Having a Ball: Neutering My Puppy Sean at the Oklahoma Humane Society

A few weeks ago, while taking Sean on a walk, a drunk passing me by asked if he was a pit-bull and, before I could answer, told me not to get him fixed. As I gripped the leash a bit tighter, he went on to ask me if I’d like it if someone would “cut off my shit” before trying to buy him off me because he’d make a “good fighting dog.”

I told him “No thanks!” because I didn’t want a good fighting dog, I want—and have—a good dog, period. And even though I had put it off for as long as I absolutely could, I realized it was now time: Sean, my beloved adopted puppy, had to be neutered.

Even though I know all of the human reasons why something like this should be done—controlling the dog population, the chief reason—it is something that is still a little bit infeasible to wrap my mind around, as I was paying to have a vet surgically lacerate my pet’s genitals. On the way there, as he hid down in the backseat, a nervous scowl on his mug, I knew that he knew it too.

Secure on his leash, I led him out of the car and into the arms of a waiting aide at the Oklahoma Humane Society, 5835 S. Penn. In one of the saddest moments to ever tear my heart out of my chest, as the woman started to take him into the building, Sean tried to hold his ground and absolutely refused to go into the building, at one point laying dead on the ground.

While I wanted to go and grab him and now let him live out the rest of his life at play with his testicles in tow, she gently picked him up and carried him in. But, I swear, he cocked his head around and shot me the meanest look ever, causing a few quiet tears to drip down from my eyes.

I held the tantrum in on the ride home, thinking of all the good things that the Humane Society does for the animals of Oklahoma, from spaying and neutering at discounted rates to fostering and adopting dogs and cats that desperately need homes. But, still, I worried about whatever pain he was going through and wish I could go through it for him. (Hey, I don’t have kids…let me have this one.)

For the next few hours, I bit my nails down to the quick. I knew that the vets, animal specialists that have been trained for years (I hope) in dealing with spaying and neutering, had the situation fully under control; but, I have to admit, I was trembling in my soul for the absolute fear that I knew Sean went through as he started to go under. “Where was dad,” I’m sure he asked, “Why did he abandon me?”

Now if this was a “normal” time in American history, I would have stayed in the spay and neuter clinic almost all day, surely becoming a pest, questioning where my dog was and what was his status. But, thanks to Covid, instead, I waited around my significant other’s house until 3:30 or so, doing anything to keep my mind on something else. It really didn’t work.

When that time came, however, we sped to the southwest part of town to pick up our pup in the mutually accepted spot. He came out very dazed and highly drugged, slowly going to the front seat of the car and falling asleep right in my spot. It was alright though, as I went ahead and sat in the backseat, allowing him to have the front for once.

I’ve had him for the past week now, a plastic cone around his neck to help him not to pick at the threads holding together his scrotum. Even though, for the first couple of days he was doped out of his mind, after a while he became pretty good about the cone, almost getting used to it. I feel that, everyday, he’s returning to his natural self, even if he’s mad at me still.

I saw that homeless guy out in front of 7-Eleven a few days ago. He asked me about Sean and I told him I finally got him fixed. I was called a “dumb motherfucker” for the effort.


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13 Responses

  1. My pup is currently undergoing a surgery to remove a growth from beneath his tail. I’m nervously cleaning the house & just washed the filter in the vacuum cleaner. Just waiting for 4 pm pickup time.

    I hope Sean is not too mad at you.

  2. You did the best thing for him. He will have a healthier life hopefully free from a lot of cancers and tumors. He will become a calmer dog and, guess what?” he won’t remember any of it. He will still love you unconditionally.

  3. Good Daddy. Good Daddy.

  4. Congratulations on being a responsible pet parent! If only more people loved their furkids like you do, there wouldn’t be so many homeless starving dogs and cats out in the cold. And he is a pretty boy, for sure a good mixture of interesting ancestry.

  5. Awwww….living pet daddy and sweet puppy. No he won’t remember a thing. You did the right living thing. The homeless guy…tell him to grow some! I guess guys have a hang up about this so don’t watch Animal Planet when they show use of “emasculators” on horses. Fortunately, small animals are sedated. My puppy had to have an undescended testicle removed from his abdomen during his neutering so he had two incisions. He’s still all boy!

  6. Sean won’t hold this against you, I promise. It’s for the best. He will continue to worship you as the Alpha of his “pack.” When you love him in return, that’s what he wants most of all.

    People who think that dogs are for fighting lack empathy and other normal human characteristics. Avoid them.

  7. You did the best thing for him and society. Never look back. He will be a MUCH BETTER dog for the long haul

  8. I had a neighbor who lived alone and had no family to speak of,
    but had many feral cats that became his family. He fed them good
    and really loved them but he refused to have them spayed or neutered,
    saying that he felt that such a thing wasn’t natural.

    Yet I would routinely find dead cats flattened in the street and bury them
    so that they wouldn’t be a depressing public display. Other times dogs
    that were left to roam wild would get in the backyard and maul a whole
    new litter of kittens to death …. another fine sight to see, pretty sad.

    He finally got evicted and had to hit the streets and I got stuck with eight
    feral cats. The Oklahoma Humane Society was first getting started and they
    came out and set traps for the six that I wasn’t able to get myself to take
    them to get them fixed.

    It was so heartwarming to get acquainted with that organization and realize
    that so many (mostly ladies) loved animals enough to spend lots of their time
    volunteering to set out food daily for feral colonies, working at the clinic and
    so forth.

    Not that I’m a cat lover all that much, but I ended up doing thousands of dollars worth
    of free work through my business in the following years I think because I was wanting
    to help out those other human beings who were donating their time for a good cause.

    I fed those cats everyday for years until the last one died (my dog killed it) even though
    they wouldn’t let me get near enough to try to pet them.
    And the Humane Society grew like no other outfit I’d ever seen.

    1. I’ve seen similar scenarios often. We had a neighbor on our block feed ferals until she had 30 or 40 around her house. No one could talk sense to her. The stench of cat pee was everywhere and all our gardens were full of their crap. She finally gave up and all those cats were on their own.
      Feral cats are one of the most serious threats to bird populations in N. America. And bird populations are crashing. If you are feeding feral cats and they aren’t fixed, you aren’t being kind or responsible; you are adding to the problem. Any kittens born while you are feeding them are YOUR cats, and when you quit – which you will, due to moving, or jobs, or illness, etc – it will be exactly as if you are dumping them.
      I’m not even a big fan of some versions of the trap and release program. For years, someone has been re-locating dozens, if not hundreds, of cats along the east shore of Overholser. They dump out huge amounts of food for them. Along the shore of a lake where waterfowl migrate through. About 1/4 mile from the Stinchcomb wildlife refuge. On the shore of one of our sources of drinking water.
      My wife has trapped and released a bunch of cats around here. She feeds three that hung around. They still kill birds. Once you have trapped most of them, it’s very hard to get every last one because you keep getting ones that are already fixed. In our case, since there is another family on the next block that keeps turning out more cats, there is an unending supply.
      Turning out feral cats after you fixed them is not returning them to a life of ease and comfort, especially if they aren’t being fed. An urban cat’s life is brutal, short and nasty. Whether trapping and releasing them without food is less cruel than having them put down is arguable.
      Don’t breed them.

      1. The city lakes are a common place for people to dump
        kittens. Another problem with cat colonies are apartment
        complexes where a kid will bring in a cute little kitten
        and later they fear paying a pet deposit so they abandon
        it, thus creating a colony of them there in time.

        It is so common for people to get cute little puppies or
        kittens, then lose interest once they’re grown.
        But the OHS generally cuts a small tip off of one ear so
        that they can tell when one’s been fixed.

        One time the president of OHS looked at me seriously
        and told me that their goal was to make OKC a ‘no kill’
        community. My thoughts were “Good luck with that !”,
        and it seemed like an impossible task, but the attitude
        toward euthanasia has certainly changed from what it
        was in the past.
        It used to be commonplace to kill the ferals, especially
        ones found on commercial property. People did it with
        no remorse, similar to shooting rats on farmland.

        When it comes to birds though, it may be a much larger task
        to gather enough people together who have enough
        compassion for them to activate any change.

  9. All four of my rescue dogs were strays at one time or another.
    My senior Dachshunds were turned into animal shelters after found as strays. Zeke was in terrible condition & would have been euthanized because of dental issues & a tumor on his chin but my rescue group pulled him because I offered to provide hospice care for him. Nearly three years later he has had all but nine teeth pulled & the tumor was benign. He is a delightfully droll quirky old man & he loves me as only as rescue can. Abby had been found as a stray as a puppy & lived 9 years with her rescue family but after her dad died, her mom couldn’t take care of her so she released her to my rescue group & I took her from them. After we dealt with her dental issues, her spunk came back & she is a busy little girl with no fear of anything but the dark of night. She still has trauma from her days as a stray puppy.

    The blue heeler mix girls were dumped in my rural neighborhood, Sissy as a 4-5 month old puppy then never left the porch except for bathroom duty for the first year we had her. Rio came several years later when Sissy befriended her & brought her home. Eventually we found out that Rio actually had a family in the neighborhood that neglected her so she wondered & was terribly thin, full of parasites & later found to be heartworm positive. Her owners were happy to release her to us so she became our dog.

    If we had spay neuter laws that actually had some teeth, my dogs would not have had to suffer abandonment, starvation, disease & possible death due to neglect. The senior dachshunds are classic examples of what happens to many senior dogs because the owners tire of the expense of their medical expenses or they want a dog they can play with or hunt with or run with.

    So you did the right thing because the instinct to reproduce will drive many males to escape the leash or a fenced yard to spread their genes. Just walk through any animal shelter & see the tragedy of uncontrolled cat & dog reproduction. My dogs have a family to love them & care about them but the shelters are full of companion animals that will not get that chance.

  10. Had a similar experience. Found my pup on the street when he was 6months old. Folks in Midwest City were wanting me to breed him, clip his ears and bob his tail. He’s snoring at my feet right now kid-free and friendly.

  11. You did two good things Louis. You adopted a homeless dog and then had him fixed so he can’t contribute to the population of homeless dogs. The bond between dogs and their humans is very powerful and mysterious. Yes, it’s a win-win for both of you.

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