By Anna Payne, Friday 1 September 2006 à 19:07 :: Story/Advice
Add to that the massive influx of homeless dogs from the hurricanes of a year ago and it all reaches a breaking point. When you take thousands of dogs that had families and homes and a good life and add them to the thousands already desperately in need of good homes and families and a decent life....Wow. The mind boggles.
Even sadder, the majority of those dogs were sick and injured from the storms, heartworm positive from living in mosquito country and emotionally damaged from the horrors they were put through. A number of trainers, including myself, were offered thousands of dollars to take in and rehabilitate Katrina dogs. As appalled as I was by the situation and as much as I wanted to help, I knew in my heart that I had to keep my focus on the dogs here. A Shar Pei thrown out of a pickup truck onto a busy highway in California is just as important as a dog left behind in a hurricane. Every life is precious and rare. No matter the circumstance.
There will be many more disasters. Natural and man-made. Every time an animal dies in a shelter, I consider a disaster. We should all consider it a disaster. But some disasters CAN be prevented.
So here is my offer to you. Before you give up on that precious and rare wrinkle baby that so captured your heart at one time, call me. If its a behavior thing, I can help. I have articles I can send you. I have advice I can give. And I have ears that listen and understand. I have been through just about every awful behavior a dog can throw at you. If I don't have the answer right away I will get it for you. My number is (209) 345-5967. I will even call you back if you can't afford the toll.
And please, love your pets as much as they love you.
What Is Heaven
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.
He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.
When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"
"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.
"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."
The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.
"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.
As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"
"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."
"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.
"There should be a bowl by the pump."
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.
"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.
"This is Heaven," he answered.
"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."
"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"
"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."