A bleeding heart skips

In the middle of a triple-digit Sunday, Zach and I decided to take a long bike ride.

The breeze-like sensation of your body slicing through the air at bike speed does make the experience somewhat preferable to walking or standing still on a hot day. But a 15-mile bike ride over hills in the punishing Missouri heat is always going to be a sweaty, exhausting experience. (That’s what people like about exercise, right?)

Our route took us on less-traveled roads bordered by thick woods on either side. We took the long way to Swope Park, a huge swath of wilderness in the heart of Kansas City. There’s a mountain biking trail within, but by the time we arrived we could see why most people who brave that trail don’t ride there – they park their cars at the trailhead and hop on their bikes all fresh and ready.

We followed a steep, paved main road I had once walked with the KC Pittie Pack and then turned toward home.

Somewhere between the park grounds and the interstate we crossed, I heard a rustle in the brush, followed by a menacing bark. I turned my head in time to see a big, black lab-like dog rushing toward me.

I pedaled harder, and he did not give more than a few steps’ chase.

When I turned back to look at him from a safe distance, he was nosing some refuse in the road. The area we were in is polluted. Broken computers, fast food bags, bottle shards and a lot of lonely shoes littered the shoulder.

I don’t know if that dog lives off the garbage or is just a neighborhood visitor. He was wearing some kind of chain collar, which suggests he has a home somewhere.

In that moment – six miles from home, sans leash and on a bike – I wasn’t equipped to help him get back to it.

And if I couldn’t find his owner? Well, anyone who reads this blog or knows me personally understands how great I am at rehoming black dogs that can at first come off a bit scary… (Sorry, Charlie Machete, 12 months later, we’re still shopping you around.)

I get the same sinking feeling every time a photo of an adoptable dog speaks to me. By this I mean that I see a lot of pictures of shelter dogs, foster dogs and dogs generally at risk of being euthanized.

I have a perpetually bleeding heart and so I want to save them all, but the images of certain animals seem to resonate with me a little more.

Most of the time, sharing their plight is the best I can offer them. With that in mind, here are a few images of adoptable animals whose faces have appeared in my inbox lately.

Maybe you, dear readers, will be struck by their faces, too, and can offer them hope.

Until recently, Doug (or as I like to call him – Luke Jr.) was stuck at the animal shelter in Moberly, Missouri. He’s a corgi/golden retriever mix available through Second Chance Rescue. (Link forthcoming.)

I’ve written about Bolivar before. He is a cute dog with an underbite who is available for adoption through Unleashed.

Starbuck is a Midwest Adopt-a-Bull dog who cannot stay in his current foster home. He is in desperate need of a new foster or forever home as soon as possible.

This is another Doug. He is currently staying at Kennel Creek and is available for adoption through Wayside Waifs.

This black kitten was one of two rescued by a coworker of mine, who also managed to catch his wild mother and get her spayed. His calico sister was adopted, but he’s still on the hunt for a patient home. Contact me for details on making him yours.

To see more adoptable dogs now available in the Kansas City area, check out the Adoptable page.

My foster dog Charlie Machete and many others are available for adoption through Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

Don’t live in Kansas City? Check out the adoptable pets available at your local animal shelter and rescue organizations. You can save a life by fostering or adopting.


About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on July 24, 2012, in Dogs, Dogtography, Fostering and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. ♥✿♥ So wonderful for you to do this, absolute lovelies, ALL of them. From one bleeding heart to another, I hope they may find their homes…

  2. It is so sad that I am too far away to help but I do certainly appreciate the work and effort you are putting in. Keep it up and good luck!

  3. Sandy had a cute underbite with adorably crooked teeth.

  4. I’ve had those moments. Where you are immediately sizing up the options of what you can do without proper equipment, will you have to take them home, is someone else likely to come along, does that dog belong somewhere. Like it or not, we cant put every dog in our car or our bike basket. And it hurts the heart just a little bit…

  5. I’ve been in the same situation more than once. It breaks my heart when I have to turn away because I don’t have the proper equipment at the time to help out. I have that voice in my head telling me “I can’t save everyone” while at the same time saying “but I can try!”

    It’s a tough situation for anyone who wants to help… and sometimes you have to look at what you’re doing and be proud that you are at the very least making a difference for the ones you have helped and will continue to.

  6. I feel the same way! Yesterday I was headed to the rescue (ironically) and this little white fuzzy (mean looking) poodle crossed my path and I nearly ran him over. I was headed down a street called ‘Crack Alley’ (only because of a massive load of construction on my usual route) so knocking on doors to find this dogs owners seemed…scary. But I sucked it up and knocked on the closest door—no answer, but the scary poodle seemed to be quite possessive over the porch. I assumed that’s where he lived and I’m not particularly attracted to poodles, so I went on with my day. But low and behold, a screen door opened to crack house #1 and in went the poodle. stupid poodle and its cracked out owners.

  7. I am a big animal lover and would adopt them all if I could, but I have my hands full with two dogs of my own, Zeus and Lucky. I have come across strays and I too, stop and try to help, although some just run from me. I even go as far as to carring a box of treats in my car. I could not even imagine life without my boys,they are so funny, loving, and snuggly! I love them with all of my heart and soul! I have started a blog for my Rottweiler Zeus called Saving Zeus. He has a rare genetic disorder and we are trying to raise funds for the medical tests and treatment that he desperately needs. Also on my blog, I have funny stories and really cute photos of both of my boys. If you would like to help us save Zeus or would just like a laugh after reading a funny story, visit my page. Since I am just getting started on my blog, there will be many more stories to come so check back every once in a while!

  8. It breaks my heart when I see a stray dog I can’t help. 😦

    As far as Bolivar is concerned – I’d adopt that boy in a second if I could. His underbite is the most adorable thing in the world!

  9. I do hope these wonderful dogs find loving homes.

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