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03-18-12, 11:35 PM #1
I spent a month rescuing animals in the aftermath of Katrina. The group I was with got a call one morning from the police. A dog – a bullmastiff, according to them - was on a shelf in the closet of a wrecked house and was “out of his fucking mind.” He had bitten a couple of them and, if someone didn’t get him down, they were going to shoot him. I arrived to find a terrified, twenty-five pound chow/shiba mix who was, in fact, out of his fucking mind. He had been stuck in that house for two weeks after the hurricane and he bore a striking resemblance to Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.” It took me almost an hour to calm him down enough to get a slip leash on him and get him out of there.
Two weeks earlier, fourteen of us from Pasado’s Safe Haven in Washington had jumped on a plane to Houston, then rented several vans to head to New Orleans. We had no idea on the way there where we were going to stay or how we were going to talk our way past the police and military to get into the city. By the time the plane landed, people back at Pasado’s had secured a ranch with an enormous barn in Houma, south of the city. Louis and Linda St. Martin, a local attorney and his wife, told us to use it as we saw fit and we did exactly that. When we first arrived, we discovered that a local equestrian center had been commandeered to temporarily vet check and house the rescued animals until arrangements could be made to reunite them with their people or ship them out to shelters all over the country.
Lucky wouldn’t let anyone handle him but me. He was in the barn for several days before he was shipped out to a shelter. Over the ensuing months, I thought about him often. I had considered taking him home but I had two cats and two other dogs at the time and I didn’t want to get him all the way back to Washington to find he couldn’t get along with everyone. I even tried to find him a couple of times but, unknown to me, his identification number from the barn had been copied down wrongly, so it was fruitless.
In February of 2006, I was talking with a friend in Alabama whom I had met when she came to volunteer with us. She was the best I’ve ever seen with aggressive dogs and she ran a shelter in Alabama. We were reminiscing and, of course, Lucky’s name came up. I told her I hadn’t been able to locate him.
Four days later, she called me. Someone had just surrendered him at her shelter. I had her fly him to Washington immediately.
He loves his housemates but, not unexpectedly, he has his problems. He is fiercely protective of our home and doesn’t do well with people or dogs he doesn’t know extremely well. That isn’t going to change, so we manage his behavior when people are over by putting him in my office with some toys and a frozen peanut butter kong. He thinks he’s died and gone to heaven.
I hear you sir. I still love mine too. Be right back.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
03-19-12, 01:51 PM #2
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