Introducing Mauser, Our New Family Member

On Thursday evening, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw that a friend's dog page had shared a photo and description for a 10-year-old Belgian Malinois at Manhattan Animal Care & Control. Named Jackson, he was set to be killed after 12 PM on Friday. Mac and I talked at length about it, and on Friday morning, I bit the bullet and paid for his adoption fee online, reserving him for us. If we didn't pick him up in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon, he would still be euthanized, and I'd forfeit the adoption fee. So, Mac and I ventured up to Manhattan on Saturday, arriving around 2 PM.

Knowing how quick to kill the NY AC&Cs can be, I was braced for a horrible trip. I'd heard stories of how the employees would try to discourage adoptions, and how they'd deny adoptions if you didn't bring everything with you, and I was prepared for the issues, including them possibly saying that for whatever reason, we couldn't adopt him, and they were going to kill him. So, I made it a point to have proof of residency, vet records for Geno and Cobaka, anything and everything I could think of, just in case they asked for it! Part of my preparation for that was knowing that Mac would probably not react well to having driven to Manhattan to be told that, and I jokingly asked friends in a dog group on Facebook to have bail money at the ready.

One of those friends lives in Brooklyn, and offered help if necessary, and agreed to meet us there, with knish, because I knew if nothing else, Mac could wait outside and eat, while I dealt with bureaucracy at its finest. She arrived, with lots of knish, bail money, and an attorney on speed dial!

When we arrived, I signed in, and then the waiting began. We all waited semi-patiently, and I bit my tongue a few times, but didn't speak up, afraid that they'd take it out on Jackson. Eventually, after waiting for half an hour or so, they got started on the adoption "counseling" and all of the assorted paperwork. Soon enough, we were allowed to meet Jackson, and interact with him. It was arranged so that if we connected with him, we could walk him out the front door, without having to do any paperwork after that.

Yes, Mauser now has a home with us, and once he is over his kennel cough, we'll start working with him on some obedience training, with the goal of pursuing his Canine Good Citizen.

For those wondering why we'd be compelled to add another dog to an already hectic house, well, this is what I posted to the Urgent Part 2 - Urgent Death Row Dogs Facebook page:

"Thank you so much to those of you behind the scenes of this page, and to the volunteers at NY AC&C Manhattan, who wrote such a great description of Jackson, the 10-year-old Belgian Malinois. Your posts and those who shared him truly saved him, as I noticed his thread thanks to a share--yes, shares save lives! For those who doubt it, Jackson (who we renamed Mauser) is a great example--sharing works. It may not save every dog, but it does save some, and that's better than nothing! Thank you also for answering my questions via message and email, and for calming my nerves.

To the volunteers--your job is often thankless and heartbreaking, I'm sure, but thank you! Thank you for capturing Jackson's (Mauser's) personality, and for caring and worrying about him. The comment about him that read, "He is like my old grandpa but a spunky version of him," is what drew me to him, because my grandfather was always very spunky, and it felt like he was sending me a message to go save Jackson. Know that, for him, you made a huge difference, and we will be always grateful for that!"

When you get frustrated about people sharing posts of dogs who will die soon on Facebook, please know that sometimes, it does work! Rather than scrolling by, or unfollowing the pages that share, please, take a few seconds and share at least one of those dogs!

We didn't do anything special really, and we didn't do anything that everyone else can't do. If you are looking to add a new companion, be it a cat, dog, rabbit, bird, etc., please consider adopting from a shelter or rescue. So many animals die each day, week, and year, only because humans have previously failed them, and they ended up in shelters. You don't need to drive far to save a life--in most communities, your local shelter isn't no-kill, so while they may not have the hard and fast deadlines like NYC does, you can save a life at your local shelter too.

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