Abandoned Pets

All wags, all wiggles, all bone. Despite being horribly abandoned by his owners, this little puppy greets all humans with great joy and excitement.

Abandoned – no one knows for exactly how long, certainly long enough to become a wiggly bag of bones – when his people left their home –and him, without water or food.

I do not know the back story but suspect someone heard his cries and called our animal services who brought him to a place of warmth, with plenty of food to fatten him up, his own kennel – all inside, and plenty of staff and volunteers to love him up.

Abandoning a poor helpless animal is despicable. No matter how desperate someone may be, there are options far better than to leave the animal with no hope of taking care of itself.

Why Are Pets Abandoned?

Here are some reasons why people say they abandon pets.

  1. Too busy – The pet takes more time than the owners thought, or they just don’t want to bother anymore.
  2. Too big – That cute little puppy or kitten grew into a much larger dog or cat.
  3. Too expensive – Little did they know that pets need medical care, too.
  4. Too “unhealthy” – No way should a new baby be exposed to a dirty animal.
  5. Too bothersome – The pet just doesn’t have a place in our new home or apartment.

By the Numbers

The good news is that the number of dogs and cats in shelters has declined since 2011. The bad news is that nearly 6.5 million pets end up in shelters each year. This does not include the number of animals wandering the streets as strays. Of these, 1.5 million pets in shelters are euthanized yearly, but this number has declined since 2011 by 2.6 million.

What do these numbers mean? They mean that things are happening, that awareness for the plight of homeless pets has increased and more people are opting to adopt.

Back to our skinny-boy. After a week in the shelter, I almost didn’t recognize him. His bones were not protruding nearly as much and he almost looked like a “normal” dog. As this shelter often does, he was put into a foster home where he’d get much more attention and the comfort of living in a real-live home until he eventually finds his way into a home of his own.

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Posted in Animals, Animals and Rescue

Little Dog by the Side of the Road

I recently started walking dogs at a local shelter and my life has changed exponentially in the few months I’ve been doing so. Since this has become such an intrinsic part of my life, I will probably be writing much more about it. Here below is one very sad and near-tragic story of a little dog named Dolly.

I hadn’t been walking shelter dogs very long when I came upon a dog that literally made me fall to my knees. What I saw before me was a mass of bones with a thin layer of flesh stretched over them, and a brindle coat that was eaten away in some spots, baring sores and raw skin. I bent down, thinking she would raise her head to look at me. Her eyes moved towards me, and her tail moved in an exhausted attempt to wag. My heart broke for this helpless dog, found by the side of the road, unable to get up let alone walk. My heart burned with anger at the soulless humans who had left her like this, alone, to die.

Several days later, on my next walking duty day, the first thing I did was rush to Dolly’s kennel. I was petrified I wouldn’t find her there, but she was, and this time she raised her head to look at me and her tail wagged with more enthusiasm.  She tried to get up on very wobbly, shaky legs. Still too weak to go walking, I unlocked the door to her kennel and knelt beside her, stroking the emaciated body and   whispering words to will her back to health.

For my next several visits, it was always to Dolly’s kennel that I first went. It was always with relief that I found her still there. Gradually she grew stronger and her frail body began to fill out. Then one day I rushed to her kennel to find she wasn’t there! I panicked and felt an instant loss as deep as the ocean.

“Has anyone heard anything about Dolly? Where is she?”

“No worries,” answered one of the staff. “She is now safe, warm, and loved in a foster home where she’ll be nursed back to health and given plenty of TLC until she is well enough to be put up for adoption to find a home of her own.”

Dolly, I pray that you get what you deserve this Christmas, a home of your very own with humans who will be privileged to have you become a part of their lives.

 

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Colorful, Cozy, Comfy Clothes

It started out innocently enough. One day my friend and I went out to lunch and I fell in love with her outfit. A few weeks later, we met up for a glass of wine, and I loved this second outfit even more. A picnic in the park a month later? I had to get some of these clothes. They are known as Lularoe.

They came on the scene a few years ago, but exploded like colorful fireworks in the last couple of years. And colorful is indeed the word! Think vibrant, wild, explosive oranges, reds, purples, yellows in patterns that made your head spin. A special hallmark of these clothes is the cacophonous mismatching of pieces with discordant patterns and colors. An example of this on a very slight scale is a blue and yellow striped top with a bright pink and purple polka dot skirt. The idea is to have fun, be unique, feel confident and strut your style with confidence.  And this idea grabbed me hook, line and sinker.

Like any new company, Lularoe is facing some growing pains, but as a consumer, I could care less about those issues. What I do care about is the quality of the clothes, the consultants’ service, and how I have indeed become an obsessed consumer. The clothes are sold during live internet sessions, for which I’ve begun to passionately scour the web when I’m in the mood for a live “party,” as some sessions are called. Once part of a party, I find it VERY difficult to stay “dry” as in, not making a purchase.  Thus is the lure of Lularoe.

Fixation aside, I really do love these clothes. I love their whimsy, their comfort, and the ability they give me to create my own unique style. I also love my main party consultant who is as real and comfy as an old shoe, and keeps us all in stitches with her charmingly self-deprecating style.

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End of Semester Grumble

Yep – it’s almost here. The end of the semester and the time when students go into blitz-mode and professors want to head for the hills.

This semester has brought some particularly irritating issues to my teaching forefront and now I’m going to tell you about them.

Following Directions

What I really mean is not following directions. I understand that it’s different strokes for different folks in terms of learning styles. However, I am amazed at how some students appear to completely ignore assignment guidelines, which most students seem to follow quite well. It is fascinating to see what the errant students concoct, but since mine is not a creative writing class, their submissions are definitely off the mark. I tell them to reread the guidelines, then come back and tell me what how to fix the error.  I then give them a chance to redo the assignment for partial credit. Phew – more work for me, good teachable learning moment for them.

Ignoring Format Rules

Mine is a business writing course. One of the key premises in business these days is: You are what you write. This means not just excellent grammar skills, but producing professional looking messages, too. Why this, you may ask? Simply put – most communication in business is based in text: email, text messaging, letters, etc. So, when a student produces a formal letter for an assignment that is anything but formal looking – despite in-class instruction and readily-available examples – I want to scream! No teachable learning moments for these folks.

Forgetting Capitalization Rules

This drives me absolutely crazy! Some students refuse to use proper capitalization and it makes their work grade school caliber.  Texting is a big culprit behind those students who insist on using lower case letters for everything (even their teacher’s name)! At least these folks are consistent, but infuriating since the practice keeps up despite repeated teaching moment discussions. On the other hand, there are those students who use caps (and not) willy-nilly such as an address where the street name is capped but the word “street” is not.

By now I’m sure you are wishing that summer vacation would hurry itself along so I can put all my teachable moments aside and find another mission in my lecturing life.

 

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The Deliciousness of Earthy, Early Spring

It’s spring, or at least it’s supposed to be, and yesterday presented the first hint that spring might be on her way. I grabbed by rake, pruning sheers, wheelbarrow, and set about to clear the way for my just-this-past-fall-planted red tulips to easily emerge from under layers of leaves. While I worked, the sweet smell of fresh, newly-defrosted earth intoxicated me, as did the sweet symphony of spring birds newly returned from winter refuges.

These early spring days bring-to-mind two of my favorite poems from grade school days, poems that evoke all that is spring in a few simple words and images. Here they are and I hope they delight you as much as they do me each spring.

The Red Wheelbarrow
By William Carlos Williams  wheelbarrow

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And my second one is…

[in Just]
by E.E. Cummings

single-balloon-mdin Just-
spring         when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles      far      and wee

and eddieandbill com
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer

old balloonman whistles
far       and      wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s
spring
and

the

goat-footed

balloonMan      whistles
far
and
wee

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A Boy on the Bridge

Boy on the Bridge

Winter, cold; snow and ice
Coating roads, sidewalks
Morning rush hour
Cars speeding across the bridge
A boy, standing
On the wrong side
Near the edge
He looked at me
His brown eyes wide, whites showing.
I never saw eyes that wide
Wrong, this is all wrong.
This boy on the bridge
His eyes, pleading. I couldn’t stop,
I couldn’t.
911, 911, I called,
We’ll send out a car, she said.
A car.
But he’s just a boy, on the wrong side of the bridge. He’s on the edge.
Car, we’ll send one, don’t worry. Words designed to placate me.
Later I called …
The boy on the bridge …
We sent a car, no one was there. There was no boy.
There had been a boy on the bridge.
And four days later they found his body,
Under the bridge, in the water.
All because no one did their job.
And I shall remain forever haunted
By those wide brown eyes
That called to me
And I didn’t answer

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The Caper of the Coveted Octopus

IMG_0506Several posts ago I introduced our precious puppy-mill Mama, Finja. She has succeeded in quickly and permanently wrapping herself around our hearts. Just one of the myriad reasons for this is “her baby.” She came to us with her very own toy octopus which she carried around with her everywhere, its tentacles hanging out of her mouth. She became quite possessive over “her baby,” and I got to thinking that she must think it is indeed one of her babies from the litter she had after being bred at the unthinkable age of six months.

Well, as “sibling” rivalry will be, Finja’s “sister” Rosie decided she wanted a piece of the octopus pie – quite literally – and so she made it a mission to eviscerate it. This I discovered yesterday when I found great billows of white stuffing all over the living room and the remnants of one toy “squeaker.” And then I discovered the pathetic, deflated remains of octopus number one. (Hint)

Today I went to our nearby Country Max just to get two new octopuses – is it octopi?? What if they didn’t have two? I wondered anxiously. I was overjoyed to find two – and only two – octopi in the entire store.

When I got home, dogs being the wildly intelligent and sensitive creatures they are, my pack began circling and jumping on me with excitement. Their eyes bulged when they saw what I was removing from the packaging. Rosie lunged at her octopus while Finja took the more delicate, sniff-sniff approach, gently taking the new, pink and white stuffed creature into her mouth.

Now we are a household of three octopi, one semi-deceased and two new and sweet-smelling. The question is, how long will the other two stay new-ish and sweet smelling?

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