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— August 12, 2014 —

Stuck in Limbo
by Amy Kelley

Since we opened our doors in 2002 we have offered deeply discounted boarding to many local rescues and given hundreds of dogs a place to crash until a foster or forever home could be found for them. Some have stayed with us for a few hours and others have stayed for years. We’ve seen firsthand the challenges that rescues face. One huge challenge is the difficulty placing “less desirable” dogs. A dog may be considered less desirable because he is old, or a bully breed or just not the typical idea of “cute.” Maybe he needs to be an only-dog…whatever the challenge, some of these dogs languish in the system and that can serve to make the adoption even more difficult.

All too often, once the dog is “safe” from being euthanized at the kill shelter he/she was pulled from, those who were advocating for them and sending out pleas for someone to help move on to the next dog…so what happens to that dog after they’ve moved on? Most of these dogs end up being taken in by a rescue who provide for their basic needs and finds them their forever home. Some dogs are lucky enough to be placed directly into a foster home while others are put in boarding where they sit until their picture or story crosses the path of someone who might be interested in them. Some dogs wait “stuck in limbo” for a really…really long time.

We learned early on that boarding just isn’t for every dog…and that boarding long term can sometimes cause harm to a rescue dog. Some dogs can get depressed and shut down and others can develop neurotic, unpleasant behaviors which in turn makes them more difficult to find homes for.

Not all dogs that live in boarding are having a “bad” life. There are “working dogs” all over the world who live in runs or kennels when they are not “working”. Whether it be an outdoor or indoor run, a large facility or in someone’s home, these dogs are well adjusted, balanced and happy dogs. This works for them because when they are not resting in their run, they are out doing whatever job it is that they were bred and/or trained to do. The working of the dog’s mind is what makes these dogs well adjusted and happy.

There are non-working-dogs who are also perfectly fine boarding long term. We have taken in a handful of dogs over the years who have lived out their natural lives with us because they were deemed un-adoptable for various reasons. We call them “Lifers” and every one of our Lifers (all but one have passed) had a good life with us and our employees.

The one Lifer we currently have is our little senior dog Della, otherwise knows as Bug. To her, life is great! She is as happy as can be every single day!!! She always greets us with the biggest smile, is always up for a game of fetch…and heaven forbid you don’t give her a treat when she wants one (which is always). She truly has a great time living at Bark Avenue and loves the staff here—just don’t try to cut her nails ;-). However, as I mentioned earlier, some dogs don’t do so well with long term boarding. This happens to be the case for K9 4 KEEPS Morgon. He has been boarding at Bark Avenue for over 3 years now.

Even though Morgon gets out with our handlers 6 times a day to exercise and/or hang out, that simply isn’t enough for him. Sure he has human and dog friends who love him, but he is going stir crazy having to live day in day out in a kennel environment. Morgon has the will of a working dog and the heart of a loyal companion and is just not cut out for a life in boarding. One of our employees recently posted on social media that “earning Morgon’s trust is the best feeling in the whole world”. He needs a person he can devote himself to and a life outside of a kennel with someone who will work his brain and let him be the dog he was meant to be.

Ours and K9 4 KEEPS usual avenues of finding dogs a home has not yet worked for Morgon so we are asking for your help in reaching beyond our current network. We don’t feel that a dog is truly “rescued” until they are placed into their forever home. Please help us get him out of boarding by sharing his story far and wide. Please don’t let Morgon continue to be stuck in limbo. Thank you in advance.



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