Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

I hope all my human and animal friends have a wonderful holiday. If you are chained, I wish for your release into a warm, loving, inside home. If you are lost, I hope you are found by your sad and lonely guardians. If you are at a pound or rescue, I hope you are adopted by someone who loves and respects you as part of the family. If you are human, may you do everything in your power to get respect and love for all animals from all humans.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


A coonhound/beagle x was adopted from the shelter I volunteer at about 6 months ago. Chris picked him up in someone's barn the other night as he had apparently run off and some people held him until they could find the owner. Turns out, the owner keeps him in a barn and lets him run loose. The rescue doesn't have a problem with this as he appears well fed (but filthy and smelly) and happy. I don't know how they can think he's happy, he was obviously happy to see them but I don't know if that means he thinks he has a great life. He could just be relieved at being found.

Anyway, the adoption contract calls for him to be an inside dog but now I'm hearing that that is just the ideal and that as long as he's fed and warm, the rest is just "guidelines". This is a rescue that I respected but now I feel betrayed! How can they allow this? I think that since they don't know how to handle the situation, they convince themselves that this is okay. Or maybe they don't really have a problem with it. We have a beagle there who was previously chained to a doghouse--she is the sweetest, friendliest dog--does this mean she was happy being chained to a doghouse? I guess we see what we want to see.

I don't want to quit as I love the dogs but last night, my volunteer night at the rescue, I was so sad. I felt like crying all night, thinking that these precious dogs may fall into bad hands and have no one to rescue or protect them. It isn't enough that they're merely better off then before. I just picture Hans being out on his 53 acres, in danger of being attacked by wild animals, shot by hunters or hit by a car. I picture him being isolated and alone in a barn. This is just not acceptable but I don't have a say or a choice. Its not my place. If I quit, I'm not helping them and I love the dogs so I'll probably continue but I just feel so disillusioned.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The spirit of Christmas

I just read an article in my local paper about the importance of buying local. But to have a truly terrific holiday season, I will donate time or money to the less fortunate instead of driving myself crazy trying to find the perfect gift for people who already have more than enough.

We're a society of consumers. We work more, buy more, pollute more and waste more than is necessary for our survival. Why not work less and enjoy more? How many toys, tv's, and things do we need? How much money and how many hours must we spend in line to have a "happy" holiday?

I just can't stand all the excess anymore. And I'm a part of it, but I'm trying to change. I just don't need anything and I don't want anyone wearing themselves out just to make sure I have more. The people I buy for don't need anything either so it takes forever to figure out what to buy, its just gotten so old! I refuse to spend what little spare time I have driving to a mall and spending more than I can afford to buy useless stuff that is so unnecessary.

The true spirit of Christmas is not "shop 'til you drop" but to give to those less fortunate. I will keep this in mind for the holidays and support human and animal charities to help those who are truly in need.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


We picked up JR yesterday from Panama. I first saw him a couple months ago on Freecycle looking for a home, a forlorn creature alone and looking resigned to his fate.

He lived chained to a doghouse for a year and a half, all of his life. I haven't been able to get him off my mind so when I found out he was still chained to that doghouse, I had to go get him. How can anyone take such a loyal, social creature and isolate him this way?

We picked a blustery, 20 degree day after it had snowed a foot to drive out into the boonies for this boy. I'd never been to Panama, a small, out in the sticks kind of place. Luck was with us and between our google map and GPS, we didn't get lost or run into any icy roads.

This poor dog growled and barked at me for about 10 seconds until he decided I was a friend and started jumping up and licking me. He was so happy for attention. Knowing that he wouldn't bite me was all I needed to see and off we went. He was scared to get into the car and took quite a bit of convincing, pushing, and pulling but we got him in. He'd never been in a car, or a house or even to the vet in all this time.

JR's at a nearby boarding kennel for now until we can get him vetted and ready for adoption. He has an inside kennel and a huge fenced in yard to run in. He seems to get along with other dogs so he will have plenty of doggy company to play with. JR is so happy to have attention now, he seems to smile at me in thanks. How can these creatures be so forgiving and so grateful after all they've been through? I can't imagine.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What is this obsession?

For as long as I can remember I have loved and cared about dogs. When I was little it was beagles. My father had around 14 of them for hunting (yeah, he must have been obsessed too) and I can remember playing with them in their doghouses. I would lay in the straw with them and talk to them for hours. Sometimes I'd hook one of them (or 2 or 3) to a leash and take them for a walk. They were my friends.

The neighborhood strays were also my friends, back in the 60's people didn't confine their dogs like they do now. I remember Bootsy, a boxer x and Brownie, a lab x. I didn't know their real names but that's what I called them. One time I brought them into my house and hid them away in one of the spare bedrooms. My mother found them and let them go and I felt so bad that they couldn't stay with us.

I can remember a big barrel of Purina Dog Chow in the hallway near the door for the beagles. I used to take handfuls for a snack for myself. I thought it was quite good at the time.

Now, I would never accept seeing those poor beagles living in a kennel in doghouses without trying to help them but back then, I just didn't understand why they couldn't live inside. I still don't. How could anyone not want these sweet, cuddly little creatures inside with them?