This is a more serious posting that will may shock/sicken/sadden/disgust you but hopefully open your eyes to what is happening to beloved dogs in this country.
OF DOGS AND MEN (click HERE) explores a disturbing trend in American law enforcement: the shooting of pet dogs. This is common enough to be named Puppycide and have a database (click HERE). From SWAT raids to simple calls and even visits to wrong addresses, we are seeing more and more incidents of officers using lethal force against a family pet they deem a threat. Are these rash reactions by officers in a system with little regard for our four-legged family members, or are they true peace officers doing their best in a dangerous job? OF DOGS AND MEN investigates the issue from all angles, interviewing law enforcement officers and experts, and taking a journey with pet owners through the tragedy of loss and pursuit of change in a legal system in which the very officers they challenge are an integral part.
This is a huge problem for all dog owners not just those “breaking the law.” You may just live in a neighborhood where there was a burglar, your home alarm system was accidentally triggered, or noise complaint. Don’t fool yourself into believing these are isolated incidents.
Hopefully you will take in this data (click here).
This week I took our cat Borgia to Frontier Veterinary Hospital for a recheck appointment. Her mouth looked great after having some dental work done a couple months ago.
While chatting with our awesome vet Dr. Palmer, she mentioned watching a video of a dog drinking in super slow motion. I was eager to see this video so I tracked it down and wanted to share it with you.
Now that I’ve seen a dog drinking, what about a cat?
Internet wins! Youtube sucked me into watching more slow-motion animal videos.
I have been guilty of giving humans the “wait” hand signal that I give our dogs. I’ve also playfully given my husband the “leave it” command when he was going to steal food from my plate.
I have heard stories about cats being stuck in trees, even cartoons show firemen rescuing scared kittehs. Never did I imagine that I would witness my own cat being rescued.
A couple years ago, my husband returned from walking our dogs to notify me that our smallest barn cat, Benny, was up in a tree by our barn. This wasn’t a small tree, and he was at least 50′ up and no where near the top of that tree (imagine a tree in a forest). The other barn cats were hanging out around the tree for moral support and I did what I could do for the little guy. I hung out by this tree talking to him. I brought down a bowl of his kibble, then canned wet food. I had other tasks to handle, so I decided to leave the area in hopes he would come down if I wasn’t present.
Keep in mind, this is a semi-feral barn cat. He’s skittish but still seeks out attention when it suits him. That evening I stepped outside our front door to listen for him. Each time I went outside I heard him crying out, and it broke my heart. On the second day I discovered some neighbor walking his German Shepherd off-leash on the property next to ours. The owner made a comment about seeing the cat yesterday and I made the assumption that his dog scared our cat up the tree. This data made the situation even more serious. If the dog is what Benny was scared of, and it’s coming around daily, Benny wasn’t likely to calm down enough to make it down the tree.
Unfortunately Benny picked a tree that didn’t have low branches that he could easily jump down on. He would have to go STRAIGHT down. He was also up way too high for any of our huge ladders. Benny stayed another night up in that tree. Thankfully the windstorm didn’t cause him to fall.
On day 3 I decided to contact a logger who we’ve done business with to see if he’d be willing and able to rescue our boy. No luck, but he did offer another person who might be help us. He did say that in his line of work, he has discovered dead cats in trees (they don’t always come down on their own). It took two more calls to get a hold of a guy who had experience with rescuing cats from trees. For $60 he would come out in a couple hours and attempt to rescue our boy.
With spiked boots, he climbed the tree, grabbed Benny and lowered him back to the ground in a cat carrier. I am very thankful to him for rescuing our scared kitteh.
Anyone wondering why the title of this blog post is “Benny Boots”? One day I was walking around our property and I was hearing Benny crying out. After spending a good ten minutes searching for him, my husband and I determined the noise was coming from my wet boots…they were squeaking. False alarm, no cat rescue needed.
…is put their needs before my own.
As a pet guardian, it is your responsibility to care for your animal. You alone are responsible for its well-being; just don’t go so far that you lose perspective. Keep in my that you are equally important!
I find myself spending WAY more time researching our pets’ medical issues than my own. When I see one of our pets having a medical issue and it gets addressed right away, unlike my own medical issues that have gone unresolved for years. I am more than willing to fill out pages of doctor forms for the pets, but I procrastinate with my own new client forms. I make sure that our pets maintain a healthy weight, but don’t do the same for myself. I am continuously working to improve Marley’s behavior, but not putting the same amount of effort into improving my own behavior.
Let this be a reminder that your pets should not be an afterthought, and neither should you!
My husband wanted to share this with you:
Today would have been Rusty’s 11th birthday. We don’t know his real birthday, but we chose today to celebrate his birth because it’s a special day to us.
I miss my dear boy Rusty more than words can express. He was so full of life and happiness, and I always derived so much joy to share my love with him when I got home from work. The house is still so quiet without him around because he filled the room with his personality. I know time will help me heal, but he was taken from us too soon. I have unfinished business with his spirit. We have a lot of staring to do, a lot of water fountain left to do, a lot of P words left to do, a lot of hugs and naps left to do, and a lot of evening laying on the couch together left to do.
Dog fostering has helped heal my shattered heart some. They all leave an impression on my heart, but Heidi left a huge dinosaur sized footprint. I am grateful that she came into my life at a time when I needed a spirit like hers. We helped heal her body and spirit, but then the day came when we had to let her new family be her guardians. Tara and I crossed paths with an awesome family that cherish Heidi and treat her like family. I take comfort in knowing that we heal dogs, and this in turn makes other people more whole.
Rusty, I love you dearly and miss you terribly. Thank you for being a great companion and filling me with joy.