Rescue was very rewarding...and also very frustrating. This was in the Summer 1997 Issue of the Malamute Quarterly. We forgot to include our favorite story about one very upset woman that called wanting us to save some pigs being auctioned for slaughter. She felt the auction house was mistreating them and wanted me to go get them right now! We had to refer her to the anti-cruelty association as we have no facilities for "pig rescue". Malamutes were more than enough at the time...
So What's Your Excuse?
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by Cindy O'Malley
Tales from the front lines of Malamute Rescue in Michigan...
First some calls for dog give-ups...
- The woman who left a message on the answering machine crying hysterically that the eleven-year-old Malamute that eats doors is ruining her marriage. Because of the dog her husband is talking to dead people.
- The man that wants to give up his food guarding, digging, dominant, child, cat and dog aggressive female that's bitten. Can you find a home fast, I need to get rid of the dog today.
- Or the Gay Biker that thought Mals have mystical powers and considered taking it to Oklahoma to breed to a wolf, but instead wanted a home just like himself for the dog? He refused to neuter the dog's "essential maleness".
- The shelter that would euthanize a "really sweet and gentle" Malamute in two hours if somebody doesn't come and get it now. They had held the dog a month before calling.
- The "lifestyle change" yuppies that were moving to Tempe, Arizona and couldn't bring their Malamute because it's an Arctic dog.
- The lady that "found" an all white Malamute, brought it home and it killed her cat. She decided not to keep it since she was worried about her Bichon.
- The dog with severely dysplastic hips that viciously attacked at least five people according to various trainers, vets, groomers - "but he's a good dog so he has to have a REALLY good home because my husband loves him so much" (the husband was hospitalized from the attack when she called).
- The lady that called saying her Malamute bitch keeps fighting with her show quality Bloodhound bitch and now it has scars all over, so the Mal has to go.
- The undeserving jerk that wanted to get rid of the sweetest gray and white female Mal because she's "too loving." The dog was kept in a foot of mud, fed horse oats, and he threw water on her "now and then" to keep her in the electric fenced horse pen. He can't understand what's wrong with this dog when his other Malamute is just fine. (Neeka has a new home now).
- The caller that said "I heard you were a "farm or something that took dogs and retrained them" - I have a four-year-old dog that's biting everyone all of a sudden, including kids.
- Has bred her three bitches (five and seven years) at almost every season and they are "too old" so she wants to place them in good pet homes ... if we take them she'll donate $25 to rescue.
- A probably spy call from the local puppy mill that wanted to know "what you're doing over there" and informed me XXX has wonderful dogs. I was informed the caller's dysplastic puppy wasn't very dirty when she brought it home, and when she discovered it had fleas and lice he took it back - no problem.
One question...who is selling these people dogs? It gets better ... so you're calling because you WANT a Malamute?
- "Isn't this animal rescue? Do you have any Poodle puppies?"
- "What's a Malamute? I wanted ferret rescue".
- He wants a "trained lead dog" cheap or free.
- She wants a Malamute so it will protect her from her ex-husband. She lives in a trailer park and will chain it so it can play with her hyperactive and sadistic child so the child will learn about animals.
- Offered to help Malamute rescue. Calls back in six months and decides she wants to be wolf hybrid rescue instead because she has a six month old hybrid puppy. Referred to wolf expert and it's discovered her "wolf" is a small female mal. She was enlightened.
- She wants a rescue Malamute for her diabetic elderly mother so the dog can "rescue" her mom by calling 911 if it's ever needed.
- Single guy. Lives in a trailer with six large boa constrictors, a tarantula, two black cats, and doesn't believe in crates...
- Woman lives out of her car with three wolf-hybrids (no permanent home, she was recently kicked out), saw our rescue ad and wants to adopt an unneutered male to breed. Same woman calls back, crying a few months later wanting to find homes for three of her five "Malamutes" because her new landlord says she has too many dogs.
- He lives in an apartment and wants a REALLY small Malamute so the landlord won't find out he has a dog. Ultimately this person found a dog at a local pet shop advertising "Mini-Mals under 25 pounds."
- Has a 4,300 square foot home so will do rescue a big favor by taking a show quality dog...for free of course.
- He really wants a wolf, but they're "too expensive." We discover his child is afraid of dogs.
- Wants a companion for her bedridden, invalid mother who is very frail.
- Nice married guy. Has a bird named Tommy he says is like his "kid". Sounded possible until we discovered the bird has total freedom of the house because they don't use a bird cage - ever. Yummy.
- Family lives in basement to keep the white carpet clean and the upstairs immaculate. He's a premed student and knows his parents will do nothing but complain and has a younger sister fearful of big dogs. But he'd still like a Mal.
- She's pregnant, five young kids, lives at her mother's, has four small dogs which include two Chihuahuas, a "psycho-aggressive" neutered eight-month-old Cocker, and Pit Bull, a rabbit, several birds and cats, and nonstop commotion in the background. Wants a nice calm dog.
- He lives in the ghetto, wants a "protective" Malamute but will let it run free. Has had "three or four" dogs die of heartworm in the last few months.
- Guy needs a "tougher" replacement dog for his home since his neighbors keep shooting the Bouviers.
- Veterinarian wants a free handicapped puppy she can raise so her fearful child can get used to a big dog slowly.
- Wants a blue-eyed Malamute to breed so he can pay for dog food.
- He's a counselor in a rehab center and lives in a halfway house. The patients would care for the dog.
- Wants a second male even though his ten month old male Malamute puppy has major dominance problems. The dog rides his kid and he thinks this is okay. Waiting for the pedigree on his puppy so he can breed it right away.
- Looking for a lead dog for her (competitive) sled team that consists of a Newfie, Shepherd, Rottie mix, Weimaraner and Chihuahua.
These are REAL calls I've gotten! Of course, many many people are wonderful, but the weird ones stay with you! If anyone would like to help AMPL's lonely Michigan coordinator, I'd appreciate the help (Note: I no longer rescue - you burn out eventually). Experienced Mal people who could foster are especially needed. And think of the fun you could have!