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Fucking Crazy Animal People

February 7, 2016 31 comments

Jack Russell Terrier SnarlingI used to pooh-pooh the people who used to claim that the animal activism aimed at eliminating puppy mills and backyard breeders was the first step on a slippery slope of animal activism that would lead to crazy people trying  to control every aspect of an animal’s care and welfare.

I say “used to” because now I’m not so sure that they were that far off from the truth. The advance of social media has created some wonderful new and inventive ways to help animals in need. More dogs are being networked and finding homes, many lost dogs are finding their way back home, but social media has also given rise to little pockets of reactionary and aggressive vigilantes who are willing to take whatever action they deem necessary to save a pet, even when that information is based on hearsay and mistaken assumptions.

When someone posted a picture of an injured dog in a private Facebook group a month ago, my first thought was to get the dog (who was hit by a car) posted on Lost Dogs MN so the owner could find him more quickly and know he as injured. Others turned to finding out where the dog was taken (a local animal hospital) so they could donate money for his care. Awesome community action right? It was, until it turned into something else. And, it happened very quickly.

Shortly after the call for help in finding the owner went out, someone posted that the vet clinic would euthanize the dog (vs. treating it) if the owner wasn’t found. (There was no evidence that this was the case, but within minutes the feed was filled with people demanding to know where the dog was and that the clinic’s number be posted so they could call and demand they care for the dog). The animal hospital was inundated with calls from people demanding they take care of the dog, and if they couldn’t, to release him into rescue. Mind you, the dog hadn’t even been in the vet clinic’s care for two hours and already all sorts of assumptions had been made about the dog’s condition, vet care (or lack thereof), and where he should go next. It was mass hysteria turned into animal activism that bordered on ridiculous. I shook my head as I watched people, effectively, lose their fucking minds. I cannot imagine what the people at the animal hospital thought.

After an hour of craziness, a rational person was able to find out that not only was the dog fine, but he had been released to an animal control center for the night. (Even then people were demanding to know if the care center would be keeping the dog under observation through the night. What if he wasn’t okay? Who would make sure he was saved?). The calls to the animal hospital ceased, but calls to the care center did not. Thankfully, the calls ended the next day when we found out that the dog had been reunited with his owner.

I’d like to say that this is the first time I have seen this type of out-of-control activism, but sadly, it is just one of many I have seen lately. Mostly it starts with a single posting seeking help for an animal, but very quickly it devolves into crazed assumptions and people wanting to take decisive action without all the facts.

I couldn’t help but shake my head when I saw this one (Rescue Groups Impersonated SPCA to Confiscate Dog: Owner) recently pass through my news feed. It left me wondering how long it would be before everyone was suspect in the eyes of the crazy and uninformed animal activist. It concerns me.

I love when people can come together to help an animal that is really in need. When the authorities are slow to act, animal activists can push them to take action sooner. They can get them to intervene before something serious happens to the pet. But, when individuals become both judge and jury in a pet-related situation, they better have more than just hearsay and speculation to fall back on. Or in the above case, more than ONE poorly taken picture taken from a bad angle.

Presenting yourself as a legal authority in order to steal someone’s dog is not only wrong, but illegal. It also makes the rest of us in animal rescue look bad. Calling a vet clinic over and over again to demand they care for a lost and injured dog (because you assumed they would not) is crazy and ridiculous.

I am all for saving animals in need. I know our country’s laws are woefully inadequate when it comes to saving injured and abused animals; they allow too many animals to suffer before they intervene, but this kind of animal activism is not helpful. It hurts the animals and it hurts those of us who are serious about helping them. It makes all of us look like crazy animal people.

I don’t want this to become the slippery slope that ends up hurting our fight to stop puppy mills, or to prosecute those charged with animal cruelty.

Stop the crazy people. Just stop. You are hurting all of us with your crazy.

Breathe. Learn the facts. Work with the authorities.

You don’t like the laws? Work to change them. Don’t break them.

Unsaid – A Book Review

April 6, 2015 5 comments

Reading a book on dogs.

I’m a little behind the curve when it comes to my book reading list. I didn’t read Gone Girl when everyone else did (I watched the movie instead). I missed the whole Divergent series when it originally came out. And, all the dog books everyone else has been raving about for months have been sitting on my night stand for months.

However, I did get around to reading one book that was making the rounds last year (at least I think it was last year). The book is “Unsaid,” written by Neil Abramson, and it has been occupying my mind for a while now.

Bare bones, the book is about a dead woman, Helena, and her relationship with those she loves. It’s also a story about coping with life after you lose the love of your life, friendship, and fighting for those who don’t have a voice in our legal system. Woven through the story (and various storylines), there are dogs, cats, horses, a pig, a chimp named Cindy, and a boy named Clifford.

At the beginning of the book we learn that Helena, a veterinarian, has died from cancer. She lingers on in the lives of her husband and beloved animals, unable to move on and unable to help them in their grief. She feels for her animals, for whom she was the prime caregiver, and her husband who is trying to care for them while still dealing with his debilitating grief at losing her.

Reading her words and her feelings in this early part of the book was difficult. I imagined myself in her position and having to watch my own animals struggling to deal losing me. It was painful. I couldn’t help but wonder how they would cope with the loss and with being split up. How scary would it be for them to suddenly be living in a new home or in a rescue? How confused would they be? Would they thrive? Would they struggle? Yeah. Not pleasant thoughts to be thinking.

But soon, the book has you heading in different directions and off on a journey that explores the relationship between her husband, a veterinarian friend, a woman and her son and the pets she leaves behind. Each person is someone you come to care about. Each is struggling with loss and trust and change. Even Helena’s animals become personalities that you root for or worry about.

When Helena’s husband (a lawyer), takes on a case involving a chimpanzee, named Cindy, and the woman who has raised and studied her, the story takes turn. At the center of the court battle is the argument that Cindy, a chimp who communicates using sign language and has been shown to have the capacity to think like a child, should be saved from experimental testing because she is a sentient being. The battle takes many twists and turns but in the end leaves one thinking about the value of an animal life and the value each animal brings to our own lives.

As Helena says near the end of the book:

“I’ve been so foolish, running through the forest searching for some profound and eclipsing life meaning when it is the trees themselves that were bejeweled the whole time: Skippy, Brutus, Arthur, Alice, Chip, Bernie, Smokey, Prince, Collette, Charlie, Cindy, hundreds of cats, dogs and other creatures whom I treated, made better, eased into death, or simply had the privilege to know. Each was worthy in his or her own right for being valued, each was instrumental in connecting us and then moving us onward in our own lives, and each gave more than he or she got in return.”

This is a book worth reading. It leaves you thinking and it makes you appreciate the time you have with the animals in your life. I think I only had two disappointments in reading this book: 1) that I never got to experience Helena being reunited with any of her animals, and 2) that it ended way before I was ready for it to do so.

Favorite Video Friday – Dog Advice From a Cat

October 10, 2014 5 comments

I am sorry to report that my computer hard drive has died and is in need of replacement. It is in the shop being fixed right now.

I thought perhaps this would hinder my ability to post the Friday video this week, but as luck would have it, I had one already picked out! Here is a cute little commercial that will leave you smiling.

Happy Friday eveyone!

Here is another one if you like the cute kitties!

Favorite Video Friday – Your Best Friend

October 2, 2014 5 comments

I’m just going to admit it. It’s been a very rough week. We have had to say goodbye to so many this week – Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Lorie Huston, and now Cleo from Grouch Puppy.

Lots of tears have been shed, stories told and tributes made. It doesn’t take away the pain of their absence, but it does help us to know we are not alone in our grief. How fitting that animals should figure so prominently these lives. Our pets often help us in our most difficult times, don’t they?

This week was a good reminder that we are not an island in this world. Someone will always love us and miss us, whether that be our dogs, our cats, or our humans. We are not invisible, even when we may feel like it.

This week I chose to re-share a video I shared before. I thought it a perfect end to the week. Not sad, but touching. I hope you will like seeing it again.

Happy Friday everyone.

Favorite Video Friday – Puppy wants to play with you kitty

August 29, 2014 5 comments

Most of you already know that I have a fascination with dog behavior and dog body language. I usually love to share a video and identify all the little movements a dog makes in some specific situation and then share my summation of what I think the dog is saying.

Today, however, I am just going to let the video stand for itself (no critique). Just know that it is funny and cute and LOADED with dog (and cat) body language. It’s pretty clear these two are best friends, even if you didn’t know for sure, you would know from the video I link here.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Favorite Video Friday – Flufferpants meets Murkin

November 14, 2013 8 comments

It’s been a busy week here in Minnesota. Still, we’ve somehow managed to get out and walk the neighborhood almost every night. (When Mother Nature throws you a few 40- and 50-degree days, you gotta take it.)

Our only dangers have been fast cars, joggers coming out of the darkness and people walking other dogs. Jasper would give up his tennis ball for the chance to herd a jogger and Cupcake is afraid of strangers, so as a result, barking has been an issue. To say that I need a moment of zen would be an understatement.

Perhaps Murkin’s calm manner or Thomas OMalley Flufferpants’ cute and cuddly approach will calm me. I think it’s working!

I love sweet animal videos. I hope you do too.

Happy Friday everyone!

Vet clinic turns away dying dog

December 27, 2012 31 comments

Veterinarian Examining DogSeattle Dog Spot recently posted a story on their Facebook page (“Auburn Veterinary Hospital refuses to treat dying dog”) that left me shaking my head.

According to Seattle Dog Spot, a vet clinic refused emergency care to a dog that was in anaphylactic shock. after being stung by several bees. The owner, who had rushed his dog to this clinic because it listed itself as an emergency clinic on “prominently posted signs”, was told the vets were “too busy” to care for his dog. Thankfully, the owner was able to get his dog to his own vet and the dog was saved, but I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through the minds of the veterinarians and staff when they denied a dying dog care.

It brought to mind an incident that happened at my veterinarian’s office the last time I was there with Jasper.

We had arrived a little early only to be told, apologetically, that our appointment might be delayed because an emergency situation had come up. A family had come in with their seriously ill dog (if memory serves me right, they suspected the dog had ingested antifreeze while he had been lost) and my vet was trying to stabilize him so he could be transported to the University of Minnesota. Of course, I told the staff I could wait. I was more than willing to give her as much time as she needed. This sick dog needed her attention much more urgently than Jasper did.

A few minutes later, I watched as my vet and the staff carried the dog out to the owner’s waiting car to be transported to the U of M. Then, a few minutes later I watched as my vet and the staff rushed the dog back in the clinic when the dog crashed. I waited as they worked to save his life, but it was not to be. Thankfully, his owners were able to be at his side as he passed.

As I sat there in the office, I could not help but shed a tear for the owners, their dog, and my vet. How awful it must have felt to lose this dog after despite every attempt to save him. How sad it must have been to look into his owner’s eyes and say “I am so sorry.”

Reading the story from the Seattle Dog Spot, made me realize how much I really value my vet and her staff. I already know what awesome people they are, they provide such gentle care to my three fearful dogs, but what this story made me realize is how really fortunate I am to have a vet and staff who puts the dogs’ care first. Was it an inconvenience to me to have to wait while my vet tried to save another dog’s life. NO WAY. Instead, it was an affirmation that she is EXACTLY the kind of vet I would want for my dogs.

I can’t help but wonder how the clients of the Auburn Veterinary Hospital clinic feel today knowing their vet clinic turned away a dog in distress because they were “too busy.”

I am so thankful they are not my vet.

Black & White SUnday #16 – Old Man Nick

December 9, 2012 14 comments
Nick

Nick

My thanks to our hosts for this blog hop You Did What With Your Weiner, My Life in Blog Years and Dachshund Nola.

Unfortunately, WordPress.com doesn’t allow Java script so I can’t provide a direct link to the linky, but you can join here.

What is Just One Day? For Shelter Animals It Is a Big Deal.

April 24, 2012 9 comments

This morning I was all set to write about another topic when I came across a post on Facebook with this map. I was intrigued as I read the words below the map.

For this Just One Day we are asking shelters across the USA to stop killing and instead embrace the 300 million citizens of the USA who would like them to do so. Even if it is for Just One Day.

I’ll admit, my skeptical side said “Yeah. They’ll stop killing for one day, and on June 12th the killing begins again.”

But, after looking at some of the materials and the people who are supporting this campaign, I am having a change of heart. Yes. It is just one day. But this one day could mean so much for so many animals.

On this one day, June 11th, those who have the unfortunate task of killing shelter animals will instead be taking pictures of them and posting them on the internet, Facebook, and on Twitter. They will host adoption events and promote the pets they have in their shelters to help them get adopted. In their own words “On average, if each animal shelter in the USA adopts out or transferres to rescue groups an extra three animals on June 11, the USA can become a no kill nation, even if it is for Just One Day.” A worthy cause, don’t you think?

To me, this is more than a campaign, this is about saving lives. It’s also a great way to bring attention to the plight of many of our shelter animals.

So I am asking you to join the campaign for Just One Day.

Here is what you can do:
1. Join the campaign“Like” their Facebook Page
2. Spread the word – Share the map and the message on Twitter and Facebook
Example: Join me and thousands around the nation in asking animal shelters to stop killing animals for Just One Day. http://www.justoneday.ws/
3. Ask your local animal shelter to take the pledge.
4. Blog about it.
5. On June 11th, retweet and share the images of the pets that these shelters are sharing. Join in and support their efforts.


The map is changing every day as more and more shelters take the pledge. This may be a focus on just one day, but bringing awareness and encouraging people to adopt on this day makes a difference – for every pet who’s life is saved. Won’t you join me and others for Just One Day?

The Top 11 Pet Blog Posts of 2011

December 30, 2011 26 comments

It’s time for my second annual list of favorite blog posts. This year was full of wonderful posts. In fact, there were so many great ones that I had a very hard time whittling it down to just 10. So, I decided to compromise a bit and make it 11 AND to lump those written by the same blogger together (Yes, several bloggers had more than one good post!).

I want to make clear up front that the blog posts I chose were the ones that touched ME most. I know there are many more that people would nominate for their top 10 or 11, and I encourage you to do so in the comments section below or write your own Top 10 or 11 Blog Posts posts and share them. I always enjoy hearing what you found most inspirational, powerful or funny. This year’s list is quite a variety – some are funny, some are sad and some are thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy the ones I have chosen as much as I have.

So, without further ado, here are My Top 11 Blog Posts for 2011…

1. So You Think You Want a Human?- Prologue by Kevin Myers at Dog Lover’s Digest – Kevin is a great writer. He is smart, witty and has a great sense of humor. If you haven’t read his blog you may want to after reading this post and his accompanying piece, So You Think You Want a Human? – The Announcement. Both pieces are written from the dog’s point of view and while extremely funny, they also have a message to convey. They are definitely worth sharing with friends and family who have a dog.

2. Be Gentle: I know my dog is old by Susan Seligson – This post actually appeared on TheBark.com, but I felt it was powerful enough it was worth sharing. So many of my friends have lost their senior dogs this year so it struck home. It’s a good reminder to everyone, dog owners or not, to be gentle (and kind) when you encounter an owner and their senior dog.

3. Blog-a-versary! A celebration in photos by Aleksandra from Love and a Six-Foot Leash – i love Aleksandra’s blog for many reasons. She brings attention to what wonderful dogs pitbulls are, she fosters and finds home for pitbulls who otherwise would have perished in a shelter, she educates people about pitbulls and she takes the most amazing pictures of the pitbulls she fosters. This post is more pictures than words, but I think that’s why I love it so much. She captures so much of each dog’s personality in each picture, proving once again that pictures do matter when it comes to helping a dog to find its forever family. There is one other blog post that Aleksandra wrote that is worth mentioning, “Pit bull awareness: words do matter“. It’s educational and informative and leaves you thinking.

4. Drunken Master IV: Canine Fu by Kristine at Rescued Insanity – I love reading Kristine’s blog. She is exceedingly honest about her relationship with her dog, Shiva, and all that comes with that relationship – the good, the bad, the funny and the inspirational. This is one of her funnier posts. I read it back in August, but have remembered if often with a smile on my face. I hope you find it as funny as I did. I also recommend A Letter Long Overdue. It’s a letter to her dog, Shiva. If you’re a dog owner, I think you will be able to relate.

5. Old Ladies Wear Purple In Heaven by Carrie Noar from Tales and Tails – This was perhaps the hardest post for me to read because it was about Carrie’s grand dame Greyhound, Lilac, and about saying goodbye. I love reading Carrie’s posts about her Greyhounds and German Shepherds, especially when they write their own blog posts. Lilac was a beautiful senior girl who had an elegance and style all her own. It hit all of us fans pretty hard when Carrie shared with us that Lilac had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Carrie’s loving tribute to Lilac’s life is touching and beautiful. I encourage you to read it. I also recommend her follow up post, With Deepest Gratitude, as Carrie shares a little more about how Lilac came to be with her and her husband.

6. Putting the pieces together by Debbie Jacobs from Fearfuldogss Blog – As always, Debbie’s posts leave me thinking. They always offer some valuable piece of insight that leaves me examining my relationship with my own fearful dogs, Daisy and Lady. While Debbie specializes in working with fearful dogs and their owners, this post is particularly applicable to all dog owners, reminding us that our dogs’ issues often cannot be summed up in one root cause, but are only one piece of the puzzle.

7. The Cuteness Curse by Brandi Barker and Megan Ores-Ulrich at Barker Behavior – This post was particularly powerful for me because it covered a lot of the human behaviors I encounter as the owner of a fearful dog. So many well-meaning people have made these mistakes when approaching Daisy or Lady. Brandi and Megan’s advice is clear, concise and straightforward. I shared this one all over the place, so it made sense to include it in my top 10 list.

8. I am living with serial killers by Jan at The Poodle (and dog) Blog – This post is nothing short of hilarious. Jan has a unique way of writing. She is humorous, educational and informative. Her blog has a good mix of everything for everybody. This post takes Jan through an interrogation that will leave you laughing your butt off.

9. Everyday Heroes: Foster Families by StubbyDogs – This one actually came in under the wire, but I knew it would have to be on my list as soon as I read it. Having been a foster parent to several dogs it was nice to see such a loving tribute to foster parents everywhere. I was particularly struck by these two sentences: But when people tell them, “I couldn’t foster because it would be too hard to give the dog up.” They say, “How can it be harder than knowing a dog died because no foster home stepped up?” If you have fostered before or are considering doing it now, this is worth the read.

10. We’re Certified Humane by Lisa Spector of Through A Dog’s Ear (featured on Victoria Stilwell‘s blog Positively) – This was another post that I shared everywhere I could. Lisa’s pondering on the phrase “We’re Certified Humane”, found on a particular yogurt company’s product, and how it could be applied to dog trainers was particularly insightful and thought-provoking. I loved it.

11. The Puppiness Project – You Can’t Change Everything (and You Shouldn’t Try) by Pamela Webster at Something Wagging This Way Comes – All year Pamela has been dedicating her Tuesday posts to The Puppiness Project, modeled after Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. I have found myself looking forward to these posts each week because I always know Pamela will have some wonderful insight to share that makes me think our dogs are much wiser than we are as human beings. This one was particularly powerful for me, but I encourage you to check out her other posts on this topic. They are wonderful.

There were a few blog posts that were not pet related but still powerful in their humor (like this one from TheBloggess.com), personal experience (like this one from Jennifer Margulis about the death of her mom or this one from Kim Clune over at This One Wild Life about remembering 9/11) or messages of personal growth (like this one from Marc and Angel Hack Life)


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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