August 31, 2013

North Cairn: Dog gone, she's too demanding

(Continued from page 1)

She's been to a doggy daycare and the human library, winning accolades everywhere. "I wish I could have her," said a woman named Linda, who twice crossed paths with us at the Gray Public Library.

"I wish we could keep her," said the attendants at the daycare center.

But no one had room for a perfectly behaved, quiet, laid back victim of PTSD, whose lingering injury is that she cannot bear to be left alone. Any company -- human, dog, cat -- will do, or simply being outside with nature to calm her; but she wants someone who will not abandon her, even for a few hours. Serious separation anxiety -- not uncommon, I am told, in these loyal, intelligent German shepherds.

Sadly, I cannot be with my dog 24/7 or provide a fenced-in yard, so on Tuesday, the lovely Samantha will be driven back to Connecticut to be put in another cage until someone picks her out of the hundreds of thousands of dogs on, perhaps to adopt her.

I cannot remember when I last felt this despondent over someone's fate. And now, already grieving my own dog, I am mourning doubly, this time that I have played any part in Sam's history of abandonment, despite my good intentions.

I have stumbled around in a state of animal sorrow all week, while Sam tried to teach me what she needed.

One night, she wouldn't let me leave the car without her, even to return a library book. The next night, she wouldn't get out at all.

I couldn't grasp it at first. This was a dog that didn't want to be closed up anywhere. What was she doing, clinging to the car?

And then it hit me. She had deduced that it was that loud, moving box that took me away from her. Therefore, she was coming along.

I sat down in the back seat of the SUV, stroked her blown coat and told her I understood.

"You are so smart, Sam," I said. "But it's OK. I'm here for the night."

I moved her with promises of dinner, herded her indoors and got her settled and asleep.

How many more times am I going to break my heart over a dog? I thought, watching "my dog" rest by my chair. "At least once more, I guess," I ached. "Come Tuesday; come Connecticut."

North Cairn can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:


Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)