Good Intentions Pave the Road to Hell


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Whoever coined the phrase ‘Good Intentions Pave the Road to Hell’ must have been a dog lover. Prime example is my recently departed mutt Shane who we adopted from Ace of Hearts Dog rescue. Before our rescue, Shane and another 350 dogs, belonged to a dog hoarder. I asked dog trainer, Tony Rollins, “Why in the world would someone hoard dogs?”

“They don’t start out hoarding,” he said. “They have a few dogs and think they can save them all. Before long, they have more than they can handle.”

Another example of Good Intentions Paving the Road to Hell: while driving with my mom and College Kid through Brentwood, I spotted two loose dogs. I pulled over, grabbed my spare leash and coaxed them into the backseat of my car. The good news according to their collars, the dogs had only wandered a few blocks from home. The bad news, they  had not been bathed in months…possibly years. I hurried to their home.

I rang the bell. No answer. I called the number on the collar. Voicemail.

Meanwhile, these sweet, smelly dogs with untrimmed claws etched more lines in my backseat than a toddler with an Etch-a-Sketch. Luckily, my son spotted a French door ajar.

We shepherded the dogs inside the house. As we turned for the car, my mom suddenly shouted and pointed to something behind us. The French doors hung open again and the dogs had escaped. The three of us frantically ran around the front lawn, rounding them up.

With some rope we found in the trunk, we wrangled the dogs back into the house and secured the doors with Harry Houdini-worthy knots.

Soon the owners called. They had not been aware of the broken door latch. Seemingly unimpressed with my knot-tying skills, they muttered thank you and goodbye. Despite my backseat wear-and-tear, I was happy the dogs were safe.

Those dogs came to mind this morning during my bike ride when I spied another two dogs running loose in a driveway.  One was a Rottweiler, the other an American Bulldog. As I slowed down, the Rott began to bark. He meant business. I needed to reach the intercom, but they were blocking it.

Anyone Home?

I knew by waiting, I took a risk but I kept thinking: What if those were my dogs? Eventually, the dogs wandered across the street and I made a break for the intercom. I pressed the button. “Hello?” a male voice said.

“Your dogs are loose!”

The gate swung open, the dogs rushed toward me and I thought: Here it is. My first dog bite. When they swept past me I exhaled in relief. The gates closed and I stared at the intercom thinking the voice would return. It didn’t.

No matter where good intentions lead, dog lovers will always do a dog a good turn. As British poet Lord Byron wrote about dogs:

Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferosity, and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 5 comments. Add yours

  1. 28th September 2013 | Valerie Berke says: Reply
    I'm sorry, too, so hard to lose those that get to our hearts. I have a few that need adopting, will you post for me? Quincy is either a Scnoodle or similar and he's got a lot of energy and is being trained. He's about 2 years old, fixed with all shots. We can continue to pay for trainer if fostered or adopted. He's full of love and mischief and is learning quickly. His family just left him one day when they moved, heartbreaking story........I also have a long-hair chihuahua who only wants to be in your lap and give give you kisses. She's also fixed and has all shots. I also have a gorgeous black Lab, Duncan, about 7 years old, a love. He gets along well with other dogs and he is fixed with all shots. He was also abandoned, found dehydrated, collapsed on the sidewalk one day, a few months ago. My rescue partner found a foster for him, but she got a call that they couldn't take him in because he was too ugly!!! He had been chained up and he had no hair on his neck and his tail and fur were in bad shape. A few months of tlc was all he needed and he's a new man, ready for a loving home. The last one I'm looking for a home for is a boy chi, white with brown spots, named Louie. We call him Glouie because he sticks to you like glue. He's a dear, gentle lap dog full of love, a few years old, fixed with all shots. You are now in the dog rescue biz and now you know how hard it is to let these dogs just go without helping. Sure, there are some who will never let you get them and run the other way when you're trying to get them to safety, so you save the ones you can, that's where we come in. We all need to pitch in and help those who cannot help themselves and those who have no voice. You know so many people and I'm really hoping you can help me find homes for these guys. My non-profit is awaiting the federal status for tax-deduction purposes and that should be ready by the end of next month. In the mena time, these wonderful dogs really need to find loving homes, before I become a hoarder myself! Thanks for your good deeds and for your help, Val Pics to follow
    • 28th September 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Valerie, Fight on valiantly for those wonderful animals. I admire you and those like you for the big hearts you have to love all these creatures who are so fragile. Of course I will post!
  2. 28th September 2013 | Brookela says: Reply
    You are truly a good citizen, my friend.
  3. 28th September 2013 | Gavin Polone says: Reply
    I'm sorry about Shane. :(
    • 28th September 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Thanks, Gav. You've been there. Difficult to be without him.

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