Meet Fletcher! He’s mixed breed, or, as sir Terry Pratchett described a certain dog his novel, probably all breeds at once. We rescued him in the middle of 2015, after he’s been on his own for several months, and it was difficult at first, but we can’t imagine life without him now. Fletcher is extremely social - and extremely vocal. I’ve had dogs my entire life, and I had no idea they could make the kind of sounds he makes. I swear at times he almost makes specific letters!
He loves sleeping, butt scratches and playing with cat toys, for some reason. He used to be terrified of cars, but now road trips are one of his favorite things to do.
It really bothers me when people make a distinction between rescues and shelters because of canine behavior. Particularly in the town I live in. I see this with local people all the time.
People who think that rescues are better because they have “better dogs” in the sense of being cuter being more well- behaved really bother me.
Rescues usually pull the cutest and friendliest dogs intentionally. Because they’re easily adoptable. Most general, all breed rescues, do not take behavior cases. They come through and pick out the “good dogs” which leaves us with a slew of neurotic or behaviorally challenged dogs.
Saying that shelters are bad because we have bad dogs after four rescues have come through and taken everything small, fluffy, and friendly is not fair to us or the dogs. That leaves us to euthanize dogs who are less adoptable and then get demonized for that because “OMG ALL DOGS CAN BE SAVED” even though every rescue we work with has come through and declined them. Sometimes for a good reason.
I am so tired of people saying that we have bad dogs and not to bother with us. We don’t have any control over what dogs we get.
I recently started volunteering as a photographer with a local rescue group. My first little subject was Chai and, living up to her name, she loved the Pupuccino she got as a treat before this photo session. I was so nervous doing this because I’d only ever taken photos of Loki in this kind of session before. The settings on my camera were all wrong the first half of the session, but when we got to the bridge I fixed them and BOOM - decent, not-blurry photos!
It was great practice for me (and a little boost to my confidence) and hopefully these photos help her to get adopted!
Are You Afraid?: A Dr. Spencer Reid Criminal Minds Imagine
WARNING: THIS IMAGINE IS WRITTEN AS THOUGH YOU HAVE SEVERE ANXIETY AFTER A DODGY PAST, BUT THIS IS HOW I PICTURED SPENCER BEING ABLE TO HELP YOU, AND HOW I ASSOCIATED IT WITH THE GIF. IT’S ALSO QUITE LONG! SORRY!
You were waiting ever so patiently for time with him, and it was all you could think of all day. Dr. Spencer Reid was the best thing that had come around in a long time, and you had been meeting every Sunday for two months now.
He was working on reading a whole series of poetry with you, although you knew he had already read it multiple times and you couldn’t keep up if you tried.
“It’s okay, Y/N, I’d read it every day if it helped you to understand”. He was caring, and accepted the fact that you were shy and careful, a plethora of nightmares from the your past kept you locked in your own mind, barely able to function on a bad day.
You were reading “You Remind Me Of You: A Poetry Memoir” by Eireann Corrigan, which detailed a young girls life and battles. He thought it would help you, because “You needed to understand in order to overcome” in his words.
You had read the book once, but were still dealing with your past, and thought that maybe if he could tell you what he thought it meant, it would help. So, he had asked you to meet him a day early, and that’s where you were going.
About an hour before you left, you had received a phone call from him, saying that you needed to be careful, and not travel alone, but that he couldn’t say any more, so you brought your English Bulldog as a companion and made your way to the cafe where you usually met up.
It was pet friendly, and you made sure of it, because you went nowhere without Rubeus. But you never stayed in the cafe, you always went to a park or somewhere where you could single each other out and just talk.
Today, however, Rubeus was more on edge and ancy, his usual pudgy self was hyperactive and growled at anything and everything. It worried you, because although he was an “unconventional breed”, he was your support and guide dog.
After years of struggling with your intense anxiety, you met him in an all breeds rescue and fell in love, so you found somebody who could do the training and you did it. He was your best friend, besides Spencer, and your main love.
“Rube, calm down love, it’s okay we’re going to meet Spencer today!” you hushed him, and bent down just outside of the cafe to nuzzle him and comfort him, hoping that he would understand that you were okay. He only ever acted this way when you were in distress.
“He’ll be here soon, don’t worry” you handed him his favourite toy, and sat on the bench.
A few minutes into your wait, you watched the slightly disheveled hair peek out from behind the bushes that lines the outside of the street, and then he came around the corner, his face a thing of beauty that you had been begging to see.
But he wasn’t alone, there was a man behind him that seemed unnervingly close, and Spencer looked at you with pleading eyes, Rubeus jumped up, growling and barking.
“Hey Spence, what’s going on?” you stood up, and inched toward him, but he just bit his lip and shook his head, fear clear in his rigid posture. “Y/N, please just listen to him..” his voice cracked, and the man came from behind him, a gun clenched tightly just behind the opening of his jacket.
“You, take the dog” he shoved Spencer toward you and he gently took hold of Rubeus’ lead. “Whatever happens, I will find you, I promise” his lips brush your cheek and you instantly flinch, biting back the tears of horror that insist on coming through.
“C'mon princess, we’re going to have some fun” the man takes you roughly by the arm and without a second glance, drags you down the alleyway to an awaiting truck.
“You don’t have to do this, please, why?” you’re on the brink of sobbing, and he just laughs at your fear.
“Because he took something from me, and now it’s my turn”. There’s a burning sting in your neck, and your eyes fog over. Your limbs feel too heavy, and you start fumbling for a hold on something, anything.
“Sweet dreams” he mutters, before the increasing dark edge on your vision closes in.
*REID’S POINT OF VIEW*
I’m panicking, I have a dog slobbering angrily all over me and I am panicking. “Morgan, you need to help me, he took her”.
I was breathing quickly into my phone, Morgan was already here, he had been with me investigating a small time case while everyone else was in Texas.
“Reid, you need to calm down, we’re going to find her. Now what are the state police saying?”. That was who was on the phone, right, breathe and focus was all you needed to do, but you found it hard.
“Rubeus knows her, he can find her, Christ, Morgan he took her down the alleyway, then his truck sped by and went East, that’s all I know!”.
*YOUR POINT OF VIEW"
Light, blinding and excruciating, piercing every point of where you could see. Your eyes were still foggy, and your head hurt with the fire of a million bees.
“Look who’s come to the party, are you ready to have fun?” the man was standing directly in front of you, rubber gloves and a mask obscuring anything you could use to identify him, he clutched the handle of a small knife, that looked like it was used for cooking.
“Why are you doing this? That’s all I want to know” you breathe, pain in every beat of your heart.
He chuckles, a gravelly, disgusting sound and presses the knife up against your face. “I told you, Spencer Reid and his band of animals took away my love, they took away my daughter and they locked me up. But here I am, by reason of insanity, isn’t that a beautiful saying?”.
With a little pressure, you feel the blade sink into your flesh and slide upward, from your eye up toward your temple.
You muffled your own moan, and smacked out at him, as he paired up that gash with an identical one on the other side. “You see”, he continues, “They said that I was a serial killer, that I killed all of these little girls and then they wanted me to admit it. But I’m insane, Y/N, INSANE”.
He bellows the last two words, every syllable slams against your ears like an assault.
“So now that my daughter thinks I’m a monster, I’ll take away what he thinks of you, and then it’ll be even”. You felt one more slice, before you closed your eyes and tried to zone him out.
“They’ll find you eventually, but I’ll make the most of what I have"he whispers, his fingers dug into your neck.
*REID’S POINT OF VIEW*
I knew who he was, and I knew his story, I had that memorized from the original case, what I didn’t know is why he took her, or where.
"Morgan, we know all of what we can know but how are we supposed to find her?”. I was practically yelling again, but that’s okay, I was still in a panic.
We were in the SUV, driving aimlessly around with Rubeus’ head hanging sloppily out the window. He was a lost cause, he lost her at the right turn before the edge of town, and now he just incessantly whined and cried.
“She’s going to be okay, and hey, she’s got a good taste in dogs”. He refused to sit on my lap, but he was actively searching out the drivers side window, his body tucked into Morgan’s.
“There’s a funny story behind him” I mumble, and look out toward the streets. There’s no houses out this way, just edging forestry. “Oh really, tell me, just get your mind away from the bad for a while”.
He takes a right turn, and I start. “Well she has severe and sometimes crippling anxiety due to some stuff a while ago, and she was looking into getting an animal for their calming instincts. Her doctor recommended this place that actually trained dogs to help with mental illness, but she didn’t want a Labrador or anything like that, because she had had a German Shepherd and he died a little while ago”.
He nods, turning once more, we were waiting for Garcia to call on the coordinates of Y/N’s phone. “So she went to the humane society, and there was thin, grungy looking, skinny, dirty thing who was the only one not to bark or scream at her. Their behaviour was a make or break type thing, because if they acted up it scared her”.
“So, she asked to go in with him, and she sat beside him on his mat, and he crawled up into her lap and went to sleep. They told her he was a lost cause, because he had mange and of course, English Bulldog’s are walking vet bills, but she didn’t listen”.
“His name was initially Voldemort, can you believe that? They called this poor, sick animal the dark lord. So she sat with him a while and they told her he came from a puppy mill, and he was a runt. She compared him to her life, and she couldn’t let him go. To help with her fright and reaction to loud noises, she volunteered at the shelter until Voldemort got healthy, and then she took him”.
He nods, scratching behind his ears. “And she took him to the same trainer, who told her he was unconventional and she was asking for trouble, but she didn’t care, so she got him trained up and renamed him. She wanted to stick with the Harry Potter thing, but he was such a big, caring, protective guy she called him Hagrid at first, but went with Rubeus”.
He smiles, “Good story Reid, I like him” and he surely did, he has his own two of the same breed. “I bet you he would make good friends with Shuggie Boogie and Moe Diggity” he says, turning once more.
“Hello my dear friends, I know where she is” Garcia’s voice blasts through the phone. “It took a while because he tried to obscure the signal, but I’m always better, and she is at 346 Blushview Drive”.
He guns the truck in a semi circle, and squeals off toward the road that we had driven by at least 3 times. “I’m coming”.
*YOUR POINT OF VIEW*
You’ll never forget the moment he stormed in, Derek behind him and with his gun drawn. He was screaming your name and you were sobbing, pulling against the leg restraints and screaming back.
You must have looked a mess, blood streaming down your face in ribbons of pain, and obscuring your vision. He ran to you, his hands on the ties as you cried out for him. “Spencer, Spencer” it was all you could say, over and over again, and he wrapped his arms around you.
“Call an ambulance Morgan!” he yells, and takes you up in his arms. “I said I would be here, I promised you, you’re safe now”.
*Three weeks later*
With his hand in yours, you took your first tentative steps out of the hospital and into the sunlight. Morgan stood on the sidewalk, in front of the truck, and smiled at you as you stepped forward. It still hurt to smile, your face was going to scar, but thanks to plastic surgery it wouldn’t be as bad as it could have been.
“Hi Morgan” you smile, and he gives you a hug, “Hi, Y/N.. I have a surprise for you” he gestures to the back door of the SUV and you take the handle carefully, pulling it open.
In the back it’s a bulldog party, Morgan’s two and Rubeus are jumping around, barking and yipping. “Shug and Moe! Hi babies!” You throw your arms open and hold them all tightly, petting them and basking in the kisses and love.
“I think I understand” you say, turning to Spence, “I understand the book"
Also, because it’s been brought up, yeah no sorry, I’ve got no time for those who adamantly say that rescues don’t have behavioral/health problems or that people who buy from breeders are just getting dogs that would be rescue dogs “from the source”. It’s laughably ignorant, to say the least.
The majority of owner-surrender rescue dogs in this country were surrendered for a reason. Sometimes the reason is “we don’t have time for him anymore” or “he got too big” or “we’re moving”, but sometimes the reason is “he won’t stop pissing on my carpet” or “he tries to eat the neighborhood kids” or “he started fighting with my other dog”.
Sometimes the reason is “we can’t afford his medicine anymore”.
Sometimes the reason is, plain and simple, “we didn’t train him and now he’s 3 and big with zero manners and a lifetime of bad habits”.
Does that mean they’re not fixable or loveable? No, it doesn’t. Nor does it mean that all owner-surrendered dogs are like this. However, you cannot blame prospective new owners to be hesitant to take someone else’s baggage home with the dog, especially in rescues that keep their dogs in kennel environments where you really have no idea how they’ll act. You can cut down on this with foster homes and better funds and more ethical rescues, but the point remains that you are taking on a risk or playing the lottery when it comes to getting a dog with a lot of unknowns.
This is coming from someone who only just now has their first dog from an ethical breeder- someone who worked extensively in rescue and who owned primarily rescues throughout their life.
It’s my thing about being honest with what you have- honesty, not trying to hide issues, not playing pretty words, is what people appreciate. I want to know if the dog I’m about to bring home hates other dogs. I want to know if it’ll eat cats. I want to know if it’s going to take my hand off because I walked past it while it was eating. I want to know if it has health issues that are going to be pricey and decrease it’s quality of life. You can harp about compassion all you want, but neither my heart nor my wallet can intentionally take on a dog with debilitating cancer and 3 months to live.
There have been SO MANY RESCUES that have hidden breed, behavioral problem, or health problem in an attempt to have as many animals adopted out as possible that it’s not unheard of to know of a dane rescue screwing someone over because they purposely didn’t investigate a mysterious lump that turned out to be bone cancer. Or an all breed rescue calling clear bully breeds rare breed mixes in hopes for potential adopters to be more interested in them. Guessing down on the age of seniors or young adults to make them seem like a better option for someone who might not want to say goodbye so soon.
Or the cutesy-worded rescue listings that you need to read inbetween the lines and figure out if “I prefer my own space so I’d like to go to a home without dogs” means that they feel she’d be best as an only dog but can tolerate polite adults or if she has out of control dog aggression and will pull you down the street trying to eat your neighbor’s yorkie. If “needs proof of obedience training within 8 weeks” means it’s a young dog that needs some brushing up or if there’s some serious lack of manners and zero training in a 5yo dog. If “we’re not sure of age” means might be 2 or might be 12. Because you will find all of that in online rescue listings- hell, give me 5 minutes on petfinder and I can post them right here right now.
Additionally- none of my breeder’s dogs have ever ended up in rescue. In fact, she’s animal control for her little town, so if anything it’s other people’s dogs that end up in her rescue. How exactly that means I’m buying rescue dogs “at the source”, I have no idea…