Sasha Answers: The dogs left behind
Here’s the backstory and deets so you can assess and advise: my husband met my stepdaughter’s mom in rehab (it was LA in the late eighties) and had a volatile on-and-off relationship with her for several years until this child was born (at 29 weeks, weighing 3 lbs 3 oz). He got sober as a result of the pregnancy, embracing fatherhood fully. He and I met working together in post a couple of years later and eventually married and had another daughter. I’ve raised my stepdaughter since she was two and we’ve been married since she was four. Her mother has continued to struggle with addiction through a string of volatile relationships-- more than one person I know has likened her to Courtney Love, whom she even resembles physically.
Last week, Courtney Love’s current bf had her arrested on felony charges of domestic violence for threatening his life, causing him bodily harm, and destroying his house and property. She spent a night in jail but somehow posted $50K bail and is now out and essentially homeless. This leads me to the dogs. One is a Shih Tzu mix pound rescue (looks like a pre-Gremlin Mogwai) and the other a King Charles Spaniel mix rescue (looks like Chuck Jones’ version of the Grinch’s dog, Max), both of which sd picked out with Courtney Love on different occasions during one of their post-spat kiss-and-make-up let’s-get-a-dog-to-prove-my-love-to-you parenting honeymoons. Courtney’s boyfriend sent an ultimatum for the dogs to be collected within 24 hours or they would be turned over to animal control.
So my husband rushed a distraught sd over there to pick up her two dogs and they are now in our apartment-- yes, I promptly took both to the vet, as they looked like they’d been living in a gutter. The problem is that per our lease we’re only allowed two dogs and we already have our two pugs whom we’re very attached to, so we’re in violation of our lease. My mother-in-law has begrudgingly accepted our pugs for a “few days” until we figure out what to do with the Mogwai and the Max. Here’s where you come in. What can I do here without stomping on sd’s heart? She clings to Mogwai and Max, weeping about them being all she has left of Courtney Love.
Even if Courtney Love doesn’t get convicted when she’s due back in court in a few weeks, she’s clearly unfit to care for them and does not appear to want them anyway. So why don’t we move someplace we can have four dogs, you ask? Well, we really can’t afford to. So does my heart need to grow three sizes? Help, please, I don’t know what to do. R-
There is no doubt in my mind that if you could house these dogs you would, but R, you can only do as much as you can do. Keeping all of these animals in one apartment is not only unfair to you, but to these dogs as well.
Of course it’s going to be tough to break this news to your step-daughter, but you know as well as I do that these pups need a new loving home. Your step-daughter needs to understand that if she really wants what’s best for them, if she really loves them, she’ll support your decision. Having said that, she needs your support during this time too. I know you have a lot on your plate, but this girl has been served a big ol’ bowl of sh-t stew with a side of crazy-mom. She’s processing some pretty heavy stuff, so allow her the space and time to feel and act out whatever emotions she may have. Keep your eye on her, okay?
So here’s the plan of attack:
One way to get this process moving is put out a facebook message to all your friends to see if anyone is willing to adopt them. This way you can rest assured that they’re in good hands, plus if your step-daughter ever wanted to visit the dogs, it’s an easy set up.
Now, if that option doesn’t pan out your next best bet is to find a reputable adoption agency in LA who can take this on. Just be really thorough when choosing an animal shelter. Visit the kennels, meet the staff, and familiarize yourself with their shelter policies. After a quick search on Pet Finder I found a list of shelters in the LA area. Click here.
R, I know this is weighing heavy on your heart, but you can’t always be the hero. While this situation isn’t ideal the right thing to do right now is to find these dogs a happier and healthier home.
Hope this helps! xx
(Lainey: here’s a call out to LA residents - please, will you help R find a loving home for Mowgli and Max? PS. Whatever happened to Lindsay Lohan’s dog?)