried to eat the neighbor’s cat.  Article after article places the blame squarely in the lap of the person least likely to know much solid information that is helpful for their pets – the owners.  From which dog to get at what stage in their lives to how to address behavior problems and when to walk away – the information that is out there is so conflicting and riddled with guilt that I wonder how most people make head or tails of it.  If they can do so, can they then access the care and guidance they need?  I’m afraid the answer there is too often a resounding NO.

The truth of the matter is this: we, in North America suffer from a lack of responsibility all around.  It’s not at the feet of the wide eyed owners who pick up a pup they find charming, and it’s not at the feet of the one who is at their wits’ end and does something rash.  It’s at the feet of everyone who knows better and doesn’t act on it.  It’s at the feet of those who push an agenda over compassion, who can’t hear what is being said over the sound of their own voice, who keeps the rescue train going because they love the feeling of being a ‘savior’.   It’s at the feet of those who can’t learn to work together, who stay up nights to send hate mail to dissenters, who choose to use their energies causing drama instead of putting the pieces back together.



We sent the pups out to BC because they didn’t have any.   We couldn’t place them here because they’re overrun with the same.  Time to get your heads out of the sand, rescue divas, and get to work or walk away.  You’re in a job that you chose to be in, regardless of whether you get paid or not –  and you should be responsible for the quality of your work as well as the results of it.

There is absolutely NO REASON you should be bailing water out of a drowning ship.  Get it together, take responsibility and help others take theirs.

The 12 pups and 2 moms would like you to know that this is not a game, not a political venture that should benefit you.  It’s life and death for them, and they deserve so much more than what they got.

Screw you.

As for me and mine, we’re packing our bags and leaving the scene for good.  Give me a ring when you want to talk with your head and not your overblown egos.  I’m not hard to find.



Author: offleash

Small farmer, student of canine life, advocate, dog rehab and behavior specialist.

6 thoughts on “A whole lotta passin’ the buck goin’ on…

  1. “…because they love the feeling of being a ‘savior’.” Yeah, the rescue divas are doing as much harm as they do good. Too much ego, not enough compassion. I got into this scene (started a non-profit rescue in an area with need) with eyes wide open, and I STILL get surprised by crazy-ass rescue people sometimes. Luckily(?) the divas also tend to burn out faster than other, saner folks, so they leave the scene quicker.

  2. I agree with every bit of this sentiment. Also, do they need more dogs imported to BC? 😀

    • Good question. I think, like many places that have done a good job of getting their homeless dogs under control, they have a market for good, stable, family dogs – and of course, pups are what people want the most. I get the puppy appeal, but for me with unknown quantity dogs (at least in this case we got to know the moms and at least have half the genetic material presented), I prefer a little bit older so I know what I have.

  3. I’m actually pretty surprised at the timing of this, especially since this piece of dreck was released a few days later:

    I’m pretty sure that the title of the above should have been something along the lines of “From the Wrong Foster Family to the Wrong Adoption Family,” with a fancy subtitle (do they still do those anymore?) of “or, From the Frying Pan into the Fire.”

    Kudos for what you did for those dogs, and that you had the resources to do so to the best of your ability is amazing. Thanks. I just hope that the shelter to where they were delivered has the ability to place them in homes appropriate for their temperaments–especially the ones that seemed to not have that interest in people you mentioned in your last writing.

    • That’s a very valid concern. The two pups who went into foster based rescue are still waiting, and last I heard the blonde mom was still waiting, but all the other pups were adopted. There is actually a FB group for updates that several of the new owners have joined, and the trainer I worked with on this rescue lives in the town where the shelter is – she sees several of the pups in her pet store, has offered all of the new owners free puppy classes and is just generally keeping an eye out for any significant issues. The pups were all adopted in just over a week and so far the reports are all positive.

      One of the most aloof little girls stayed here with a friend of mine. She was adopted specifically to be a watch dog for their farm, and so far she is showing very good discernment and an innate interest in her future job. It took her a couple of days to warm up to her new people and to being inside, but after that she was solidly theirs. She’s affectionate but independent – and slow to warm up to new people, but not over reactive… so far very promising. In fact all of the new owners we’ve heard from have been pleasantly surprised with how resilient and well adjusted the pups are. Fingers crossed for a good outcome all around.

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