Ah, Monday -- the day we see if our engines will re-start.
Every now and then you wonder if you wore your sparkplugs out over the weekend.
So, as we enter the "rrrrr - rrrrr -rrrrr" stage of ignition, here are some things to consider:
GEORGIA DOGS ON THEIR MINDS: Our pal Michelle Smedema who lives north of Prescott, Ariz., says this particular cross-country effort to save dogs in Georgia grew out of the work to rescue dogs in the hurricane zone last year. The group is called "Death Row Dog Rescue" and, indeed, its work is evident in its name. Its link is www.deathrowdogrescue.org.
(Michelle has a very vivid link to Dallas animal rescue -- more on Coco in a minute.)
Members of the DRDR board are from Arizona, California, Minnesota, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and Georgia, Michelle says. "We have rescued over 600 dogs since October," she says, and there are more to rescue. (See some at www.not-4-got-n.com.)
Now, here's the hurricane/dog link. Michelle explains, "After all the hours spent with the Katrina efforts, I found myself wanting to do more for the dogs than I can do with our local rescues in Arizona. I came across this group while working on Best Friends reunion transports. I was absolutely appalled to hear that Georgia uses a gas chamber instead of a more humane lethal injections. They both bother me, but statistics and facts regarding the gas chambers are horrific -- puppies have not fully developed lungs and have to go through up to 20 minutes of agony.
"We started by the president, Michelle Humphries, getting her license [for animal rescue] through the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Then slowly we have been making contacts with shelters in the Northeast who have an abundance of pit bulls and bully breeds, but not a lot of the labs and goldens. So, in essence, we raise a sponsorship for each dog of $250. After a dog is pulled, we have the dog vetted, tested for heartworm, treated, if positive, quarantined, if necessary due to age or disease in a shelter, then transported up the coast where all our dogs are placed almost immediately.
"At this time we are in the process of building a shelter [in Georgia] that will have 40 dog runs. this will greatly reduce our boarding costs. We work with several other Georgia groups and have many volunteers on the ground to who to the shelters, temp test, photograph and post on the website.
"So, I guess the answer as to 'why Georgia?' would be we needed to start somewhere to get the gas chamber abolished. And by bringing our plight to the wonderful world of the internet, we hope to recruit more members, volunteers, receiving rescues and funding opportunities.
"It is an exciting time in the world of rescue. We are working on supporting spay/neuter legislation and many other long-term solutions to the overpopulation problem."
Now, this comment brings us to the Michelle/Dallas link. And that link is a black lab mix named Coco (that's Coco from her days in the Dallas shelter). Dallas Animal Services gets its fair share of pit bull mixes, but it also gets a great swath of mixed breeds.
This one was so special. Arriving as a puppy, Coco the Dog, literally grew up in the Dallas Animal Services shelter and was somehow protected by animal services' angels until noted local rescuer Tawana Jurek spotted her and made saving her life a "cause," getting Homeward Bound Animal Rescue involved. (Read about Coco in our October 2005 archives -- Oct. 17 is the first mention, then Oct. 27.)
We'd be remiss if we didn't note that Coco's roomies include Abber Labber and Moosey Goosey.
So, there you have it. Death Row Dog Rescue is operating nationwide. It's moving animals across state lines for the pursuit of happiness.
IF THE FACTS HOLD UP...: This story popped up on the KXII-TV, Channel 12, website in nearby Sherman. You can read about the death of a pit bull tied to a tree -- it's not a pretty story and it involves teenagers allegedly stabbing the dog to death on Sherman Independent School District property. If the facts hold up as presented, this is surely as awful a crime as the outrageous assault on Mercy. But, there appears to be an official "excusing" of the event. Here's the link:
TEDDY NEEDS A HOME: Becky Haisma of Paws in the City forwards a note about Teddy the Dog. The story is someone's brother had a stroke and died and now Teddy, an 11-year-old spayed, 45-pound mixed-breed dog needs a home. The relative who'd taken Teddy in is now having to move and can't take Teddy along. Teddy is house and leash-trained, gentle, current on vaccinations and "she rarely barks, except when strangers come to the door."
The contact is Tara at 214-232-8440 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, by the way, if you have room at your home for an extra animal and someone beats you to Teddy, Paws in the City can always use a foster home.
SOMETIMES THEY JUST WALK UP: Michele Houston e-mails, "My three dogs and I were talking to an elderly neighbor when a large young male lab-alike decided he wanted to meet us.
"Another neighbor has him for now and her sister might foster him. Her 4-year-old daughter, Peanut, has named this new dog Michael....Has anyone lost a young reddish lab-like male dog? He is friendly, skinny, at least 70 pounds and unfixed. he has a reddish pink nose and a wonderful grin that reveals perfectly clean teeth. he has fly sores on both ears. He was not wearing a collar or tags."
Michael was first see on May 5, then "brought into custody" on May 6 on Dorrington Drive near highland in East Dallas. He may be a storm escapee, Michele theorizes. To claim him, e-mail email@example.com.
"We do not have the funds to get him fixed, but we will try to take are of his ears."
So, as long as Michele has our attention here are two other difficult situations. She reports that "someone dumped a shepherd mix at St. Francis and I-30 "on the north side -- I can't get him/her to come to me. Perhaps one of your expert rescuers could help."
And, "A young Chihuahua/Jack Russell kind of dog has been wandering our street since the first storm on Wednesday. He is white with brown spots...I can't catch him, either." He's wandering around the Dorrington, Sharpview, Highland area north of I-30 and east of Jim Miller, Michele says. (If anyone can help, e-mail Michele.)
SOMEONE WANTS A DOG: I almost yelled "Stop the presses!" Most of the time we're trying to find homes for animals.
But Christy Storaska doesn't have an animal looking for a home, she has a home looking for an animal.
She reports, "Several months ago I adopted a dog to a wonderful family in Lewisville and they have spoiled her rotten. They now have a friend (I haven't met them yet) who is looking for a small-breed dog that would be very gentle with their 7-year-old. It doesn't have to be a pure-bred or anything tiny, just not a large dog. I would imagine that this would be a good home, but like I said, I have not met them and do not know this for certain. They are looking for something that has a reasonable adoption fee. If anyone has anything that would fit this description, please let me know." Contact Christy at 817-937-6665 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
REMINDER: If you work with a rescue group or shelter and you have plans for June and July and beyond that need public participation (festivals, car washes, square dances, etc.) please send the info to email@example.com so we can list it in award-winning Urban Animal magazine. The ink is free.
Now that I think about it, has anyone ever had a fund-raising square dance for dogs and cats? I'm not sure any of our dogs or cats can do-si-do. I know the dogs can tap dance on the kitchen tile -- except for the great Hambone who prefers a waltz. He likes to "glide large" but, if the situation should arise, is fully prepared to "shake his booty."