The Dogs in the Knotty Pine

I stare up at the knotty pine ceiling in this sweet old cottage and see dog faces. There’s one that looks slap-happy. There’s one that’s long-faced. One that’s reproachful. Another, expectant.

IMG_2105Here, in this place of meadow and forest and pond, where the Milky Way is deep with stars, I remember our dog, Beez…

Beez, of the expressive eyes and sense of things as they are. Beez, without layers of history, complexity, and interpretation, just pure emotion.

DSC_0086I see him lying on his bed, unmoving except for his eyes, missing nothing. I hear the tick-tick-ticking of his toenails on the pine floor. I see him looking out the screen door toward the grass, the pond, the sun and shadows on the distant hill. I see him lifting his nose to the wind.

DSC_7498I see Beez trotting down the lane between the cottage and the pond, tail swishing side to side. I see him fishing, ankle deep, in the shallows for pumpkin seed fish, pawing and pouncing, catching nothing.DSC_0043 3

I see Beez on top of the world—a flower-dotted high meadow with a 180˚ view of the mountains. Storybook clouds drift across the sky. Beez and I walk along with the wind whispering, the DSC_0571insects buzzing, the birds singing.

I see Beez walking down the lane ahead of me, returning home. He has turned toward me, waiting for me to follow. Then he moves into the shadows of the deep woods, disappearing from sight.DSCN1362 - Version 2

It’s Cold Out There

Dog in snow ID-100144221Please bring your animals inside.  Fur helps but doesn’t do much in icy winds and frigid temperatures.

Please, have a heart.  Bring dogs and cats inside.  They feel pain too.

 

photo courtesy of Spaniel in the Snow by Tina Phillips, freedigitalphotos.com

Part III – I Came from the Deep South

IMG_1424 - Version 3I’ve had two names in my time.  Maybe three, if you consider no name a name.  At the beginning I was part of a brood of too many puppies in an overpopulated, under-inoculated part of the world: rural Alabama.  I was named Delaware by my rescuers, who named the 50 of puppies each a state name.  One day when I was four months old, I became Lucy.

People walked through the rescue’s kennels every day.  Some were caring for us, some were looking to adopt one of us.  I noticed a woman walking through with the shelter director.  The woman was talking about wanting an older dog.  Oh well, I thought.  When the woman walked by our kennel, I sat down and looked up at her, willing her to choose me, choose me, choose me.  We locked eyes for a moment, but she walked on.  Seconds later the woman backed up, as though drawn backward by an invisible force.  I like to think it was my intent.  She leaned down and put her fingers through the gate.  I looked into her eyes and gave her fingers a gentle slurp.  The woman sighed, slid her eyes to the side, looked back at me, then walked on.  I watched her as she went through the swinging door and disappeared from sight.  I turned back to my kennelmates.

A half-hour later, the shelter director came back, clipped a leash to my collar and led me to an outdoor pen where the woman was saying patting Jenny, the sweet black pitbull who had been in the shelter longer than I had been.  She watched the pitbull leave then turned to me and smiled.  As I ran up to her, she stooped down to greet me.  Mine.
   …to be continued.   Part I     Part II

IMG_1422IMG_1425IMG_1424

The Dog in the Polish Village

ID-10025746 I have no name, but that doesn’t bother me.  What is a name anyway?  I live in the woods near the farmhouse at the edge of the village they call Pierzwin.  The little girl lives in the farmhouse.  She’s small, so small, and toddles when she walks.  She is mine, this I know.  I am hers.  This she knows. The one who doesn’t know is the old woman with whom the girl lives.  The girl must always beg for a scrap of bread for me, which the woman throws far from the farmhouse door, as though this would keep me away from the girl.

When I first saw the little girl playing along the edge of the creek, I knew she was mine to watch over.  She was stooped down looking at a rock, the sun glinting off her flax-colored hair.  I stood downstream, regarding her.  The girl looked up at me and laughed.  I can still hear the sound—like a thin, golden strand twirling up into the air.  I walked to her and nuzzled into the crook of her arm.  She laughed again, breathing sweet breath on me.

Today everything is different.

Yesterday as the day darkened, the little girl played alone in the farmyard.  Snow started, then grew heavy, swirling from every direction.  Instead of going inside, the girl toddled toward the woods.  I watched the farmhouse door to see if the old woman would call for her.  She did not. I followed the girl, a few feet behind her, whining and willing her to turn back.

She meandered to the edge of the creek.  Looking up at the sky, she stuck out her tongue to catch the snowflakes, lost her balance, and slipped down the steep slope toward the water.  I caught the edge of her skirt in my teeth but it did not stop her.  The cloth ripped, the water splashed, and the girl cried.  I leapt to her.  She took hold of my fur, and I pulled us up the slope.

I tried to lead her to the farmhouse, but she turned the other way.  I barked for her to follow me, but she kept her course, away.  I followed.  At the edge of the woods I tried to steer her back, but she sat down, shivering.  I took the arm of her coat gently between my teeth and tugged, but she lay down and cried.  I peered into the darkness.  Was there no one who would come for her?  I thought to run to the farmhouse door and bark, but I couldn’t leave her.  I lay down, circling myself around her small body, willing her shivering to stop.  More snow came.  The girl slept, and so, eventually, did I.

At first light, I heard the calls.  I nosed the girl awake and barked, again and again.  The girl sat up.  I nosed her again: call out, cry out.  She sat mute.  I continued barking.  I sensed the footfalls on the earth before I saw the people.  I ran to the men, then sprinted back and forth between the men and the girl, trying to tell them.  They followed me.  A man scooped the girl into his arms and carried her away.  I stood watching for a few moments then, hanging back, followed.

The old woman ran from the farmhouse door and grasped the girl.  There were so many people, so much noise.  I watched, then retreated.  As I walked into the woods I heard a whistle.  Looking over my shoulder, I saw a man coming toward me.  I thought to dash away, but something in his manner seemed gentle.  I sat down and waited for him to approach.  He extended his hand for me to sniff and touched my head.  “It was you,” he said, “you are the one.  Come.”

I walked a few respectful paces behind him.  We entered the farmyard.  The man said some words to the old woman.  She studied me, then opened the door wide and with a sweep of her hand asked me to enter the farmhouse.  I looked into her eyes for a moment, and then stepped inside to warmth.

 

German shepherd photo by Maggie Smith

Tips for Finding a Lost Dog

After 12 days of searching, he had lost hope. But then he learned about this awesome tip and how this has reunited many lost dogs with their families.

On day 12 of searching for my dog in a heavily wooded area, distraught and hopeless, I ran into a couple of hunters. They said they lost the occasional dog on a hunt but always got them back. What they told me has helped many dogs and families be reunited. I’ve given their advice out a few times in the last couple days, so I thought if reddit has any lost dogs out there, this could help:

The dog owner(s) should take an article of clothing that has been worn at least all day, the longer the better, so the lost dog can pick up the scent.

Bring the article of clothing to the location where the dog was last seen and leave it there. Also, if the dog has a crate & familiar toy, you can bring those too (unless location undesirable for crate). You might also want to leave a note requesting item(s) not to be moved.

Leave a bowl of water there too, as the dog probably hasn’t had access to any. Do not bring food as this could attract other animals that the dog might avoid.

Come back the next day, or check intermittently if possible. Hopefully the dog will be waiting there.

I was skeptical and doubted my dog would be able to detect an article of clothing if he didn’t hear me calling his name as loud as possible all day for 12 days. But I returned the next day and sure enough found him sitting there!

I hope this helps someone out there who’s missing a best friend. Good luck.
Read more at http://www.reshareworthy.com/how-to-find-a-lost-dog/#cHloHS7bVoLx6m3o.99

Reprinted from Reshareworthy Media/News website

Be an Angel for a Dog in Need in the Summer Heat

Dogs chained or confined to a pen outside without shelter suffer terribly during the sweltering heat and raging storms of summer, particularly in rural areas where people say “dogs are meant to live outside” and laws to address cruelty are not enforced.

sad dog for angel post ID-100150769As temperatures climb across this summer, dogs without adequate shelter are at risk of dehydration and heatstroke, which can cause a terrifying, painful death.  Many dogs depend on PETA’s “Angels for Animals” doghouse program to find them and then to give them the shelter and attention that they need in extreme weather.

By becoming an “Angels for Animals” sponsor today, you’ll be providing a sturdy new doghouse to a “backyard dog” struggling to survive long days outside without shelter from the blazing sun (and the winter winds). The doghouses are made to last and will provide shelter for years to come.
You can choose to purchase a doghouse in full or partially.  Please help a “backyard dog” this summer by giving today…whatever you can afford.  http://bit.ly/1k6jvil
On behalf of the dogs, thank you and woof!
Photograph courtesy of Arztsamui (“Poor Animal”), freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

The Noble, Gentle Greyhounds of Spain in the Wrong Hands

Lori Kalef
SPCA International

In the south of Spain, there is a form of hunting hares where the hunters use Spanish Greyhounds, or Galgos in Spanish, as weapons to find their prey. This form of hunting is forbidden in each of the European Union countries through their domestic animal protection laws, but unfortunately Spain still lacks these regulations.

Roy is one of the lucky ones. With your signature on the international petition (http://bit.ly/1egDtIr), we can make a difference and change the lives of many more greyhounds than only Roy and a handful of others.Roy3

Tens of thousands of Spanish Greyhounds have the misfortune to be born into the wrong hands of these hunters each year. These noble animals are used strictly as tools during the hunting season, which begins in the early fall and ends in February. They are then discarded in the most barbaric manner, which many hunters believe will bring prosperity for the following season’s hunt. The dogs are often beaten, burned, buried alive, doused with acid, thrown into wells, or tortured in other ways. Some die slowly by a method the hunters refer to as ‘the pianist’ method—tying the neck of the dog to a tree and allowing the back feet to barely touch the ground. The dogs move and jump for days struggling to stay alive, their front paws swaying back and forth resembling the playing of a piano. It is estimated that 60,000 Spanish Greyhounds are killed each year.

During the training season, Spanish Greyhounds are forced to run for hours and miles in the hot sun, their leashes tied to moving trucks. They are kept with the most minimal amount of shelter, food, and hygiene to survive. Many hunters believe starving their hunting dogs keeps them hungry for the hunt and more effective.

Behind every Greyhound’s life in Spain, there is a story of cruelty. When Roy was found on a roadside, he was barely alive. His lifeless body, covered in scars and lacerations.Roy had given up, his eyes remained closed, his body limp as his rescuers examined him. His rescuers brought him to SPCA International’s partner shelter in Spain, SOS Galgos, where he received emergency life-saving treatment and care.

Roy’s history is not uncommon, and he was fortunate to be found when he was. Thanks to organizations like SOS Galgos, a non-profit organization fighting to defend the rights of Spanish Greyhounds like Roy, and SPCA International, the plight of the Greyhounds of Spain will one day improve.

SPCA International– http://www.spcai.org/ — and SOS Galgos — http://sosgalgos.com/?lang=en –are working to improve animal welfare legislation and promote education and awareness sensitizing people to the warm and gentle nature of the Spanish Greyhound. This past March marked a memorable time in history for the Spanish Greyhounds. SPCA International and SOS Galgos, along with other animal protection organizations in Europe, met with the Spanish Congress of Deputies in Madrid to lobby on behalf of all the voiceless Greyhounds. Two hours were dedicated to the welfare of the hunting dogs in Spain in hopes of one day passing laws forbidding this torture.

Please help support the fight to eradicate this appalling tradition by signing SPCA International’s petition.  http://spcai.org/help-us-stop-the-horrific-torture-of-greyhounds-galgos-in-spain.html  Together we can create change! Roy2