Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Little things make the difference

Our small town is several miles from the interstate – there are many routes to take, but my favorite is a windy, short-cut that requires a couple of turns and a narrow bridge that crosses over a small lake nearby. Once I became familiar with this road, it seems that this is the quickest way to I-24; or could just be that it’s the most interesting too – there are lots to see and occupy my mind as I drive.

On the Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend we took this route to Kentucky – Danny and Syd were in one car and Rea, Shelley, Nelson and I were in another. Don’t laugh. Sometimes it takes two vehicles for us to get both dogs and all of our accoutrements to the next state. Granted this usually occurs at Christmas, but this time it happened in May too.

Anyhow, at a house, along this route, I noticed a wire dog crate in front of a garage. Inside was what appeared to be a coon hound, with barely room to stand, very little area to move about and it’s only covering a wadded canvas tarp. Weeds were growing up around and in the large crate – it was heartbreaking.

Thinking that surely this was a temporary situation, I planned to look for the dog when I drove back through on Monday. However, due to a wreck, traffic was at a standstill and I got off the interstate in Murfreesboro and sadly, forgot about the dog.

Today, the girls and I went shopping, which involved a drive to the interstate and my first trip by that house since Memorial Day and…

The dog was still there.

Soooo…to be sure I wasn’t seeing things, I turned around to double-check. The dog appeared to be housed in a wire RABBIT HUTCH, no dog-house, no shelter, save a rotted wet tarp. The poor animal was curled up on the bare ground or more likely the wire bottom of the cage. We couldn’t find a house number, but an intersecting road and a nearby church were good landmarks for directions. Syd used her Blackberry to get the number for dispatch at the Sherriff’s department. I called and requested an animal welfare check and…

Three hours later when we drove back by, the dog already had a new pen.

I so regret forgetting about the dog Memorial Day weekend, that poor animal suffered unnecessarily because I failed to remember. What is a little hard to understand though, is why it took someone that lives nearly fifteen miles away, to step up and make a simple phone call to change that dog’s circumstances. It wasn’t hard to do. It didn’t take a lot of time. I didn’t even leave my name. Why on earth didn’t the people who lived across the road bother to reach out and help that poor dog; or someone else in one of the hundreds of other cars driving along just like me?

I truly believe that we can’t go through life always waiting for someone else to take action – caution is good, prudence is great too, but sometimes you just have to jump in and do what you know in your heart is right.

For years I always expected everyone to love animals the way I love them; I have come to accept that not everyone does. However, what I don’t think I will ever accept is people who get animals and then not treat them with the dignity, love and respect they deserve.

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