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Update: Thank you everyone for all your support and good thoughts. I almost didn't publish this because I was afraid it would be too long and too upsetting. And thank you for the recommends and republishes. I am overwhelmed!

----

I work for a veterinarian. I prefer not to deal directly with clients because, as someone in rescue, I experience so much angst when clients "do the wrong thing" like buy a dog from a puppy mill (backyard or not), purchase a breed dog unsuitable to their family, ignore the dog (read neglect) by dumping them in the backyard and never letting them in the house or bothering to socialize or train them with either people or other animals, and do not give them proper veterinary treatment throughout their lives.

All of these things are choices. All of them.

Yesterday, while in the clinic doing the morning medication rounds, I found myself dealing with one of the most tragic circumstances in recent memory. It was heartbreaking in a lot of ways and one of the few times that the animal's owner was completely being responsible and got whacked by fate. Whacked in a big way.

I stepped through the doorway between the kennels and treatment room and there stood a woman sobbing over her bleeding and very dead dog. She was literally in the throes of near hysteria. The second I saw her, I started to cry. I understood that deep grief so well. I had been there so many times myself.

I walked to her and put my arm around her (the only other person in the room was a man and he probably did not feel comfortable doing this), saying nothing, just holding on to her tightly, silently nodding off everyone else to let them know I would stay with her, as she let a storm of grief explode from her deeply injured heart. I looked at the very young gentleman with her, but he seemed completely overwhelmed and remained at a distance. I did not realize who he was until I spoke to him later.

When she was finally able to speak, the shock of what happened to this woman washed over me and I was so angry that I cried all the harder.

This woman and her 13 year-old son had just moved to an urban California area from a rural southern state and so recently, they didn't even have furniture. She is teaching nursing at a local college.

When she returned home that day, she found that someone had broken into their apartment, stolen one of the only things she had--a laptop computer--and let her dog out. The dog had never been out alone before here and she was panicked. Between sobs, she said, "I would never, ever let her out."

Her dog, an 11 year-old hound mix, had just undergone an expensive hip surgery just two years earlier, the result of getting stuck in a tree while chasing a squirrel. The dog  was microchipped, wore current tags, and was spayed and fully vaccinated.

When she discovered the break-in and lost dog, the woman and her son, having returned from school, immediately went and made signs and began to put them up on poles etc. all over their very new neighborhood. They searched and searched for their dog, to no avail, deep into the night and early morning, both on foot and in a car. Calling and calling. Searching, panicked, and half the time lost.

Early yesterday morning, the sobbing woman got a call: Someone was traveling up a local six-lane urban boulevard to discover traffic all backed up and moving around something. That someone was the man standing cautiously aside and that something?  Her dog, laying critically injured in the roadway trying to lift its head.

Not ONE OTHER person stopped to help but this young stranger. Not one. Another choice made by dozens and dozens of selfish and self-absorbed drivers negotiating rush hour.

The young man positioned his car between the dog and traffic and checked for tags. He quickly called the number on the tag and eventually reached the owner now sobbing in our veterinary clinic. This young man was the person now standing in our clinic looking as torn up and scared as anyone I have ever seen.

When she arrived at the scene, they loaded the dog into HIS car (which his own dog was in) and sped to our veterinary office. They were the first clients of the day at about 8:15am.

He told me that a pedestrian had seen the dog get hit by a green van... a green van that did not even so much as slow down let alone stop. The van slammed into the dog so hard it bent the dog's metal ID tag and kept going.

In hearing this, I cannot begin to express the seething outrage I felt. There are no words for it.

As I stood in the hallway talking to this young man, he told me his wife used to work as a veterinary technician but couldn't take the circumstances of bad pet ownership that kept coming up. As indicated above, it is the reason I do not like working with humans, much preferring the kindness and sometimes crazy love of the most untrained and unruly dog.

The young man said he didn't know what to do. He looked a bit in shock himself.

I thanked him repeatedly for what he had done saying that his kindness and attention to the needs of the unknown woman and her dog were the best and highest form of giving and kindness. I asked if he needed to take his own dog home, and he indicated he would like to do that.

I stayed with the grieving woman while he was gone until the young man returned to take the woman home. Every time she started to cry, I cried.

She asked me how she was going to tell her 13 year-old son the horrible news. His birthday is today. Up to now, I had said nothing. Relying on what little I know about nursing, I told her that her nursing skills included knowledge of grief counseling and that she really DID know what to do. She needed to use those skills in talking to her son and since she knew him well, obviously, she would do an excellent job. She cried all the harder. So did I.

As she continued to pet and hold her beloved dead dog, between sobs, she asked where a crematorium was. Obviously she had no intention of sending the dog into a vat of other dead animals to be rendered for fertilizer. Thank God for that. She was explained the procedure and cost and chose a private cremation.

The woman remained, as did I, at the dog's side while the paperwork was drawn up and said a final sobbing goodbye as the dog disappeared into the large black plastic bag destined for the dead animal freezer. Being a Christian, I said a silent prayer and made a very subtle sign of the cross on the dog's forehead as I have done for decades for dogs and cats I have lost.

Finally, she was ready to go. I handed her, and the young gentleman who by now had returned to take her home, a handful of tissue stuffing an additional portion into my own pocket. I am crying just typing this.

I gave her a large hug and wished her well, and she vanished through the doorway. My boss complimented me on helping her. Through tears, and speechless, I nodded and turned away crossing back into the safe world of the kennels.

As I passed every dog, I stopped and through the kennel gates, gave them a pet and told each one I loved them. And as I walked back into the exercise yard, tears streaming down my face, I cursed the the sad excuse of a human being that robbed this woman and let her dog out and the driver of the green van who hit the dog and didn't stop.

When I arrived home last night, I looked at my own precious dogs and cats--and the other almost two dozen rescue cats and dogs--differently. I thanked God for letting me do the work I do both at the veterinary office and in rescue which I have been doing for 35 years or so.

Even though the rescue work is often emotionally difficult, always physically demanding and extremely expensive, it is a privilege to be able to do this work. I am grateful, even on the worst of days--perhaps especially on the worst of days--that I was somehow given the ability to do it.

And while what I do often helps people (I take in a lot of senior animals, animals from owners who are terminal medical patients and ill/injured animals for other rescues the animals returned to that rescue when they are well), my job is really to take the voiceless and give them voice, and lead them to health and safety, through love.

I feel so lucky to be able to do this work. I just could not ask for more. Even, and perhaps especially, on a day like this.

Originally posted to http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:09 PM PST.

Also republished by Pink Clubhouse, The Royal Manticoran Rangers, Community Spotlight, and Street Prophets .

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    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:09:31 PM PST

    •  I am off to work now, will check in (37+ / 0-)

      when I return.

      Thank you, everyone for reading and commenting and for your wonderful thoughts.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:03:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  perhaps, when she's ready, you might let (42+ / 0-)

        her know that you do rescue and that you know what a wonderful rescuer she would be to some other little one who is desperately in need of someone to love.

        thank you and my tears join yours and hers and that of the wonderful young man who cared enough to get involved.

        Is GlowNZ back yet?

        by edrie on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 03:40:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have considered that. I don't know that I have a (28+ / 0-)

          dog suitable for her, but on the other hand, I might.

          I will wait a week or so and give her a call. Thank you for thinking of this and prodding me:)

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:28:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, give her a week (26+ / 0-)

            In the meantime, could your vet send her a pet sympathy card?

            That fellow who stopped was truly an angel, as are you. Thank you for sharing your grief - it is less of a burden when shared.  

          •  She might be ready, or she might not (47+ / 0-)

            Everyone has to grieve in their own way. Bringing a new dog (or cat) into her and her son's lives soon might help; or they might need time with their grief. There's no right answer for everyone.

            But I know you know that already.

            The shelter I volunteer at has a monthly support meeting for people who've lost beloved animals; is there anything like that around where you are?

            --Today I happened to notice a handsome big Husky in the park where I take my dog twice a day; when I first saw him I figured his person must be just up the hill, but when we three got up there (he was interested in my dog and tagged after her) there was nobody. He was so relaxed and comfortable you'd have to be paying close attention to see he wasn't attached to anyone in this 20+ acre, busy off-leash dog park.

            When no one had shown up half an hour later I managed to get him by the collar (he wasn't people-shy, but was more interested in continuing to check out other dogs instead). A passerby shone her cellphone light on his tag to read phone numbers to me in the dusk. A guy answered the second number and when I said "Do you have a Husky?" you never heard anyone more relieved.

            He'd brought his dog to a job site a few blocks away in this residential urban neighborhood, and somehow the dog had slipped out of the client's (fenced, I gathered) back yard to go walkabout in a part of the city he didn't know nor did his person. Person had left work and been walking all over looking for an hour. Not the first time the dog had wandered casually away, apparently, and his owner vowed that was the last time he'd take him to work with him! Glad the dog found the dog park; glad I happened to arrive in a manner where I'd notice he wasn't with anyone, and before it got too dark to have noticed at all; glad this story had a happy ending. One thankful win, one terrible loss, this week....

            •  Fabulous! Another dog home and safe! (10+ / 0-)

              Thank you for doing that. These things that seem so trivial and unnecessary to some are so very, very important to all involved including you.

              I somehow think that we are often presented with things for a reason which, I suppose, goes along with the saying that one is never given a load they cannot carry. I cannot tell you how many times over the years animals have appeared to me seemingly out of nowhere. Even when I was a child, my mom would say I was an animal magnet (and threatened to make me wear blinders!  haha!).

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

              by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:44:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for your attentiveness, and for making the (10+ / 0-)

              effort to contact his owner.  That Husky must be a happy, confident dog to be so relaxed in a strange place with his person nowhere around.  I'm glad to know he'll have more time -- hopefully many years -- to live and be happy, and share companionship with the man who loves him.

            •  Huskies are extremely difficult to keep from (12+ / 0-)

              wandering.  They're smart dogs and I swear learn how to read their owners so they know the minute their attention has been diverted, and off they go if there's any opportunity.  I consider them one of the most beautiful breeds, but probably will never get another one (mixed, I've never actually had a purebred because mine are all rescue) because of the heartbreak my last gorgeous girl caused.  I've lost animals before and it's always a heartbreak, but that one still cuts deep 2 1/2 years later.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:15:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I had a husky/golden mix that came with the (12+ / 0-)

                sig other that I cannot speak highly enough about. Not only was she a knock out in terms of beauty, she was one of the most special, gentle and kind dogs we have ever had.

                After she reached about two, she never wandered off. I took her to work with me, often, and everyone in the community knew her.

                When we finally had to let her go at 18yo, I cannot begin to tell you how many people called or sent cards, flowers... even a bottle of tequila (which is sort of standard for pet loss up here among a certain group).

                People came and helped us dig a grave for her, and stayed with us--every chair we owned and them some was out in the yard--for hours talking about dogs and love and all good things. I was so very torn up, but all their caring and the outflow of support really helped me a lot.  

                And believe me, I wasn't the only one crying.

                202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:22:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You must have a wonderful group of people (12+ / 0-)

                  around you.  A previous husky mix I had came to the office with me every day and slept under my desk.  Clients usually weren't even aware he was there.  If he moved his position sometimes it would pull a cord that went under my desk and move a light, and people would be so startled.  I'd have to explain it was my dog under there.  I still miss him.

                  The loss that broke my heart is still extremely difficult for me to think about, and nearly impossible to talk about.  I've only recently been able to even say her name.  We'd gone on a long hike and my sister's dog's collar broke.  Since my dog was so obedient compared to hers, we took my dog's off to put on hers, so hers could stay leashed.  My dog would come instantly when called.  I was very tired toward the end of the hike and was looking at the ground, and didn't know my dog had apparently run after a squirrel.  We heard a yip.  I guess she must have been running too fast or something and fell off the cliff into the lake below.  Whether the fall killed her or she drowned, I don't know.  We searched for hours for her and I nearly fell off the cliff myself looking.  The next morning we returned and someone had found her and wrapped her in a blanket.  We took her home and buried her.  I couldn't let myself think for months after - I read, watched teevee, talked, anything to keep my mind busy.  Finally, I wrote the story out and just sobbed for hours.  Gradually, I've gotten to the point where I can briefly talk about her and even think a little about what happened to her.  She was the happiest and sweetest dog you could ever hope to meet.  She should have had a long happy life.  I wish I could go back and change something about that day - just not make one of the mistakes I made.  She didn't deserve that happening to her.

                  "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                  by gustynpip on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:48:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OMG. I am so terribly, terribly sorry. (6+ / 0-)

                    This is truly one of those "accident' scenarios we all fear. I cannot imagine the heartbreak.

                    I understand what you mean when you write you could not even speak her name. My deaf Dalmatian was that way for me. When I talk about him--to this day--I tear up and he has been gone for over 20 years. I was closer to that dog than any human being on the planet.

                    I still cannot talk about Luke and Dax much either... same thing, my throat tightens, my heart beats too fast and tears well up in my eyes. Their loss, at that time in my life when I had lost a relationship of 17 years and my life was a terrible mess, has never settled with me. They were everything to me and the only dogs remaining that were actually mine, the others were rescue dogs waiting for their perfect forever home.

                    For those of us that find the invisible and therapeutic bond to an animal a near necessity of life (I cannot imagine life without a companion animal) and perhaps that bond is actually stronger and more durable than ANY human bond we have, the loss of an animal is sometimes an almost unspeakable personal tragedy.

                    That bond may not be understood by a lot of folks, but I hope they at least respect that those bonds exist and are important.

                    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                    by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:45:54 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Bless the person who wrapped her up for you (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cany, Ahianne

                    That was such a kindness to someone they would never know.

                    The accident was a fluke. You could have had thousands of days like that and not duplicate it. She was distracted, she didn't see the drop. It wasn't your fault!

                    She should have had a long and happy life--but she had a short and happy life. Far too many dogs can't say that.

                    You know she'd forgive you in a second and not want you to be sad.

            •  We have one cat who like sto go outside-- (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cany, sb, Ahianne

              always supervised. One she got out on her own--she's Houdini when it comes to escapes--and when we looked for her, found her sitting patiently on the porch. She's only interested in being out for 15 minutes, then trot sot the door and scratches at the window.  She had a tag with our name and number and address on the back, and her name on the front, for just that reason--lest someone think she doesn't have  a family.

              A good vet is a gift from Deity, in whatever way you envision Deity. Ours has euthanized two of our cats in the last 6 years--and we've gotten two kittens from him. He's always having strays dumped on his doorstep and doesn't pass them on to Animal Control like some would. He and his staff hand raise them till they're ready for adoption.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:30:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Great Story! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cany, asym, Ahianne

              I've rescued four dogs who ventured into my electric fenced yard to visit with my dogs.

              The house is on a main road with nonstop traffic every day.

              Three of them did not have collars, so they either slipped out of them or were lost some other way.

              Another time I stopped in traffic to rescue a young golden who was disoriented and wandering in traffic at dusk and nobody was stopping.  Collar but no tags.  

              All of the dogs were male, and were UN-neutered.

              One of my dogs, Bo, was rescued by me from at the local county shelter, a kill shelter, on day 9.  I don't know how many days they get.  He was one of about a dozen big black dogs there, and they told me that big black dogs rarely get a new family.

              He was un-neutered too.  To take him home we had to pay a small fee and to agree to have him neutered.  

              He had been wandering for who knows how long in a busy shopping mall area, near the interstate.  There was a tick buried so deep in his neck that it had to be cut out, and he was 20lbs underweight.

              The sweetest, most loving dog I have ever met.

              Dogs wander to find mates, they can get out of high fenced yards if they smell a female.  Very well meaning owners who think they are being responsible owners can find themselves in a lost dog situation simply because they did not spay or neuter.

              Of course, irresponsible owners let horrible things happen to dogs.

              They are also abandoned, or left alone in back yards.  They are chained to fences.  Collars become embedded in their necks.  Infested with fleas and ticks, left without water or food to die.  All these things can happen to dogs.

              But an easy thing to do for responsible pet owners which helps to curb the wandering problem and definitely helps the "too many puppies" problem is to spay or neuter your dog.

              That goes for pooties too.

              •  Exactly! And thank you for having such a kind (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                asym, Ahianne

                heart.  And about black dogs, yes it is true.  It is also true with black cats.

                Keep up the great work!

                202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:43:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It makes me so sad to hear that big black dogs (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cany, Ahianne

                  and black cats don't get adopted as much as other colors.

                  I believed them at the shelter but to have you verify it is disheartening.

                  My beautiful black cat died recently at age 16 (she was a rescue too).

                  People:  adopt a black cat or a big black dog next time!

                  Black is beautiful!

                  •  At least half of the dogs here are black or (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ahianne

                    mostly black. At least 2/3 of the rescue cats are black (and because of a hoarder rescue, 11 of them either have no eyes or one eye).

                    But believe me, they love just the same! You should see dinner hour for the cats around here... literally a ray of mostly black cats around food dishes... makes me giggle every time... and it's been going on for years!

                    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                    by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:51:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Just over 27 years ago (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cany, RunawayRose

                    ..I was wandering around the cat room at a local animal shelter, trying to pick out a pair of kittens. One I selected on the first pass for a second look was a handsome little black tom who was pressing up against the front of his cage meowing for attention. His cagemate was a little multicolored ball of fur curled up in the back corner.

                    On my second pass, the black kitten stuck a paw out of the cage. I gave him a finger; he pulled it gently into the cage and started washing it. Then the little furball uncoiled herself, came to the front of the cage, and smiled at me.

                    Vlad and Turtle. Both long dead now. I've had other cats, and loved them all; Gandalf is snoring softly under my chair as I type this. But Vlad and Turtle are still special in my heart. I gather nowadays a lot of shelters wouldn't have let me adopt a black cat and a tortie in October. I'm glad that shelter was not afraid to.

                    Cogito, ergo Democrata.

                    by Ahianne on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 04:21:22 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bcre8ve, cany, pengiep, sb, Ahianne

           Rescuing is the way to go.  All my kitties are rescues, and all of them have unique personalities that you really couldn't see when they were wary and wild.

          •  Our wonderfully goofy golden-doodle is a rescue. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cany, swampyankee, sb, Ahianne

            We got him from a Poodle rescue place after our previous (rescued) standard poodle died. We had expected another poodle, but were delighted to get a golden-doodle instead. He's all one could ask in a companion animal. He's chipped, collared, registered and loved.

            •  Yeah for you! I happen to love the poodle breed. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              swampyankee, sb, Ahianne

              They are smart, sensitive, and wonderful, wonderful athletes!

              Good going!

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

              by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:58:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  My Uncle Eddie looked like a mobster (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany

                He was  Koran war vet, a tough SOB, and he loved, adored, worshipped his poodle Fifi.  He refused to tolerate any other breed.  

                He himself looked like a bulldog, and he was determined not to let anything get to him.  That level was demonstrated by the time his doctor's wife reported an extraordinary sight to her hubbie one day.

                "I just saw the most amazing thing."

                "What was it?"

                "There was this old guy on Seventh Street, shoveling snow. From a wheelchair."

                "Oh, that's just Eddie."

                He had a hoarse, deep voice,  huge Krushchev-like eyebrows, and he adored his Fifi.

                There's no better endorsement.

            •  smart AND goofy? how wonderful! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cany, sb, Ahianne

              What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

              by agnostic on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:14:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I do not know what to say. (36+ / 0-)

    I too am crying. Very well written diary and it breaks my heart. I will send energy healing warmth and love to this woman and to her son on his birthday.

    And to you.

    Thank you for writing this. It touched me, deeply. I feel a little more human, than before I read it.

    Yes, this is my country Retchin' and turnin', she's like a baby learnin' how to live ~ Buffy Sainte-marie - Soldier Blue

    by denig on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:24:28 PM PST

  •  Thank you. (34+ / 0-)

    And thanks to that young gentlemen.  Sadly, human beings like him sometimes seem few and far between.

    Odd isn't it that we often deride people as animals when we dislike or disapprove of their behavior?  It seems to me that heartlessness and brutality are much more common in the human species.

    Those are my principles...if you don’t like them I have others. Groucho Marx

    by Notthemayor on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:28:31 PM PST

  •  Question (7+ / 0-)

    Why would you consider this a problem?

    "Obviously she had no intention of sending the dog into a vat of other dead animals to be rendered for fertilizer. Thank God for that."

    To me, dead is dead. I would have no problem with the uninhabited bodies of my dogs or even my own lifeless body being rendered into something that would return nutrients to the Earth.

    I'm sorry for not saying much about the rest of your story. Some things are tragic, but in some cases, I think your commentary is a little colored by your unhappiness at the situation. The real culprit is obviously the burglar; and certainly, burglars are usually not sympathetic characters anyway. The other culprit is the person who hit the dog, but did not bother to do anything about it.

    But I'm not sure I agree with attacking rush hour commuters for not pulling over to check on the animal seems a little one-sided to me; in NJ, many people have been killed after pulling over to the side of the road and it's considered pretty dangerous to do so. I also once decided to try to "rescue" a tortoise crawling in the road and almost had my finger bit off when it turned out to be a snapping turtle.

    While I would have called police had I seen the dog, I would not have pulled over because (1) it's dangerous to be on the side of the highway; (2) an injured animal can sometimes be dangerous; and (3) I don't have the skills or resources to assist properly.

    Anyway, it's great that there are people willing to help animals in need by volunteering to work at a rescue shelter. My son is in college and unemployed, and I keep encouraging him to volunteer at an animal shelter (I am allergic to animals, including my own dogs, so I can't) because he is good with animals and really cares about them. He hasn't taken up my suggestion yet, but I keep pushing him toward it.

    My own dogs are getting old (9 and 10) for their size (they are mixed-breed dogs from shelters), and I don't expect they will be around much longer. It's funny how before I had my own animals, I thought it was crazy when people spent a lot of money on expensive health procedures for them; I had a friend who paid thousands for pelvic reconstruction for her Rottweiler, when even the vet recommended putting her down. But when it came to my own dog needing an $800 teeth cleaning last year--not even a life-saving procedure--we scraped the money together.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:30:34 PM PST

    •  Well, let me address the pulling over part first. (21+ / 0-)

      I guarantee you that if a human had been hit, people would have stopped. That says all that needs to be said.

      I know the area well, and believe me, there is plenty of room to pull over.  These are decisions people make. And while we may disagree, I stand by my words of selfish and self-absorbed.

      In regard to the cremation, it is usually whether or not a person can afford cremation versus "disposal". I would have paid for it myself had she not been able to do so. She really needed to do what she did given her strong bond with the dog. Vatting doesn't finalize death for many versus cremation or perhaps being able to bury a dog in a yard, with a marker.

      For people with such close personal bonds with an animal, they need to have the time to process death. Many need to hold services with their families to help children deal with it. I could see she was one of these people.

      I am glad that you take such good care of your dogs... and yes, teeth are very important not just in an of themselves, but for the health of lungs, kidneys, the liver etc. And, of course, every dog needs great teeth to smile:)

      Best to you!

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:38:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dogs are not humans! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany, qofdisks, ajwagner, MichaelSF

        I know basic CPR and have basic medical training for dealing with humans.  I have no idea at all on how to treat dogs.  Furthermore injured animals can be dangerous as hell.  They aren't like humans, you can't talk to them and they have no sort of logic.

        So combined with the fact that a dog is not a human so I couldn't do anything medically, and is not a human so may act out and bite or become a danger, no I wouldn't pull over on the highway of all things to help a dog.  Unless it was a dog I knew and was thus "safe".

        "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

        by overclocking on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:44:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand, and yes sometimes it is best not (23+ / 0-)

          to handle an injured animal. The young man that did had no training, BTW.

          BUT, there is no reason for driving right by it. People could have stopped to protect the dog. That is the first line of defense for an injured animal.

          And as for a dog not being a human, yes, true. My mother, just hospitalized for dementia/delusion disorder DID bite the doctors/care givers.

          I don't happen to agree. And this was NOT on a highway. It occurred in the morning, on a dry day, with great visibility near a traffic signal, on a 6-way north-south city street.

          Stopping on a highway? No, I wouldn't be doing that either if there was a lot of heavy traffic. But this circumstance was different.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:54:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would not try to treat the mentally ill either! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cany, qofdisks

            I'd say away and call the cops.  

            You can't really fault people for driving by, probably for not calling the cops yes.  But everybody knows that 1) handling an injured anything if you do not know what you are doing can make things worse.  Most people don't even know CPR or how to dress a wound, much less have any sort of knowledge about the treatment of dogs.  Unless you have medical training you're not supposed to touch injured animals or people for good reason.  2) injured animals can be extremely dangerous and it is best to stay away from them.  This is also something people are aware of, a horse, dog, whatever can wreck you pretty badly in a state of panic.  3) animals are diseased.  While that dog was not, there is no way of knowing what the dog had.  There is a far higher chance of you getting rabies or some other sort of nonsense from a dog than from a deranged grandmother trying to fang you.

            Of course nobody else stopped, they actually used common sense and listened to what you're supposed to do with injured animals.  They should have called the cops or animal control who do know what to do.  But pulling your car over on the side of the road in rush hour to medically assist animals who you don't know is in generally a very stupid thing to do for both you and the animal.

            "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

            by overclocking on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:01:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gosh, what "disease" do you imagine we are going (22+ / 0-)

              to catch from an injured dog?

              And I don't think you have it quite right... the person may not be able to physically handle the dog (though I was able to do this YEARS before I worked for a vet), but protecting the dog is needed.

              You are obviously very cautious, and I suppose there is nothing wrong with that.  But if you think for a moment that this is WHY people don't stop, I think you are wrong.

              The real reason is they do not want to be bothered or upset.

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

              by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:08:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not cautious (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                qofdisks

                Not everybody gives their dogs their shots.  I know several people who just pass up on all that crap.  Plus animals have filthy mouths and when they puncture the skin all that bacteria goes into you.

                It's really just a bad situation.

                "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

                by overclocking on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:37:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, those people who don't give dogs their (17+ / 0-)

                  shots "and all that crap" must be some of the same people I see taking their dogs in, as puppies, for parvo treatment which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

                  There IS a place for vaccines, especially in younger dogs and all outdoor cats (cats have a much higher incidence, generally, of rabies than dogs... from playing with downed or ill bats, for instance), though over-vaccination is also a problem.

                  I deal with at least 50 animals every single day. I sop up their blood, pick up all manner and kind of poop, bathe them and handle them in ways most people never handle them. The very few times I have EVER been bit was breaking up a fight alone. I have handled and transported injured dogs and cats (cats are the bigger problem, really... little fighting machines in fur coats that are faster than greased lightning!) etc.

                  Yes they have dirty mouths. That doesn't bother me in the least. I keep my skin away from their teeth. Problem solved.

                  202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                  by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:37:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  that doesn't mean that dog has been vacinated (0+ / 0-)

                    there is no way to know.  And frankly if a parent who had a kid took that risk they'd be a horrible parent and a waste of human life and should have their children taken from them.

                    "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

                    by overclocking on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:43:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  You're cautious and you're an asshole. (8+ / 4-)

                  Take your "concern troll" bullshit to another thread, or maybe another forum.

                  •  that is not nice (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Flying Goat

                    I do not think it makes someone a concern troll to disagree with the poster's premise. I discussed these questions with my boyfriend, who also worked at an animal shelter and loves animals passionately, and his first comment was that animals are not people and it would be dangerous to stop. Rabies is a genuine concern, as is the risk of approaching a strange wounded animal, so verbally attacking someone for having legitimate concerns that might not deter everyone is uncalled for.

                    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                    by CatM on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 09:51:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Rabies is not a genuine concern, (14+ / 0-)

                      not from domestic dogs, not in the USA. We've pretty much eradicated rabies in domestic dogs in America. We still vaccinate them because wildlife carry rabies (and so do cats, to a lesser degree) and dogs tend interact with wildlife.

                      But the CDC reports that since the 1990s, there are maybe 1-2 fatalities fom rabies in the entire country. Those aren't due to dog bites, but critters like bats or raccoons.

                      How unworried are health officials? My dog was a puppy  who didn't have his rabies shots yet,  and a neighbors adult dog came crashing out of their house and bit him while on a leashed walk.  The adult didn't have current vaccines. Animal control wasn't worried. The State Department of Health wasn't worried, and my vet put out an inquiry on  state and national vet bulletin boards. The response was that there was virtually no risk of my guy contracting rabies from an unknown unvaccinated dog. And I live in a what's generally considered a rural state.

                      So, we prudently vaccinate our dogs to protect them. But to say that rabies is a real risk to humans --from dogs -- just isn't true.

                      © grover


                      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not.

                      by grover on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:24:08 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  as someone who's had to have rabies shots (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bumbi

                        no it does happen.  As someone who had to go to a hospital for infection from a dog bite, it does happen.  It's just not worth the risk.

                        If a dog was a human, which they are not, and was a clean animal, which they are not, then yeah, no problems.  But a dog is not a human being by any stretch of the imagination.  It's a domesticated animal.  It can get sick, many people are not responsible and do not keep them clean.  And even while clean they have a mouth full of bacteria.  It is completely idiotic to help a wounded animal that you don't know.  It's also massively irresponsible if you have people to care for in your life.

                        "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

                        by overclocking on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:17:31 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Learning a few (17+ / 0-)

                          basic emergency procedures for pets takes about an hour. CPR for dogs and cats involves breathing into their noses, which can be easily wiped free of the unclean stuff you seem so terrified of. In basic animal emergency training, you learn how to muzzle an injured animal, carry it to your vehicle and secure it for the ride to the vet clinic. It is no more difficult to help an injured animal that it is to help an injured child. I have broken up dogfights, transported dogs hit by cars, brought any number of injured and dying wild animals (raccoons, eagle, owl, herons, bullsnakes, turtles, deer) to my patient veterinarians and I have never been bitten. That's not to say that it won't happen sometime. But a person who is unwilling to help an injured animal because it is unclean is a person I don't care to meet.

                          •  It is interesting (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mathazar, BoxNDox, Flying Goat

                            that you have brought injured wild animals to the vet. I did that three times when I was young, and all three times the vets yelled at me not to do that and warned me of the risks. In one case, it was a bird pushed out of the nest by it's mother that was injured. The vet said those that do not make it are usually the weak ones and that his feeding it until it healed defeats the natural selective process served by the mother bird's action.

                            One was a baby raccoon, and the vet told me it was very foolish to try to rescue a baby raccoon with my child in the car and that they were a rabies risk and not a threatened species. She euthanized it.

                            I stopped trying to rescue wild animals after these events.

                            I also recently pulled over to try to get a small dog with a collar running in the street on my way home with the intent of finding its owner. Turned out he was in his yard two houses down and thought I was trying to steal his unleashed dog until I explained why I stopped.

                            I would call police but likely not stoP for a dog on the roadside during rush hour traffic, and I am certainly not callous or indifferent to animals. I just believe the risks outweigh the likelihood of my stopping producing a benefit.

                            I would stop to help a person, though crime stats show that is also risky. Look at Bill Cosby's son's death.

                            I just don't agree with writing off everyone who did not stop as heartless or uncaring. There are valid reasons for calling police and not trying to handle it  one's self.

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:47:45 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow CatM, way to generarlize!! You think your (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            maf1029, SweetLittleOkie

                            experences are the same as everyone else's??

                            Think again.

                            He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction. Kris Kristofferson

                            by glorificus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:20:24 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Where did I generalize? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BoxNDox, Flying Goat

                            I relayed my own experiences, just as the person to whom I replied to did. Both of us shared anecdotes. I did not offer any generalizations, such as a suggestion that therefore no one should help wild injured animals. Perhaps you should look up the meaning of generalization instead of working so hard to be antagonistic simply because you disagree with something I have said.

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:44:25 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Who here has said that dogs are human? (12+ / 0-)

                          You keep repeating this sentence, but those of us who train, provide veterinary care to, board or otherwise provide professional services to dogs KNOW that.  Most reasonable dog owners do too.

                          So I don't know whom you're trying to convince by this repetitive nagging

                          If I were driving down the street at 60 mph and a dog appeared in front of me suddenly, I hope that I would be wise enough to hit it rather than swerve and endanger my family. BUT stopping to assist a dog on the side of the road is different.

                          First of all, humans are pack animals in the sense that if one person stops, more are likely to. You may not know how to care for a dog, but if you can safely stop and do so,  others might. That slows down traffic and makes it safer and easier for someone like me -- who does know  pet first aid, who does have a pet first air kit (including muzzle, vet wrap, and other supplies suitable for dogs) in her car, and who is willing to incur the risk to save a life.

                          But if you decide, "screw it," and speed by, then you're making it less safe for me to stop.

                          I'm not asking young incur risk you don't want to, but there's a spectrum of caring here, and there are more options than just zooming by.

                          © grover


                          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not.

                          by grover on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:40:01 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  My brother was bit by a dog a few years ago (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BoxNDox

                        in Wisconsin. He had to get rabies shots and the dog was destroyed and tested. It probably would have been destroyed anyway for the unprovoked attack.

                        A quick Google news search contradicts your claim that rabies in dogs is not much of a concern in the U.S. Rates may be much lower, but dogs are still getting rabies in several states according to news reports from the past month, and that is justifies anyone's reluctance to approach an unknown injured dog in my book.

                        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                        by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:26:52 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Did you compare the risk of rabies to A) getting (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          maf1029, sb

                          hit by a drunk driver or B) getting shot?

                          I'd rather have the (very low) risk of rabies be my primary concern than the other two options?

                          He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction. Kris Kristofferson

                          by glorificus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:22:27 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

                            what is the point? There is a risk of getting hit by a drunk driver while pulled over to the side of the road (I know of more than one case), but that only adds to support to the notion of not stopping; comparing them makes no sense.

                            And my odds of getting shot are statistically greater than bring struck by lightning, but I still do not stand outside during thunderstorms. I just do not see the point in your line of questioning. Are you saying there is no need to try to avoid lesser risks (like an explosion from not cleaning out your dryer lint) if you do anything with greater risk? Because that seems silly.

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:40:23 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  For some of us, the point is that we can help save (10+ / 0-)

                            a life. Or, at least, lessen the pain of the human owner if the animal dies, knowing that someone stopped, someone cared.

                            And  both of those are a worthy goals

                            To some of us.

                            © grover


                            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not.

                            by grover on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:48:31 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I meant (0+ / 0-)

                            the point of the rhetorical exercise she presented, not the point of stopping.

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:57:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The point I was trying to make is that many (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            grover, SuWho, cany, sb, Hopeful Skeptic

                            things are possible. The near-miniscule risk of getting rabies is much less than getting killed by a drunk driver or getting shot, as I live in a metropolitan area.

                            I also like to think I have a soul, and would stop, rather than making bullshit excuses.

                            He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction. Kris Kristofferson

                            by glorificus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:04:08 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're very hostile (0+ / 0-)

                            Your point was pointless, frankly. We do all sorts of things with varying levels of risk for various reasons. You know, the risk of your child getting abducted by a stranger is also very minimal, but we nonetheless tell our children to avoid strangers and take other precautions. The risk that Halloween candy will have something nefarious in it is almost nil, yet parents still take precautions.

                            Now, you may find it bullshit to take precautions in life to protect yourself from things that have lesser degrees of risk than getting hit by a drunk driver, but many people do not. And while I do have a soul, as multiple news accounts just in the past month from all over the United States demonstrate (just do a quick Google search), dogs are still contracting rabies in the United States and people are still being bitten by dogs with rabies. In fact, there are more accounts of dogs getting rabies during October than there are stranger abductions as far as I can tell.

                            So, you might consider it a soulless, bullshit excuse not to stop to help a dog that has been hit by a car, but I am sure that the people in the link I posted who had to get rabies shots because the dog hit by the school bus that they helped had rabies (and it doesn't even indicate that they were bit, but they still had to get shots) probably do not agree.

                            The smart thing to do is to call someone who has the knowledge and equipment to handle the situation properly. Obviously, many people like you apparently think with their heart instead of their head, but I tend to take a logical approach to things.

                            And logic says animal control is better equipped to handle situations like these than the average commuter on their way to work, so it is best to call animal control.

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:19:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                            You know, the risk of your child getting abducted by a stranger is also very minimal

                            ... when it has been shown over and over children and women are at most risk of molestation and death from relatives and intimate partners, so in fact children are probably safer with strangers.

                            Quite while you are behind.

                            He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction. Kris Kristofferson

                            by glorificus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:09:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you make no sense (0+ / 0-)

                            As an editor, I regularly rewrite very complex scientific articles, yet nothing you write makes any sense. If anything, you bolstered my point. I seriously advise you not to pursue a writing career.

                            As a

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:07:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Did I ask you?? (0+ / 0-)

                            He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction. Kris Kristofferson

                            by glorificus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:08:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  CatM (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ahianne

                            I understand where you are coming from, though we disagree.

                            I can say this: When a dog is hit, there is often LITTLE time to wait getting medical help and I know the shelter in this area is overwhelmed. It could have been an hour until they arrived... or more.

                            Calling the proper authorities isn't always a good solution.

                            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                            by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:12:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Or how about getting cancer, dying of old age, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CatM

                            or developing a second head named "Earl"?  I don't see how that's relevant.  You are putting yourself at physical risk.  I can't condemn someone for choosing not to do so.

                            Also, that's just bad statistics.  It's not terribly likely I'll die from being shot in the head, either, but that doesn't make it a good idea to pick up a gun, point it at my head, and fire it, relying on that stat to save.  You'd need the odds of suffering severe injury from helping an unknown injured dog, given that you're helping an unknown injured dog, not given that you're a human living in the US.

                      •  My friend's Rottweiler (4+ / 0-)

                        was hit by a UPS truck it chased after escaping the yard. It suffered a fractured pelvis and bit her when she tried to get it in the car. They were punctures so stitches were not going to help, but she could not believe her own dog bit her. It was just in so much pain. On the other hand, our dog when I was a girl ran into barbed wire and punctured a lung and was very calm when my dad picked him up to take him to the vet. You just never know. Some animals have their own experiences that color how they respond to people. Another friend of mine had adopted a shelter dog that hated people dressed in black.

                        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                        by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:58:04 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  One more note (0+ / 0-)

                        A low rate of human deaths due to rabies attests to better medical response and not necessarily that rabies is not a threat. Again, look up dog and rabies in google news and you will see that dogs are still getting rabies and still sometimes biting people.

                        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                        by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 03:01:43 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think the difficulty here, if I may, is that (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Ahianne

                          technically when a disease is considered eradicated by the CDC, that does NOT mean it doesn't exist just that statistically it has been reduced to insignificance and that it is also on the wane, not the rise.

                          I also disagree about medical response. The real trick was vaccination.

                          If you look at the history of rabies, rabies vaccines and licensing (licensing was only started to control rabies), I think you will find that controlling the disease was initially a legislative thing. Eventually, the legislation and the upholding of that very important health legislation allowed for the disease to be considered statistically non-existent.

                          It seems that a lot of this argument line is based on a misunderstanding of terms and history.

                          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                          by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:29:18 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I think a lot of it (0+ / 0-)

                            is people not understanding medical literature, which is what I do for a living. The human mortality rate from rabies that the poster shared does not necessarily have any relationship to the incidence of rabies in dogs and might be attributable to the clinical response to dog bites.

                            The fact is that dogs in the US do get rabies, and people in the US have been bitten by rabid dogs. The degree of risk may be far lower, but it is up to each individual how much risk he or she would like to bear, and I do not fault anyone for choosing not to take the risk in this instanbce. It is a real risk, not an imaginary one. It is sad that som cretin broke in and let the dog out. It is also sad that someone hit the dog and did not do the right thing by calling authorities and directing them to the spot. And it is even nice for the dog (though it sadly did not change his outcome) dog that someone decided to bear those risks and stop, but sing not to does not make someone a bad person given the circumstances and cumulative risk. And calling a fellow poster an asshole is uncalled for, which is what someone else did.

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:23:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  please excuse typos (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            cany

                            My tablet messes up a lot. Should have gotten an iPad.

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:25:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Omg news story made for this discussion (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bumbi

                        http://www.google.com/...

                        A rabid dog was struck by a school bus in Georgia a few weeks ago and everyone who stopped to help the dog had to get rabies shots.

                        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                        by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 03:10:29 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I did say the CDC, didn't I? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          cany, sb

                          United States Declared Canine Rabies Free

                          If you read my comment, which you apparently didn't, I did say that dogs can still contract rabies from wildlife like bats. That's why my dogs are still fully vaccinated and I always tell others that their dog should receive vaccines unless there is a medical reason not to, or titers show full immunity, as in seniors.

                          I also said that in a lower comment that I don't expect anyone who has no inclination  to incur the risk. But there are options other than jumping in and risking getting bitten and zooming by at full speed.

                          But one news story does not negate the fact that canine rabies are not a risk to humans, as was originally posted by someone else.  Your chances of getting struck by lightning are worse.

                          © grover


                          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not.

                          by grover on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:31:15 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I did read your remarks (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BoxNDox

                            You said the CDC reported a low number of people in the nation dying from dog transmitted rabies. That got me to thinking that this does not mean there is an equally low risk of exposure to rabies via dogs, which the news accounts support. I think many people are afraid of having to have the rabies shots ( though I read they are not as bad as they used to be) than they are of contracting rabies.

                            But relax. I am not trying to fight. I am enjoying discussing the issue, even if we clearly are not of identical mindsets, and I thought the google article was humorously appropriate.

                            I felt the original poster was overly harsh on those who did not stop and thought it was uncalled for to have a different kossack call some one an asshole and a concern troll for arguing the point that there are legitimate reasons for not stopping, a point with which I concur. That is not to say that people should not stop, but rather that not stopping does not make someone a bad person, as it would had they drove by an injured person ( which in many states is against the law).

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:52:28 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Also (0+ / 0-)

                            you brought the CDC rabies deaths to me, and nowhere did I say canine rabies. Nor did the other person weighing in on this thread. We both mentioned the risk of getting rabies from a dog, which is clearly a real--if small--risk. I did not even know there is a distinct type of "canine" rabies versus rabies transmitted to a dog from another animal, which is the risk I was thinking of.

                            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                            by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 07:00:23 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  But many people do believe it to be.. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CatM

                        a genuine concern.

                  •  Please. Name calling does not help (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CatM

                    I disagree with the attitude but I understand that there are fears here that I don't suffer with.  I've never been but either by the many strange dogs I've helped, but it is something I am comfortable with.  Overclocking isn't.  Discomfort does not make one an asshole ( usually)

                    Just let's be nice shall we?

                    Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

                    by Mindful Nature on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:49:21 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  My emotions are running strongly too (0+ / 0-)

                    And I agree with the energy in your comment. Calling someone an asshole, no matter how much they deserve it, will attract the donuts.

                    “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” ~ Charles Dickens, from Oliver Twist

                    by ozsea1 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:40:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  overclocking, what an unnecessary comment. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, Lopez99, cany, SweetLittleOkie

          He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction. Kris Kristofferson

          by glorificus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:17:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Of all things to help a dog.. (6+ / 0-)

          How nasty you sound. Not even to detour traffic?  Thank
          DOG that they aren't human!  I'll take animals over the majority of humans anyday.

          I'm so sorry if I'm alienating some of you/ YOUR WHOLE FUCKING CULTURE ALIENATES ME. Bikini Kill

          by pitbullgirl65 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 07:44:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately (10+ / 0-)

      rendering doesn't mean that the animal is necessarily made into fertilizer. Sometimes the animals are made into animal feed. Cremation and scattering will indeed return nutrients to the soil in a more meaningful way, and certainly in a way that is well-intentioned. Right thought, right speech, right action= respect for the empty but still meaningful body of an old friend.

      •  well that is unfortunate (5+ / 0-)

        Isn't there a health risk from using animals ascfeed for other animals? I know it is a risk when they feed bovine brain or spinal tissue to dogs due to prions.

        I just don't think of having my body or my dog's body used as fertilizer as improper, but obviously someone who would prefer a more formal or dignified disposal should always have that option and be told that it is an option.

        I would not think less of anyone no matter which method of disposal they choose, particularly if they treated their pet well in life, which is what concerns me the most. I grew up with a father and stepmother that abused animals, and when i was 15, i had enough of it and gave away the family dog behind my parents' back. That incident ultimately led to me being placed in foster care permanently (previous stays were always temporary), but i would do the same thing all over again. The dog had a wonderful life with my friend's aunt and was the child they never had.

        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

        by CatM on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 07:20:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or my part, I pull over and call (8+ / 0-)

      I am good with dogs and can usually judge how they'll react ( after all, dogs have been bred to communicate with humans for millennia) so that makes it easier, but in any event I have pulled over and used my car to protect an animal I couldn't treat while waiting for an animal control officer to help.  (our local guys are great). The latest one I did that for was a western grebe (a water bird) that I had no clue whether i could or should handle. I didn't, but just stayed with it to protect him.  

      I don't know, I just am the sort who always stops   Ive met a lot of good people that way.  Dunno.  It works for me

      Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:45:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This water-bird-lover thanks you. :) (4+ / 0-)

        Western grebes are spectacular birds.

      •  I have transported a lot of wildlife to licensed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne

        wildlife rehabbers and to wildlife vets. There is an excellent wildlife vet near me who is just fabulous.

        Recently, however, and this is probably a cost issue for him, he instructs to get the shelter to transport. Wildlife can be very problematic to handle and one must be careful. But it can be done.

        And BTW... Grover. upstream... your points were certainly not lost on me.  You are 100% correct.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

        by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:22:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I stopped in the lane of a freeway to protect a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany, Ahianne

        a deer from being hit over and over again.  It had been hit and clearly had broken pelvis and/or back legs.  It was struggling to try to run and was just pulling itself in circles with its front legs.  It was so horrible to watch...    But once I stopped and it had some sense of protection, it calmed down and laid it's head down.  It was still breathing really hard, but at least it wasn't in full panic mode.  

        We called the local fish and game, but the Highway Patrol arrived first.  The HP officer was actually quite sensitive to the fact that we seemed upset by the whole thing.  When he first approached the deer, it started trying to get away again, and he immediately backed off.  He actually told us that we would not want to watch, and let us drive away before he took care of whatever he needed to do.  I'm sure he killed the deer, and there is not much else that could have been done for an animal that was so badly injured.

        As hard as it was to watch the deer laying in front of my car, struggling to breathe... I'd like to believe that by simply stopping my car in a protective position for less than 10 minutes, I made it's last few minutes of life less traumatic...  

        By the way, thank you for this diary.  I agree with everything in it (aside form the Christian parts).  

        I was an emergency clinic Vet tech for over 10 years... I can not comprehend people who would not even stop... simply cannot comprehend it.

        "The death penalty is never about the criminal. They've already done their worst. The question is always "will we join them"?" - jlynne

        by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 03:33:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dogs Without Rabies Tags that Bite Are Euthanized (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany

      That's because the rabies test uses brain samples.  The carcass (or just the head) goes to the health department in trash bag and they open the skull with one of those shiny motorized bone saws.

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:05:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, that is not always the case. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hopeful Skeptic, Ahianne

        Different jurisdictions even within the same state act differently.

        The veterinarian in concert with the health department makes the call if the dog ends up at the veterinarian. Often the dog will be quarantined at the vet if the veterinarian agrees (we have a legally prescribed DD (dangerous dog) at the vet I work for and one has to be 18 to handle the dog and sign a release form.  The dog remains a DD for three years, here, and after that, if there are no incidents in the meantime, the dog can be released from this category.). This particular dog belonged to a homeless man. When the man was attacked, the dog bit the attacker. When some people who knew the man and the dog found out, they intervened... and the vet I worked for agreed to take the dog.

        Where I live, at least, if the owner is known and the dog is currently vaccinated, chances are the dog will be released to the family on strict home quarantine and the shelter makes sure they check the quarantine and the dogs' health frequently. The family is educated about the law and what to look for (not to mention potentially fined if not vaccinated). That occurs a lot.

        If the owner is NOT known, and the shelter possesses the dog, the shelter will take the advice of the shelter vet in concert with the county health department and usually they quarantine the dog for some specific period. If the dog shows ANY sign of having rabies, they will pts the dog and remove the head and have it examined. That is rarer, actually, than the other two types of action noted above.

        Often, if the bites are very severe and the dog's actions were deemed "vicious" (an unprovoked and extreme attack) the dog will be pts right away if no owner is found (the mandatory hold law still applies, however).  

        There are a lot of variations on the theme.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

        by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:33:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Amen to this: (19+ / 0-)
    Odd isn't it that we often deride people as animals when we dislike or disapprove of their behavior?  It seems to me that heartlessness and brutality are much more common in the human species.

    It is something I observe a lot and it always bothers me.

    Thanks for your kind words.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:31:21 PM PST

  •  And now I'm crying.... (19+ / 0-)

    How cruel people can be to not even stop! It just makes
    me so angry. Thank you cany for what you do!

  •  whaaaa... (13+ / 0-)
    I said a silent prayer and made a very subtle sign of the cross on the dog's forehead as I have done for decades for dogs and cats I have lost.

    I'm not even a Christian but I started crying at this.

    I'm not a very religiously orthodox person, but my religion forbids cremation... it is perhaps related that, when my dog died, my brother convinced the vet to give us a box and let us carry him home, wrapped in a blanket. We buried him, it was the only thing to do.

    I guess as a veterinarian or vet aide/tech/etc., part of what you have to do is grief counseling ??

    "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

    by Shaviv on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:33:22 PM PST

  •  tipped and rec'd. I am beyond words- (15+ / 0-)

    just-have lit a candle.

    Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

    by swampyankee on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:40:53 PM PST

  •  Great love sometimes (25+ / 0-)

    means great sorrow, doesn't it. No getting away. We lost a pet last month and it still hurts. Eventually, a "good" ache that opens the heart. But the road is awfully rough.

    Sympathy and love to all of the good people in this story, and thank you for telling it.

    A bunch of boddhistavas if there ever were any.

    •  Yes, to your question. (11+ / 0-)

      In loss, we learn a great deal--or should, anyway--about how to deal with other people and animals. It is a painful lesson, but an invaluable one.

      I have often thought that as pain ages, the worst parts leave and the best of our experiences remain. Otherwise, I don't think any of us could bare the truth of death and loss.

      I don't know, clinically, why that is the case, but I think it is probably pretty universally true.

      Thanks for reading and for your thoughts!

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:00:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Totally agree (12+ / 0-)

        After losing my dog in January I ached to have the hole he left filled. My husband wanted to wait to get another dog as we were considering moving. I wanted to honor Darby's life with us by giving another homeless dog a home. In June we adopted a wonderful dog from the Humane Society and he has been a joy. Hope we will enjoy many years together with him. Our other two dogs only lived to be 7 and 8 yrs old. That is not long enough.

        •  Yeah for shelter doggies! I am so glad you (15+ / 0-)

          took that doggie!

          I lost a deaf Dalmatian (buried under the bird bath in our front yard, his favorite place to sit) and it took me years to get over it... if I have. I knew that a dog that needed me would come along and I waited.

          Then I got word that the two feral ranch dogs nearby had had a litter of puppies. They were on wild lands where there are loads of predators and it was dangerous for the puppies. Added to that, the owners of the ranch, I was told, had drowned the previous litter.

          The dogs' two volunteer caretakers, one a Fire Chief, put on his gear and into the coyote burrow he went. The burrow was where the mom had birthed and raised her babies. Seven times he returned with a beautiful yellow puppy about six weeks of age.  

          The seven came to live with me. Meanwhile, we trapped and vaccinated and did blood work on the two adult dogs and got them spayed and neutered. I did not want to return them to their ranch home because I knew they would get hit and killed, but the community insisted.

          Sure enough, two months or so later, the female was hit and people came knocking on the door at 2am one night to help. We got her in the car and I drove her to the emergency hospital.  But she was so badly injured, and in pain, we had to let her go.

          Still, people wanted to leave the male. Then the property was bought by an investor and he threatened to have the dog taken to the pound.  At that point, he came to live with me. I didn't care what anyone said at this point. It took me 2-3 years to train him, but at the end of his training, he was a flawless dog (other than his life-long fear of the refrigerator) who lived to be 18.

          Meanwhile, the seven puppies grew and at 20wo, they left for new homes... except for two who I had named Luke and Dax. I knew Luke would have leg problems, I could see it when he was that young, so he stayed. Dax was to go to another home, but they decided against a large dog and Dax ended up staying, too.  He and his brother were inseparable. And indeed, Luke had very expensive problems. By the end of his first year of life, he had cost me about $5500.00.  But after that, he was golden!

          I lost them both one month apart of the same disease... kidney failure. I was crushed, and again the hole in my heart opened and hurt. These two were eventually replaced with two rescue rejects, one a hound/dobie mix and one a pitbull.  Both are behavior cases that render them unadoptable.

          Both sleep under the covers at night along with the third behavior case, Boots, a lab mix.

          Each unique dog cannot possibly replace another unique dog. And while I love them so much, the others who have moved on are still very missed and deeply regarded.

          It is always a very painful transition and I'm not sure I have ever gotten used to it, or should.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:17:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed (6+ / 0-)

            Each unique dog cannot possibly replace another unique dog. And while I love them so much, the others who have moved on are still very missed and deeply regarded.

            These are the joys and sorrows of pet ownership. They all have their stories.   Thanks for giving your animals a great life.

          •  Oh, those behavior cases -- I know (6+ / 0-)

            them well.  Two Jack Russells, one of whom I cannot even pick up.

            My 14 year old dog who died recently was the worst case I have ever had.  He bit everyone who tried to enter his kennel.  It took months of sitting in the kennel next to his, after hours, offering treats and gaining his trust.

            On another note, Cany, you know that times are difficult for rescue groups right now.  Donations have fallen off and I am currently underemployed.  I foster 4 dogs that are adoptable (in addition to the "unadoptables" and my own 8 small dogs.  I also have 18 cats.  

            Please don't be too harsh on those of us who care for animals but have let vaccinations, etc. lapse.  I have no other way to keep these critters going until adoption or until the economy improves (like that's going to happen anytime soon).

            I am working on vaccinating one at a time, adoptables first, to lessen my population.

            And, back to the original premise of the diary:  My most profound thanks and prayers are offered for you and others like the young man who stopped.  Yes, someone could have stopped to at least block traffic, as he did, and call the owner or at least a police officer.  

            Thank you again.

            •  No worries. (4+ / 0-)

              I don't vaccinate past the one year mark (booster) for dogs. I titer after that annually for distemper and parvo. Here, because we have so very little of it, they don't even vaccinate for hepto or lepto anymore. The titers are a little more expensive, but I need to track blood work anyway, so that d/p titer cost is tiny in comparison.

              For indoor cats, gee, I really don't know WHY we vaccinate them at all past their one year booster.  What are they going to catch and from whom?  I would be inclined to rabies vaccinate if I lived in a home with an attic that a cat could get into (bats), but other than that I really cannot think of a good reason.

              Because I have had a bevy of immune related diseases, including hemolytic anemia, in dogs, I am very cautious about over-vaccinating.  I have a county issued permit for 50 animals (was 25), and with this new permit came new requirements for both dogs and cats. What is clear is that the county where i live needs to re-do their permitting process.

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

              by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:43:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Over-vaccinating (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany, Amber6541, StateofEuphoria

                I believe that is what my dog Darby got sick and ultimately died from. He was a Poodle and according to a woman I talked with that rescued Poodles told me that Poodles are very sensitive to the rabies vaccination. We had gotten Darby vaccinated a couple of months before he died and at the time he was sickened for a few days afterward. Little did we know we would only have him a short time after that. It was a really strange and sudden death. My vet was stumped as to why this happened. I found a new vet after that.

                •  Every year, as a benefit to our public (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Amber6541, StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

                  library, we hold a vaccine clinic and outside, if people chose to, they can also conveniently re-license. We are far more convenient given where the community is and on par for veterinary costs of the vaccines.

                  A resident here has a gorgeous standard poodle that has an immune-mediated disease and cannot be vaccinated for rabies.  Now, the county is accepting letters from vets to excuse rabies in these cases but that was not the case a decade ago. Here, we have not had a dog/human transmitted case of rabies since 1947 (CA) I believe. She really struggled finding help for a while.

                  Given where I live, and we do have a lot of bats, I worry FAR MORE about outside cats (ferals) contracting rabies than anything else except distemper which ebbs and flows in the local fox population and is zoonotic to dogs.

                  In all the time (about 13 years) we have been doing this, we have had three (3) vaccine reactions:  All in small dogs.  The vet brings meds for this, but also sends them to the clinic after he gives the meds and calls ahead.

                  I had a very severe vaccine reaction occur in a black lab once and it was touch and go for a while... the office gave the vaccs while the vet wasn't there (illegal in the case of rabies) and no one even noticed the dog in reaction.  When I went to pick up my rescue dog, I saw it immediately and we had to rush the dog to another vet.

                  And yes, you can imagine how angry I was. I didn't pay HIS bill and made him pay the other veterinary bill.  I reported him to the state and never went back.  They could easily have killed my dog.

                  202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                  by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:30:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  What is "titer"? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany

                I am really leery about vaccinating Hank as I have read a lot about the doses given and don't want his immune system compromised. He is a mixed breed which helps but I want him to be healthy.

                •  They draw blood and send it to a lab. If you can, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ahianne

                  get the name of the lab and if there is an Antech lab available, have it sent there... labs are unregulated and not all alike.  Some are still using protocols from two decades ago!

                  They titer the blood (remember those loooon thin calibrated glass tubes in chem lab? That is a titer tube.) to be sure the blood is carrying enough serum of distemper/parvo that the dog is protected. If they are, why vaccinate for that?

                  While you are at it, have an appropriate to age blood panel done. That gives you a baseline for all the organs and often spots disease much more quickly than physical indications will for a variety of problems including many of the thryroid related diseases (and if you can, ask for at least a 4-panel test on thyroids... better a six, though those are harder to find) some of which are VERY easily and cheaply regulated... others not so much. It will also reveal any vitamin/mineral deficiencies (which can reveal other health problems), a potential for kidney problems (which can mean dietary and medication changes) etc. Liver function is also a biggie and can point to other disorders.

                  I am not advising people, BTW, NOT to vaccinate. That decision needs to be made in consultation with a veterinarian and given the dogs' cats' circumstances and overall health.  In 2003, I believe, the vaccine protocols were significantly altered. Many veterinarians are still old school... vaccinate annually for dang near everything which actually includes, in some cases, vaccines now recognized as worthless.

                  I really suggest you read some scholarly papers on vaccine use/over use, not necessarily websites which may/may not have an agenda. You can at least read a lot of abstracts on Google scholar.  You can hook up to an on-line veterinary dictionary if you need terminology help by typing in Merck Veterinary Dictionary in Google. Even with the level of knowledge I have, I always need a dictionary:)

                  You can check university vet school recommendations (e.g. UC Davis, Cornell, etc.) for advice on vaccine usage so when you have the conversation with your vet, you KNOW the issues and can really ask good questions and know your stuff. Given the animals are voiceless, we need to take on the role of educated advocate!

                  A lot of vets have really changed their thinking about vaccines. A rabies challenge (at least one) is now on-going to research the efficacy of rabies vaccines (the contention by many is that rabies vaccines, like d/p vaccines last MUCH longer than generally believed, but the research needs to be done and peer reviewed).

                  Puppy/kitten vaccines DO need to be done without question every 2-3 weeks (different vets do this differently) up to age 16 weeks, generally. In some states, you cannot legally give the rabies vaccine until 16 weeks (CA) for very good reason.  Then (even the most cautious veterinary advice supports) giving the 1 year booster... one year from the end of the puppy/kitten vaccs.  Year two is when I begin to titer my own animals.

                  The last several years has seen ALL states revise their rabies vaccines from required annually upwards to two or three years.  That is good.  Prior to this, a number of states required rabies vaccines, annually.  Good science and good veterinary advocacy changed that.

                  202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                  by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:58:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  My cats are indoor cats. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany, RunawayRose

                But a couple of times birds have gotten into the house, so conceivably a bat could too. And during the summer, the neighborhood feral cats may sometimes be within sneezing or coughing or flea-jump range outside a window when one of my cats is on a windowsill. Chances of them being exposed to diseases are small, but not non-zero, so they get vaccinated.

                As they get older I may start skipping. I did with some of my other cats when they were elderly; the stress of a vet visit didn't seem worthwhile.

                Cogito, ergo Democrata.

                by Ahianne on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 04:50:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Dogs don't live as long as we do. Death is (0+ / 0-)

          a big part of pet ownership.  It is not a bad thing.

  •  This is heartbreaking (21+ / 0-)

    Something like this happened in my area a couple of years ago. A home was broken into while the owners were out. Their dog apparently tried to protect its home, and the robbers beat the dog to death. It was reported in the local newspaper, and from what was written it was clear the owners couldn't even focus on the robbery because they were so totally devastated by the loss of their precious pet. I didn't know those people, but I sent them a card of condolence because their pain was so clearly unbearable for them. It's clear that this poor woman is facing the same sort of inexplicable hurt.  

    You are a really brave person, Cany. I think a lot of people would be very reluctant to step into a stranger's grief and share it like you did here.  

    "...in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy." Matt Taibbi

    by Getreal1246 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:45:54 PM PST

  •  bless you... (10+ / 0-)

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams..............................................................."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers

    by Statusquomustgo on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:58:37 PM PST

  •  Thank you so much for all you do (16+ / 0-)

    The most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life is rescue my dog, Bogey, a lab/boxer mix. What he was doing in a high kill shelter is beyond me. He has such great energy and spirit, and just makes everyone smile. What can be more rewarding than getting a dog nobody wanted, and watching him become the dog everyone would love to have? Thanks again for your noble work.

    Battleground Wisconsin: Fascism has come to America

    by jhecht on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:07:13 PM PST

  •  Yesterday, I was driving along a country road. (16+ / 0-)

    And saw, as I came up to a 60 mph road cross road, a young border collie playing with something--some tossed out food wrappers perhaps--a foot away from the pavement.

    He had on a collar. I called him over  and saw that the collar had his name, his owner's phone number and the owners address, which was a few hundred yards back the way I'd come.

    I took him home. The owner's father was there and said that he'd gotten through a weak spot in the fence.

    This one ended okay.  So many others don't.  I'm scared to death of my little dog getting out and onto my road, 30 mph speed limit, that cars zoom down every day at 60 mph. (Bastards!)

    Never let your dog out, even in your yard, without a collar with your name, phone # and the number of a friend, in case you can't be reached.
    At least that way, you have a better chance for a happy ending.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:35:23 PM PST

    •  Yeah for you doing that! It didn't take much time (6+ / 0-)

      and everyone lived happily ever after... just the way it should be!

      It is such a rewarding feeling to reunite a cat or dog with human companion. One can only smile walking away from that situation.

      I am really happy you did that!  Great job!

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:49:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Have a friend who found a cat injured. (9+ / 0-)

      It was next to a highrise.

      The cat was making awful noise and actually wet itself when she picked it up and took it back to her place.

      Ultimately, she took it to the vet, who said it's injuries appeared to be from a fall.

      She alerted security in the high rise and, sure enough, the owner called her within a couple hours.

      Cat and owner were OK and, I assume, the owner has had her windows rescreened.

      The revolution will not be privatized.

      by Bush Bites on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:27:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That seems to happen a lot more than we think. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        swampyankee, StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

        Cats get carried away going after something and step or fly right out a window.  Sheesh!

        Wonderful of your friend to help, great story.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

        by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:45:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My cat did this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany, Ahianne

          but I only lived on the second floor. I was out of town for a few days when he was a kitten, and the friend feeding him panicked when he wasn't there one day. He'd gone out the window! He wasn't injured that time, but I put screens up. I didn't want him outside until he was neutered and vaccinated.

          Later on, I removed a screen to allow him to walk over to the awning over the porch, where he liked to nap. From there, he could reach the ground via a tree, but as he got older, he was less agile, and after getting a light sprain doing this, the screens went back up for good. He also started staying inside more, anyway.

          He was a good kitty. I miss him.

          48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. - Mother Teresa

          by wasatch on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:52:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And a microchip! (5+ / 0-)

      Collars come off, tags get lost. Chips are permanent.

      •  Yep. Ironically, there is a movement to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        swampyankee, StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

        STOP chipping, believe it or not. It is mostly forwarded by privacy interests, but they play right into fears of cancerous tumors of pet owners.

        I could probably find one of the sites I visited after another rescue told me they do not chip because of cancer. The director of that shelter is a cancer survivor... as am I, a huge proponent of chipping. I wouldn't link the site though as they are extreme in the extreme.

        So, I read their blah blah then did a lot of research. The facts just don't fall on their side of the argument. At all.

        The studies that have been done on chipping/tumors state, clearly, that the results cannot be interpreted for any animals other than mice. And even it THAT were not the case, the numbers are so incredibly small that they are hardly worth mentioning. But then right now, anti-science seems to be all the rage.

        I can tell you this: Almost NO cats are admitted to shelters with collars/IDs.  And, even here, over 80% of cats are killed at the shelter because there is no known owner to contact and somehow people don't think their cats will EVER BE in the shelter. It's a weird situation all around.

        Personally, I would support mandatory chipping of all animals with a fee reduction in licensing. So... you spend $20 for chip/registration at the shelter (that's about their costs including registration for us, anyway, and is probably cheaper for a muni shelter), and that year you get $20 off your licensing. Using AVID chips, you only pay that registration cost once, so that is great.

        The number of cats returned to owners would increase astronomically. Killing would go down, costs to the shelter (read taxpayer) would decrease. The situation would be better for everyone involved... and all for $20.

        As a rescue, we retain the chip ownership for the life of the cat/dog. That way, if something happens, we are there for them for their entire lives.  We have not once had a problem, but I'm sure will some day.  

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

        by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:23:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  One of my dogs has a chip. It's useless. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        It was put in two owners back. I've tried and tried to call the company that registered it. All I get is a busy signal.

        Which is exactly what those calling to check the chip would get.

        Make sure that the company registering your chip is solid. And has enough workers to answer the phone.

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:55:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which company is the chip from? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne

          I deal with AVID all the time and they are FABULOUS.  I have hundreds and hundreds of chips registered there and they are easy to reach, really great in terms of customer service, etc.

          I'd like to know which company so I can tell people to avoid a bad company.  They obviously are not all alike.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:09:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What a terribly sad story (10+ / 0-)

    I'm sitting here with tears pouring down my cheeks.  The loss of a pet is always deeply painful but to have one taken through the thoughtless, uncaring action of others must be especially painful.  I can't imagine going through that pain but know if I ever do, I would hope to have someone as caring and kind hearted as you by my side.

  •  What a heartbreaking story. (19+ / 0-)

    Thank you for sharing and for being there for this woman.

    I know just what you mean in how people regard animals,  I worked in shelters for years and I've seen the worst of it.

    "Do you have a real tough cat that can fend for itself?  I have a lot of raccoons around my house."

    "Then if you're considering a cat, you should keep it inside."

    "Well, I can't do that, you know.. I have kids."

    No, I really don't know...

    There just came a point where I couldn't do it anymore.  I didn't suffer bullshit like that, and I was never a favorite amongst the board of directors who only cared about the number of animals we placed and not the quality of their homes.

    With so many assholes in the world, its always heartbreaking when those who do right by their animals suffer such tragic losses.

    •  Wise words:) And indeed, placement is (12+ / 0-)

      really what it's all about. Great dog,  placed wrong, can be a disaster for the dog and the family.

      Thanks for caring so much and doing a wonderful job.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:21:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Adoption numbers are meaningless (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany, Ahianne

        if you're repeatedly adopting out the same animal due to bad placements.  Unfortunately, much of the funding available for shelters assesses their merit based on volume of adoptions, and they don't really care about returns or whether that animal ends up in another shelter down the line.

        You can't always find the perfect home, but being pressured to overlook glaring red flags was more than I could handle.  And you're right, this is just as disastrous for a well-meaning but poorly matched family.

        •  In ten years, I have had one dog returned. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jill Kay, Ahianne

          I am careful in the extreme, and for good reason.

          In that case, had I listened to my intuition instead of the words on the page of her app (and despite the glowing reviews of her vet etc... we do pretty extensive background checks) this would not have happened.

          When I went to pick up the dog, the anger in that household was palpable. This was a young dog, a puppy, who was chewing everything he could wrap his mouth around. And instead of training or calling me and seeking help, they scolded the dog who was just doing what puppies DO.

          The dog was so terrified of the owners, he ran from them.  He would not get near ANYONE in the family.

          I walked into the backyard with my golden, Katie, who helped to raise the litter of abandoned pups to which he belonged, and sat down on the grass with her by me. The puppy literally ran toward me at the speed of a bullet and hopped into my lap. I hugged him and kissed him and let him know he was okay.

          The boyfriend said, "How do you do that?"

          I tried not to let him see the fury I was experiencing and replied, "I'll tell you in a minute."

          I put my collar and leash on the dog and asked him to move to the side of the house so he could not scare the puppy. When I had gotten both Katie and the pup in the car I lit into him like there was no tomorrow in essence telling him he was an animal abuser and giving him the carrots v. sticks lecture.

          That man got the wrath from me that he so deserved.

          His girlfriend called me and threatened to sue me. I told her to bring it on. I KNEW I was in no peril.

          I never heard from her again, but I DID put her on a DNA (do not adopt) list that rescuers keep.

          I kicked myself all the way home. I had made a wrong decision that didn't hurt ME, it hurt an animal. To this day the sting of that has never left. I don't think it ever will.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:04:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Training is as much for people as for animals (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cany, Ahianne

            Some people really just don't get this, they think they can have their animals "trained" like you'd get your car serviced. They throw a bunch of money at a problem, and don't understand why their dog is well-behaved with a trainer but not with them.  For some, its ignorance, but for others, they can be told these things repeatedly and never hear them.

            I have some in my family who are like this, and they just aren't willing to understand how their animals' behavior is so clearly rooted in the neglect and lack of socialization they received as puppies (they got the dogs at 8 weeks), and the inconsistency of their training from every point forward.  The problem is with the dog and not with them and they will keep throwing money sending their dogs to "training camps" until it sticks.  I've at least managed to make them understand that surrendering their severely fear-aggressive dogs to a shelter will mean certain euthanasia, but somehow this same point got lost when they came to me for advice on how to rehome their aging, incontinent shih-tzu.

            As for a glowing review from a veterinarian, some vets can have amazingly messed up attitudes towards animals as well.  Its stunning.  I worked for one who ran an illegal boarding operation in the back of his clinic.  It was in a mixed use business/residential zone. He could technically only house animals overnight for medical reasons, but most of the kennels and cages were filled with boarders to pad the income.  

            It was a cramped, depressing space with inadequate heat, improper cleaning methods, abounding OSHA violations, and not nearly enough staff to properly care for the number of animals.  They permanently housed a cat in one of the runs outside, because he was a "mean cat" that the veterinarian was taking pity on by allowing him to live in these conditions.  I found him to be only as mean as the treatment he received from most of the staff there.

            There was a bathtub with hot water in one of the kennel rooms, but it was so cramped and inaccessible that it was only used for small dogs.  Big dogs?  Take them out back and use the hose.  In January.  They don't care, "they're just dogs."  

            Absolutely horrifying.  At the time,  I was exploring becoming a veterinarian myself, and it was my first position in a hospital after years in shelters.  With a shelter background, I tried to share my knowledge of proper cleaning and sanitation to no avail.  After a total of four weeks on the job, I was informed that I wouldn't make a very good veterinarian and should consider a different line of work.  A soul-crushing horror show, all around.

            •  Oh man! I couldn't work for someone like that! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ahianne

              I love the place I work for and my veterinarian is extremely compassionate. There are now three resident cats there that wander the office freely including one that was brought in with a horrible (and I mean HORRIBLE) eye infection to the point his eye was sticking out of his face a full inch... but the kitten was too young and sick for surgery, so the staff took turns bottle feeding the kitten and giving meds. When he was old and well enough, the enucleation was done and you have never seen such a well socialized little guy... and incredibly healthy!  He is adorable!

              Your post points, also, to the need of people to insist on a FULL tour of a veterinary facility before boarding. If they won't let you see the backside and kennels of a facility, there is a reason. Do not leave your animal there. Look at cleanliness and overall condition of the kennel. Older kennels might look a little old, but that isn't an important point. Make sure surfaces are clean, in good condition (e.g. no holes or peeling paint), kennels are of suitable size, gating is solid and appropriate, that heating and air conditioning (air conditioning is used in hot months--most laws require indoor boarding areas to be no warmer than 85 degrees when dogs are present) is used, etc.

              As to sending for grooming, all I can say is what a jerk that guy is!  Likewise, folks, make sure that the facilities for grooming are appropriate and that a dog is NEVER left alone in a tub or a dryer and inquire to HOW they are dried (blow out/dryer, dryer only, blow out/only). Some dogs are really sensitive to the sound of a blower. Some dogs are not. There are horror stories out there regarding animals dying in dog/cat dryers.  That need NEVER EVER happen.

              You wouldn't send a child to a day care without thoroughly checking it out. Do the same with a kennel etc. Check for complaints, check on line, talk to friends, and especially, if you know someone that works at a grooming parlor or veterinarian, ask them about their own place.

              Due diligence always has its place.

              Finally, you sound like EXACTLY the person that should go to vet school.  Often, older people don't try... don't let that stop you. The vet I work for was no spring chicken when she attended vet school!

              What are you doing in the field now?

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

              by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:22:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I got out of it altogether. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany, Ahianne

                With the exception of fostering.

                I think I had some terrible luck with timing and employers.  I stayed at the same shelter for a number of years and made lasting friendships, but when I making near minimum wage in the Bay Area with a Cal degree, I had to reassess what I was doing with my life.  I bounced around to other shelters with better pay scales, but I always seemed to land in the middle of an upheaval, with incoming/outgoing shelter directors, bad politics, interim policies that went from bad to worse, etc.

                I also had a lot of pre-requisites to make up for to get into vet school, and I started down that path for a while, brushing up on biology and chemistry in community college with the idea of applying to UC Davis.  It turned out I was an absolute wiz in chemistry, and I ended up tutoring for a few semesters.  But the pressures of earning a living, and the lack of night classes made it really difficult to balance. This was before the economy collapse, so I'm sure that situation is worse now with all the cuts to education.  I haven't completely given it up, though, and much depends on whether the job market turns around to the point that I can find the flexibility I would need to make it all balance.  We'll see.

                •  I sure hope you keep it up! You sound like (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ahianne

                  you are not only very dedicated, but VERY bright!  I loved chemistry, too. I wanted to be a vet but it was not in the cards for me, economically, even in easier days.

                  There are a lot of ways to go in vet med, including specialties and many vets who do this are in incredible demand (e.g. ultra sounds, orthopedics).

                  I sure wish you the best!

                  202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

                  by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:22:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  We have a dead cat/kitten turn up in the yard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa

      about once a week.  My small town kills about a hundred cats/kittens every month.  I like cats and they are useful for controlling vermin.  I go to the shelter and adopt the full grown ones that are already fixed and socialized.  I bring them home and feed them for as long as they can survive.  There are anywhere from 15 to 35 feral cats in my neighborhood at anytime starving so badly that they will get into my chicken traps to eat the cracked corn bait.
      Presently, I have a cat that has lasted for 2 1/2 years. I love him and he visits with me in the house.  His name is Crystal Fang.  I hope he lasts.

      •  Maybe you could talk to one of the national (5+ / 0-)

        groups that does free spay neuters or a local university's veterinary school.  Often, the vet schools will do teaching projects and spay and neuter for free.

        Getting people to spay and neuter is really important.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

        by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:48:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  TNR: Trap, Neuter, Return (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DMiller, cany, mamamedusa, Ahianne

          Many rescues and veterinary hospitals will organize mobile clinics to travel to rural areas, you should see if any of these are happening in your area.

          For feral cats, animal rescues will often spay/neuter for free.  I used to work in the shelter hospital at the SF SPCA, and it was like an assembly line.  Bring the animal in the trap, sedate, sterilize, vaccinate,  snip a corner of their ears for marking, then return them to the trap and back to the outdoors.

          If you're looking to keep cats outdoors for vermin control, feral cats are really ideal for this.  They often cannot be socialized as pets and if you live in an area with harsh conditions (coyotes? pathological humans?) its unfair to take socialized animals for this purpose, who may otherwise have a chance at a good, indoor home out of harm's way.  

          I realize this is a tricky equation, as there always more animals than there are good homes for them, but if you're bringing animals home for "as long as they can survive" in your situation, I would really consider fixing the ferals you already have in your area and "adopting" them into your yard.  You may be surprised by how some of them will socialize over time.

          Some information on managing feral cats from one of my local organizations, Fix Our Ferals

          •  Excellent. Thanks for posting that! nm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ahianne

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

            by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:25:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  rural feral cats (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cany, mamamedusa

            Where my sister lives, in farm country, the barns are full of semi-feral cats that control vermin. This year, there are a lot of bobcats, and the barn cat populations are way down, due to bobcats, coyotes;, and feral dogs; vermin are on an uprise. As a city girl, the whole thing is kind of creepy to me, as I imagine those barn cats inbreeding and producing diseased mutants.  But it beats having to deal with mice and rats.

            There is one cat who was raised on the porch after her mama cat abandoned her, and she completely bonded to humans, prefers to stay around the house, very affectionate. We had her spayed a few years ago to retire her from kitten-making, as she is small and was skin and bones, and had abandoned her last litter. She is fat and happy now (though still petite) and her mission in life is to nap and purr and be petted. Definitely NOT a barn cat.

            She went missing for about a month this fall, and was given up for dead. My sister found her last week, alive! and was overjoyed. She is a pet, as opposed to the barn cats, which are livestock. Another pair of kittens is being raised on the porch, and we think she got jealous, as their arrival coincided with her disappearing. We're all happy that she's been found.

            48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. - Mother Teresa

            by wasatch on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:17:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Great suggestion. (0+ / 0-)

            I wish we had a capture release in my rural area.  I guess i just like to have a "friendly" cat or two around to love up and hang around with me in the garden.

  •  I think all this carrying on and crying and (0+ / 0-)

    being ANGRY goes to show our culture's pathological attitude towards death.
    It sounds like the dog had a good life and that is more than most dogs can hope for.  Go get another dog and love it and give it a great life.  When it, in turn, dies, it will not mind it a bit.
    I like to keep 2 dogs one older and one younger.  The old one teaches the young one and when the old one dies, I get another young one.
    My dogs live outside.  I have an acre for them.  They refuse to come in the house (except for the 4th of July) even on the coldest winter night.
    They are great.  When my animals die or get killed, we are sad but never angry.  We talk about them freely but, we don't cry very much.  The longer we have a pet, the harder it is to let go.  11 years is a bit rough.

  •  They use dead animals for fertilizer? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, jayden, Ahianne

    So, if you opt to have the animal disposed of with the others, versus having a private cremation, they'll just sell it as fertilizer?

    The revolution will not be privatized.

    by Bush Bites on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:03:58 PM PST

  •  Nice diary. (5+ / 0-)

    I really respect veteranarians.

    Thanks for the work you do.

    The revolution will not be privatized.

    by Bush Bites on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:08:58 PM PST

  •  I will never again drive past a dead dog or cat. (6+ / 0-)

    I have to say I haven't really known what to do. You're driving along, suddenly you see it, whoosh you are past it, what was that, what should you do, it's way back there, maybe someone else will do something about it, what can I do, what's the point, should I go back and pick it up, then what do I do if it doesn't have tags, move it to the side of the road, take the body somewhere, where would that be....

    All of those thoughts flashed through my mind when my brother and I saw a dead cat in the middle of a street a couple of weeks ago. The cat wasn't wearing a collar, so I wouldn't have been able to call the owner. Still, I can't tell you how much I regret not stopping and moving the body out of the street to make sure that it would be intact if the owner found it, not run over and mutilated.

    We were both crushed and knew full well what a sad day it was going to be for the owner. My brother is a cat person and was pretty heartbroken. And I know how I felt when all that was left of my kitten was a bit of intestine in the gutter. My first and only kitten, since I'm mainly a dog person.

    But neither of us really knew what to do, so I'm glad you wrote this. I promise to try to do something when it happens again, as it surely will. And perhaps it will ease your mind a little to think that at least some of the people kept driving past not because they didn't care but because they didn't know what to do.

    Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

    by expatjourno on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:15:29 PM PST

    •  A lot of them are chipped. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno

      But, it would be a bit of a hassle to take it to the nearest shelter to get its chip read.

      All our animals are chipped.

      The revolution will not be privatized.

      by Bush Bites on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:19:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whoa. Stopping to help an injured but living (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, cany, BoxNDox

      animal is one thing.  With a dead animal, the balance really changes.  YOu have to be sure you aren't risking injury or an accident to move the body of an animal that's already beyond help.

      •  That's true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        In this case, though, we could have pulled over. It was a mixed business/residential area, not the freeway.

        Point taken, though. It would be too dangerous to pull over on the San Diego Freeway.

        Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

        by expatjourno on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:36:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have a fold up camping shovel in my car (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, expatjourno

      and I scoop up all the dead animals I see and move them to the side of the road... with the shovel, or by hand (yep, I keep gloves and sanitizer in the car too along with an emergency kit, blankets, and a hardboard and giant crate).

      The reason I do this is to avoid MORE animals being killed sniffing the animal or in the case of carrion, eating the dead carcass.

      My advice: be very careful of "dead" snakes... I can say that from personal experience.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:10:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Although we trusted two (9+ / 0-)

    previous corgis, with the rescued cocker we have now, we found we couldn't trust him not to get into something when we left him.

    We've had him for 7 yrs now, and he is estimated to be abt 13.  He and another were dumped at a strip plaza in the village just before Thanksgiving.  One of the people working in the plaza used to be a vet tech, and had called the village dog warden.  We found a good home for the other, and with the help of cocker rescue in the Catskills, the other got some needed medical attention.

    We had crates from our previous dogs, so at night and when we leave the house, Clem is crated. ("Go kennel, Clem" & in he goes, looking for the cookie reward)

    In the unlikely event of a fire when we are away, the local volunteer fire dept gets a reminder with a yrly check, that Clem is in the house, plus we have a sticker near the electric meter, which they always try to get to to turn off any power.

    And the name, Clem?    It comes from Mark Twain, who wrote this:

    If you take an abandoned dog and make him prosperous,
    He will not bite you.
    This is the principle difference between dog and man.
    **
    Clem has never bitten us. And this summer in the small village in Germany, near the Dutch border, where some of Mr Pinhole's ancestors came from, we found a church:  St Clements!  

    Sometimes things are a bit spooky!  
    Thank you for the work you dol

  •  I have a Husky, (5+ / 0-)

    a runner. I live in close to shut-in fear of him getting loose and killed on the street. Even though I take every precaution I can think of to keep him safe, I am gripped by near paralysis sometimes as I think of all the horrible things that could happen to him just because he can clear 12 feet in a stride. I even have his retractable leash strung through a strap on a clip-on belt because he has pulled the leash right out my hand and taken off. Last spring he was on this belted leash when he was struck by a car as we were getting out of my vehicle on a residential street. The woman who hit him was going 15 mph over the speed limit and she smacked my Roy broadside, sending him rolling up and over the curb and onto the lawn against a tree. Luckily he was not injured--how I don't know--and the police officer who arrived to take the woman's statement issued her a citation for going too fast. Do you know what that woman's first action was after she pulled over? She CHECKED TO SEE IF HER CAR WAS DAMAGED. The neighbor later told me that she was going to file a damage report with her insurance company because she thought I was in the wrong. Well, I did everything right, but even so Roy was struck by a car. Really, sometimes shit just happens, no matter what. My heart breaks for the woman in your story, cany. I am sorry for her and all human animals who have lost beloved animal companions.

    •  That's a husky for ya! They were born to run, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      swampyankee, StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

      and like my Hank who is part hound and has the feet to prove it (!), there is no stop button.

      I am a ways off a main road, but the second someone gets out, I am hot on their trail.  "Cookie!" (and a big hug... NEVER a scold) awaits them when they come (or I catch them, whichever comes first).

      Cookie is one of the first commands I teach, then use it in concert with another word... Cookie/crate. Cookie/car. Cookie/come.

      Runners... ya gotta love em cuz ya sure as heck can't stop em!  

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:59:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This has always been my nightmare (7+ / 0-)

    My six cats are indoors only animals. I'm always afraid someone might break in while I was at work, and one might get out, or, worse, that the thief might injure them in some way. So, I feel deeply for this poor lady and her son.

    Radarlady

  •  My Horror Story (13+ / 0-)

    Four lane road, not majorly busy, I came across a dog that had been hit but was still alive.  I pulled into a parking lot, grabbed a white towel in the trunk and was in the road to pick the dog up.  I saw a car coming several blocks away so I started waving the towel and pointing to the dog to alert them to get in the other lane.  There were no other cars so they could even have gone on the other side to pass.  They could not have NOT seen me.  But they didn't budge, they didn't even slow down, even with me standing in the road.  When I realized they weren't going to change lanes, I jumped to the side of the road.  They hit the poor dog and killed it.  And kept going.  I was watching the dog, not the car, so I couldn't even begin to describe the car to hunt those suckers down.  I was screaming bloody murder at them.  'Eh, no one cared.

    I picked her up and took her home, called the vet on the tag and the dad came and got her.  Cried myself to sleep that night.

  •  the only thing I fear from a (8+ / 0-)

    break in, that my animals would be hurt.  They could take everything and I would not really care as long as my pets were safe.  Poor woman and her child and the poor young man who cared enough to help.  

    I can only hope that life catches up with the thief.  

  •  I can deal with man's in humanity to man. (6+ / 0-)

    But man's inhumanity to dogs is unforgivable. Thank you for doing what you could and for doing what you can in a very noble profession. My little dalmatian was a rescue who was abandoned by not one but two families. She is as sweet as pie and makes me laugh and tugs on my heart every single day.

    I am heartened by several things in this story: 1) That this man took time out of his life to care for this woman, 2) That he is YOUNG which means we are still producing quality people, 3) And that you chose this profession and to share this very touching story with us.

    I am waiting in my car, I am waiting in this bar, I am waiting on your essence. - Lucinda Williams

    by Bensdad on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:35:22 AM PST

    •  Thank you so much. I, too, was thrilled to see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

      such compassion and caring. Your comment really strikes a nerve with me.

      I hold great faith in the youngest of generations. They are getting into some seriously deep waters and holding their own. They are seeing beyond many of the barriers that we older types have been trying to tear down for decades. That is good. It's not like they are tearing them down, they just don't seem to honor or dignify those wrongs and move past them often effortlessly.

      I am really proud of them!

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:34:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a Heartbreaking Story. (4+ / 0-)

    When I got divorced the first time, we had a gorgeous, wonderful Golden Retriever that we'd taken in from some people who lived on a farm and saw someone pull up to their ditch, set her on the side of the road and drive away. She was a wonderful girl (Audrey). When Mike and I split we shared "custody" amicably as we both loved her so.

    He stayed in our rental farmhouse and I moved in town. One day while she was with him he called hysterical....she'd gotten out when he was coming into the house, ran straight for the gravel road and was hit by a car and killed. He was beside himself with guilt and grief....I too was devastated. We had he cremated, scattered some ashes in the woods where she liked to go with us and now we both have some of her ashes in urns.

    The loss of a pet is always awful, but when it's violent and sudden is that much more painful.

    "I'll tell you, if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman. S.T.A.U.N.C.H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling 'ya!". Little Edie

    by vintage dem on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:44:05 AM PST

    •  I am so sorry you lost yur Audrey in such a way. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

      And yes, it is horrible and as with these types of deaths, you have no time to work through it and be settled with it when it comes.

      That is a lot harder in my opinion.

      For people whose companion animals ARE family, the grief is so very, very deep and can last a very long time.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:36:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so sorry (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        When we were kids, there were young men who liked to tear up and down our alley at unsafe speeds. Not only were there cats and dogs in the neighborhood, we kids were sometimes in that alley. Sure enough, they hit one of our cats. I was inconsolable. I only caught a glimpse of the body. Someone else in the family had to retrieve her. We were sure it was the kids who liked to speed, and never forgave them.

        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. - Mother Teresa

        by wasatch on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:29:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Such a sad story (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, cany, StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

    We lost our beloved Sadie because the meter reader left the gate open and she darted into the street only to be struck by a motorcycle.

    Thank you for the work you do. I will keep this family in my thoughts today.

    •  I am so sorry about Sadie. That is so avoidable. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

      I make my adopters put a lock on their gates and explain to them what can (and does) happen. They can always arrange for the meter reader to access the yard at another time or use binoculars from a different property.

      There is just never a reason for that to happen.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:42:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not surprising unfortunately. (6+ / 0-)

    I live in the prairies, and there is always lots of gophers and rabbits running around.  Lately, it seems even in the city there are tons of them freely zipping around and it is becoming quite common to see roadkill on city roads.

    I've heard a number of stories, both direct and indirect, that there is no shortage of people out there who see an animal on the road and think it is funny to kill it with their car.  I've even seen cars swerve to hit something that has already made it past the lane.

    Now these are smaller than dogs, and animals most would consider a pest, but it still makes me feel sick that this is something people do for fun or think is funny.  I feel bad having to set mouse traps to keep mice from nesting in my crappy old shed.  Hell, this year I had a couple dead birds in my yard for reasons completely unknown.  I still felt bad.

    But still, I don't see why there wouldn't be some people out there who not only don't care about a stray dog, but may actually think it's funny to try and hit it.  I mean, what are the consequences for doing so?  Did anyone bother to get the plates?  Did anyone report that driver who hit the dog and kept going?  

    •  To my knowledge, no one got the plates of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      driver. Probably, everyone was in a state of shock and disbelief.

      I probably would have followed him after yelling at someone to block the roadway and protect the dog.

      It is such an untenable situation and will NEVER EVER sit right with me.

      People that hit any animal my intention have something wrong with them. The lack of compassion says something about them--though not about the cause of it.  I know that some people who are just not mentally well might be able to do this and feel little pain.

      But for the "fun of it"?  Fun in causing pain? Fun in being a bully? We see this in human-on-human violence as well. I don't know how to stop it. But in the case of animals, I have had to stop it many a time.

      I think, sometimes, that were society to place greater emphasis on compassion for all living things (at home, in church, at school, in our social lives), much of this would wane.

      There are groups of people who scout gang areas at night looking for animals. Their (dangerous) willingness to get these dogs out of really, really bad circumstances is so brave. Often, they will buy the dog from a gang member for a slight amount, then safety the dog, have them assessed and place them.  It is nothing I have personally done, but I do know people who have done it.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:56:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A few years ago I was driving behind a car (8+ / 0-)

    that did not so much as slow down before running over the puppy that had wandered into the street.

    The car had time to slow down. The driver decided otherwise.

    I know this because I was right behind the car in question and I had time to stop my car and check on the poor thing.

    It was still alive....for too agonizingly long.

    It was a puppy, and it died scared and alone, probably never understanding why.

    And the person who killed it.. I think this is the part that got me.

    They slowed a bit after, having clearly noted what they had done.. then sped away.

    Not their problem.

  •  Thank you so much (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

    You do every day what I wish I could, but don't have the ability to.  I've been part of basset hound rescue for 8 years and just seeing what people are capable of, either by intent or neglect, is incredibly hard.  I couldn't deal with it on a day to day basis.

    What happened to that poor woman is the constant fear in the back of my mind.  I don't care about the stuff in my house, just the family - which includes both of our dogs and the foster hounds.

    Bless you for what you do, and please keep doing it.  The world needs more people like you, both for our own kind and our furred companions.

    •  Basset Rescue! YEAH! I have a friend who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StateofEuphoria, Ahianne

      is the director of a large Basset rescue in CA and she is just wonderful! Aren't they something, the bassets?!  Rooo Rooo!

      Thanks for the nice compliment. Rescue is often very hard, but one has to be able to see the big picture which took me a while.

      A lot of changes have taken place in 35 years, believe me. We didn't even call what we do rescue until a couple decades back.

      And thanks for being part of Basset Rescue. You see to have a fabulous bunch in CA and from what I can see, nationally.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:46:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Golden Gate Basset Rescue (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        GGBR is the group I'm part of, though I also know a couple of other basset rescue groups in CA, and every single person involved is fantastic.  It's gotta be the hounds.  

        Aroo! from my bunch here.  My husband tells me it's a personal failing, but I adore hearing them sing.  

        I never understood what people said about rescue animals being the most loving you'll ever meet until I brought one home.  Despite being abused, beaten, neglected and almost starved to death, he's the most wonderful dog I've ever known.  He's also the reason we're considered a 'failed' foster home, since he's already been with us for 2+ years and I will never give him up.

        Take care and remember the good to help getting past the bad.

        •  Ha! (0+ / 0-)

          I love this:

          My husband tells me it's a personal failing, but I adore hearing them sing.
           

          Wonderful, me too!

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:46:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  one of my tiny dogs is a rescue (8+ / 0-)

    he was taken away by the authorities, from a neurosurgeon in Chicago who had him specially bred. Half St. Bernard, half Siberian Husky. As I said, Tiny.
    Tiny as humvees go, that is.

    He was matted, scared, fearful, and gorgeous. When he saw me through the window, he stood up on his back legs, and raised one paw at my, as though, "Please come and save me."

    It was his last day at the AC Society. Given his size, they can only keep a dog for three weeks.

    I brought him home, and timid as he was, he completely ignored my existing 120 lb Golden Retriever (not overweight, just tall and big) During the morning walks, I'd let them both go, and exhaust my arm throwing tennis balls for the retriever. Each time I raised my arm, my new puppy would whimper and  hit the ground. That lasted the first year.

    He was and remains the sweetest, more friendly, obedient, and loving creature I have ever seen. He is now 11 and still active. (a pleasant surprise given his size)

    I still laugh when I was walking both off leash (they both heeled perfectly) in a nearby alley. Some ass decided to breed killer dogs for fighting. One of them, a snarling huge Bull Mastiff broke free of his cage, and forced his way through the fenced in yard. He came at me, growling, ready to kill. My 120 lb Golden quickly hid behind me, and shivered in fear. Such a brave golden.

    My rescue dog (he weighed only 110 at the time) put up his tail, and sauntered in front of me, walking towards the approaching Mastiff. My pup reared back, and with his nose, punched the Mastiff straight in his nose, like an Ali uppercut. (the mastiff was  easily twice his size) The mastiff fell back, shook himself off, whimpered like a baby, and ran off, back to his yard.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:23:36 AM PST

    •  Geez, what a story, but I love the name Tiny.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StateofEuphoria, agnostic, Ahianne

      Just curious, the the jerk caging his fighting dogs get reported?  There is now a national hotline for that, I think.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:49:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did not know that. I moved a month later. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        where the dogs had a much much larger yard, and forests where we take walks.

        The golden passed away at 15 yrs, and before he died, we thought we'd start early with a replacement.  An even smaller great pyre.  (snort) As a puppy, the Pyre would torment the Golden, especially when the old guy was sleeping. I really that that brat kept the Golden more active and extended his life.

        The rescue and the Pyre get along great, although the rescue's days of catching feral cats and wabbits are over. A bit of arthritis.

        The pyre has a new hobby. He has been catching skunk.  oh what a joy.
         

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:00:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lol. Well, I wouldn't encourage that skunk thing. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne

          After bats, skunks are the highest or second highest vector for rabies.

          Really, try to stop that!  And be sure to vaccinate your pet.

          If you have to pick up a dead wild animal, please, please take precautions: Wear disposable gloves and dispose of the towel or whatever you are using along with the animal and gloves. Double tie the bag and get it to a shelter for disposal (not the trash).

          I love the little skunkies, but am cautious about them (and raccoons and bats) because of the rabies vector issue.

          Do take care!

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:04:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so thankful there are people like you (6+ / 0-)

    in this world.

    I don't know what more to say. Your story is one of my worst nightmares. Thank you for being there for the little people in fur coats and their humans.

  •  Warm healing thoughts being sent to (6+ / 0-)

    the woman and boy that so tragically lost their dog.

    Bless you Cany for all you do for the animals, also for giving comfort to a human who needed you.

    There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you. Will Rogers

    by Amber6541 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:49:33 AM PST

  •  Oh, unfortunately, last week I (4+ / 0-)

    had a similar experience. A neighbor's dog slipped out of his collar and ran just as another neighbor was driving home. Yet a third neighbor helped me slide the dog on a make-shift stretcher, but he didn't make it, and there are some sad people here now. The owner has tried to alleviate the guilt of the driver, while the driver wants to find another pet friend for the owner. It happened, and it was no one's fault really.

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

    by cv lurking gf on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:50:43 AM PST

    •  Oh man. I am sorry to hear this. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, Ahianne, cv lurking gf

      There are two things that happen a lot in regard to collars and leashes:

      1. Slipped collars, as in this case
      2. Retractable leashes (which really should be banned) either breaking or acting like tethering when dogs get into a fight... you just cannot separate them when they get all jumbled up in the leash and a lot of bites that don't need to happen result.

      The solutions:

      1. A harness or a martingale type collar. The martingale should NOT have ANY plastic parts. They look like this.  Or for greyhounds and others breeds that can wear them, this. Be sure they fit correctly or the problem isn't solved. The former kind are adjustable.
      2. A thick 6' lead with a handle that doesn't nylon-burn the holder or is leather. Leather is the gold standard for me.

      We all learn the hard way. I did, but it only meant running around catching the dog which eventually ran, literally, into someone else's front door, me hot on his trail, and me closing the door behind us both. I yelled to the homeowner that I was in their entryway and meant no harm but that my dog had run into their house. The owner was on the can at the time... the whole situation was pretty funny, actually.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:01:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good advice, both for the leashes (0+ / 0-)

        and closing the door when "powdering one's knees" - pretty funny.

        My neighbor's volunteering at the free health clinic nearby for now to take her mind off her pup. Her daughter is going to take her to get another rescue dog when she's ready. He was a cute, one-eyed, long haired dachshund.

        "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

        by cv lurking gf on Sat Nov 19, 2011 at 08:11:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Burglary After Moving In (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    people will watch to see what you bring into an apartment, and someone may have a key.....

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:07:41 AM PST

    •  I hadn't even thought of the key part. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden

      I should mention that to her so she can get proof that the locks were changed as I am going to send her a note. Thank you for mentioning that.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:02:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't even get halfway through your (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swampyankee, cany, jayden, Ahianne

    post and tears erupted.  That poor dog and that poor woman.  Much gratitude for the kindness and compassion of a stranger and for the wonderful work you do to help these beautiful sweet creatures.  I gave my three pups and a cat a huge hug after reading.

    That which you manifest is before you - Enzo: "The Art of Racing in the Rain"

    by StateofEuphoria on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:08:27 AM PST

    •  Thank you, and to you, enjoy one another and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, Ahianne

      I hope you all live long and happy lives! Give a special hug to everyone from me, too!

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:07:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We lost a dog last spring via vehicle. (5+ / 0-)

    The person who hit him did stop late at light and called the number on the tag.  He stayed with the dog until we arrived.  We were able to get to the dog and get him to a vet; but the injuries were too severe.

    I didn't meet the boy who hit him; but I called him later that night to thank him.  He was very sorry about what happened; but I assured him I felt nothing but gratitude for him for doing what he could to help.  The black dog running in front of his car in the dark wasn't something he could control; but he did the right thing afterward.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:16:44 AM PST

    •  You did exactly a wonderful thing. That young man (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, Ahianne

      will remember your forgiveness and kindness all his life and it will help him form good values in doing the right thing.

      So on behalf of everyone that has a dog/cat, thank you so much.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:04:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been there. (6+ / 0-)

    I had to have my dog put to sleep.  It was a shock.  I was devastated.  I was alone.  The only thing I remember of that day, the only thing I will let myself even think about, is the girl from the front desk who came and sat down in the chair next to me and held my hand while I was waiting for them to bring me the papers to sign.  I will always be grateful for that touch of kindness, and I know the lady you comforted will remember that, too.

    You are doing the work of angels, Cany.  Thank you.

    •  What a nice thing to say in light of having such (0+ / 0-)

      a loss yourself. I really appreciate that. Very nice of you, and I am so very sorry you had to experience such sorrow.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:05:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  cany (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StateofEuphoria, cany

    You are AWESOME and so are all of the writers who have shared their stories of rescue! The rest of the sour pusses who wrote their negative comments and recommendations should all take a "chill pill" and go back to their unhappy and miserable lives.

    •  Thanks, wynative. I appreciate it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      What is striking about a lot of the comments is the actual fear people have not of being broken into, but of that happening and having their cats/dogs get lose. It certainly shows the right priorities in my mind.

      I had a VERY strange situation happen last summer: A small property nearby was incorrectly given MY home address on a tax lien sale list. I went virtually crazy and spent the entire day at the county straightening it out, THEN demanding the property be pulled from the auction which they did not want to do.

      It's a long story and one I should write about, because, in the end, a sheriff COULD have evicted me from my own home wrongfully... and my rescue animals let go, taken to the shelter or any number of things. It was a real mess.

      It was the animals I was most concerned about.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:10:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beautiful. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Jill Kay, wasatch, Ahianne

    Thanks for doing what you did for this poor woman.

    I have 4 rescue kitties, 3 that live with me and the oldest, my first pet ever, who now lives with my mom. The oldest that my mom has, Finder, he is now going on 12 years old, but he acts like a kitten! I got him as a 6 week old mewling little thing, and he was there for me when I was in college and deeply depressed and feeling very alone. I probably would have killed myself if not for that cat.

    So a few years after college I was not able to bring him with me to an apartment I was moving into. Actually we moved in and only afterwards did the roommate discover he was allergic to cats. I was going to have to do something about Finder. No way in HELL was I going to give him to a shelter or something. I asked my mom to take him in, temporarily. See, I had never been allowed to have pets, my dad didn't want animals in the house, so I thought maybe he wouldn't allow Finder to stay in their house for a while until I fixed my financial problems and could move out of this place I was in.

    Well, my dad did allow it, though he grumbled a bit, but my mom had begged him (she loved Finder too). Fast forward a couple years and my dad's health went south quickly. My parents were stunned to discover that having Finder in the house when my dad was in pain helped my dad a lot. Finder always knew when he was in pain, and would curl up with him in bed and purr. And when my mom was stressed or sad, Finder was always there to purr against her.

    I never did take Finder back, even after I was in a better place. I didn't have the heart. My parents loved him so much, and he was comfortable and happy there to boot. My mother dotes on him like a child, she adores that cat so much. My dad tells everyone back home in Colombia about that cat, which stuns them all because Colombians of his generation have a very deep superstition about cats being evil. This is a man who, when I was a child, would scare away neighborhood cats out of our backyard by shooting BBs at them because he didn't want them to use our house as a toilet. THIS man, loves this cat so much.

    I dread the day Finder passes on. Like I said, he's 12 and healthy and happy and energetic. So i am hoping he will make it to 15 or 17. My father's health is bad, and when he passes, my mom will need Finder.

    My 3 current rescues are babies... the older two are 1.5 years old, the younger is just now getting to 1 year. So I hope to have many many happy years with them. Shelter cats are the best! They are just so grateful and happy little things. When Finder passes, and after she's had time to grieve, I will encourage my mother to go get another shelter cat to keep her company.

    •  What a wonderful story. I think what your story (5+ / 0-)

      emphasizes to me is the healing part of animals. The judgement-free love they give,the intuition they possess, the kindness they show.

      And it also shows how people can change. Clearly, your dad is such an example and a wonderful one at that!

      The vet that I work for is an angel. She really believes that education is an important part of veterinary practice. She is more patient than I am by a mile.

      My mom was just (basically) 5150'd by the local hospital after, for the umpteenth time, she was taken to the hospital after calling the police saying she was being held against her will by a man (sometimes it was more than one). She refused to go to a care home, and I had no legal power to force it.

      She is now in an Alzheimer's/memory care home. She loves animals (I have her 17yo cat here now).

      Among the reasons I chose the care home she is in is the presence of three dogs: Pepper, an older lab/springer mix from the looks of it, Cookie, a small spaniel mix, and Austin a young golden retriever.  The former two roam the care home freely (it is a lock down facility, obviously) and there is a beautiful and large garden/yard there, too.

      When my mom first saw Pepper her eyes brightened and she said, "Oh, look!" I explained to her who the dog was, knowing she wouldn't remember five minutes later. But just seeing the comfort she experienced SEEING the dog made me so happy. Pepper always comes to me when I visit... I am probably a snoot-full of interesting animals scents even on my days off!  So mom always gets to pet Pepper. I am going to offer to bathe him the next time I go... he needs it. I'll work something out and pay for a mobile groomer, if necessary.

      Austin is still young and learning, so he isn't among the patients there yet. He has his own chair in the office and when I went to talk to these folks and take an initial tour (one of several that day) I was impressed with the people for their concern for people AND animals. That said a great deal to me.

      Animals are VERY helpful to people who are ill or stressed. I know this first hand and they offer something we humans just cannot.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 10:52:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We had (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, jayden, cany, Ahianne

    my childhood dog, a Sheltie, from the time I was eighteen months old till just after I turned 17. One of the  things I will forever love about my ex-husband is the way he sat and held me that day while I sobbed for hours.
    When I was finally in a position to get another dog, I was bound and determined to get another Sheltie. No rescues would give me one because I have no fenced yard,and I couldn't find one in a shelter so I was making plans to go to a breeder.

    And then Miss Lilly appeared on the pages of the Michigan Humane Society. They advertised her as a Sheltie mix (I'm more inclined to think Aussie Shepherd/Border Collie mix) and she's the light of our lives. Her previous family "couldn't keep her", for whatever reason. I wish I had a way to contact them and tell them that yes, she found a good home, and she's loved beyond all reason.

    My only problem with the shelters is that I want to rescue ALL the doggies, and I have space for only one.

    "The term 'serious actor' is kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? Like 'Republican party' or 'airplane food'." - Johnny Depp

    by Stucko on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:05:31 PM PST

    •  So glad you found the perfect doggie! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      Regarding the one only, well, I respect someone that has limits for good reason. We all need to take the best care we can of the ones we have.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:50:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  pet ownership is soon to be just for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    rich people.  the vet bills are becoming really excessive even for small things.  

    i suppose there will still be enough rich to support the pet care industry.

    •  This comment resonates with our family (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany

      but this is not the diary in which to post it.

      “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” ~ Charles Dickens, from Oliver Twist

      by ozsea1 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:44:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know it is expensive, no question. But (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      I think the most brutal expense is good food... the building block for health.

      And the expense is not unjustified from the veterinary end. I know what the rent/bills are and it ain't pretty:)

      From other perspectives, I can tell you for a fact that medication costs are soaring. Recently, a commonly used drug, metronidazole (flagyl), stopped being produced by a major manufacturer which sent the drug's cost skyward.. 100s of percent. Why? Because the remaining manufacturer(s) thought they could get the price. IMHO, unabashed greed.

      B-12 injections, something a cat of mine recently needed, are in scarcity recently and I ended up at a compounding pharmacy to get it. That wasn't pretty, but it had to be acquired.

      I'll tell you one thing that REALLY irks me: Topical costs.  Cat owners get seriously dinged. They buy a six-pack of flea meds and pay WAY more for that, relatively per concentration and volume, than dog flea meds. So if you are buying these, buy them on the net.  There have been problems with a lot of brands, so stick with the bigger labels Frontline, Advantage etc.

      And when it comes to dental cleaning, shop around.  There are HUGE variations in cost for dental work, including extractions.  Likewise in spay/neuter costs.

      The one thing I do keep constant is blood work/exams at the same vet so the history of the animal is well known.  That is unless a vet does something incredibly stupid and I walk away entirely. And yes, that has happened.

      There is no harm in shopping around, but use good sense like you would for yourself. Vets (like pediatricians) are special. Their patients don't talk!

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:44:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh the poor lady and her son (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    Such a horrible thing to happen!  I can't imagine that pain, losing your beloved dog like that.  My heart broke reading that story.  I love my own dog so much, they are angels in our lives.  I generally think humans are beasts.  The young man who stopped for the dog is a rare good specimine of our species.

    •  Indeed that young man was stellar. I hope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      I did a sufficient job in letting him know that. I would want him as a friend, believe you me, were I to know him outside this situation.

       

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:30:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the work you do. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Ahianne

    My own country vet is a treasure.  The incredible vets at Iowa State are too.  They are all incredibly compassionate people, besides being competent.

    How they deal with death is one of the things that sets them apart from vets who are more like technicians.

    •  Thank you for the compliment and having (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2laneIA

      access to a veterinary school is a wonderful, wonderful thing for everyone involved!

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:01:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a good thing I don't need eyes to type (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, historys mysteries

    because I can barely see through my tears.

    God bless the child, the dog and the poor woman. They have been robbed of more than a computer.

    And God bless you, cany.

  •  republished to The Royal Manticoran Rangers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, Ahianne

    hard to key anything with tears in my eyes.

    * Thoughts and prayers and healing energy to all involved. *

    “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” ~ Charles Dickens, from Oliver Twist

    by ozsea1 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:42:34 PM PST

  •  Very moving story. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, historys mysteries, Ahianne

    It made me cry, hug my cat Cuddles, and pray for the woman and her family that lost one of their members.

    To the world sick with racism, poverty and greed...get well soon.

    by Cintimcmomma on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:13:39 PM PST

  •  a tale of bad ownership (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    When I was living in Brooklyn, on a street of row houses which were divided one apartment to a floor, there was a family that lived one floor below one building over.  The house had a small backyard that measured maybe 10ft x 10ft.

    One day I heard all of this ruccous and it was clear that they had gotten a dog.  It was a big dog, I'm not sure what kind because I don't really know about these things.  Anyway, they then proceeded to lock the dog up on a 5 ft long chain in the backyard.  Forever.

    The dog made all kinds of noise, barked all night, and it was obvious it had never been trained.  The man of the house made a token effort to train it, of which I heard every detail.  Whenever the dog did something he would shout either "GOOD DOG!" or "BAD DOG!" in exactly the same tone.  This went on for a while and then it seems he gave up.  

    Every night the dog would howl and bark for a while, and run around so much that it would choke itself on the wrapped up chain.  The man gave it a used orange traffic cone to play with, and soon that small yard was full of the torn apart fragments of traffic cone and dog shit.

    That's how that dog lived.  Every day.  It was based on experiences like that that I don't think dog ownership is appropriate in cities.  

    •  That is absolute neglect and I would call it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks

      abuse. It is irresponsible, unkind and now, in California, illegal. Chaining does a HUGE amount of harm to a dog including making them needlessly aggressive.  

      Such a sad tale.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 05:54:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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