Thanks to everyone who reached out to me after yesterday’s blog post. It’s tough to know your crowd — some folks don’t get it. Thankfully, they have kept their mouths shut to me (and I mean thankfully for them. I do not go gently into anything. Good night)
Today my son reached out to me with a dreadful tale about animal abuse. Some (can’t really call them human, or even people, so I will go with the most polite moniker with which to bestow them) ASSHATS decided that owning a puppy was too hard. After their 8 month old labradoodle chewed up a pair of tennis shoes, they took the puppy to the woods and shot it.
Luckily, the police were called. The puppy is doing well, and will be adopted by one of the police officers.
The Asshats are in the brig. Hopefully the Navy can punish them more than a civilian court. In most instances, animal cruelty/abuse/neglect is a misdemeanor. In Washington state, where this happened, I believe the minimum punishment is $150 fine, the max is $10,000 and five years in jail, presumably for repeat offenders. ( found this link helpful, btw: http://www.dopplr.com/animal-cruely-laws/).
Here in Minnesota, my rescue just last night brought in an owner surrender Dachshund named Uno. Uno is struggling, but making it so far. (to donate to his care, go to https://www.facebook.com/SecondhandHounds/)
Nope. This is not a stray. This woofer had an OWNER.
Today I want to reach out to all of you animal lovers out there. So many folks have asked what they can do for me and my family in our time of grieving for Penny — a dog who may have come from a breeder (I didn’t know better back then) but has helped so many foster dogs learn how to be forever pets.
You can help by:
- Fostering. Find a local foster-based rescue and open your doors to an animal. At our rescue, there is no cost to the fosters — all expenses are covered by Secondhand Hounds (including massive, expensive medical care). Fosters choose which animals they foster, and they choose the animal’s new family. Most rewarding thing I’ve ver done. Yes, it’s hard to let them go. But it’s worth it (in 5 years we’ve never kept one!)
2. Adopt, don’t shop. Don’t use a breeder. Yeah, there are good breeders out there. But there are far more animals killed daily in shelters (some of them purebreds, if you care about that) than you want to know:
NEW YORK, N.Y.– The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today released national shelter estimates showing dramatic decreases in shelter intake and euthanasia of homeless dogs and cats. The ASPCA reports that an estimated 1.5 million companion animals are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, a decrease from about 2.6 million estimated in 2011. Contributing to this reduction is an 18.5 percent increase in national adoptions. An estimated 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats), up from 2.7 million adoptions in 2011. (March 2017) https://www.aspca.org/about-us/press-releases/aspca-releases-new-data-showing-remarkable-progress-homeless-dogs-cats
So yes: the numbers are better. But 1.5 million animals last year!!!
3. Spay/neuter your pets. yes, you love your Fluffy. But don’t breed “just to see” what the pups/kittens will be like. Every litter brought into this world means another litter dies.
4. LOVE your animals! Get them preventative care (you do NOT want me to put up pictures of a heartworm-ridden hart). Vaccinate. Keep their teeth clean.
Do not leave your pet in a car. ‘Nuff said. (and fyi: the police are getting more and more ok with breaking windows to save animals. So there’s that).
5. Support bigger penalties for animal cruelty. The animals are insanely forgiving. We don’t have to be.
I would love to invite you all to share your stories with me — pets you have loved and lost, your forays into rescue, etc. If I can convince just one person to help in Penny’s name, it will help ease our pain.
Now: go hug your pet! Walk your dog, stroke your cat, make googly eyes at your fish. Enjoy them!
80s Hair Metal
Making people laugh
Hearing babies laugh
People with differing opinions listening to each other, respecting those differences and learning from them
The way my son now wants to go to theater with me
The way he loves his girlfriend
The way my daughter loves her boyfriend
Scolding my husband and my BFF for being too silly together (the time they almost knocked the tree over, though…)
Getting Christmas cards
First flowers blooming in spring
My new car
The full moon
When my nail polish stays on
People’s reactions when I hand them puppies at a puppy party
Books and the people who read them (shout out to my book club!)
Food and the people who eat it (shout out to my Gourmet Club)
Volunteering and the people who make it happen (shout out to my Senior Party staff!)
Dogs and the people who save them (shout out to Secondhand Hounds)
My husband’s commitment to French lessons with me, even though he hates it
Taking off my bra at the end of the day
Wine with my girlfriends
That I forgot I’d already said cheese, which kinda shows my true feelings
The smell of asphalt after a rain
Historical dramas on BBC
Seeing a formerly traumatized dog become what it was meant to be, and finding the perfect forever home
The sound of a champagne cork
Crossing stuff off my list
Making a new list
The way my daughter teaches me things
The way my dad still says I love you, even though he isn’t sure who I am #fuckAlzheimers
That my mom still wants to help me every day in every way
That I am still in contact with friends made when I was a toddler (thank you Facebook)
That people who I used to fear/be intimidated by/look up to/have massive crushes on in high school have become my friends (social media plus time: the great equalizers)
Discovering new links on Ancestry.com
Not caring if people think I am weird
Being recognized for my accomplishments
Hair dye (shout out to Chelsea at Spalon Montage)
My Vegas group (shout out to the Unicorn Poop Squad)
Mom and Pop stores
People who don’t untag themselves from photos
That my son asks me for advice — even when the subject matter makes my butt cheeks clench
40 degrees in February
Watching the parents of Olympic athletes realize it was all worth it
Sunsets over the water with a glass of Chardonnay
A clean house
All the laundry done
Cooking for my family
Having them all there to eat it
Having a long, hot roll … at craps
Free champagne in Vegas!
Someone else planning everything, rather than asking me what I want to do
Big fat scary pitbulls that are really lapdogs who want to give kisses and receive pets
My dog’s patience as a foster-trainer
The “unfollow this post” button on Facebook
Having random people in cities I am visiting decide I am the bomb and follow me on instagram
Being a fly on the wall during fun school activities
The pile of shoes near the door when there are kids in the house
Watching Singer Girl do her thing
The look on a family’s face when they take home a newly adopted, once-my-foster dog
That my kids both bring soup to their significant others when theya re sick
My kids righteaous indigantion over the mistreatment of others
Doing new things
That my husband remembered that one of my dreams has been to dance on the Champs Elysees on my birthday — so is taking me there for my 50th
Sailor Boy wanting to be the party host (gets it from his mama, ya know)
Everyone’s excitement about my annual Halloween party
My friends’ disappointment when I can’t host Dec 23rd
Dressing up for any and all holidays and events, whether it means black tie or bunny ears
Knowing that my kids have amazing lives in front of them
Knowing that I have an amazing life in front of me
And did I mention cheese?
Enjoy all that you love this Valentine’s Day!