So I told Annabelle Bob The Cat, “I’d like you, as a traditional black cat, to pose for a stereotypical Halloween black cat photo in the window near the chair where the witch may sit and wave to ghosts, goblins and Gagas as they arrive in the front yard to trick-or-treat our house.”
“You want my paw up, in the lick position?” she asked. “When I posed for Picasso, this is what he liked, though lord knows when he finished I looked like a kangaroo in a football helmet.”
“Sure,” I said, snapping away. And as you can see, we did this without a costume. Well, I was wearing one – it’s a theme costume called “Lady Gaga – the Midlife Crisis Years of Cheesecakes and Candy.” No photos, please. Save the terror for tonight.
Now, our Readlarrypowell.com report for Halloween 2012, a year which, for a kid who remembers before spaceflight, sounds like science fiction.
HOWL-O-WEEN AT DAS: The Dallas Animal Services folks, with the sponsorship of Chris Watts at The Petropolitan in downtown Dallas, hosted “Howl-o-Ween” Saturday at the shelter – it’s the second year for a Halloween celebration at the shelter. The first was organized by interim shelter manager Dallas Police Lt. Scott Walton when he took over the shelter after the previous manager was indicted for animal cruelty.
So, as you can see, things have changed. They may be changing further under the leadership of Shelter Manager Jody Jones, who wore cat ears for Saturday's event.
While all the animals showing up for the costume contests was big news, the biggest news of the day was a visit prior to the contest by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings -- -his first visit to the shelter. He did not wear cat ears. He’ll, no doubt, have a role in helping the city achieve its no-kill status through the efforts of the Dallas Companion Animal Project.
One way to help end the euthanasia at the shelter is to adopt animals – on Saturday, DAS broke its daily adoption record of 37 animals by adopting out 59 animals. (FYI: For the weekend, the city dropped the adoption fee for all animals down to $30.)
As you see here [these photos were shot by my focusspouse Martha) there were some costumed dogs at the event Saturday, including Diamond Jane, a Husky mix dressed as a “Yellow Submarine.” Then, there were the dogs Empress and Romeo, clad as, well, an empress and a knight. Bossy, the shepherd pup, pulled a wagon with candy and was dressed as a “crooked politician who hands out candy in exchange for votes,” her human said.
And, you see that Great Dane in the neckerchief? That is the famous Grace, the spokesdog for Dallas Loves Animals.
She was brought to the event by Maggie Dahl of Animal Rescue of Texas which teamed with Dallas Animal Services a couple of years ago to save this big dog.
“Gracie,” to use the familiar, was a rescued dog – confiscated. She’d been living in a crate about two-thirds too small for her. Animal Control Officer Mark Cooper, the rescue group liaison for the shelter, was standing with me and Gracie and Maggie and talking about the day he first saw Gracie. She’d been in the too-small cage for so long that she couldn’t straighten her spine, he said. And she’d been so neglected that her skin was so thin it was translucent. He grabbed the skin between Gracie’s hind leg and her abdomen and said, “This was so thin that you could see light through it.”
And, while this event was going on, a young woman came walking into the crowd and dragging a reluctant shepherd mix behind her. Was she there to enter the contest? No, she said, “I want to turn it a dog.”
She said she couldn’t handle the dog. About that time, the dog slipped its collar and began to run toward a filling station next door, but she stopped and, in a shameful semi-crawl, crept back to a stranger who called her “Sweetie” and held out a beckoning hand.
Yes, too tough to handle. And, sadly, a dog that probably will not do well in a shelter.
Brownish, with black highlights, prick ears, fluffy tail, long hair. Smiles. Turned in on Oct. 29. In case you’re interested.
We have our legal limit at Readlarrypowell.com – we can, at this point, only hold more dogs in our hearts and pray for the best.
HOW ONE DOG WOUND UP IN THE DALLAS ANIMAL SHELTER: Yesterday morning a woman in East Dallas was walking her older dog when this 6- to 8-month old female “wiggled up to us wanting help,” the woman wrote. “She had no collar or tags.” The family’s 4 large former rescued dogs didn’t all cotton to this pup so she was stored with a neighbor until a crate could be set up and isolated. You may know this drill – the “intruder” isn’t welcome and it’s tough for humans to cope. Not fair to any of the dogs, either.
The finder of this dog put up signs, walked the neighborhood with the dog looking for the place she belonged, made calls, sent e-mails, etc. No dice. No luck at all.
So, this morning, just after 9 a.m., she sent me this note – and I think you’ll feel the anguish:
“Larry, I just returned from taking her to the city shelter, which I left feeling gross, inhumane, and crying my eyes out. She trusted me, and the best I could do for her was leave her in a cold cage. ... If I had the money, and the time to properly integrate her with our pack, I would have kept her. Damn it. I'm sorry. I'm so very sorry. I heard from rescues who needed me to foster, and we can't. I'm about to take each of our 4 for a long walk, and hug on them and then go to work.”
There you have it – a first-hand expression of what it feels like to be unable to take up the slack for some “don’t care” human. The person to be mad at isn’t the one who took this dog off the streets where she had NO chance at all, but the person who didn’t take care of the dog in the first place. That’s the villain in this story.
To ask about saving this dog, get in touch with Dallas Animal Services. All the contact info is at www.dallasanimalservices.org. You can also visit the shelter in person on the corner of I-30 and Westmoreland. If Mayor Mike Rawlings can visit the shelter, you can visit it, too.
BLACK DOGS IN COLLIN COUNTY: Look, I’m pretty honest about my adoration for big black dogs – never met one that couldn’t be loved. Had a few of ‘em, you know. We’ve mentioned this one guy – the paw dog, Roper before. He can’t draw interest at all at the Collin County Animal Services Shelter in McKinney, says our tipster, the shelter walker Allison Roberts. He’s been at the shelter for 3 week weeks. Is neutered and, as I recall, was an owner-surrender. He knows several “tricks” and “polite gestures.”
The other dog is Lincoln, dumped by a family because “our circumstances have changed so that we can no longer keep him. Lincoln is very smart and plays really well with our child. He knows sit, lay, take it, leave it, easy, shake ... He needs work walking on the leash and he jumps up when he's excited. He loves to play fetch and swim. We sincerely hope that a loving family will give him a great home, since we can no longer do so.”
Both are on a quickly moving clock.
To ask about them, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or call 972-547-7292.
WASHING NEEDS: We got this tip forwarded to us by Sydney Busch, our pal at Friends of the Animals at Cedar Creek Lake, which operates the world’s most successful spay/neuter clinic at Gun Barrel City, Texas.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake shelter at Tool, Texas, needs a washing machine, like now. Shelter manager Krista Mc Anally says, “A new one would be just great or if you have one that still works and would like to donate it...”
To arrange a donation, e-mail Krista at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 903-432-3422.
AT CARROLLTON: That is one distinct cat. Her name is Dottie and she’s available at the Carrollton Animal Services shelter. And, as you can see, she'll cast a shadow.
As regular visitors to Readlarrypowell.com know, we endorse all cats, but, in particular, we endorse black and white cats because, based on our experience, these cats are entertainingly odd, gifted with adorable and bizarre behavior and they rarely need a lawyer.
Also available at the shelter, Bernadette the Dog, a shepherd/hound mix.
How did Bernadette wind up on the clock at a taxpayer-supported animal shelter? The shelter’s official bio reads, “This beautiful lady was abandoned at our facility with two puppies and another adult. When she first arrived she was very scared and a bit stand-offish but since then has made a complete turn around and has become very affectionate and out going.”
These are among the animals scheduled to be killed by the city on Nov. 2. To adopt them or to arrange a safe haven (two things the shelter personnel work to achieve), call 972-466-3420 or e-mail CARE@cityofcarrollton.com .
CONTEMPLATIONS: After the wrenching heartbreak of the World Series and the typical national TV clownish performance of the Dallas Cowboys, the traditional fright of Halloween will be sweet relief. ... Halloween memory: When I was a larger-than-life editor at the local paper back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, one of my pals in the composing room, Rudy Godfrey, asked me a question that took me back to my semi-rural roots in the outdoor privy area in Northeast Texas. He asked, "Are you going to stand out in the front yard on Halloween and let the neighborhood kids come by and tip you over?" I’m still laughing about that line. ... I have to laugh about being compared to an outhouse being tipped over at Halloween because I’m still torn up over the Texas Rangers flopping like a carp on the bottom of a cheap aluminum boat on an East Texas pond. Lots of noise and, basically, nothing happened. You know, I’d go out to Arlington and tip the Ballpark over on its side if it weren’t already upside down. ... Seriously, don't anybody talking about the Rangers say, "Wait 'til next year." We already waited 'til next year. For nearly 40 seasons.
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