For those who don't know,
(And remember, I'm always awful at telling these things, because I end up making up some of the facts, to make them more interesting to me. It's an awful habit, I know it. I listen to stories, and somewhere down the line, la la la, I start to think about something else, and then, to make up for this deficit, I decide to fill in the blanks with something more interesting...or dramatically appealing...or just plain WRONG.)
(Oh wait. I was in the middle of a sentence?)
apparently Ellen decided to pick up a dog from a local shelter, and after a few months, decided that the doggie wasn't getting along with her cats, and gave it away to her hairdresser, who had two kids, around eleven years old. Problem is, the shelter called to check up on the dog, and Ellen told them what had happened. However, the contract she signed said that the dog would not go to a family with children under the age of 14, and so the shelter got the authorities involved, and they took the dog away from the family, resulting in this:
Which then resulted in the shelter being beseiged with death threats. The power of the media, and all that stuff.
Now, I have a few thoughts here. Foist of all, what the hell was Ellen doing actually being HONEST about giving her poochie away? I mean, what purpose did that serve? If she truly felt that the dog was going to a nice home, and really and truly didn't want to separate the "two little girls" from their new puppy, why bother? Just say things are going fine, the dog's great, and leave it at that. It's not as though they're going to check to make sure she wasn't lying.
This is definitely where I fall into the "truth is relative" camp. Fact of the matter is, I've always been a relativist, for most things. There are some areas, some lines, where I refuse to cross, but in other areas...well, sometimes you simply have to look at the greater good. And, when the shelter calls to ask how the dog is doing, I say, "Fine" is a perfectly acceptable answer. The dog IS fine, really. Just not fine in my house, but you didn't have to hear that from me.
Corb and I have had a bit of experience with places like this. I'm not saying that some of the rules of these shelters aren't perfectly legitimate. However, some of them are absolutely asinine!
We picked up Ollie from a shelter. The Shelter Nazi who turned Ollie over to us sternly instructed us that Ollie was a shy cat, and made us swear upon a photograph of Adolf Hitler and a well-worn copy of Mein Kampf that we would keep him inside his kitty carrier for one full week before even thinking of letting him run free. One full week! Maybe we could poke our finger in the cage, every now and then. Wiggle it about, let Ollie lick it. But that was it!
What did we do? The minute he returned home with us, that carrier door was unlocked. Ollie crept out, and never looked back. Sure he was a bit frightened and hid underneath our bed for a bit, but by the second day he had the run of the house and knew it.
My point being, what kind of shelter has an idiotic rule that animals shouldn't be loved by children under the age of fourteen?
Prohibitions against toddlers I can see. Yes, that makes sense. They might pull tails, the dog could snap at them. Nasty incidents could occur.
Prohibitions against mosh pits should be enforced. No self-respecting dog needs to be lifted up and carried around by a wild crowd of drunken carousers.
Disallowing families with sons or daughters possessed by Satan is something I'm totally jiggy with. Let's face it, Linda Blair would not have made a very good pet owner. The poor puppy would have been subjected to projectile vomiting and the owner would hog all the good spots in the house to pee. On the plus side, his master would have eyes in the back of her head. Literally.
But why set the bar at 14? It just doesn't make sense to me. Has this shelter actually given any thought to what kids are like at 14? They're all acne ridden and hormone driven. Kids at 14 don't care two licks about the family pet. They wouldn't pay any attention to it, unless it was named Hollister. Kids at that age just want to spend their life staring in the mirror and waiting for the perfect boy to show up and go to the junior high dance with them. I know I did!
But it never happened. Sigh.
Okay, so maybe 14 is too young. Maybe the age should be raised to 16. What, are you out of your mind? 16 is when kids are learning to drive! What sort of self-respecting shelter would put a poor innocent animal in the line of fire for something like that? All that moving in reverse, and begging and pleading to have the keys to the car. It's inhumane!
Okay, then move forward a few more years. There's the perfect age. 18. The exact moment when kids are moving out of the house and into college, and the empty nesting parents need something to love, because the kids are all away. That's perfect!
See what I mean? It's an arbitrary rule, and Ellen should have just lied her ass off to avoid bringing up the whole subject. But no, someone had to be honest, and now we all have to pay the price, with a dramatic television performance that I expect to see sandwiched within the bowels of a Lifetime made for TV movie, where it belongs. Not splashed all over You Tube. Somebody, think of the children!