I believe I have an overactive compassion gene. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that’s a particularly bad trait, depending on how you look at it. For one thing, it means I’m not a psychopath since they tend not to have an ounce of compassion, let alone a conscience. So yay for me!
The reason I even brought this up is because I’m in animal rescue, specifically cats. Not that I don’t rescue other creatures. I’m what you would call an equal opportunity savior. Wait. That sounds pompous. Let me rephrase that. How about equal opportunity rescuer? Yeah, that’s better.
Now you’re going to think I’m a bit looney. And you wouldn’t be far off, especially when I tell you what I did the other day…So I’m having lunch at home when I reach for my glass of water and notice a fly inside, swimming frantically in circles. I’m not entirely certain flies swim but whatever it was doing, it looked frantic.
What I’m about to tell you is just between us. Loose lips not only sink ships, they can also land me in the slammer. The problemwith that? I doubt jail caters to vegetarians and I’m guessing their sleeping arrangements aren’t as comfy as my king size Sleep Number bed with pillow-top padding.
Since you’re finished reading about our dog rescue on Mare Island, I figure this is a good time to tell you about another canine rescue I was part of. Some might call it a dognapping and they wouldn’t be incorrect. But I prefer to label it as a life or death rescue intervention.
Here’s what happened: One of my feral cat caretakers (who we’ll refer to as Shannon) was told by her daughter (let’s call her Kelly) about a dog she discovered living out of state locked in a cage in a basement with no food or water. Pretty cruel, huh? The dog was horribly malnourished and basically ignored by her so-called guardian, a drug addict who we’ll call The Neglector.
I wonder if you’re one of the few humans unaware of the touching 14 minute ESPN video about the stray dog that followed an extreme sports team during their competition in Ecuador. You gotta see this. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean right this very second. I promise the link will follow, otherwise you’ll click on it now and your eyes will well with happy tears, rendering you unable to read the rest of my blog. Therefore, I’m selfishly making you wait.
Arthur and his Swedish teammates
I’m into cat rescue now but canines were always my first love. Now I’m an equal opportunity lover. I don’t discriminate among 4-legged, furry creatures…love ’em all. So when a friend sent me the video, I had to forward it to our volunteer feral cat feeders to remind them that, although in a different way, they too are saving lives through their acts of compassion for these sentient beings.
A day later, Michelle, one of our volunteers, emailed to say she and her hubby, Denis, were considering getting a dog and this video confirmed their desire. It just so happened I know a gal, Kathy, who does dog rescue in Tijuana, Mexico. She’d just texted me photos of a black Labrador living on the streets. (Nothing new in Tijuana; there are hundreds.)
As an animal advocate, I prefer to avoid consuming them. Instead, I’m perfectly happy watching cows and sheep graze the rolling hills of Marin. I pretend they’re able to do that until a ripe old age, whereupon they die in a pasture, fat and happy.
The truth is, there’s not much I can do for these particular animals except refuse to dine on them. Still, I find it frustrating to know I’m helpless to change their fate. Continue reading →